Back On Track; Archival CD Series
This series aims to make rare and currently inaccessible Newfoundland music available to a broader public. In addition, the MMaP Centre strives to produce media-rich, historically detailed materials that exceed the normal standards of documentation for a CD. In order to do this, we are shipping the CDs in DVD jewel cases so that a booklet of 50-60 pages can be included. Hence, the products are a remarkably good value since one gets a CD and a small book.
For information on any of the titles below, please contact Maureen Houston at mhouston at mun.ca or 709.864.2058.
To order, fill out our order form and mail it with payment to the address on the form.
Bellows & Bows: Historic Recordings of Traditional Fiddle & Accordion Tunes from Across Canada
Bellows and Bows: Historic Recordings of Traditional Fiddle and Accordion Music Across Canada is a double CD compilation of distinguished fiddlers and accordion players from a wide variety of ethnocultural communities across Canada. Producer Sherry Johnson and a team of regional experts have featured historically significant tracks from archival and personal collections, as well as early commercial recordings that are no longer available for circulation. The accompanying 156-page book includes overviews the social and historical contexts for the music in different regions, detailed maps, tune notes, musician biographies, and archival photographs.
Fiddle and accordion have long thrived in Canada—among early settlers who introduced them to the continent, in Inuit, Métis and First Nations societies that made them their own, and in more recent immigrant communities. Fiddle and accordion music have served, at times, as common "languages" binding the nation's diverse populations; more often, however, subtleties of style and approach have been used to mark distinct identities. Differences may be ethnocultural (as in the tempo differences of Scottish-derived and Acadian fiddle music in Maritime Canada) or class-related (as in the debates about the merits of competitions). Fiddle and accordion traditions in Canada have often been represented by the media, show promoters, and even by the musicians themselves either as a kind of nostalgic "barn dance" tradition (stereotyped as rural, uneducated and slightly rough), or else as a virtuosic "show" tradition (in recordings produced by award winners of the dozens of fiddle competitions that take place annually across the nation). The sixty-four tracks on this CD set demonstrate the artistry and social complexity of a number of accordion and fiddle communities and add nuance to the historical representations of these evolving traditions.
From the Big Land: Music from Makkovik featuring Gerald Mitchell
From the Big Land: Music of Makkovik, featuring Gerald Mitchell is a new archival CD just released by the Research Centre for Music, Media and Place (MMaP) at Memorial University. Many of Gerald's songs, particularly those with lyrics by Byron Chaulk, became Labrador hits when they were first released on two LPs in the 1970s. The new CD includes a number of tracks from those decades-old LPs as well as a number of new tracks recently performed by Gerald and others. The repertoire reflects dramatic changes in the community over the course of the 20th century. Many of the songs document community life, including both humourous and joyous events. Some reflect nostalgically on places abandoned, and lost ways of life. Tracks include a spoken-word extract in which Byron Chaulk describes the miraculous day when he and Gerald Mitchell created fourteen songs in the course of an afternoon, a previously unrecorded Gerald Mitchell composition performed by Gary and Jennifer Mitchell, several new songs by younger Makkovik song-writers, and an Inuktitut rendition by Susie and Joas Onalik. The CD ships with a 40-page booklet with detailed song notes and a history of music in the Labrador community. The booklet features several reproductions of Gerald Mitchell's artistic work, including a new line drawing, prepared just for this project. Makkovik residents contributed photographs, personal memoirs and oral narratives, many of which are replicated in the booklet. Among other things, you can read about the impact of the Moravian church, or find Uncle Jim Andersen's story about the day his father had to decide whether to buy a piano or a sawmill, as well as his memories of dances at the Mill House when the coastal boat, the Kyle, docked in town. There are reflections on the traumatic move of Inuit from northern Labrador into the Settler community of Makkovik, and descriptions of the impact of radio in coastal Labrador. Major social changes marked the course of the community. From the days when Makkovik people welcomed the schooner fishermen from Newfoundland in the summers, to the post-Nunatsiavut period, music has kept memories of the past alive, reflected social or economic change and helped people adapt to new circumstances. Researched and produced by Joan Andersen (lead researcher), Tim Borlase, Gary Mitchell, and Beverley Diamond in collaboration with Gerald Mitchell, the CD and booklet present a fascinating story of music in a unique Labrador community.
Click here to listen to an interview that Gerald Mitchell gave to Labrador morning on September 2.
Produced by ethnomusicologist Janice Esther Tulk, Welta'q: "It Sounds Good": Historic Recordings of the Mi'kmaq will feature important archival recordings from institutions across Canada, as well as field recordings from private research collections. The vibrant musical life of the Mi'kmaw people will be showcased through 27 tracks, including traditional Mi'kmaw songs, songs by the first Mi'kmaw powwow drum group, fiddle tunes and folksongs, hymns and anthems, a lullaby, and the story of Mi'kmwesu -- the flute-playing trickster.
Featuring artwork by Mi'kmaw artist Jerry Evans, Welta'q "It Sounds Good" will ship with a 60-page booklet that includes textual and musical transcriptions of the songs, translations of Mi'kmaw texts, extensive notes that contextualize each selection, and discussion of Mi'kmaw musical instruments and dance styles. This CD will help to disseminate, promote, and recognize Mi'kmaw culture within Newfoundland and Labrador and the Atlantic Provinces, while providing culturally-sensitive content for use in classrooms, recognizing the many cultures of Newfoundland.
The CD release of Saturday Nite Jamboree brings a popular radio show of the 1950s and 1960s back on track. A journey to a bygone era, two rare live radio recordings have now been remastered and made publicly available for the first time by the Research Centre for Music, Media and Place at Memorial University. These classic shows, produced by CBN St. Johnâ€™s, used a fast-paced, light-hearted format deftly held together by its genial, wisecracking host Harry Brown. They featured performances by Newfoundland music legends at the height of their popularity. Youâ€™ll hear The Bluegrass Mountaineers, Wilf Doyle and the Band from Conception Harbour, Brian Johnston and the Dipsydoodlers, Ted Blanchard, Don Randell, John White, and Bill Allen. This new CD release includes a twenty-page booklet with extensive notes by Grammy Award-winning folklorist Neil Rosenberg and radio announcer Ted Rowe. "Saturday Nite Jamboree" came at the end of an era where live entertainment shows had a regular spot in radio programming. It was the last series of its kind, a Newfoundland kitchen party on the air, and the fans soaked it up. Not heard since their original broadcast in 1963, these recordings are a must for any music collection. Partially funded by the Audio-Visual Preservation Trust.Don Randell and Ted Blanchard are the 2008 recipients of the St. John's Folk Arts Council (SJFAC) Lifetime Achievement Award.
Folklore of Newfoundland and Labrador: A Sampler of Songs, Narrations, and Tunes
The second CD in our series, produced by eminent folklorist and bluesman, Dr. Peter NarvÃ¡ez, features some of the finest singers of Newfoundland and Labrador on archival recordings in the Memorial University Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA). The recordings, made between 1960 and 1994, includes singers and instrumentalists from Flat Bay, Ship Harbour, Branch, Colinet, Jobâ€™s Cove, Arnoldâ€™s Cove, Cullâ€™s Harbour, Tors Cove, Rocky Harbour Cove, Hawkeâ€™s Bay, St. Johnâ€™s, Francois, Black Duck Brook, Green Island Brook, the Codroy Valley, and the Lower Labrador Coast. The play list includes previously unissued performances by Newfoundland icons Emile Benoit, Rufus Guinchard, and Minnie White, as well as fondly remembered singers of an earlier generation such as Rose Eustise, Elizabeth Barter, Annie Green, and Allan MacArthur. Ballads, recitations and stories, a Gaelic milling song, reels and jigs, bawdy songs, and a macaronic (French-English) song comprise this diverse anthology.
Itâ€™s Time for Another One: Folk Songs from the South Coast of Newfoundland
Recorded in the late 1960s in the communities of Ramea and Grole, by Jesse Fudge who was, at that time, a Folklore student at Memorial University, this CD features songs from the British tradition as well as locally composed songs about the region. Among the performers are the great singer, Robert Childs, song-maker Robert Langdon, an 11-year old Chloe Kendall, and veteran performer Gordon Kendall. Three new arrangements of the songs were commissioned to complement the older material and provide a basis for a discussion about tradition and modernity in Newfoundland. The 60-page CD booklet contains old and new photos, song text transcriptions, and an essay concerning the re-arrangements of three of the songs.