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In 1962, audio archivist, Alan Lomax, brought daughter, Anna (now head of the Alan Lomax Archives/Association For Cultural Equity), to the Caribbean island of Carriacou, Grenada, where he spent five days documenting the sound of the unique culture surrounding them. This compilation encapsulates that trip into an hour, while providing a perfect snapshot of the island at the time.
Music for Work and Play bursts with the excitement of life. Calypso rhythms float in the wake of sea shanties as quadrille patterns dance with interviews from island natives, all expressing the joy of just taking a breath. Voices from the past sing to us with unhindered passion, recalling African chants blended with life on the water, while fiddles expand on percussion-driven quadrilles given three-dimensional space by Lomax’s creative recording techniques. It’s the sound of an island culture simply living with an unobtrusive microphone capturing it for all eternity.
Lomax’s brilliance rested in his ability to create audible portraits without the cumbersome nuisance of being a “documentarian.” Listen to these fifty-three-year-old recordings to discover the subtle nuances of relaxation and vocation
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