The following is a question-and-answer session with author Tim O’Brien in anticipation of the film screening of The War and Peace of Tim O’Brien with special guest and director of the documentary, Aaron Matthews on Thursday, May 11th from 5pm-8pm at the Library of Congress. Prior to the film, enjoy live music from Gold Star sister, Barbara Martin, …
Welcome back to Homegrown Plus! We're continuing the series with Cambalache, who perform son jarocho music, one of the regional Mexican styles that has become very important to the Chicano community in California. Like other blogs in the Homegrown Plus series, this one includes a concert video and a video interview with the featured performer, plus links and connections to Library of Congress collections. Cambalache, named for a Spanish word that means "exchange," is a Chicano-Jarocho group based in East Los Angeles. Founded in 2007 and led by Cesar Castro (sonero, maestro and luthier from Veracruz, Mexico), Cambalache plays and promotes traditional son jarocho through performance, music workshops, and educational demonstrations. Son jarocho comes from Veracruz, Mexico, on the gulf coast, a cultural region shaped by Indigenous, African, and Spanish culture. In the spirit of the fandango, a traditional celebration of music and dance, Cambalache engages its audience through participatory performances.
Welcome back to Homegrown Plus! We're continuing the series with Martin Carthy, one of the best known and most critically acclaimed musicians performing traditional songs in England. Like other blogs in the Homegrown Plus series, this one includes a concert video and a video interview with the featured performer, plus links and connections to Library of Congress collections. Martin Carthy has been a leading figure in the revival of English folk music since the 1960s. He has been a member of many iconic formations, including the duo of Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick, the a cappella harmony group The Watersons, the pioneering electric folk-rock groups Steeleye Span and the Albion Band, the groundbreaking folk and brass combo Brass Monkey, and the acoustic folk groups Waterson: Carthy and Wood Wilson Carthy. He is also one of the most influential solo artists in folk music, with a guitar style emulated by practically all English folk guitarists since the 1970s. His versions of many traditional folksongs have become standards in the revival. He has also been influential in America: it was Martin who taught Paul Simon the traditional ballad “Scarborough Fair” in the 1960s. Martin has received every honor and accolade given for folk music in England, and has been awarded an MBE for services to Folk Music, roughly equivalent to receiving a National Heritage Fellowship in the United States.
Alice Cunningham Fletcher, anthropologist and ethnologist, is most known for her work with Native American groups and her early field recordings of Native American culture. However, this blog will focus another aspect of Fletcher’s fieldwork, a small group of rare and invaluable recordings of traditional Korean music, which she made on July 24, 1896. These cylinders contain the earliest known recordings of Korean music in the world, and predate the next documented recording of Korean song by 11 years. Specifically, they contain songs sung by Korean students whose names are often transliterated today as Ahn Jeong-sik, Lee Hee-Cheol and Son Rong. In this blog you can see a video lecture by Robert Provine about the cylinders, and hear four songs from the collection. These fascinating Korean recordings testify to the historical significance of AFC's cylinder collections to diverse communities all over the world.
The following is a guest post by Andrew Huber, a liaison specialist for the Veterans History Project (VHP). April Fools is a time of year when you have to expect the unexpected, and things are not always as they seem. Here at the Veterans History Project (VHP), it’s no different, except that we have to …
Welcome back to Homegrown Plus! We're continuing the series with Spartimu, a vocal ensemble performing the haunting polyphonic vocal style native to their home island of Corsica. Like other blogs in the Homegrown Plus series, this one includes a concert video and a video interview with the featured group, plus links and connections to Library of Congress collections. The Spartimu ensemble is devoted to traditional polyphonic singing as passed on in the oral traditions of Corsica. Their style and repertoire are based on deep research into the practice of the singing tradition known as “cantu in paghjella,” which is recognized by UNESCO as an important and endangered tradition (“intangible cultural heritage in urgent need of safeguarding”). The ensemble’s projects also encompass the repertoires of several other countries, stretching from Mediterranean Europe to the peaks of the Caucasus.
This post is co-written with Karen Abdul-Malik, also known as Queen Nur, a 2022 recipient of the American Folklife Center Community Collections Grant, and is about the culminating event for the grant-supported Community on the Line project.
Welcome back to Homegrown Plus! We're continuing with a program of Shaker Spirituals in Maine with singer Brother Arnold Hadd, composer Kevin Siegfried, and the choral group Radiance. Like other blogs in the Homegrown Plus series, this one includes a concert video, a video interview with one of the singers, and connections to Library of Congress collections. However, this interview was extensive, and therefore we're presenting it in two separate videos! We hope that together the videos will give you a deeper understanding of the tradition of Shaker Spirituals.
In October 2022, the American Folklife Center began a 4-month project performing mold remediation on paper and photographic materials for several collections. In order to reduce the burden on Conservation Division staff and increase AFC's ability to process collections more efficiently, the Center's archivists and technicians received training on how to treat mold so that those collections can be safely preserved and made available for research. By having AFC-trained staff do this work ourselves, collections can be made ready for researchers much sooner. This blog post presents the reflections of Serena Chiu and Carolina Restrepo on their training and work in mold remediation.