March 29, 2012

Amazing resource - the Alan Lomax files

Alan Lomax spent the better part of his life traveling around the world recording indigenous musicians. His collection is finally available online with over 17,400 digital audio files available for download.

Main page for the collection: Sound Recordings

A bit about Alan: Alan Lomax:

In an age that decries romanticism, Alan Lomax stands out as an enormously romantic figure. “I thought of Alan as a Minotaur — half man, half supernatural — who defied life as we know it,” wrote one of his old friends, Bill Ferris. Alan was proudest of his driving — his thousands of miles and days down nameless roads seeking out the jewels of the human spirit. He is most famous for his work in the penitentiaries, plantations, and lonely farms of the Mississippi Delta, where he returned no less than seven times between 1933 and 1985 to listen, observe, fraternize, and record night after night, year after year; but he repeated this feat with astounding results in hundreds of obscure places in the U.S., the Caribbean, Europe, and North Africa. Jelly Roll Morton, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Muddy Waters, and the Reverend Gary Davis were only a few of the many geniuses, famous and obscure, who were in reality telling us the true story of our country over Alan’s microphone. The sympathy, connoisseurship, and technical avant-gardism he poured into his work in every platform — from the interview to the printed page, concert stage, commercial disc, and scholarly article — yielded some of the most passionate and intimate documents of any era, which might have been lost but instead led to the ecumenical vision of the world’s music we have today. But more than this, what Alan Lomax had in mind was the renewal of the forgotten springs of human creativity.

Just wow!

Posted by DaveH at March 29, 2012 11:50 AM
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