July 26, 2011

Help Support an Old-Time Music Documentary

Hello Everyone:
I've been on hiatus for quite some time, but I'm happy to make a triumphant return by spreading the word about an upcoming documentary about old-time music. It's by Heather Haynes, who is completing a Master's degree in photojournalism.

As a recent graduate school survivor myself, I know how hard it is to get support for these projects. She has cleverly put together a website to raise money for her upcoming trips to Galax and Clifftop, to big-time festivals I'm sure you've all heard of or been to.

So check it out (here), and take a look at this short clip she's posted:

If you're too lazy to click on over, here's a description of the project. You know you wish you'd thought of it:

I aim to explore the modern world of folk tunes in Appalachia both as a fiddle player and as a visual and oral recorder of a shifting yet thriving tradition. In our rapidly changing world, a candid documentary of old-time fiddle tradition is overdue. While documentaries continue to appear on Appalachian culture, modern media has not preserved a project specifically focused on old-time fiddle heritage. A documentary on this subject will be a valuable addition to current visual and folk literature.

In addition to my own journey, I will follow several other fiddlers whose experience varies from fledgling musicians to masters of their trade. Through observing their various lifestyles, I can accurately frame the context and impact of my exploration.

Based on still photographs, my final piece will include audio recordings of Appalachian folk melodies and interviews with fiddlers. I also intend to include video of traditional, informal jam sessions and both formal and informal fiddle lessons. With this multimedia project, I expect to successfully explore the passage of old-time fiddling knowledge in contemporary Appalachia.