Wednesday 11 July 2012

The Kist Goes Stateside

At Kist o Riches, we've always been keen to spread the word about our online archive as far and as wide as possible. So when I spent some time in the USA last month, I took the opportunity to do just that by delivering two public lectures on the project, each followed by a concert of Scots songs drawn from our archives. The first lecture was held at the world-famous New York Public Library, in just about the swankiest auditorium I've ever seen. The Folk Music Society of New York very kindly organised a follow up house concert in Manhattan, which turned into a very cosy and enjoyable affair. A week later, I gave another lecture and concert at a wonderful centre for Irish traditional arts in Saint Paul, Minnesota named The Celtic Junction, with the event jointly hosted by the Traditional Singers Club of the Twin Cities.  

Tuesday 10 July 2012

The Kist o Riches

For the last few years, I've been working for the Kist o Riches - a landmark project to digitise, catalogue and place online tens of thousands of recordings of Scottish traditions. Most of these recordings are drawn from the archives of the School of Scottish Studies in Edinburgh, whose fieldworkers began collecting material in the 1950s using the then newly-available portable reel-to-reel tape recorder. The recordings document many different aspects of traditional culture, ranging from detailed descriptions of traditional crafts and working practices to performances of the traditional music and songs that have been passed down through generations over hundreds of years.