·•· Exhibits

Carnival in Trinidad

When Alan Lomax and the Tobagonion folklorist J. D. Elder visited Trinidad in the Spring of 1962, the island’s independence from Great Britain was just months away and Trinidadians were swept up in a joyful spirit of expectation and national pride. The pair’s recordings are breathtaking in both fidelity and diversity and, taken as a whole, they offer what was arguably the first panoramic view of the depth and breadth of the island’s expressive traditions, specifically those of the Carnival (Shrovetide) season. In this exhibit, we trace the emergence of Carnival and a distinctly Afro-Trinidadian Shrovetide music—that of j’ouvert (also spelled jouvay or juvé)—through the lens of Lomax's 1962 recordings.


1951 Edinburgh People’s Festival Ceilidh

This celebration of the 70th anniversary of the seminal 1951 Edinburgh People’s Festival Ceilidh, and Alan Lomax’s hugely influential recording of it, is made by Ewan McVicar with the help of many folk of Scotland’s traditional song community present and past, particularly Anne Lorne Gillies, Steve Byrne and Ian Green, and featuring exclusive performances by Christine Kydd and Alasdair Roberts.  Presented by the Lomax Digital Archive.

Trouble Won't Last Always

Trouble Won’t Last Always was a daily song series launched in 2020 in the early months of the pandemic, featuring recordings from the Lomax collections that spoke to themes of loneliness, isolation, optimism, endurance, transcendence. Made between 1933 and 1983, these performances are gathered here in the inaugural exhibit of the Lomax Digital Archive upon its launch in April 2021. Selected and annotated by LDA curator Nathan Salsburg; introduction by Dom Flemons, the American Songster; and image research and lyric transcription assistance by Matt Gold.