Southern Voices “What Music Does” Si Kahn, In His Own Words 101 Guest editor Brendan Greaves sat down with Si Kahn in Charlotte, North Carolina, to discuss his long career as a musician and community organizer, and the art of translating one medium to the next. I’m walking down the hall in the Library of Congress, wondering what I’m going to do, and I see a sign that says, “Archive of Folk Music.” I went in the really raggedy- ass oc ffi e and said, “ You guys got any Joan Baez?” And they said, “That’s not actually what w e do. We’re the archive for folk music.” “Like Joan Baez?” “ Well, yes and no.” “All right, so what do you do?” “Well, we have teams of field recorders, we send them out with tape recorders to every ethnic and language community in the United States, we record their tra- ditional music and then it comes back here.” I remember this so clearly because it really was a turning point for me. They had listening booths, they had record changers, and they had those Bakelite head- phones with one hole that they obviously got from the set for
Southern Cultures – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Oct 11, 2018
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