From the sensational Alan Lomax archives continue to emerge unmatched materials. And interesting projects. A good portion of the recordings made by the ethnomusicologist from Austin throughout its whole life, is available at the Youtube channel of Alan Lomax Archive . The channel is very popular and has passed several million views. There are recordings of musical performances and interviews, including the Mississippi Delta bluesman, sermons, hymns of the Baptist churches, Louisiana Cajun, gospel songs, up to recordings of John Lee Hoker and interviews with Lomax .
From the site of the archives, however, spread innovative multimedia projects, where it joins the ethnomusicological heritage documented by Lomax and is framed in completely new contexts. This is the case of the project Lomax Geo-Archive, which consists of a mapping of its research and documented materials. The map is divided into five areas (the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Russia and Central Asia), within which you can access different levels of information. Selecting the icons that mark the paths of Lomax ethnography, it is directed to a geographic map in detail – in which you can analyze specifically the territory concerned and reconstruct the movements and recording sessions. At the next level, which is accessed by selecting the information emerging from the map in detail, you can listen to the audio recordings, together with ethnographic information. Let’s take an example: if you are in the map of the south-east of the United States, you can select an icon in Louisiana. From here you have a card which contains all the recordings made by Lomax in that area, organized in an index with titles and durations. From this section you can listen to any track, or enter the detailed map, or enter the detailed catalog through a link to the website of the Archives. Here you will find all the information on the place, date, genre, performers, etc. .
The result is a new profile of the archive: as has been said, more interactive, but especially more intuitive, immediate . No longer an index but a map, within which everyone chooses his own path.
This article is available also in: Italian