Folksongs From Another America - Field Recordings From Upper Midwest 1937-1946 (5CD+DVD+BOK)
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Folksongs of Another America is a compilation of field recordings made in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin between 1937 and 1946. Armed with bulky microphones, blank disks, spare needles, and cumbersome disc-cutting machines, several folklorists had the foresight to document and preserve a significant but overlooked part of the nation's musical heritage, made by immigrant, Native American, rural, and working-class performers. Almost all of these restored dance tunes, ballads, lyric songs, hymns, laments, versified taunts, political anthems, street cries, and recitations are issued here for the very first time. This five-CD set is filled with African-American, Austrian, Belgian, Cornish, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French-Canadian, German, Ho-Chunk, Icelandic, Lithuanian, Irish, Italian, Luxembourger, Norwegian, Ojibwe, Oneida, Polish, Scots-Gaelic, Serbian, Swedish, Swiss, and Welsh performers, recorded by Sidney Robertson, Alan Lomax, and Helene Stratman-Thomas. The bonus DVD includes the documentary film The Most Fertile Source: Alan Lomax Goes North, with never-before-seen footage shot in Michigan in 1938. It combines digitally restored silent color film footage, related field recordings, voice-over readings from Lomax's correspondence and field notes, and onscreen text to create an audiovisual narrative featuring the performers and scenes that captivated Alan Lomax during his 1938 Upper Midwestern foray. The accompanying 456-page hardcover book includes extensive liner notes, lyric transcriptions, and translations by James P. Leary, co-founder of the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This project is a co-production between Dust-to-Digital and the University of Wisconsin Press in collaboration with the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and the Association of Cultural Equity/Alan Lomax Archive.
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