In 1929, at age 44, Londoner Maud Karpeles arrived in St. John's, Newfoundland, to "prospect" for British folksongs. Through what was then known as the English Folk Dance Society, she was intimately involved with the British folksong and dance revival inspired by her mentor and colleague, Cecil Sharp (1859-1924).
Over a combined period of 14 weeks in 1929 and 1930, Karpeles carried out her fieldwork, often under challenging circumstances. During this time, she recorded her experiences in two diaries, and took several photographs of the people and places she visited.
Curated by Dr. Anna Kearney Guigné, Karpeles' journey and experiences in Newfoundland provide the basis for this beautifully produced book, illustrated by stunning photographs of people from whom she collected songs, as well as the communities in which they lived. Some of those communities have since been resettled and no longer exist today.
Available as download or hard copy.
Mentioned in Song: Song Traditions of the Loggers of Newfoundland and Labrador (2014) is the first audio compilation of songs about lumbering, logging, and woods work in this province. The CD includes 23 archival recordings and four new arrangements, representing diverse cultural communities and regions. The accompanying 90-page booklet explores the place of song in logging culture. Mentioned in Song presents a compelling account of the collective identity, cultural practices, and musical traditions of this distinct occupational group.
Mentioned in Song is produced by Dr. Ursula Kelly for the Back on Track series.
Praise for Mentioned in Song
“Shines light on expressive culture related to an important industry in the province, while also demonstrating the living nature of folksinging traditions.”—Ethnologies
“An invaluable contribution to the documentation of North American woods traditions.”—Journal of American Folklore
Doughboys and Molasses, Oh! Traditional Songs from the Gros MorneRegion offers listeners a new perspective on the musical heritage of this distinctive area of Newfoundland’s west coast. The disc features 23 carefully restored tracks originally recorded from local singers by folk song researchers in the mid-twentieth century. Also included are four new performances specially commissioned for this compilation.
The accompanying booklet explores the stories of the songs, the singers, and the collectors, as well as the role of singing in family and community life.
Ahâk! Ahâk! Moravian Music of the Labrador Inuit (2018) is an anthology of archival recordings by Labrador Inuit choirs, bands, and musicians spanning seventy years of this unique musical tradition. The CD includes newly remastered performances from the 1971 LP Nain Eskimo Choir along with numerous recordings from archival and private collections. Also included is a richly illustrated sixty-page booklet on the Moravian musical traditions of Inuit Labrador.
The Nain Brass Band and the Nain Moravian Church Choir are MusicNL's 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Winners