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New PBS documentary on song collecting

Dave Ruch 10 Jul 13 - 03:25 PM
sciencegeek 11 Jul 13 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 11 Jul 13 - 02:32 PM
catspaw49 11 Jul 13 - 02:41 PM
Dave Ruch 11 Jul 13 - 08:40 PM
GUEST,mg 11 Jul 13 - 11:11 PM
open mike 12 Jul 13 - 03:52 AM
ChanteyLass 13 Jul 13 - 12:31 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 13 Jul 13 - 06:17 AM
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Subject: New PBS documentary on song collecting
From: Dave Ruch
Date: 10 Jul 13 - 03:25 PM

I'm very happy to be involved in this project, which is a long-overdue celebration of the song collecting work of Marjorie Lansing Porter.

Video and Kickstarter Campaign


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Subject: RE: New PBS documentary on song collecting
From: sciencegeek
Date: 11 Jul 13 - 11:47 AM

I'll have to check it out when I get back to the house...


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Subject: RE: New PBS documentary on song collecting
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 11 Jul 13 - 02:32 PM

Looking at this promo video it looks to me to be a bit over the top.
A song sung by seventeen people with bodhran and flute etc. Is this how the songs were presented to Marjorie Lansing Porter? The whole promo video is like going back to the 1960's "Folk Scare", New Christy Minstrels and all that dross. I thought that we had left that behind long ago. Folk music for a non folk audience.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: New PBS documentary on song collecting
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Jul 13 - 02:41 PM

Could be interesting or not. It was nice however that you were able to use the cast from "Mighty Wind!"


Spaw


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Subject: RE: New PBS documentary on song collecting
From: Dave Ruch
Date: 11 Jul 13 - 08:40 PM

The new CD will not be everyone's cup of tea, certainly. The goals of the recording project, which has been spearheaded by an organization called Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, were to have "folk" artists with Northern New York connections (the general area where the songs were originally collected) each choose a song from the collection and work up a new rendition. The performers are solos and duos with two exceptions - the seventeen piece Fraser Family and Friends (should they be kept from singing traditional songs because there are seventeen of them?), and the three-piece Akwesasne Men's Singing Group who recorded two Mohawk pieces Porter collected in 1946. Other highlights include a rare iron mining song done by Porter protege Lee Knight, a fantastic version of Johnny Barber (Willie of Winsbury, or Child #100) by Mudcat's own Anglo (John Roberts), an unaccompanied piece by fifth-generation ballad singer Colleen Cleveland, George Ward's eight-minute version of The Flying Cloud which will become a web feature, La Famille Ouimet singing Le Cotillon Blanc, and many more.

And yes, another of their goals was to produce a product that would appeal to general music fans, Adirondack lovers, and enthusiasts of American folk music. PBS, in their quest to achieve national distribution for the documentary, is certainly playing up the elements and themes that they feel will appeal to their audience. Still, for me this project does several things - - it brings awareness to the work of this largely unsung collector, it puts the northeastern US "on the map" in terms of the general public's awareness of musical traditions in America (the "southern bias" has been well explored in other forums), it will introduce worthy artists, songs, sources, and the concept of traditional music to new audiences, and it allows people like Lee Knight and myself, as music producer for the CD, to go on camera and talk about the source singers, the context of the songs, etc.

Perhaps more to the liking of some here will be Lee's forthcoming book of roughly 280 songs from the collection with musical transcriptions and detailed notes about the singers, the songs, and the collector.


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Subject: RE: New PBS documentary on song collecting
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 11 Jul 13 - 11:11 PM

i think it is a great idea...recognized some of the people on the video...we would not have heard a lot of these songs otherwise..it is always nice to hear from parts of the country or world that are not highly represented in music..wellk, maybe this is but i am unaware for the most part.


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Subject: RE: New PBS documentary on song collecting
From: open mike
Date: 12 Jul 13 - 03:52 AM

In 1960, Seeger did release "Champlain Valley Songs," an album based on lyrics and tunes recorded by Marjorie Lansing Porter. She lived from 1891 - 1973. Her collections and her story seem quite worthy of documenting! http://adirondackmusic.org/pages/50/16/marjorie-lansing-porter I wish you luck with your project, and hope that you get enough donations to produce this !


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Subject: RE: New PBS documentary on song collecting
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 13 Jul 13 - 12:31 AM

This looks good to me. While I cannot donate at this time, I shared the Kickstarter link on Facebook.

I don't mind a large group performing a song. I like harmony! That's why I like sing-alongs. I always think it is nice to hear harmonies done well.


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Subject: RE: New PBS documentary on song collecting
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 13 Jul 13 - 06:17 AM

Nothing at all wrong with group singing, was it songs from a choral tradition that were being collected by this lady? Did it include flutes and Irish percussion? What I do not like is material taken from a tradition and being "prettied up" for general consumption. A bit like drinking watered down beer.
Did this lady make any audio recordings when she was collecting? If she did then issuing those might be a project worth doing.

Hoot


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