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Alan Lomax Archive going online

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Desert Dancer 26 Apr 05 - 10:54 PM
Margret RoadKnight 26 Apr 05 - 11:25 PM
Azizi 27 Apr 05 - 12:46 AM
Brian Hoskin 27 Apr 05 - 04:04 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 27 Apr 05 - 10:59 AM
jeffp 27 Apr 05 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,Michael Morris at work 27 Apr 05 - 11:21 AM
Burke 27 Apr 05 - 07:10 PM
Joe Offer 27 Apr 05 - 07:23 PM
Burke 27 Apr 05 - 09:16 PM
Bobert 27 Apr 05 - 09:22 PM
dick greenhaus 27 Apr 05 - 09:29 PM
Desert Dancer 31 Jan 12 - 12:11 AM
Desert Dancer 31 Jan 12 - 12:14 AM
Desert Dancer 31 Jan 12 - 12:27 AM
Desert Dancer 31 Jan 12 - 12:34 AM
ChrisJBrady 31 Jan 12 - 06:58 AM
ChrisJBrady 31 Jan 12 - 07:01 AM
GUEST,Desert Dancer on son's computer 31 Jan 12 - 01:01 PM
Desert Dancer 01 Feb 12 - 02:17 PM
Tim Leaning 04 Feb 12 - 05:50 PM
Bobert 04 Feb 12 - 08:39 PM
Joe Offer 04 Feb 12 - 08:46 PM
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Subject: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 10:54 PM

Posted at Musical Traditions and elsewhere:

Alan Lomax Archive On-line

The Alan Lomax Archive is pleased to announce the culmination of its seven-year effort to preserve and disseminate the work of one of the 20th century's foremost folklorists and musicologists, Alan Lomax.

Alan Lomax believed it was imperative to return traditions to their home sources and artists, a strategy he called cultural feedback." In that spirit, on April 22, 2005 The Alan Lomax Database will go on-line; also, over the next ten months, the Association for Cultural Equity, which administers the Alan Lomax Archive, will send digital copies of audio and video recordings and photographs by Alan Lomax to a number of libraries and archives in the U.S., the Caribbean, and Europe so that they will be available locally to people in or from the regions in which they were originally made.

The Alan Lomax Database - www.lomaxarchive.com - is a free service. This multimedia catalog of the audio and video recordings and photographs made by Alan Lomax from 1946 - 1994 is designed to be an inclusive record of Lomax's recordings of music and the spoken word; it thus documents all recordings, including interrupted tracks and false starts. It can be searched by performer, song title, geography, culture, genre, subject, instrument, collection, session, and recording date. Users can print out single-page reports of their search results. Photographs taken by Lomax during the field trips are linked to the appropriate sessions and also available in a separate searchable catalog. Every audio recording in the catalog can be heard in samples of forty seconds (music, spoken word) to two minutes (radio shows, discussions, lectures).

The first six collections to go on line are: Texas Gladden & Hobart Smith 1946; Calypso Concert 1946; Mississippi Prison Recordings 1947 and 1948; Big Bill Broonzy 1952; Southern Journey US 1959 and 1960; and Central Park Concert 1965. These will be followed by the remainder of Lomax's field trips, each to go on-line as they are completed. It will also ultimately include some of the older collections of audio recordings made by Lomax on behalf of the Library of Congress in the 1930s and 1940s.

The Alan Lomax Archive is also in the process of donating digital copies of selected collections to some 20 libraries and archives in the US and abroad, largely in the regions in which the recordings were made. Donation agreements have been signed with fifteen of these institutions. By the end of 2005, a total of 4,500 hours of audio recordings and 2,014 hours of video recordings will have been disseminated.


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 11:25 PM

Impressive!


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 12:46 AM

This is great news! I look forward to it.


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 04:04 AM

Great!


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 10:59 AM

Great. I lost my copy of the Lomax & Lomax book years ago.


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: jeffp
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 11:10 AM

This is going to be a tremendous resource.


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: GUEST,Michael Morris at work
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 11:21 AM

I'm looking forward to the 1930s/40s collections being made available.


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Burke
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 07:10 PM

I was excited until I started trying to listen & in was just a little bit of the tune.

"Every audio recording in the catalog can be heard in samples of forty seconds (music, spoken word) to two minutes (radio shows, discussions, lectures)."

A good source for my IPod if I ever get one.


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 07:23 PM

I gather from the Website that most of the Lomax recordings are not going to be available online. I suppose it sounds commercial, but if would be a financial disaster for Rounder if all this were suddenly to be placed online. Rounder is really doing a great job of issuing the Lomax recordings on CD. I gather that there will be 150 CD's when the project is completed.

You can order the CD's from www.rounder.com. Buy 5 or more Lomax Series CDs, and pay only $11.00 each. Buy 10 or more Lomax Series CDs and pay only $10.00 for each CD. Such a deal. The CD booklets alone are almost worth the price.

In some ways, I wish the entire collection would be placed online like some of the others - the Wolf Folklore Collection and the MacEdward Leach Collection are good examples. Are there others? I wish Peter Kennedy's collections would be available online, too.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Burke
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 09:16 PM

I hope you know about the American Memory collections at the Library of Congress. Southern Mosaic The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip is just one of several really interesting collections. Here's a longer list.


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 09:22 PM

I heard that most of Lomax's stuff is still in the Library of Congress and will take an "Act of Congress" to get it released...

Yeah, I know some has found it's way out but there are hundreds of hours of stuff that I'm not too sure will be made available...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 09:29 PM

Hey Joe-
Stop wishing me out of business. I sell the Rounder Lomax CDs and the entire Peter Kennedy Folktrax catalog.

Frankly, based on sales, I don't think there's really enough interest to warrant destrying companies like Folktrax, Rounder and (even) CAMSCO. Making unavailable music available is great; giving things away that are currently being sold (at reasonable prices) seems a bit out of line.


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 12:11 AM

The New York Times has an article on the Archive online (see the link for slideshow and video, in addition to this text).

~ Becky in Tucson

Folklorist's Global Jukebox Goes Digital

By LARRY ROHTER
January 30, 2012

The folklorist and ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax was a prodigious collector of traditional music from all over the world and a tireless missionary for that cause. Long before the Internet existed, he envisioned a "global jukebox" to disseminate and analyze the material he had gathered during decades of fieldwork.

A decade after his death technology has finally caught up to Lomax's imagination. Just as he dreamed, his vast archive — some 5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of film, 3,000 videotapes, 5,000 photographs and piles of manuscripts, much of it tucked away in forgotten or inaccessible corners — is being digitized so that the collection can be accessed online. About 17,000 music tracks will be available for free streaming by the end of February, and later some of that music may be for sale as CDs or digital downloads.

On Tuesday, to commemorate what would have been Lomax's 97th birthday, the Global Jukebox label is releasing "The Alan Lomax Collection From the American Folklife Center," a digital download sampler of 16 field recordings from different locales and stages of Lomax's career.

"As an archivist you kind of think like Johnny Appleseed," said Don Fleming, a musician and record producer who is executive director of the Association for Cultural Equity and involved in the project. "You ask yourself, 'How do I get digital copies of this everywhere?' "

Starting in the mid-1930s, when he made his first field recordings in the South, Lomax was the foremost music folklorist in the United States. He was the first to record Muddy Waters and Woody Guthrie, and much of what Americans have learned about folk and traditional music stems from his efforts, which were also directly responsible for the folk music and skiffle booms in the United States and Britain that shaped the pop-music revolution of the 1960s and beyond.

Lomax worked both in academic and popular circles, and increased awareness of traditional music by doing radio and television programs, organizing concerts and festivals, and writing books, articles and essays prodigiously. At a time when there was a strict divide between high and low in American culture, and Afro-American and hillbilly music were especially scorned, Lomax argued that such vernacular styles were America's greatest contribution to music.

"It would be difficult to overstate the importance of what Alan Lomax did over the course of his extraordinary career," said the writer Tom Piazza, who has written an introductory essay for "The Southern Journey of Alan Lomax," a book of about 200 of Lomax's photographs that is to be published in the fall. "He was an epic figure in and of himself, with a musical appetite that was omnivorous and really awe inspiring, who used the new recording technology to go and document musical expression at its most local and least commercial."

Lomax, a Texan by birth, devoted the last two decades of his life to the Global Jukebox project. Looking for commonalities among musical styles from all over the world, he early on began using personal computers to help develop criteria to identify and classify such similarities, in the process creating something very much like the algorithms used today by Pandora and other music streaming services.

"Alan was doubly utopian, in that he was imagining something like the Internet based on the fact he had all this data and a set of parameters he thought of as predictive," said John Szwed, a Columbia University music professor and the author of "Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World," a biography published in 2010. "But he was also saying that the whole world can have all this data too, and it can be done in such a way that you can take it home."

That is one goal of the Association for Cultural Equity, which oversees Global Jukebox and other Lomax-related initiatives from modest offices at Hunter College in Manhattan, with a budget that was $250,000 last year. The music Lomax collected has been available in 45-second snippets on the Cultural Equity Web site for several years but is now being digitized in its entirety for streaming, a process scheduled to conclude next month; a similar process is under way for his radio shows, lectures and interviews. Some music is also being sold in formats ranging from iTunes and CDs to vinyl LPs. A small proportion of the Lomax material has been made available on commercial labels like Rounder and Atlantic.

"This project has evolved as the technology has evolved," said Lomax's daughter, Anna Lomax Wood, who is president of the Association for Cultural Equity.

Lomax's primary interest was music, and he recorded not just across the United States but also extensively in the Caribbean, Britain, Ireland, Spain, Italy and even the Soviet Union. That led to an interest in comparing global dance styles, and so the archive also has what Ms. Wood said was "the biggest private collection of dance film anywhere, and from everywhere," much of which will be put online.

Even before digitization of the collection is complete, musicians, educators and others have been dipping into it. Bruce Springsteen's new album, "Wrecking Ball," due out in March, uses samples from the archive on two songs, and more than a decade ago Moby drew heavily on Lomax's field recordings from the South for his hit album "Play," as did the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" movie and soundtrack.

"We go from the attitude that we just want everyone to use it, whatever their budget is," Mr. Fleming said. "If it's educational or for the press, it's usually no charge, and when someone has a budget, well, then we just want to get roughly what other people are getting."

Recently Google has come calling, with an interest in setting up a site to preserve endangered languages, Ms. Wood said. Though the recordings Lomax collected himself through fieldwork is enormous, the archive also contains material that he obtained from other researchers around the world, including spoken samples of languages that are now vanishing.

"Because he was so interested in so many different aspects of singing, dancing and speaking around the world, he gathered everything he could find, from disparate cultures," said Todd Harvey, curator of the Alan Lomax Collection at the Library of Congress's American Folklife Center, which holds much of Lomax's work.

The Association for Cultural Equity also has what it calls a repatriation program, meant to make Lomax's work available to the communities where it was obtained and to pay royalties to the heirs of those whose music was recorded. On Friday recordings, photographs, video and documents are to be donated to the public library in Como, Miss., where in September 1959 Lomax made the first recordings of the blues guitarist Fred McDowell, whose songs were later covered by the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt and Jack White of the White Stripes.

"My father always felt that part of his job was to give something back to the people whose culture it was," Ms. Wood said. "It's a way of saying, 'What you do is worth something,' and what we do is an extension of that."

Ms. Wood has been immersed in her father's music collection all her life, even accompanying him on some field trips when she was a child. But Mr. Fleming's route was roundabout: originally a member of the punk band Velvet Monkeys, he has produced records by artists like Sonic Youth, Hole and Teenage Fanclub before succumbing to the beauty of the music Lomax collected and especially the ethos associated with it.

"Alan saw immeasurable worth in something off the radar that everyone else ignored or saw no worth in, and he was against that homogenized Top 40 world that most people live in," Mr. Fleming said. "Just the idea of him out in the field with his Presto recorder, dusting the thing off as it's running, it's all kind of punk rock to me."


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 12:14 AM

The article gives the link to the Association for Cultural Equity, as well.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 12:27 AM

My mistake, it's not a slideshow, but a selection of photos with audio of these musicians:

Mississippi Fred McDowell, "When the Train Comes Along"
Ed Young and Hobart Smith, "Joe Turner"
Jos&eactute; Maria Rodriguez, "Alborada de Vigo"
Neville Marcano, "señorita Panchita"
Orna and E.C. Ball, "Trials, Troubles, Tribulations"
Bessie Jones, "Go to Sleep Little Baby"

The video is a portion of a film European on step-dancing, relating it to sport and agriculture (a bit of a stretch of logic, to my mind, but great footage!).

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 12:34 AM

By the way, the "www.lomaxarchive.com" url takes you to the Association for Cultural Equity website.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 06:58 AM

There's a Lomax channel on YouTube too with regular uploads of great footage.


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 07:01 AM

Would love to know more about this video about European step dancing ...:

"Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer - PM
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 12:27 AM

snip

The video is a portion of a film European on step-dancing, relating it to sport and agriculture (a bit of a stretch of logic, to my mind, but great footage!).

~ Becky in Tucson"


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: GUEST,Desert Dancer on son's computer
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 01:01 PM

Yeah, CJB, there's a link to the YouTube channel at the ACE/Lomax Archive site. The video (snippet) is available at the NY Times article, and presumably somewhere among the videos uploaded to the YouTube channel. (The link for videos on the archive site takes you to the YouTube channel.)

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 01 Feb 12 - 02:17 PM

Global Jukebox area of of the ACE website (thanks to Abby Sale on the Mudcat Facebook page).

INTRODUCING GLOBAL JUKEBOX, AN INDEPENDENT MUSIC LABEL FROM THE ALAN LOMAX ARCHIVE

Thousands of hours of international field recordings housed in the Alan Lomax Archive will now reach audiences through Global Jukebox, the Archive's first independent music imprint. Global Jukebox will produce LPs, CDs and digital albums in partnership with other folkloric institutions, record labels, university presses, along with the global reach of the digital distributor IODA. These releases will engage and inspire audiences around the world with the ever-vital work that Alan Lomax documented, and help fulfill Lomax's mission of "cultural equity," the right of every culture to express and develop its distinctive heritage of songs, dances and stories.

Global Jukebox's first releases commemorate the 50th anniversary of Lomax's "Southern Journey" in the American South, the first stereo field recordings made of traditional music. The inaugural releases are: "Wave the Ocean, Wave the Sea"; "Worried Now, Won't Be Worried Long"; "I'll Meet You On That Other Shore"; "I'll Be So Glad When the Sun Goes Down"; and "I'm Gonna Live Anyhow Until I Die." Compiled and annotated by Nathan Salsburg, the albums draw on new transfers of the original tapes, and include considerable previously unreleased material and extensive booklets of photos and notes.

Forthcoming releases include: Lomax's debut recordings of bluesman Mississippi Fred McDowell; a companion album to the new John Szwed biography Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World; a hardback book and two-CD set dedicated to Lomax's trip through Asturias, Spain - "the land at the end of everything"; and the launch of a series of artist-curated compilations, for which guest musicians "Play the Global Jukebox," including an exclusive recording of their own.
---

The Alan Lomax Collection From The American Folklife Center was released yesterday through Amazon.com as an mp3 download, with 16 tracks available as an album or individually.

Here's the general description of that set from the Global Jukebox, go to the Amazon link for the list of tracks.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: Lomax digitized
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 04 Feb 12 - 05:50 PM

Hi not been on here for while but today I met DOug Chadwick in town and recieved this via facebook..
Then I thought well maybe someone on Mudcat would like to know about that so here it is..

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/31/arts/music/the-alan-lomax-collection-from-the-american-folklife-center.html?pagewanted=all


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Feb 12 - 08:39 PM

Some field recordings from Lomax's Library of Congress archives have already made it out and onto other CDs...

I think this is just another company that has figured out how to get a few more out...

I was hoping that the Library of Congress would just open up the vaults and make them all available to all of us as we own them, don't we???

B~


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Feb 12 - 08:46 PM

Yeah, Bobert, I've still left wondering what's going to be made available. The Rounder Lomax CDs were wonderful and I bought a bunch of them, but I've listened to most of them only once or twice. I felt I was supporting a good cause, but I certainly didn't get my money's worth out of the CDs I bought. Ideally, I'd like to see the entire Lomax collection online, including the excellent notes in the CD booklets.

Much of the work was done on government grants or while Lomax was employed by the Library of Congress - so we do own them, don't we?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Feb 12 - 09:03 PM

Yes, we do, Joe and I'm more than a little PO'd that the Library of Congress lets private companies profit from them... Let 'um all out and free!!! The technology is there and I'm sure there are plenty of people who would volunteer their time to facilitate...

B~


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 05 Feb 12 - 11:31 AM

Folks, go back to the full article, which I posted above. The Association for Cultural Equity (run by Lomax's daughter) is a non-profit organization (with an annual budget of only $250,000). They have put together the time, energy, and finances to make these recordings available.

This is Lomax's archive, much of which is not held at the Library of Congress: "some 5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of film, 3,000 videotapes, 5,000 photographs and piles of manuscripts, much of it tucked away in forgotten or inaccessible corners", all to be digitized.

"About 17,000 music tracks will be available for free streaming by the end of February" at the ACE website. In addition, there will be some material that is packaged as cds/downloads distributed thru more usual commercial outlets (e.g. Amazon). This is the purpose of the ACE's creating an "independent music label". I presume the function of this is to market this material to make it more visible (and easier to consume) for the public who are not so attuned to the resource to start by browsing a web archive.

So dismount from yer high horses, folks.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 05 Feb 12 - 11:33 AM

I should have added - a revenue-generating arm of a non-profit is not unheard-of. Asking for "volunteers" to digitize all that stuff is all very nice, but there are usually some expenses involved...!

~ B in T


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 05 Feb 12 - 05:37 PM

I looked at the ACE site and was surprised to see the same picture at the top as on the Hamish Henderson Archive Trust website.

But it is an evocative picture. And I suppose equally appropriate for those two organisations that have related objectives (but at present very different budgets!)

Richard


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 05 Feb 12 - 11:31 PM

Good eye, Richard, that is funny.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 02:17 AM

I'm confused how this new step will be related to the past content of the Cultural Equity site (which I've explored quite a bit in the past, but which always has so many links that I get confused). Is it that the streaming tracks, currently only samples, will be opened up as full length tracks? Or will there be a new section with a different (or differently arranged and perhaps differently edited) set of recordings?

I was actually planning/hoping to sometime go to the LoC and study the archive, but now that it will be on-line, does that mean that would be unnecessary? Or will the on-line bits limited in some way?


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 10:32 AM

I guess we'll have to see what happens, Gibb. It does sound like they mean it'll be full length tracks.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 01:37 PM

The Legacy of Alan Lomax: some thoughts on the topic by Alan Jacobs at The Atlantic online. Some thoughtful discussion in the comments there (atlantic.com is good for that.)

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 08:01 AM

I just published a post on my cultural blog about John W. Work III.

http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/02/remembering-honoring-john-wesley-work.html

That post consists of several excerpts from online articles including this one from "John Work III: The Man the Blues Forgot" by Joe Kloc http://motherjones.com/mixed-media/2011/04/john-work-alan-lomax-blues

"John Work III, born in 1901 in Tullahoma Tennessee, was a folklorist at Fisk University for almost 40 years. He attended Julliard and held music degrees from Yale and Columbia. According to music writer Dave Marsh, Work was Lomax's partner and guide in the early 1940s. He led Lomax first to Son House and later to Muddy Waters, where Lomax recorded part of what would later be released as Down on Stovall's Plantation. "Lomax never credited Work, but recent research has established him as at least Lomax's equal in the study"...

-snip-

My post ends with this editorial comment:

In this supposedly post-racial United States, it says a lot that Alan Lomax usually receives accolades for his Delta Blues collection activities without any mention of his joint collaboration with African American composer, ethnomusicologist, collector, and educator John W. Work III.

I consider it to be very troubling that Alan Lomax never credited John W. Work III, his African American partner and guide in the collection of Delta Blues in the early 1940s.

This failure to credit the collection work of African American John W. Work III reinforces the idea that only White people collected African American music from the South.

Which collector's work gets mainstream funding and public recognition determines what and how we think of the music that is collected. That funding and public recognition also determines what and how we think about the people who make the music that is collected.

Let's give John W. Work III the recognition and accolades he so very much deserves!


-Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: harmonic miner
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 08:29 AM

Recordings from Ireland are included
Alan Lomax - Global Jukebox - Ireland 1951 and 1953
http://research.culturalequity.org/get-audio-ix.do?ix=session&id=IR51&idType=abbrev&sortBy=abc


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: harmonic miner
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 09:16 AM

Joe/Bobert

I don't know about your country, but in mine, just because the government provides/funds certain goods/services, it doesn't neccessarily follow that we are not expected to pay for them. Unfortunately!


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 10:50 AM

Thanks for that, Azizi. As you linked in your Pancocojams post, there's a John Work III Memorial Foundation. His book is often cited at Mudcat, but I don't see anything else about him. Worth a new thread.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 12:08 PM

new thread: John W. Work III and the blues

~ B in T


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Felipa
Date: 02 Mar 12 - 07:38 AM

"About 17,000 music tracks will be available for free streaming by the end of February"

I'm listening now
http://www.culturalequity.org/


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 02 Mar 12 - 10:36 AM

Sound Collections Guide page at the site.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 02 Mar 12 - 10:45 AM

Sound Recordings gets you to the more general start page, from which you can search or browse by various criteria.

In addition to the Sound recordings, there are also these other collections:

Photographs
Video recordings (the Archive at YouTube)
Radio programs
Discussions, Interviews, & Lectures

The Geo Archive uses an interactive Google map to link to materials.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 03 Mar 12 - 10:41 AM

Wow. You could get lost in there.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Vic Smith
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 09:22 AM

A lovely little piece in the G2 of today's The Guardian :-

The great American folk-lorist Alan Lomax visited my home island of South Uist in the Hebrides in 1951, the year before I was born, to record the indigenous songs and stories of the people. These wonderful recordings have just been made freely available for streaming from the New York-based Association for Cultural Equity (culturalequity.org). So I now find old Gaelic people whom I knew as a child singing out of the same global jukebox as Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Muddy Waters and Jelly Roll Morton. Among the marvels that Lomax recorded was a ceilidh in Daliburgh in which you can hear the great Isle of Barra singer An Eosag and South Uist's Bean Eairdsidh Raghnaill.
Lomax also visited my local primary school at Garrynamonie where he recorded the village children singing four Gaelic songs and four English ones - London Bridge is Falling Down; The Big Ship Sails Through The Illy-Alley-O; May Lies A-Weepin; and In and Out the Window. This tells its own story about the displacement of native Gaelic. Since then, the school has been razed to the ground. What remains is the dig­ital glory thanks to the visionary work of Lomax and his kind.
Angus-Peter Campbell


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 10:26 AM

Thanks for that, Vic!

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 08:18 PM

The American Folklife Center says on Facebook:

"Our Colleague Don Fleming from the Association for Cultural Equity, as well as some wonderful musicians, will be celebrating AFC's Alan Lomax Collection tonight on Emmy-winning The Colbert Report, on Comedy Central!"

And, the Colbert Report says,

"Don Fleming, Elvis Costello & Emmylou Harris celebrate the recordings of the Alan Lomax Archives."

Wow!

If you (like me) don't get it on cable, look for it starting tomorrow at www.colbertnation.com/.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 08:57 PM

Danged!!!

This is what winter is for... You know... Snowed and no work so what to do??? Sheet fire... So much music and so little time...

Grrrrrrrr....

B~


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 09 Mar 12 - 12:09 AM

On the Colbert interview they played a recording of our own dear Kytrad! I hope Jean gets to see it.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 09 Mar 12 - 11:57 AM

Oh YEAH! Just have it on now. the Colbert segment

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 11:49 AM

Alan Lomax's Massive Archive Goes Online

by Joel Rose
National Public Radio
March 28, 2012

[Somewhat more in the audio at the link above, as usual]

Folklorist Alan Lomax spent his career documenting folk music traditions from around the world. Now thousands of the songs and interviews he recorded are available for free online, many for the first time. It's part of what Lomax envisioned for the collection — long before the age of the Internet.

Lomax recorded a staggering amount of folk music. He worked from the 1930s to the '90s, and traveled from the Deep South to the mountains of West Virginia, all the way to Europe, the Caribbean and Asia. When it came time to bring all of those hours of sound into the digital era, the people in charge of the Lomax archive weren't quite sure how to tackle the problem.

"We err on the side of doing the maximum amount possible," says Don Fleming, executive director of the Association for Cultural Equity, the nonprofit organization Lomax founded in New York in the '80s. Fleming and a small staff made up mostly of volunteers have digitized and posted some 17,000 sound recordings.

"For the first time, everything that we've digitized of Alan's field recording trips are online, on our website," says Fleming. "It's every take, all the way through. False takes, interviews, music."

"Alan would have been thrilled to death. He would've just been so excited," says Anna Lomax Wood, Lomax's daughter and president of the Association for Cultural Equity. "He would try everything. Alan was a person who looked to all the gambits you could. But the goal was always the same."


Throughout his career, Lomax was always using the latest technology to record folk music in the field and then share it with anyone who was interested. When he started working with his father, John Lomax, in the '30s, that meant recording on metal cylinders. Later, Alan Lomax hauled giant tape recorders powered by car batteries out to backwoods shacks and remote villages.

Lomax wrote and hosted radio and TV shows, and he spent the last 20 years of his career experimenting with computers to create something he called the Global Jukebox. He had big plans for the project. In a 1991 interview with CBS, he said, "The modern computer with all its various gadgets and wonderful electronic facilities now makes it possible to preserve and reinvigorate all the cultural richness of mankind."

He imagined a tool that would integrate thousands of sound recordings, films, videotapes and photographs made by himself and others. He hoped the Global Jukebox would make it easy to compare music across different cultures and continents using a complex analytical system he devised — kind of like Pandora for grad students. But the basic idea was simple: Make it all available to anyone, anywhere in the world.

Lomax was forced to stop working when his health declined in the '90s, and he left the Global Jukebox unfinished. Now that his archives are online, the organization he founded is turning its attention to that job.

The Association for Cultural Equity is housed in a rundown building near the Lincoln Tunnel in Manhattan. Most of Lomax's original recordings and notes are now stored at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. But Fleming says the New York offices still exude the DIY vibe they had when Lomax was working there — right down to the collection of castoff chairs and desks, none of which seem to match.

"There was never any money in it for Alan," says Fleming. "Alan scraped by the whole time, and left with no money. He did it out of the passion he had for it, and found ways to fund projects that were closest to his heart."

Money is still tight. But that never stopped Alan Lomax, and it hasn't deterred Anna Lomax Wood, either.

"He believed that all cultures should be looked at on an even playing field," she says. "Not that they're all alike. But they should be given the same dignity, or they had the same dignity and worth as any other."

Almost 10 years after his death, his heirs are still trying to make his vision a reality — one recording at a time.


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 12:12 PM

What's "Cultural Equity" mean?


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 12:32 PM

I heard that story today. It was wonderful!

The "cultural equity" term doesn't mean "equality" it means "equal access, without prejudice," think. They all deserve to be heard, no matter how large or small.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 08:04 AM

There's some great tracks of Bob and Jim Copper there - search for "copper".


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 06:07 PM

Many of the clips do not play (in the UK). A search of "copper" produces a listing of recordings of Bob and Jim Copper - these play fine. A search of "chantey" produces lots of chanteys / shanties but none of them play. Any ideas please?


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 07:19 PM

That's strange, CJB, since they're all the same audio format.


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 09:42 PM

All OK now.

Just found this gem:

Conversation between Alan Lomax and Ewan MacColl in London

http://research.culturalequity.org/rc-b2/get-dil-details.do?sessionId=132

:: Project ::        Visit with Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger
:: Date Range ::        03-01-1986 to 03-01-1986
:: Particpants ::        
Lomax, Alan
MacColl, Ewan
Seeger, Peggy
:: Subjects ::        
Hogmany festival of Scotland, recalled by Ewan MacColl
Scottish and Jewish performance style, differences between
Jewish communities, importance of literacy in
Northern Europe - trial marriage in
Labor lore of Northern England and Southern Wales


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 30 Mar 12 - 01:34 PM

For the children's rhymes folks: keywords for your searches include

children's song
game song
jump rope song

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: Folk music resource culturalequity.org
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Apr 12 - 01:30 PM

I was watching the 2012.03.08 The Colbert Report on the Canuck Comedy Channel website just now. The guests were three big names in music and one guy is in charge of the Andy Lomax archives. He play a snippet of a recording of Jean Ritchie Lomax made (1959 I think) and then one of Dylan's adaptaion of that into The Masters of War.

Long story short... check this out.


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Subject: RE: Folk music resource culturalequity.org
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 06 Apr 12 - 05:18 PM

Thread on the Colbert episode last month: Jean Ritchie on Stephen Colbert. It was a good one. Glad it made it to Canada. :-)

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Folk music resource culturalequity.org
From: gnu
Date: 06 Apr 12 - 05:22 PM

Thanks Becky... shoulda thought of filtering Lomax too before I started this thread.

Yo... mod... close or combine eh? If you have the time.


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: gnu
Date: 06 Apr 12 - 07:55 PM

Just read the other thread... missed both! I feel like a dolt. Only saving grace is keeping the threads going, although inadvertently.


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 06 Apr 12 - 08:13 PM

Doesn't matter how you get there, as long as you get there, Gnu. The rest is housekeeping. :-)

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 11 Apr 12 - 02:38 PM

A tip on the archive's resources from Pat McPherson at CDSS via Facebook: there are ready-made classroom activities provided on the site. Here's a Teaching Resources start page.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: cnd
Date: 17 Sep 16 - 12:01 AM

I just found this website online of Lomax's songs he recorded.

http://lomaxky.omeka.net/items/tags

I think many here will find it to be an interesting and useful source of information or music, so I figured I'd share it.


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: maeve
Date: 17 Sep 16 - 07:00 AM

Thank you, cnd.


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: DaveRo
Date: 12 Jul 17 - 04:24 PM

Just noticed this in the NYT:
The Unfinished Work of Alan Lomax's Global Jukebox

(May be paywalled - try private browsing/incognito mode.)


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jul 17 - 08:50 PM

I think I'll copy-paste that article, Dave - but I recommend that everyone go to the NY Times site to see related videos and articles if you can.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/11/arts/music/alan-lomax-global-jukebox-digital-archive.html

The Unfinished Work of Alan Lomax's Global Jukebox
By GIOVANNI RUSSONELLOJULY 11, 2017

There's a fundamental contradiction to the life and work of Alan Lomax, the prolific collector of American folk songs. He encouraged Western audiences to appreciate rural and indigenous traditions as true art, on the same level as classical music. Meanwhile, he wanted to help those marginalized societies maintain distinct cultural identities, empowering them against the encroaching influence of mass media.

So how does that work? How can we bring these traditions into a cosmopolitan world without compromising them? When a culture comes under the anthropologist's gaze, can it still write its own history?

In 1983 Lomax established the Association for Cultural Equity, known as ACE, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing that tension, largely by making sure the communities he had recorded reaped some reward. This spring, the organization unveiled the Global Jukebox, a free, interactive web portal with recordings of more than 6,000 folk songs from around the world that Lomax recorded or acquired. Most have never been publicly available.

It's still imperfect, but the jukebox is a huge achievement. It will ensure that his work lives on in a single, broadly accessible collection, under the stewardship of an organization whose mission he helped define. Yet there are some questions it still must answer. What is it doing to further the creative life of the communities that created this music? As Lomax put it in a dispatch from 1976, how can the jukebox "make culture again grow on the periphery — where culture has always grown"? And does the Global Jukebox resist the false notion that homegrown expression in nonurban areas is a thing of the past — or does it feed into it?

On the Global Jukebox website, the recordings are plotted on a world map. Using a system called cantometrics, devised by Lomax and the ethnomusicologist Victor Grauer, each song has been analyzed according to 41 variables, such as vocal inflection and ensemble size. Users can sort songs from around the world and sift for commonalities, finding clues to migration patterns, or the ways that societies with similar structures share modes of expression.

Lomax first envisioned creating something like this in the 1980s and worked for years to make it a reality, often adopting new methods and machinery as technologies advanced.

"The idea was that young people of the world were losing interest in their own traditions, and that had a lot to do with TV and the radio," Dr. Grauer said. "It was an overwhelming project. All the recordings in his archive needed to be digitized."

Lomax died in 2001, before the project could be completed, and his daughter, the anthropologist Anna Lomax Wood, has seen it through since then.

The Global Jukebox, in its current form, is not quite ready for prime time. It's virtually unusable on a mobile device. The tools that offer guided tours and invite user interaction are difficult to find. It doesn't readily show up on search engines.

Still, it amounts to an unprecedented compendium of worldwide musical heritage — in terms of its scope and its accessibility. And it invites further inquiry. Within five minutes, you're likely to find yourself Googling the name of a region you didn't know, or diving into the deep cuts of an album of old songs on Spotify.

Part of what's missing is contextualizing content. There are brief, boilerplate descriptions of most societies, plus a few essays and lesson plans written by anthropologists and ethnomusicologists. But beyond the songs themselves, we do not hear from the cultures that created the music.

"Music has a life. It's telling the lives of migration, and whatever else people are doing," said Diana Taylor, a professor of performance studies at New York University and director of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. "There's something very rich about putting that music in context — which means the people's context."

"I would love to know what they think their music is doing in their communities," she said.

Lomax saw archives as tools to ward off cultural erasure. He meant to help populations maintain and expand on their traditions. At a time of high modernism, that meant capturing traditions on tape and establishing their own standard repertories. But to uphold and honor any population in the present day, it's crucial to avoid freezing it in place. (Even the Delta blues, which first inspired Lomax to make folk music his career, was an evolving form that had existed for only a few decades.)

With the Global Jukebox, ACE can actually foster a continuing conversation. The quintessential image of Lomax is one of a smiling man holding a microphone up to a singer. The image of today's folkloric inquiry might be one of the artist recording herself while she repurposes the tools of past generations, using new instruments and technologies.

In the 1960s and '70s, Lomax worked on various projects to ensure that rural communities would remain aware of their own traditions and the social contracts they reflected. He advocated for region-specific public TV programs as a way to make sure local communities "grow from their own roots," as he once wrote. He pushed Unesco — and then Sony — to put recording equipment into the hands of artists in small communities across the world.

With ACE, Lomax said his main purpose was to "repatriate" the audio and video materials he had captured across the globe — placing them back within their places of origin and incorporating them into local education initiatives. He also hoped to help people in those areas continue documenting themselves.

The association has led about 100 such projects. "We try to document cultures that are threatened, and provide a platform for them to participate in scholarly and general intellectual discourse," said Jorge Arévalo Mateus, ACE's executive director. "The Global Jukebox is really the centerpiece; everything will now feed back into that."

For now, that last statement remains an aspiration. But there are plenty of opportunities for it to become a reality. Last month the organization received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to digitize Lomax's blues recordings from the Mississippi Delta, house them at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and create grade-school lesson plans using the recordings.

In Montemarano, Italy, the music enthusiast Luigi D'Agnese has worked with Dr. Wood, ACE's president, to create a museum dedicated to Lomax's recordings in the area. He wants to keep young people in touch with their local musical traditions. The organization recently supported a project documenting styles of traditional singing that have survived in refugee housing in South Sudan.

Other groups are doing similar work: In Peru, the vocalist Susana Baca helps run the Instituto Negro Continuo, which works to record and teach Afro-Peruvian music and dance traditions, making that repertoire available to young musicians so that it can take root it in their expressions.

"Young people want to experiment, they want to mix things and they play what they want," Ms. Baca said. "But it's also important to really drink up your own culture, to go to the source, to hear the old singers."

What would a Global Jukebox look like if it made space for a record of these evolving musical engagements?

Rather than focusing on only cantometrics and scholarly overviews, it could include personal histories and writings that explore the modern-day resonance of traditional recordings — in the cultures that ride their wake. And there is plenty of new music and art being created that draws on these traditions.

Take Jaimeo Brown's album of nouveau blues, using Lomax's old recordings, or the rock music of young Maya musicians in Central America, drawing on traditional instruments and indigenous languages. Is it folklore, or just contemporary art? Perhaps the divide was never so stark in the first place.


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jul 17 - 09:03 PM

A previous NY Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/18/arts/music/alan-lomax-recordings-the-global-jukebox-digitized.html


Alan Lomax Recordings Are Digitized in a New Online Collection
By ANDREW R. CHOW APRIL 18, 2017

lan Lomax made it his lifelong mission to archive and share traditional music from around the world. He spent decades in the field, recording heralded artists like Muddy Waters and Woody Guthrie, as well as far more obscure musicians, from the British Isles to Haiti. He also created systems to classify this music and explore the links between cultures.

Lomax died in 2002, but the organization he founded, the Association for Cultural Equity (ACE), is hoping to further his research with the Global Jukebox, a new online database. The project, an interactive website, allows users to listen to and learn about more than 6,000 songs from 1,000 cultures — including many from Lomax's personal collection.

The website, organized by map and by culture, is free to use. The wide-ranging samples were digitized from hard copies at the Library of Congress and include 1978 field recordings from the Kullu culture in Himachal Pradesh, India; harvest songs from 1954 Romania; and a ballad to John Henry from Asheville, N.C., in 1941, recorded by Lomax.

Lomax envisioned this sort of database as computer technology progressed in the 1980s. He began work on a "global jukebox" to store thousands of songs and dances, cross-referenced with anthropological data. "The modern computer with all its various gadgets and wonderful electronic facilities now makes it possible to preserve and reinvigorate all the cultural richness of mankind," he said in a 1991 interview with CBS.

The Global Jukebox places a large emphasis on analyzing these samples through cantrometrics, a system that Lomax fastidiously developed to break down music into variables like tonal blend, melodic range and social organization of vocal lines.

"The project was very ambitious for the point in time that Alan was working in," Kathleen Rivera, a research associate for ACE, said in an interview. "He was poring over these punch cards and computing systems for entire days. His vision couldn't match the technology that he had at the time. Today, we have the system that can make it all very clear for people."

ACE has been digitizing Lomax's collection over the years. In 2012, the association created the ACE Online Archives, which contain 17,000 free songs. And it will continue the digitization process: Anna Lomax Wood, Lomax's daughter and the organization's president, said that many more recordings — and corresponding analyses — are to be released onto the website in the years to come.


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jul 17 - 10:11 PM

I just went there and listened. It is a very unusual format to choose what you want to hear, but there is a lot there...

https://theglobaljukebox.org/

(You find this big circle and point at one little wedge and read where it's about.)


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Subject: RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 01:13 AM

Hi, Bill -
Did you get any idea how much of the Rounder Lomax collection is now available at globaljukebox?
-Joe-


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