Field Recordings in Italy
Alan Lomax (1915–2002)
7-inch open reel tape box from
Calabria, Italy. July 26, 1954.
[accompanying sound recording: The Alan Lomax Series:
Italian Treasury, Calabria. Rounder CD 1803]
American Folklife Center
Purchase from the Estate of Alan Lomax (225.3a,b)
From the summer of 1954 to January 1955, Lomax and ethnomusicologist
Diego Carpitella undertook a period of intensive fieldwork in Italy.
The goal of their research was to document the folk music of the
different Italian regions for a recorded anthology, but the scope
of their initial project quickly broadened to become a “voyage
of discovery.” From Sicily to Liguria and then south again
to Campania—in over a hundred localities, Lomax and Carpitella
recorded the music and sounds of the peasants, shepherds, fishermen,
and artisans of rural Italy. This tape box is from Calabria, in
the south, and these are the songs of the swordfishing villagers.