Monday, May 24, 2010

Africa's Alan Lomax: The Field Recordings of Hugh Tracey

In December and January, I spent time at Rhodes University in Grahmstown, South Africa where Hugh Tracey's archive is located. 

The place is unlike anywhere I've ever been -- old notebooks, thousands of recordings, a substantial instrument collection from throughout Africa -- all of this is available to study and explore.

I spent a week there with the staff and the collection, and I interviewed Hugh's son, Andrew Tracey, at least four times (that's him in the picture smelling a seventy-year-old mbira -- "this mbira must have been kept by a family's hearth" he explained.

The product of my work in SA was a radio show for Afropop Worldwide.  The show also features commentary from Esau Mwamwaya (The Very Best) and Tshepang Ramoba (BLK JKS).  Stream it here on the Afropop site:  Discover and Record: The Field Recordings of Hugh Tracey.   Pictures from trip are also available in that link on the Afropop online feature.

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