Some interesting stuff on the TV, radio and at the cinema this week for the aspiring ethnomusicologist:
- a Channel 5 programme about folk music in the North East of England featuring Kathryn Tickell, Northumbrian piper and fiddler, and showing some of her work as a teacher in Northumbrian schools. It's great that people like this are doing something to preserve this music and pass it on to future generations. Interesting that you can now do a degree in folk and traditional music at Newcastle University, apparently the first course of its kind in the UK.
- then I put the radio on. "The Organist Entertains" really is a remnant from a bygone age, with a selection of tunes played on huge theatre and cinema organs. Amazing to think there is still such a community of enthusiasts out there and credit to Radio 2 for continuing to put the show on, another example music of the past being preserved.
- then later in the week I saw "Favela Rising" at the cinema. Anderson Sa and his band, Afro-Reggae, have done fantastic work in recent years in the favelas/shanty towns of Rio by getting youngsters involved in music- making and offering them an alternative to a life of crime mixed up with the local drugs trade. Now signed to a record label and touring in Brazil and overseas (recently opening the Barbican's current "Tropicalia" season), the band have ploughed all royalties back into the favelas. It'll be interesting to see if their international success cuts them off from their roots at all as time goes on.
More about the rise of Afro-Reggae.