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COMPLETED

PROJECTS

 

TO DATE WE HAVE BROUGHT THREE PROJECTS TO COMPLETION:

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Songs of Slavery and Emancipation

Throughout the history of slavery, enslaved people organized resistance, escape, and rebellion. Sustaining them in this struggle was their music, some examples of which are sung to this day. While the existence of slave songs, especially spirituals, is well known, their character is often misunderstood. Slave songs were not only lamentations of suffering or distractions from a life of misery. Some songs openly called for liberty and revolution, celebrating such heroes as Gabriel Prosser and Nat Turner, and, especially, celebrating the Haitian Revolution.

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James Connolly Songs of Freedom

Following on the discovery of a songbook edited by James Connolly and published in New York in 1907, the songbook was republished and a selection of the songs it contained were arranged and recorded.

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Working Class Heroes

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of a long-overlooked songbook, Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People, a selection was made and recorded.  Additionally, research was done into the composers of these songs and a new book with their stories was published.

Songs of Slavery and Emancipation

The discovery of a song containing explicitly revolutionary lyrics, composed and performed by slaves in 1813,  led to further research. Were there more songs fitting this description? If there were, why hadn't we heard of them before? This eventually led to the discovery of numerous such songs. These were then recorded and filmed. A book telling the story of discovery, authenticating the findings, and further elucidated by a leading historian was also completed.

 

FUTURE PROJECT INCLUDE:

The Unholy Trinity

A book comprised of chapters written by various historians and musicologists into the role of the academy, the music industry and music journalism in the manufacture and propagation of "American Music," an image brought to the world that obscures as much actual American music as it presents.

Songs of the Swiss Peasant War of 1653

A crucial episode in the history of Switzerland left a record in song. Some of these songs still exist yet need to be gathered, sorted and recorded for a better contemporary understanding of their role in Swiss history.