ALAN LOMAX IN HAITI > Recordings for the Library of Congress

Alan Lomax Haiti Recordings

Videos by American Songwriter


Recordings for the Library of Congress


[Rating: 4 stars]

In December 1936, Alan Lomax traveled to Haiti with a “turntable-cutting unit” and a stack of 12” blank aluminum disks to record on. He spent the next four months traveling around Haiti recording the songs and stories of the land. Lomax preferred to concentrate his focus on the music of the common everyday people, instead of that of the upper class, believing that the music of the common people is a snapshot document of that culture.

In this collection we have ten discs of material, each disc covering a different genre or event of the time; Meringues & Urban Music, Troubadour Music, Mardi Gras & Carnival, Rara & Vodou in Motion, Children’s Songs, Flowers of France, Francillia, Breaking of the Cakes at Le Roux, Songs of Labor and Leisure, and Worship. These recordings are more than 70 years old but have been cleaned up to sound as pristine as possible. The most interesting portion of this collection is the included Diary of Lomax as well as the intensive liner notes that explain each recording, list the lyrics in the original language (French, Creole, or English) as well as the English translations. This makes this collection not only valuable as a musical collection, but extremely interesting from a historical perspective. Highly recommended.

Haiti Box contents


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