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Leafcutter John at the Whitechapel Gallery Fri 30th July

Sunday, July 25th, 2010 | Live Shows | No Comments

Open Music Archive presents


Friday 30 July

Whitechapel Gallery

77-82 Whitechapel High Street

London E1 7QX

8pm – 11pm

£7 (£6 concessions)

out-of-copyright versions of songs from Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music

covered, reworked and remixed

featuring exclusive Parallel Anthology sets by:

Leafcutter John


Karen Gwyer


out-of-copyright/copyleft Open Music Archive DJ set

The 1952 release of Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music was a compilation bringing together a selection of Smith’s personal collection of 78rpm folk records. As such, it was effectively a bootleg and operated under the legal radar until it was digitised, re-mastered and fully licensed in 1997. The recordings in the anthology are those from the early days of the record industry, a time which saw the establishment of a system that fixed collectively-authored folk lyrics and melodies to individual authors in an attempt to control the flow of this previously fluid cultural material.

Artists Eileen Simpson and Ben White have collected alternative public domain versions of anthology recordings not closed down by copyright; from non-attributed folk versions, to commercial recordings whose proprietary interests have expired.

For this event musicians and producers have been invited to perform new covers and remixes of the collected material for a night of plugged and unplugged performances.

The project re-envisages Smith’s anthology as a series of nodes in a larger network and employs a kind of sonic virology – tracing songs across spatial and temporal distances. A parallel collection is proposed: a new roots and future anthology, collecting and generating rich material that remains open for use and reuse.

Free Parallel Anthology source CD gift will be presented on entry.

more info:


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