Smithsonian Folkways Gives New Life to the UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music Starting April 29
The UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music, a pioneering effort for more than five decades to make the world’s musical heritage more widely known and appreciated, takes on new life with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings releasing of more than 100 albums spanning more than 70 nations. This project will for the first time make these recordings, including 12 previously unreleased albums, available on CD, digital download, streaming services, and library subscription.
Beginning on April 29, 2014, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings will release two albums per week at folkways.si.edu and all major music retailers worldwide. Each week, folkways.si.edu will publish an in-depth article about the newest releases as well as streaming audio to allow as much access as possible for safeguarding and revitalizing these rare and influential recordings. The first week will feature two compilations that present a perfect introduction to the series – 50 tracks that are selection of rare styles and traditions from around the world.
Week 1: Musical Sources and Dance and Festivity (listen to sneak preview)
Week 2 and beyond: Visit folkways.si.edu each week to find out!
Other albums in the series include central African Pygmies, seven volumes from India, Portuguese fado, French bagpipes, and Canadian Inuit music. The collection has been a resource for academic research and also an influence on popular musicians such as the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger, who cited the Indian collection as one of his favorites.
List of twelve previously unreleased albums:
- Afghanistan: Music During the Civil War (1979-2001)
- Fiji: Songs of Love and Homeland—String Band Music
- Japan: Koishimaru Izutsuya: Master of the Kawachi Ondo Epics
- Oman: Arabian Weddings
- Peru: Andean Music of Life, Work, and Celebration
- Portugal: Festas in Minho
- Portugal: Music and Dance from Madeira
- Romania: Festive Music from the Maramureş Region
- South India: Ranganayaki Rajagopalan—Continuity in the Karaikudi Vīṇā Style
- Uzbekistan: Echoes of Vanished Courts
- Uzbekistan: Musical Traditions of the Karakalpaks
- Venezuela: Afro–Venezuelan Music, volumes I and II
The release of the 12 new titles was saluted by UNESCO’s Cécile Duvelle, Chief of the Section for Intangible Cultural Heritage, who said, “These important recordings have sat too long on UNESCO’s shelves without being available to interested listeners around the world. This strategic partnership with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the preeminent publisher of the world’s musical heritage, makes it possible for them finally to reach eager audiences.”
The UNESCO Collection was launched in 1961 in collaboration with ethnomusicologist Alain Daniélou (1907-1994) and the International Music Council (created by UNESCO in 1949). Later, the International Institute for Comparative Music Studies and Documentation and the International Council for Traditional Music collaborated with UNESCO as the collection grew. More