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Carpenter online project announced

A new project to incorporate a pivotal collection into the world's largest online searchable database of folk songs and music has been announced.  The digitised collection of James Madison Carpenter, which has previously only been accessible by visiting the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, will be added to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Digital Archive, thanks to a grant of more than £63,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Follow-on Funding Scheme.

Carpenter's work includes a wealth of traditional songs, ballads and folk plays, collected from performers in Scotland, England and Wales by the Harvard-trained scholar, mostly in the period 1929-35.  As well as more than 2,000 items of traditional song and 300 folk plays, it contains some items of traditional instrumental music, dance, custom, narrative and children's folklore.  It also features a large number of audio recordings, allowing us to get even closer to the original performances.

The project is being delivered by the Elphinstone Institute, the centre for the study of Ethnology, Folklore, and Ethnomusicology at the University of Aberdeen, in partnership with the EFDSS and the VWML in London.  The project will culminate in a celebration concert at Cecil Sharp House in March 2018 featuring material from the Carpenter Collection.

Dr Julia Bishop, leader of the James Madison Carpenter Collection Project, said: "The Carpenter Collection has been hidden for so long.  This is a wonderful opportunity to return it to the communities and places where so much of it originated."



ITMA is delighted to announce that it has been awarded funding of over €187k to host one of the European Commission's inaugural Marie Curie Society & Enterprise Fellowships.  Dr Lynnsey Weissenberger a postdoctoral researcher in Library & Information Studies from Florida State University - and a practising Irish traditional musician - will join ITMA in July 2017 to lead the two-year LITMUS project.

LITMUS (Linked Irish Traditional Music) seeks to improve searching and access to web-based Irish traditional music, song and dance resources through the development of a Linked Data framework.  The project will utilise ITMA's extensive Irish traditional music collections as well as introducing Dr Weissenberg to an international network of Irish traditional musicians and researchers.  She will also be seconded for six months to the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway.  While tailored to Irish traditional music, it is hoped that this EC Horizon 2020 project will provide a working model for other European and non-European traditional musics.

The highly competitive Society and Enterprise Individual Fellowship scheme awarded funding totalling €8 million to almost fifty projects across Europe, including six in Ireland.

Welcoming the inception of the project, ITMA Chairman Dermot McLaughlin said: "Sharing and increasing access to the materials of traditional music is at the core of what we do at ITMA.  The LITMUS project, supported by the EU Horizon 2020 programme, will allow us to work with expert colleagues to design and test new ways of using data and technology to increase citizens' access to the richness of our living tradition throughout Europe and globally."

Just one more of the many reasons why Brexit was such a shitty idea - Ed.


Jim Coughlan

On Friday 7th April at Swindon Folksingers Club (upstairs at the Ashford Road Club) there will be an evening to celebrate the life of our dear friend, Jim Coughlan, 03/09/33 - 13/01/17.

Jim was a longstanding member of the club, from its early days.  His repertoire of traditional Irish songs have delighted many, and have been recorded on CD, as 'The Songs of a Limerick Man.'

All welcome for an informal evening of song, memories and anecdotes.  If you have a particular favourite of Jim's songs that you'd like to sing, would you please let me know.  We'll try to coordinate things so that we don't have 10 versions of the same song!

Please spread the word to those who knew Jim and may wish to attend. Thank you.

Andrew Bathe - 19.3.17

Musical Traditions Club dates:

King & Queen, Foley Street, London W1 6DL - Junction of Foley Street/Cleveland Street.  Nearest tube Goodge Street.  Monthly, Fridays, 8:00 - 11:00 p.m.

Membership £2 annually, payable on the door.  Admission for members £6, concessions £4, non-members £7, concessions £5.

For further information see our website: www.mustradclub.co.uk   or to leave name & address for membership, ring 020 8340 0530 or contact: peta@mustradclub.co.uk


Dwight Lamb documentary

Cris Anderson Productions of Minneapolis is working on a plan for a half hour documentary on Dwight Lamb and the story of returning his grandfather's Danish tunes to Denmark.  Cris produces films and is a fiddler and dancer from Minneapolis.  He is trying to raise money to begin filming in Denmark next May when Dwight will be in Copenhagen for a performance.

Please read the information that Cris put together on his idea.  Dwight endorses the idea and wishes Cris the best of luck, but wants people to know that he receives no monetary rewards in this endeavor.  Please pass this on to anyone that you feel is interested.


Bill Peterson - 5.2.17

Forest Tracks booklets available

Hi Rod,

I thought you and some of your readers might be interested in the below information.  George Blake's Legacy - CD booklet - by Tim Radford on Forest Tracks.  When we first produced this recording; the entire repertoire of a New Forest Singer - it was issued in a DVD case with an accomppanying 54 page booklet.

Almost as soon as the publication was completed and issued, much more information on the singer, his life and his songs became available.  Therefore, it was necessary to update the booklet, and this was done at the same time as the recording was re-issued in a standard CD case, with the booklet becoming a 64 page A4 booklet available online on the Forest Tracks website.

With the soon to be re-publishing of the final two Frank Purslow Hammond & Gardiner song books - The Constant Lovers and The Foggy Dew - as A Southern Harvest - it was decided to make these notes available online, not just to purchasers of the CD.  Two versions of the Booklet are now available on the Forest Tracks webpage.  One is for reading, and the second for printing the 64 page booklet.  The web address is - http://forest-tracks.co.uk/LegacyBookletPDF.html

For others who may be interested in a similar booklet, the 16 page booklet that accompanies my CD - From Spithead Roads - Maritime songs collected in Hampshire by Dr George Gardiner.  This is now also available at the following address - http://forest-tracks.co.uk/FTCD211bookletpdfs.html

Thank you and best regards,

Tim Radford - 5.2.17

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