ISSUE 28 - JUNE 2009

ISSN 1833-6930

- Making Connections in Folklore -

Australian Folklore Network
Australian Folklore Research Unit
Curtin University of Technology

CONTENTS

FROM THE CONVENOR

RECENT NATIONAL FOLKLORE CONFERENCE
INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH GROUP ON CULTURAL PROPERTY
SIMPLY AUSTRALIA WEBSITE RELAUNCH
UK VILLAGE MUSIC PROJECT
RECENT PUBLICATIONS AND RECORDINGS
NEW LINKS OF INTEREST

 

FROM THE CONVENOR

Welcome to the latest edition of Transmissions. We have our usual array of news, events, information, etc. that may be of interest AFN members. New publications, recordings and links appear, together with a review of the recent National Folklore Conference.

Please send in any items for future editions to g.seal@curtin.edu.au

 

RECENT NATIONAL FOLKLORE CONFERENCE

The National Folklore Conference ran again before Easter at the National Library of Australia, in conjunction with the National Folk Festival. This was the fifth year of the conference and it was once again successful, attracting 50-60 audience and speakers for an enjoyable and stimulating day of presentations and related performances. This year’s speakers and topics were:

Panel: Nikki Henningham, Gwenda Davey, Olya Willis
Collecting and Presenting Children's Folklore in the Internet Age

Charlie McMahon
Lost in Transportation: How Contemporary Didjeridu has Gained Spiritual Meanings not Evident in Aboriginal Tradition

Keith McKenry
Click Go the Shears: the Making of an Australian Icon

Mark Gregory
The discovery of Industrial Song and the Evolving Definition of Folk Song

Warren Fahey
Interpreting Australian Traditional Songs and Ballads for the 21st Century

Karl Neuenfeldt and Will Kepa
Assembling a Sacred Soundscape: Choosing Repertoire for Torres Strait Islander Community CDs/DVDs

Jenny Gall
Picking up the threads: exploring the depth and diversity of Australian women’s folk music in the collections of the National Library of Australia

The conference also included a lunchtime concert on women’s folklore produced by Rob and Olya Willis, as well as the availability of new publications and recordings. As in previous years, a number of conference presentations and themes were also featured during the National Folk Festival immediately following.

Many presenters and participants were AFN members and the conference continues to provide a rare opportunity for those interested in Australian folklore to meet together.

This year, the conference featured a rare historic moment in that all three members of the Committee of Inquiry into Australian Folklife, Gwenda Davey, Keith McKenry and Hugh Anderson (Chair) were present. The Committee produced its indispensible report Folklife: our living heritage in 1987, a milestone in Australian folklore studies. As well as acknowledging the work of the Inquiry, the conference also celebrated the recent Honorary Doctorate bestowed upon Hugh Anderson by the University of Melbourne, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Australian history and folklore.

The conference was organised by Graham Seal (Curtin University), Kevin Bradley (NLA), Rob Willis (AFN) and Mark Cranfield (National Folk Festival). Thanks to all involved.

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INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH GROUP ON CULTURAL PROPERTY

In June 2008, researchers at the Universities of Göttingen and Hamburg began an interdisciplinary project on cultural property supported by funds from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. The research team is composed of scholars in cultural anthropology/european ethnology, economics, ethnology, commercial and international law. These six linked projects are devoted to the question of how cultural property is constituted, focusing on actors, discourses, contexts and rules.

The contributions in this bulletin are designed to give an overview of the research project, provide reports from the first phase of fieldwork as well as allow for an insight into the interdisciplinary workings of the research group.

The project webpage informs in detail about the plan of research. The project blog offers space for ongoing thoughts and exchange as well as for input from interested members of the community of cultural property and cultural property rights researchers.

Homepage: http://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/86656.html
Blog: http://www.cultural-property.org

 

SIMPLY AUSTRALIA WEBSITE RELAUNCH

It is with great enthusiasm and excitement that we have relaunched our new version of Simply Australia. Australia has a rich heritage and this is reflected in its folklore, its oral and social history as well as its literature, music and song, both traditional and contemporary.
http://simplyaustralia.net

The site was started back in 2001 with this in mind and over the years has built up a strong readership and a growing archive.  With the "new" site we are moving all our archives into themed sections (accessed from the site's drop down menu), so as to better serve the many educational and interest groups that visit the site.

We have added new articles, along with some original poetry and music, to the work already on the site.

If you have an article etc that you would like included on Simply Australia, please see our submissions page. 
http://simplyaustralia.net/submissions.html

Finally, to receive updates about site inclusions, email thefolk@simplyaustralia.net and we will include you on our email list.

Valda Low  - for Simply Australia

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UK VILLAGE MUSIC PROJECT

The Village Music Project is hosted by Salford University who provided initial funding to set the project up.

The project is headed up by John Adams from within the School of Media, Music and Performance but is staffed entirely by volunteers from outside the university.

The project was conceived by John Adams and Chris Partington who are both active in seeking, copying and evaluating manuscripts. Chris takes responsibility for checking transcriptions prior to web publishing.

This music project is primarily interested in the traditional social dance music of England - where it came from, where it went to, who it travelled with and where it is now. Because the places where we will be looking for this music also contain other sorts of material such as folk song, carols and religious music, band and military music, etc. we have left the aims more open, to allow for expansion of the project at a later date. We are intending to fill in a gap in the ethno-musicological research spectrum and not duplicate the research in which other people are engaged.

http://www.village-music-project.org.uk/index.htm

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RECENT PUBLICATIONS AND RECORDINGS

Australia: Folk Songs and Bush Verse by Warren Fahey is the first comprehensive recorded anthology of authentic Australian folk song and bush verse.

-Digital recordings featuring some of Australia’s most respected traditional interpreters playing viola cello, mandolin, concertina, accordion, fiddle, cittern, tuba, trumpet, trombone plus numerous other unusual instruments.

- Many rare songs and ballads never before recorded and spanning over 200 years of Australian social history.

- Beautifully presented with detailed booklets researched and written by Warren Fahey. Background notes provided for every song and poem.

- Booklets feature rare images from the collections of the National Library of Australia and the State Libraries of Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria.

- Many songs directly relate to items in the Oral History and Folklore Collection of the National Library of Australia

- Over ten hours of music and a must for anyone interested in Australia’s unique cultural voice

Purchasing  and further details at: http://warrenfahey.com/store/store-latest.html

 

New Zealand national agricultural fieldays: 40 years of fieldays at Mystery Creek, 2008. Auckland: Random House

Michael Brown in New Zealand sends news of a recent book - mostly photographs - celebrating the annual Waikato field day:

This particular Waikato event seems to be pretty big business now. The "field day" more generally would surely be near the top of the list of traditional Kiwi events, along with Anzac day and the like. There is some good background on the Te Ara website about them:
http://www.teara.govt.nz/TheSettledLandscape/CountryLife/ShowsAndFieldDays/1/en

 

Encyclopedia of Play in Today's Society, edited by Rodney P. Carlisle of Rutgers University, SAGE Publications, Inc

At$325.00, this publication is intended for libraries and the well-heeled. It includes a good deal of folkloric interest, with several articles by Australian contributors by AFN affiliate June Factor and Tina Albert, an indigenous writer and researcher working in the National Museum of Australia.
http://www.sagepub.com/refbooksProdDesc.nav?prodId=Book232868&

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TI MUSIC AND DANCE CDs

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (in collaboration with communities in the Outer Islands of Torres Strait, CQUniversity - Australia and Arts Queensland) has released four CDs/DVDs of Torres Strait Islander community music and dance.

The CDs were recorded on Badu, Mabuyag, Iama/Yam and Warraber/Sue Islands and contain a mixture of sacred and secular music.

The DVDs contain music and dance performances and footage of the communities at work and play.

Each island community decided on the music and dance repertoire they wanted documented.

The results include Christian hymns in traditional languages, contemporary Christian kores, maritime songs, women's songs, children's songs and community songs, women's, men's and children's dances. 

The project was produced by Will Kepa, Nigel Pegrum and Karl Neuenfeldt and the CDs/DVDs are available via k.neuenfeldt@cqu.edu.au or pegasusstudios@qldnet.com.au.

Henry 'Seaman' Dan has released his final CD, 'Sailing Home' (Steady Steady/MGM), produced by Nigel Pegrum and Karl Neuenfeldt at Pegasus Studios in Cairns.

It is a tribute to his love of the sea and the life of a sailor who worked the maritime industries of tropical Australia during their post
WW2 boom times.

'Sailing Home 'features 5 new songs and 6 covers of maritime songs by the Pigram Brothers, the Waifs, Shane Howard, Otis Redding and Miseron Levi.

After a serious respiratory illness in 2008 Seaman decided it was time to retire and pass the banner of promoting Torres Strait Islander music on to younger generations.

Of course at 80 years of age, most generations are younger!

Seaman Dan's recording career started at 70 years of age and produced a sizeable and critically acclaimed output of 5 CDs, 1 compilation CD, an ARIA Award for World Music, a National Film and Sound Archives National Folk Recording Award and a Red Ochre Award for his contributions to Indigenous Music.

He also performed his mix of blues, hula, slow-jazz and traditional Torres Strait Islander songs at major festivals, was the subject of several radio and television documentaries and his songs have been used in movies, television series and documentaries.

Seaman Dan plans to take things 'steady, steady' .... and enjoy his family and friends.

 

NEW LINKS OF INTEREST

http://www.smithsonianglobalsound.org/radio_globalsound.aspx
streaming music from the Smithsonian Global Radio

http://railwaysongs.blogspot.com/
Australian railway lore



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