Geographical: A Portrait of Baul: Keeping ancient traditions alive. “The Bauls of Bengal are an order of wandering folk singers that have kept their philosophies alive for centuries. But modern demands threaten to overtake their simple, itinerant lifestyles. Now, an audio-visual record is being taken to keep their vocal traditions alive for generations yet to come”
Vietnam+: Experts want digital archive for ceremonial singing. “Folk music researchers support the creation of a digital archive of ca tru (ceremonial singing) owned by a State-run agency to preserve the traditional art form and gather scattered materials owned by individual artists and researchers.”
HoustonPress: Tracking Folk Punk’s New Wave With Its Archivist. “The folk punk genre has its share of skeptics. Type the words into your Google search engine and plenty of derisive tropes and snarky memes will populate. But, maybe now more than ever, you’ll also find a broad and acclaimed array of music from diverse artists whose blend of folk music’s activism and punk’s urgency is just right for the times.”
Middlebury College: Students Examine Folk Music History Through a Digital Lens. “Focusing on the folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s, the class investigated how digital methodologies can be used to enhance historical inquiry. Key questions, said Michael J. Kramer, Digital Liberal Arts acting director and assistant professor of the practice, included ‘What does it mean to be American? What is authenticity? What is democracy? What are politics and power and identity?'” The article includes roundups of projects done by four students. A good read.
Internet Archive: After 50 Years, Riley Shepard’s “Encyclopedia of Folk Music” is Finally Available. “On my 54th birthday, 10 years after my father’s death, I took my copy of The Encyclopedia to Internet Archives and gave it to Jeff and Brewster. It’s hard to put into words the closure this gave me, knowing that at least after all the twists, turns and broken promises, Dad’s early copy will be online for people to use at no cost. I was told by Jeff Kaplan that he’d already found an obscure song in The Encyclopedia and performed it with his duo. I wish I could have been there to hear it!”
The Guardian: Can folk music save the honeybee?. “Folk music has long gone hand in hand with political protest. From Pete Seeger’s 1959 rendition of the African American gospel We Shall Overcome, which became an anthem for the civil rights movement, to Dick Gaughan’s Ballad of ‘84, a clarion call for the Scottish miners’ strike, the combination of one singer and their guitar has had a potent effect on galvanising activists. Now, folk is turning its attention to the bees.”
Wall Street Journal, and for me it was paywalled: Institute Gives Yiddish Songs a Fresh Star Turn. “Ruth Rubin devoted most of her life to preserving a Jewish folk song tradition that seemed destined to die. Now, a New York-based organization is making sure it survives permanently by creating a publicly available digital archive.”