54: Shapenote

Shapenote singing is a tradition developed in the late 1700′s and early 1800′s that helped everyday people sing music even if they couldn’t sight-read standard musical notation. Shapenote and the Sacred Harp songbook are still allowing people to share a musical experience until this day. Learn more about this tradition from Anne Heider, Robert from the Chicago Shapenote Singers, and Ruth Reveal.

Click here to download and read Ruth’s paper on shape note singing and Sacred Harp.

You can learn more about Shapenote, the Sacred Harp, and find singings in your area at fasola.org.

Thanks to Kate Lumpkin for her help with this episodes.

53: The Black Country

Individuals can share a common language, but it can sound different due to accents and regional dialects. In some cases, there are profound differences between areas that are in close proximity to one another. The Black Country, an area of the West Midlands in England, is known for a unique dialect that can be difficult for modern English speakers to clearly understand. In this episode, Alex Adey shares stories of the history and torchbearers of the Black Country dialect.

You can find more resources and educational material about the Black Country at the Black Country Museum.

For more on the history of Gullah, watch “The Adventure of English, part 5″ on Youtube:

52: livingvoid

Jack Chuter’s interest in experimental sounds began with a trip to his local record store. He listened to a Sunn O))) record at a listening station and went away completely bewildered by the experience. The music stuck with him and over time helped change his approach to listening and music criticism. Jack founded ATTN:Magazine to explore music from a standpoint of curiosity and discovery.

Jack eventually collected submissions of self-portraits in audio for a compilation called, livingvoid. The compilation features 80 one-minute tracks by sound artists, musicians, and even members of Jack’s family. Find out more about this compilation, which explores some of the unique possibilities and contradictions that arise when people use sound to represent who they believe themselves to be.

You can download the livingvoid compilation at archive.org. You can purchase the compilation on a flash drive at the livingvoid Bandcamp page.