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AFN ACTIVITIES

10th National Folklore Conference 2015

 

An annual conference facilitated by the Australian Folklore Network, the National Library of Australia, the National Folk Festival and the Australia-Asia-Pacific Institute, Curtin University.

 

National Library of Australia – April 2

 

Building on previous National Folklore Conferences since 2006, the Australian Folklore Network, the National Library of Australia and the National Folk Festival again host this one-day conference immediately before the National Folk Festival.

 

The conference brings together those involved in collecting, researching, archiving, performing and facilitating folklore in all its many varieties and is a prelude to the National Folk Festival, which also includes a stream of presentations and performances relevant to folklore research.

 

The organising partners for this event are all involved in one or more aspects of folklore collection, research, archiving and teaching:

 

  • the National Library of Australia is the premier archive of folklore, as well as initiating and supporting extensive fieldwork programs and fellowships
  • the National Folk Festival is the premier venue for the presentation and performance of Australian folk traditions
  • the Australian Folklore Network connects the various folkloric interests and activities around the nation through its e-publication, Transmissions and through projects, presentations and publications
  • the Australian Folklore Research Unit in the Australia-Asia-Pacific Institute at Curtin University is involved in collecting, archiving, researching and teaching folklore – regionally, nationally and internationally

 

The conference brings these interests together, providing an opportunity for participants to discuss at a national level, issues and initiatives in the collection, study and dissemination of Australian folklore.

 

The conference also contains a number of related events and opportunities, including a lunchtime concert as well as the availability of new publications and recordings.

 


Conference Program

 

  • Graham Seal – Conference welcome and opening

 

 

9.30-10.30 Presentation session 1

 

 

Jennifer Gall

Listening to the Past: Matching Family Folklore with the Evidence of Music Collections in Australian Historic House Collections.
I am currently undertaking a research project to investigate the musical lives of people associated with three ACT historic homes of different ages and built in different locations: Mugga Mugga homestead (c1838), Calthorpe’s House (1927) and Lanyon homestead (settled 1833). Musical choices tell us much about the people who bought sheet music and particular musical instruments. While the occupants of these houses represent very different socio-economic backgrounds, how different was the music they played and listened to? Does family folklore about ‘who played what and how well’ match the tangible evidence of the music collections? Were ear-learning and sight-reading valued equally in these homes? This paper will offer some answers to these questions.

Jennifer Gall is a curator at the National Film and Sound Archive and a visiting fellow at the School of Music ANU. In 2014 she has been awarded an ACT Heritage Grant for the project Listening to the Past: Music in Historical Places. The project will produce 3 sound recordings for Mugga Mugga, Calthorpes and Lanyon using sheet music and instruments belonging to each home, to re-create music that would have animated each place over the period of occupation. Examples (where possible played on instruments belonging to each house) will illustrate the cultural taste of the different classes of people who inhabited each property.

 

Graham McDonald

Steel Guitars, Maracas & Boogie Woogie – niches of Australian popular music 1946-1955.

The decade between the end of World War 2 and the arrival of Rock n Roll music in the mid 1950s produced some of the least interesting popular music ever recorded. Nevertheless, in amongst the syrupy ballads and novelty songs that dominated Australia radio of that period were a number of small sub-genres with their origins in unexpected musical traditions. This paper gives a brief overview of how Latin American, Hawaiian and rhythm & blues music were interpreted in an Australian context.

Graham McDonald is a Senior Audio Preservation Officer at the National Film & Sound Archive. He has a fascination for the obscure corners of Australian popular music.

11-12.00 Presentation session 2

Janette Mollenhauer

Crossroads”: An Overview of The American Folklore Society Conference, 2014

The theme of the 2014 conference of the American Folklore Society (AFS) was “Crossroads”, reflecting the intersection of multiple cultures. As a recipient of an AFS International Travel Stipend, the meeting provided the opportunity to situate my research within current scholarship. In this presentation, I give a (necessarily) small overview of papers heard at the conference, thus in turn displaying the “crossroads” of multiple research areas under investigation by folklorists. The topic of Down Syndrome is a timely one in health research. The role of a folklorist in law enforcement (FBI) exposes the potential uses of the discipline within the sphere of social justice. The juxtaposition of a classic of American literature, “Little House on the Prairie” and recent immigration by people of the Hmong culture demonstrates the intertwining of two distinct historical periods in one rural community. Finally, the use of applied folklore in building social capital is manifested through projects in Scotland and Israel. Through this selective pastiche of conference papers, I seek to illustrate the diversity and richness of current research by the international community of folklorists.

Jeanette Mollenhauer is a community folk dance teacher, and the current president of Folk Dance Australia. Having worked in both health sciences and social policy research, she is now undertaking a PhD at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, researching traditional dance as an expression of cultural identity amongst the Irish and Croatian communities.

Carmel Charlton

The Great Ride

In 1918 Palestine, the Australian Light Horse commenced a pursuit of the Turks all the way to Damascus. Carmel Charlton will present “The Great Ride” comprising images, songs and dialogue. It is based on a diary/letter written by Trooper Ned Moriarty to his sister Alice. It also includes the verse of Louis N. Weston of the 10th Light Horse Regiment who recounts his journey to Damascus. Some of the verses have been arranged to music by Carmel. The 10th Light Horse Regiment was given the honour of leading the Australian Mounted Division into Damascus where they accepted the formal surrender of the city.

Singer, songwriter and musician Carmel Charlton is a versatile performer who entertains her audiences in a relaxed and friendly way. She has a fine vocal delivery with a clear voice. Her guitar playing has been described as clean, inventive and delicate. Carmel has produced 7 CDs and her compositions have been included on many CD compilations.

12-2 Lunch and concert

Join Frank Povah and Chris Cruise with National Library folklorist, Rob
Willis, in concert and conversation to celebrate the Library’s 21st year
bringing traditional musicians to the National Folk Festival. Frank and
Chris have been performing for over 50 years and were among the first to
perform Blues, Jug Band/Skiffle music in Australia.

12.30 in the Theatre

2.00-3.00 Presentation session 3

Keith McKenry

Reconstructing a life:  Crafting the biography of John Meredith

The biography of John Meredith, Australia’s greatest folk song collector, was some 20 years in the making. In this presentation Keith describes the process of researching Meredith’s life, distilling the assembled information from myriad sources – including correspondence, personal papers, oral history interviews, ASIO files, etc. – into a detailed integrated chronology.  This chronology then became the basic reference tool used in writing the manuscript.

Keith McKenry is an active member of Australia’s small clan of folklorists. A member of the Commonwealth Committee of Inquiry into Folklife in Australia and co-author of its 1987 report Folklife. Our Living Heritage, he also chaired UNESCO’s Special Committee of Technical and Legal Experts on the Safeguarding of Folklore. His biography More Than a Life: John Meredith and the Fight for Australian Tradition was recently released by Rosenberg Publishing, both in hardcover with an accompanying CD and as an e-book.

Miriam Jones

High and Lonesome Down Under: Bluegrass and Old Time Music in Australia

Bluegrass and old time music has been played by Australian musicians since as early as the 1950s. It was only a decade prior that Bill Monroe and his contemporaries began to popularise bluegrass music (a derivative of Appalachian old time music) in the United States. Interest in these genres in Australia continues to grow, with Americana shows on mainstream radio stations, demand for bluegrass and old time music in inner city bars, and larger portions of folk festival programs taken up with this music. Through my Folk Fellowship research I will look at how and why Australian musicians have learnt, interpreted, appropriated and embraced these American musical traditions. As part of my project I will learn and record tunes and songs from the folklore collections with my band Catgut. This presentation will reflect on the process and findings of my fellowship research.

Miriam Jones is an early childhood music teacher and fiddle player from Sydney. She plays in old time trio Catgut and political folk band The Lurkers, and was the 2014 winner of the Alistair Hulett Memorial Songwriting award. As the 2015 National Folk Fellow Miriam has been researching the history of people playing bluegrass and old time music in Australia.

3.30-4.30 Presentation Session 4

Reilly McCarron

An Australian Fairy Tale Folklore Collection

The Australian Fairy Tale Society (AFTS) was co-founded in 2013 by Reilly McCarron and Jo Henwood. Since then it has held its inaugural conference, run a successful crowd funding campaign, launched a national website, started several Fairy Tale Rings around the country, and opened a Folklore Collection. The society has 62 Founding Members including fairy tale scholars Sarah Gibson, Kate Forsyth, Rebecca-Anne Do Rozario, Maria Tatar and Jack Zipes. One of the main aims of the society is to collect, categorise, preserve, and present Australian fairy tale folklore for the purposes of encouraging a nationwide network of enthusiasts, making the collection accessible to academics and the general populace. In an attempt to gather a good store of material we are asking folklorists, along with historians, librarians, and others, to send us any relevant material including short stories, anecdotes, (photos of) folk art, jokes, songs, children’s rhymes, and so on. The AFTS website has been selected for the National Library of Australia’s PANDORA project.

Reilly McCarron is co-founder and President of the Australian Fairy Tale Society. Along with being a storyteller, musician and writer, she runs the AFTS Folklore Collection and has a Diploma in Australian Folklife through Curtin University.

Peter Ellis with Bruce Watson

‘I’m Not A Toff, Just A Girl From the Bush’

A presentation of folklife in a rural district including the antics at social dances in district halls (and outside). We will conclude with a song ‘I’m Not A Toff, Just A Girl From the Bush’ based on the social history presented.

Peter Ellis, retired lab technician in Chemistry and General Science and an ardent collector of folklore associated with social dance and music in Australia.

Bruce Watson is a songwriter and folk performer. Melbourne’s Boite says, “Bruce is a wordsmith, a teller of tales told with passion and integrity.”

4.30 Conference concludes

 


 

 National Folklore Conference 2012

National Library of Australia

April 5, 2012

PROGRAM

Chris Woodland

The Bush Music Club – the Early Years

The year 2014 will be the 60th anniversary of the origin of the first folk club in Australia. It is the second oldest known surviving folk club in the English-speaking world. Early membership mainly consisted of members of the Communist Party and other socially aware people who collected, revived and learnt the ever-disappearing songs and tunes of earlier Australians. Aware of the lack of national identity in the Australian ethos, these people sought to eventually bring this part of our heritage into the homes, and hearts of the populace at large. Early BMC members had a limited repertoire of songs, few dances, but a strong passion. They were an interesting group, two of whom were born in the 1880s.

Bruce Watson

Cold Comfort: folk music and community in Antarctica

Antarctica is a unique place. People there constitute a unique society: temporary, isolated, ‘house’ bound, work-focused. Since early days people have been taken instruments to, and made music in, Antarctica – from a banjo on Shackleton’s ill fated voyage to rock bands today. Pianos, accordions, guitars, violins, flutes, saxophones and harmonicas have been constant companions, as well as many home-made instruments. Sing-alongs were common and the Antarctic Division even produced a songbook in the 1950s. Mid-winter celebrations have long been a catalyst for writing and performing songs and parodies. People have also written evocative pieces, responding to the physical, emotional and social landscape. Almost none of this music has been published, but much has been documented in station reports, newsletters and diaries. I am collecting material from these sources as well as directly from past expeditioners. The paper will explore musicological and other themes in this music made by Australians in Antarctica and its cultural context, exploring how it has changed over time reflecting Antarctic and broader cultural shifts.

Gwenda Davey

International protocols, children’s rights and traditional play

One of the most fundamental of human rights is the child’s right to play.  This right is enshrined in the United Nations 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, which, in Article 31, paragraph one, holds that

States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.

In March 2001 UNESCO for the first time awarded the title of ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’ to nineteen outstanding cultural spaces or forms of expression from the different regions of the world, including Kunqu Opera (China), The Carnival of Oruro (Bolivia) and the Oral Heritage of Gelide (Africa).

Two years later, the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage stated that ‘intangible cultural heritage’…is ‘manifested inter alia in the following domains: (a) oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage; (b) performing arts; (c) social practices, rituals and festive events; (d) knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; (e) traditional craftsmanship’.

Children’s traditional playlore is represented in all five of these domains. This paper will argue for the inclusion of children’s traditional playlore among the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Graham McDonald

What did the folk singers sing?

The mid 1960s was the time of the ‘folk boom’, where for a few years Australian ‘folk singers’ were actually able to make a living from folk music, recording for major record companies, occasionally hitting the charts, and appearing regularly on television. This paper examines what kinds of songs the folk singers were including on their recordings as a way of examining the musical content of that period.

Karl Neuenfeldt

Crafting the Sounds of Sentiment: Jen Anderson and The Sentimental Bloke DVD Score

Recording new music for iconic Australian silent films can be musically challenging. What music or styles to record? What instrumentation? Which musicians?

These are all questions multi-instrumentalist and producer Jen Anderson had to face when recording new music for the 2009 DVD release by the NFSA of The Sentimental Bloke, which contains 15 minutes of recovered footage.

This presentation features Jen Anderson’s recollections as well as visual and audio examples of how she composed, played and produced a new score using a small ensemble of acoustic instruments.

Arguably, the new score successfully reinforced the iconic status of the film and its depiction of a bygone era by being appropriate, well produced and well recorded.

Based on the article “Crafting the Sounds of Sentiment: Jen Anderson Interviewed about The Sentimental Bloke DVD Score” Screen Sound n2 2011 pp75-89  Karl Neuenfeldt & Jeannette Delamoi

Dennis O’Keeffe

John Keith McDougall a poet born the same year as Henry Lawson.(1867-1957)

He published 5 volumes of poetry between 1923 and 1948, although he was writing well before then. He would not sell his books because he did not believe in selling his poetry, a committed socialist. I can only find 2 of his books in the National Library. In 1995, whilst performing at Vic Trades Hall, an elderly man, Vic Little passed the 5 volume set onto me to make use of them – the five books had been given to him by McDougall himself. (This may be the only complete set of his poetry)

He was a member of Federal Parliament in the seat of Wannon 1906 – 1913 for the Labour Party (now a blue-ribbon Liberal seat – was Malcolm Fraser’s seat) and became associated with King O’Malley and his labour group. During the 1919 election campaign, the Nationalists re-worded his anti-war poem ‘The White Man’s Burden’ about the Boer war, written in 1900. Stirred by publicity, a group of returned soldiers lured McDougall from his home on false pretence. They tarred and feathered him and dumped him in an Ararat street.

Emma Nixon

Roots and All: The Australian Scottish Fiddle Tree

Scottish fiddle music’s ongoing and growing popularity in both dance and performance contexts has produced exciting stylistic and repertoire variations across the diaspora: a range of ‘Scottish accents’.

This paper reports on an examination of the repertoire, performance practice and players of Scottish fiddle music in Australia utilising 3 music collections and 3 oral history collections from the National Library of Australia and a survey of contemporary Australian Scottish fiddlers. The music collections date from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century and include published collections of dance music, published collections of fiddle music and unpublished manuscripts, all from Britain. The oral history collections include interviews and playing by Australian fiddlers who include Scottish material in their repertoire.

Analysis of these collections describes the historic and social contexts of Scottish fiddle music and Scottish style fiddling in Australia during the 20th century. The cultural relevance of Scottish music in Australia and the roles of dance and concert performance in repertoire choices are discussed.

Reilly McCarron

Once Upon A Time: reclaiming the oral tradition of fairy tales for adults.

Fairy tales were once rich with deep insights and wise guidance, as well as bawdy entertainment, and designed for an adult audience. Stories were woven in spinning rooms, around the hearth, in the field or the tavern, and were abundant with sexuality, gruesome violence, and horror. When the Brothers Grimm first published their collection of fairy tales in 1812, in an attempt to preserve German culture, they set in motion a paradoxical effect which would both distribute the tales world wide and greatly limit their audience’s perception of them. The most well known fairy tales today are literary and filmic versions aimed at small children, yet once upon a time fairy tales lured grown ups into the deep dark woods to face a reflection of their complex adult lives.

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6 Comments
  1. Convenor permalink

    2015 NATIONAL FOLKLORE CONFERENCE

    The AFN’s 10th annual conference will take place prior to the National Folk Festival on Thursday April 2 at the National Library of Australia, Canberra.

    Expressions of Interest

    If you would like to express an interest in presenting a paper at the conference please email g.seal@curtin.edu.au with the following information:

    Your name/s
    Title of presentation
    Brief paragraph about the nature and content of your presentation

    by

    DECEMBER 5, 2014

    All expressions of interest will be considered by the AFN conference committee

    We will let you have further details as they are confirmed, including arrangements for registration.

  2. Convenor permalink

    WESTERN AUSTRALIAN FOLKLIFE PROJECT 2004-2013

    The Western Australian Folklore Project was initiated in 2004 as a partnership between the National Library of Australia, the Australian Folklore Network and the Australian Folklore Research Unit at Curtin University. Funding and recording equipment is supplied by the National Library, with the Folklore Network and the Folklore Research Unit providing background, contacts, general facilitation, institutional support and general hosting. Rob and Olya Willis carried out the fieldwork, recordings and documentation of the collected materials, including photographs, some video and indexing.

    The skill and dedication of the fieldworkers produced a substantial body of important collected material that would otherwise remain undocumented. In addition, all those interviewed and the communities to which they belong have all expressed their enjoyment of the experience and their appreciation at having their cultural traditions acknowledged and recorded by such institutions as the National Library and Curtin University.

    The first year of the project took place in Perth, Fremantle, southwest WA and the Pilbara. It led to the documenting of Ukrainian and Swiss musical traditions, including yodelling. The now-retired country music pioneer performer, Rick Carey was also recorded during this trip, as was Rock & Roll historian John Dubber. An important counter-tradition concerning the outlaw Jandamarra (‘Pigeon’) was documented in the Pilbara, together with indigenous children’s play traditions. Fifteen extended individual and group interviews, some with video of group performances, were completed.
    In 2005 the fieldworkers spent a week recording the musical, food, religious and handcraft traditions of the Perth Greek community. Dr John Yiannakis, Research Associate in the Australia Research Institute facilitated most of the contacts for this phase of the project, working through the Australian Folklore Research Unit.
    The other week involved documenting the life histories and traditions of timber workers and their families as well as bush railways, with a particular emphasis on the now-sunken timber town of Banksiadale. As well as reminiscences, stories and other traditions, this aspect of the project also tuned up substantial manuscript and photographic materials. The project was assisted substantially by Mr Stephen Smith, then Director of the Australian Regional Research Unit at Curtin University.
    Overall, fourteen extended interviews were conducted, together with the documenting of a Greek social function. These have been copied, indexed and illustrated for housing at the NLA and the WA Folklore Archive.
    The 2006 phase of the project involved an investigation of the oral history and traditions of the Western Australian whaling industry, including Cheyne’s Beach Whaling Station, Albany (now Whale World). Some elements of this activity were a follow-up to a joint project conducted by NLA and the State Library of WA in the early 1990s. This year, the fieldwork also involved the WA Irish community music, song, dance and other traditions, child migration and migration traditions from Persia, Iran and India. A concert of music and songs from the sheet music collection of The State Library of Western Australia was also recorded. A total of nineteen extended recordings were made.
    In 2007 Rob and Olya Willis and Graham Seal presented aspects of the WA Folklife Project fieldwork at the Fairbridge Festival. They also carried out a further six interviews, mainly follow-ups to the previous year’s Irish and child migration traditions, as well as one on World War 2 prisoner of war songs.

    No fieldwork was conducted in 2008, but in 2009, the fieldworkers visited twice. In June, in conjunction with the ARC Linkage project ‘Traditions of Childhood’ they spent a week at Geraldton Primary School to document children’s playground traditions. The following week they visited Geraldton and Kalbarri interviews with members of Nunda community regarding oral traditions of their Dutch shipwreck ancestry, together with other folklore. These interviews were carried out in conjunction with an ongoing Curtin-led research project on the pre-1788 European settlement of Australia.
    In August, the fieldworkers spent two weeks in Perth and Fremantle interviewing Australian submariners, the creative arts community, folk revival performers and local newspaper proprietors. Nine extended interviews were recorded.
    No visits took place in 2010-12, but in June 2013 Rob and Olya Willis again visited WA for two weeks. They conducted 11 extended interviews in and around Perth, Bridgetown, Brookhampton and Dunsborough. Topics covered included Traditional music in the Kimberley, The folk revival, Environmental activism, Popular dancing, Early television, Agriculture and orcharding, Handbell ringing, Bindoon Home music and humour, Travelling show circuit since 1930s and Indigenous music making.
    A highlight of the visit was the documentation of the Brookhampton Bellringers. The tradition of handbell ringing is rare in Australia and the Brookhampton group represents an unbroken chain of transmission from 1904. As far as is known, this is the oldest continuous handbell tradition in Australia.
    Full details of interviewees, recordings, indexes, photographs and video may be accessed through the Oral History and Folklore section of the National Library of Australia and the WA Folklore Archive, John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library, Curtin University, Perth.
    In addition to the Fairbridge Festival event mentioned above, the project has also generated a number of other outcomes, incluidng an entry in the The Historical Encyclopedia of Western Australia (UWA Press, 2009), reports in specialised publications such as Transmissions, Trad & Now and presentations and performances at the National Folklore Conference and the National Folk Festival, Canberra.
    Graham Seal July 2013

  3. Convenor permalink

    2013 NATIONAL FOLKLORE CONFERENCE – REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN!
    The AFN’s annual conference will again take place prior to the National Folk Festival on Thursday March 28th at the National Library of Australia, Canberra, from 9.15
    The conference is free but we ask attendees to register in advance for catering purposes. Please send to Jennifer.Gall@anu.edu.au
    2013 AUSTRALIAN FOLKLORE CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS:
    Christina Mimmocchi Lola Wright-A Passionate Life
    Jeannette Mollenhaur ‘Folk Dance: The Many faces of folk dance in Australia
    Ian Blake Performing World Music: the traditions which inform practice; and the process and issues encountered in drawing these threads together in performance.
    Warren Fahey Sing Us Anothery, Dirty As Buggery.
    Jo Henwood Whether the Weather is Wet or Not: Pacific stories of rain, sun and wind

    Danny Spooner Percy Grainger

    Geordie Dowell The story of Augustus (‘Gus’) Baker Pierce

    Graham MacDonald Hawaiian music in Australia: a preliminary discography of a lost genre.

    June Factor Play and Folklore and the International Journal of Play: different approaches to remembrance, analysis and discussion of play.’

    FREE lunchtime concert from 12.30-1.30, featuring world renowned singer, Frank Ifield.
    There are not many artists who can claim to have had the Beatles as their support act or be the first to have three consecutive hits on the British charts.
    Frank Ifield can. However this world renowned performer had his roots in the NSW area of Dural where he learnt to play ukulele, was encouraged by his teacher to put Australian Poetry to his own tunes (age 11) and listened to the yodelling of Tex Morton – a true ‘folk’ background.
    Join NLA Folklore collector, Rob Willis and musicians Chloe and Jason Roweth in conversation with Frank Ifield.

  4. Convenor permalink

    2013 NATIONAL FOLKLORE CONFERENCE – REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN!
    The AFN’s annual conference will again take place prior to the National Folk Festival on Thursday March 28th at the National Library of Australia, Canberra, from 9.15
    The conference is free but we ask attendees to register in advance for catering purposes. Please send to Jennifer.Gall@anu.edu.au

    2013 AUSTRALIAN FOLKLORE CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS:
    Christina Mimmocchi Lola Wright-A Passionate Life
    Jeannette Mollenhaur ‘Folk Dance: The Many faces of folk dance in Australia
    Ian Blake Performing World Music: the traditions which inform practice; and the process and issues encountered in drawing these threads together in performance.
    Warren Fahey Sing Us Anothery, Dirty As Buggery.
    Jo Henwood Whether the Weather is Wet or Not: Pacific stories of rain, sun and wind

    Danny Spooner Percy Grainger

    Geordie Dowell The story of Augustus (‘Gus’) Baker Pierce

    Graham MacDonald Hawaiian music in Australia: a preliminary discography of a lost genre.

    June Factor Play and Folklore and the International Journal of Play: different approaches to remembrance, analysis and discussion of play.’

    FREE lunchtime concert from 12.30-1.30, in the NLA Auditorium featuring world renowned singer, Frank Ifield.
    There are not many artists who can claim to have had the Beatles as their support act or be the first to have three consecutive hits on the British charts.
    Frank Ifield can. However this world renowned performer had his roots in the NSW area of Dural where he learnt to play ukulele, was encouraged by his teacher to put Australian Poetry to his own tunes (age 11) and listened to the yodelling of Tex Morton – a true ‘folk’ background.
    Join NLA Folklore collector, Rob Willis and musicians Chloe and Jason Roweth in conversation with Frank Ifield.

    You will also get the chance to catch Frank Ifield at the National Folk Festival in a completely different presentation “I Remember You”

  5. Antipodean Traditions: Australian Folklore in the 21st Century

    Graham Seal and Jennifer Gall (eds)

    Black Swan Press, 2011

    This book is based upon a selection of papers from the Australian National Folklore Conference, 2005-2010. The scholarly study of Australian folk tradition is relatively recent and this collection provides a guide to the past, present and future of the field. The Introduction traces the development of folklore studies in Australia and provides connections to further resources and information.

    The topics covered include children’s folklore, the history and mythology of songs such as ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and ‘Click Go the Shears’. The musical traditions of the Torres Strait, of Greek-Australians, of Top End communities and of workers appear, as does the Australian culinary icon, the meat pie and a look at folk speech in the form of rhyming slang. Aspects of the folk revival are discussed, and a number of chapters provide reinterpretations of previous ideas and perceptions. The folklore of Sydney provides a colourful example of urban folk tradition. An appendix detailing the chronology of the Australian folk revival and its relationship to folklore studies concludes this valuable book.

    The contributors are all expert in their respective fields and have been involved in researching, teaching, collecting, archiving and often performing aspects and elements of Australia’s rich and diverse folk traditions.

    Chapters

    1. Australian Folklore in the 21st Century, Graham Seal and Jennifer Gall

    2. Collecting Children’s Folklore in Australia, June Factor

    3. Substance and Style in Electronic Recording of Australian Children’s Folklore,

    Gwenda Beed Davey

    4. String Games in Australia, Judy McKinty

    5. Keep him my heart: Returning music and sense of place to Top End communities,

    Jeff Corfield

    6. Indigenising the Documentation of Musical Cultural Practices: Torres Strait

    Islander community CDs/ DVDs, Karl Neuenfeldt and Will Kepa

    7. Industrial Song and Poetry in Australia, Mark Gregory

    8. Mr Vasilis’s Taksim: A brief glance at musical and music-based performance among

    Greek-Australian communities in Melbourne, c. 1950-74, Peter Parkhill

    9. Leaving makes me sorrowful: Songs of early Scots-Gaelic migrants in Australia,

    Ruth Lee Martin

    10. Roast Pork the Bill Lang: Rhyming slang in Australian folk speech, Graham Seal

    11. The Dog’s Eye: The pie in Australian tradition, Robert Smith

    12. Brash, Bold and Beautiful: The Sydney folklore project, Warren Fahey

    13. Click Go the Shears: The making of an Australian icon, Keith McKenry

    14. The Creation of Waltzing Matilda: Australia’s unofficial national anthem and

    international Australian icon, Dennis O’Keeffe

    15. Tradition and Revival: Mary Jean Officer and the collection of folklore,

    Jennifer Gall

    16. That face on the bar-room floor: Kenny Goldstein and the collection of recitations

    in Australia, Hugh Anderson

    17. Where did that Tune come from? Transmission of traditional music and song in

    contemporary Australia, Ruth Hazleton

    18. Folk Music from Kitchen to Concert, Graeme Smith

    19. The Australian Folk Revival: An historical chronology, Brian Samuels

    Web: http://research.humanities.curtin.edu.au/blackswan/

    Enquiries: s.summers@curtin.edu.au; phone 61 8 9266 3234

    Published: December 2011

    ISBN: 9780980631371 (pbk.)

    Dimensions: 25 x 17.6 x 17 mm; 307 pages + cover.

    Price: AUD $30 inc GST (plus p & p)

    Trade discount: on application

  6. G Seal permalink

    RECENT AFN CONFERENCE

    The recent 8th Australian Folklore Conference at the National Library was a success, with over 70 attendees enjoying and discussing 8 interesting presentations.

    The collection of papers from previous conference, Antipodean Traditions, was also launched just before the enjoyable lunchtime concert organised by Rob and Olya Willis.

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