Lomax Archives cultural repatriation to Italy

By on April 29, 2011

On August 1, 1954, Alan Lomax and Diego Carpitella arrived in an
impoverished village clinging to the foothills of the Aspromonte
mountain range in the province of Reggio Calabria. There Lomax took
135 photographs and made 19 recordings, including several love songs
in polyphony by a group of women. These, more than anything else,
Lomax wrote, brought him back to the songs and people of the
Mississippi Delta of the 1930s and forties.

On April 21, 2011, the Association for Cultural Equity returned this
documentation to the people of Cinquefrondi, to reside in the
Mediateca Comunale “Pasquale Creazzo”. The town band played, and the
community, gathered at town hall. Goffredo Plastino, Professor of
Ethnomusicology at the University of Newcastle and curator of Lomax’s
Italian recordings, was present to represent the Lomax Archive with
Anna Lomax Wood, who spoke to the assembly via Skype, they officially
handed over the recordings and photographs to the community.

The event triggered profound reflections about “the South” as it was
in the 1950s, what had been lost and what gained in the interim, and
the profound studies by ethnomusicologists, writers, and filmmakers of
the poverty and the poetry of that era on the cusp of change. “Every
photo and every song evoked discussions about names, relationships,
and musical attitudes,” said Dr. Plastino. “All the recordings have
been followed by a burst of applause.” One of the women who had been
recorded in 1954, said, “I’d forgotten it all until I saw myself in
that photo just now. How we suffered then!”

Full article with images:


Judith Cohen received the first Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife
Studies from the Library of Congress’s Kluge Center. Over the next
four months in Washington, D.C. she will prepare for publication
Lomax’s 1952 fieldwork diary from Spain, a treasure trove of notes,
photographs, local festival programs and other ephemera.

Full article here: http://www.yorku.ca/yfile/archive/index.asp?Article=16881


Author: DaveHHM

Dave Luttrull: Owner/Editor in Chief of Hellhound Music. Star Wars nerd, Gamer, Destiny homer, blogger, writer and lover of all things music.