Wednesday, August 24, 2011

25 years since Graceland

This Google News article reminded me how when I first came to New York Paul Simon's Graceland album gave me a sort of sonic anchor to South Africa. Ironically I hadn't listened to it that much in South Africa, but I had grown up with Paul Simon's music in my ears, and this album, at least in part because of its significance in my field, helped me feel grounded when I was getting to know this huge new city. It really worked for me to listen to music that was simultaneously from New York and South Africa. I listen to the album less often now, not least because of all the Karen Zoid I continually have in my ears, but when I do hear a little Graceland it gives me a particular somatic memory of travel, newness, learning, and the earlier days of this blog.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Marching to Pretoria and some afrikaans song archives

I was just searching for some information on the South African song "Marching to Pretoria", and found this database of Afrikaans folk songs with really excellent midi files. I haven't yet checked, but I think they're all from the FAK Sangbundel.
Also, I found it through this discussion board, with a fascinating conversation on "Marching to Pretoria". Thanks to "Q" for the link.
Another poster, "Flatint" posted a transposition of the lyrics of a song that sounds different but has a similar title, "Marching on Pretoria", and searching for that lead me to this poster's database of rare South African recordings. This is quite an amazing archive, and represents an incredible collection.