Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Sidmouth Folk Week Talk 

Monday 6th August 2012, 6:15-7:30 pm, Arts Centre (next to the Manor Pavillion)

Clare, Moira and Naomi will be giving a short talk about experiences on the Folk Trail and how the project is going so far, if you're at Sidmouth folk week we'd love to see you!
 If you joined us at any stage of the walk or at one of the sessions, please come along and share your memories, tunes and songs too!

The Folk Trail Team x

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Folk Trail visits London

On Tuesday 13th March the three of us (Clare, Naomi & Moira) had a meeting with Malcolm Taylor from the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library in Cecil Sharp House in London, home of the English Folk Dance and Song Society. We were keen to ask for advice on a number of issues such as funding, the format of the audio files as well as methods of processing the material itself. 

The main problem we identified was that we need to get performance release forms signed by individual performers in order to make the recorded material publically available. This means a lengthy process of following up all the contacts in the Folk Trail book and sending off many, many forms. We had originally thought that asking people’s permission verbally and their writing their names in the book was evidence enough of their permission but, as with everything these days, we need a form!

 Mr Taylor was able to give us several contacts (including the British Library and the British Institute of Sound Archive) that would be able to offer advice on sound and video editing, as well as details of people who have been involved in processing archives similar to this before. 

 We were also able to discuss what would be an efficient and effective layout for the archive to be presented in. As yet no software exists which can incorporate both sound files and database information, so a cataloguing framework needs to be constructed for the song ant tune information, relating to the sound and video files on an indexical basis. Hopefully we can create a comparable framework to those already existing, making it easier for people to compare the information from different archives.

 There are also still plans in the pipeline for the Folk Trail talk visiting festivals this summer – so keep an eye out for us in the programs!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

The real challenge begins...

 After the long months of winter hibernation we have finally emerged into the spring sunshine to begin work on the vast amount of material we collected on our walk. Clare, Moira and Naomi met up (in the pub, of course) last Saturday to discuss what the next steps would be.
 We need some professional advice as to how to approach certain aspects of processing and compiling the archive into an accessible format. So, a trip to see the lovely people at the EFDSS Vaughn Williams Memorial Library in London was agreed and is currently in the planning. We are also in the process of contacting various institutions, libraries and collections across both England and Scotland asking if they would like to be involved with this project and, if so, would they like to work with us in order to produce a resource in a format that would be of most use to them. 
 The enormity of our task is becoming ever more real but we are ready and prepared to roll up our sleeves and get stuck in! Plans are also afoot for possible series of talks at folk festivals this summer, so keep your eyes peeled on the programme for a festival near you!

The Folk Trail Team x

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Pennymoor Singaround welcomes back the Folk Trail

On 16th July Pennymoor Singaround welcomed Clare and some of her fellow walkers home from The Folk Trail at a lively and well-attended session at the Cruwys Arms.

We had a cake in the shape of England/Wales/Scotland with their route marked on it, and Clare was presented with a special award by Anne Gill of Devon Folk,

in recognition of her work in promoting and supporting folk music in Devon over the past 30 years as well as for the amazing 'LeJog' achievement.

Well done Clare, and welcome back!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

John O'Groats

Pat Selfe took this fantastic photo on our last evening from outside The Seaview Hotel where we had our last session. There was a great sense of achievement and the party atmosphere was greatly enhanced by our musical hosts, members and friends of the 'Clapshot' ceilidh band.

We have a vast record of the music, song and dance we gathered up on the way and we know that the real work starts now to make this into an accessible archive. Meanwhile, just in case there was any doubt, we can say that live folk music in the broadest sense is alive and well in Britain today  and we of course only experienced a small sample.

We plan to have the next couple of months off and then get to work on it in the Autumn. Meanwhile it may interest some of you to know 'What we did' ---so:-

We recorded everyone who contributed to the session.

We had two Zoom Recorders, an H2 and an H4; a High Definition Video Camera (Panasonic HDC-SD600) and a note book.

The H2 took the place of a person at the session in order to pick up the ambience - background chatter/silence/applause etc. We ran this for approximately one and a half hours at each session.

The H4 followed the 'performer' ie the person/s singing, playing or leading a tune or song  from the time we arrived to the end of the session. Because of the length of the walking day we could not always be there at the start but only on 2 occasions were later (slightly) than the 9.00pm we aimed at.

We filmed 2 or 3 sequences from each session and also icluded a sweep of the room to give an idea of the numbers, instruments, environment and people. Where there was also dance we filmed this.

We asked everyone who 'performed' to fill in the note book which was arranged in columns: name, where from, what played/sang, where learned, how first started to sing/play and contact details. Although pretty comprehensive this obviously only incuded those willing to fill it in and in some cases those who had remembered their reading glasses!

A huge thankyou to all of you that helped the dream to become a reality.  Far too numerous to name but all those who organised the sessions and took part, that drove for us, cooked, took away our washing, joined us on the walk, put us up, fed us, publicised and informed, gave us midge repellent, sent us messages of support, contributed to the blog and believed we could do it!

We are resolved to make it all worthwhile.


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Dog Blog

Walking in the rain again today - she never does it at home (thank goodness) so why here? I'm on a campsite with ducks & chickens, not allowed near them of course, but a dog can dream. They keep eating my dinner which is very frustrating when retaliation is made impossible.

The van is full of Chudleys dog food, the very nice man in the shop gave me a whole bag. This means I'm the only member of the pack who's been sponsored.

There is a strange sense of excitement in the air so I think something is about to happen though I can't imagine what exactly. There is a lot of talk about 'Pen Ultimate' - can't say I've ever heard of him.

Had a terrible fright yesterday; two large angry dogs, all teeth & big hair, charged down their garden at me. I thought I was safe because of the fence but then one of them jumped over it. I hid in the ditch and all the humans started to shout "NO!!!" which seemed a bit unfair as I couldn't see anywhere else to go. Had a good effect on the angry dog though - he jumped back again. I've got to admit that the humans are useful sometimes, and just for once I didn't get told off about the mud.

Spent a couple of days with Jo & Jessie (who doesn't like me very much). Had a very nice time away from the noisy hissing monsters on the road.

A lot more humans in the pack at the moment all fairly well trained so not too much extra work. Even so, I'm glad when the day is over and I'm left asleep on the boot mat in peace. Perhaps we'll go home one day.

Cara x

Thursday, 23 June 2011

23 June 2011

Had a great few days following the team on their promenade. Good to see the support you are getting. Would have loved to be there for the finish. Will be there in spirit. Enjoy these last few days