A new website has just been launched to celebrate the field work of folk music collector Peter Kennedy
Between the 1950s and the 2000s, Peter Kennedy (1922–2006) collected, researched and published British and Irish folk music and customs. He worked for the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), the BBC and as an independent operator, collaborating with other prominent figures like Alan Lomax, Hamish Henderson, Sean O’Boyle and Seamus Ennis.
The site can be navigated through a timeline of his recording itinerary between 1952–62. It also has a performer index that links up over 650 musicians to sound recordings, photos and notes.
“What makes this website unique is the way it contextualises recordings and photographs of performers with Peter’s own notes about them,” says Andrew Pace, who has been cataloguing the Kennedy collection since 2010. “Whilst the British Library’s catalogue is useful as a search tool, it doesn’t reveal how a collection was formed and developed – and it doesn’t tell us very much about who created it. This new website gives us a better idea of what’s in this collection by refocusing attention on Peter as a recordist and reconstituting his material into a form that better resembles how he created it.”
The Peter Kennedy Archive was designed by Andrew Pace after an AHRC Cultural Engagement project grant was awarded to City University London. It is also partially funded by the National Folk Music Fund.
Holly Herndon and Jennifer Walshe have launched a project to crowdsource a database of sound and music works related to the internet since its inception. The pair state, “Artists have been working with the internet for decades. As we see archives and critical writing about this work emerge, we noticed that there is a strong focus on visual work. In an effort to promote more critical writing, vocabulary development and analysis in our field, we are attempting to put together an archive of sound and music works dealing with the internet since its inception. We would like this to be a resource everyone can draw on.”
“This is a messy topic,” they continue, “but we hope that by creating a databank of works and writings on this topic, we can support the sound and music community in understanding how the internet is shaping our field and how artists have been and are currently responding to this integral part of our lives.”
The database, which is called Post-Internet Sound, is open access and welcomes both academic and non-academic contributions, be it in the form of writing or a source of sound. Anyone can contribute via Google docs.