For our Tuesday field recording, facilitators Yuki and Quentin drove two hours southeast of Louisville to Berea College, a unique place to study and live. Berea is a tuition-free university, primarily for students who come from Appalachian communities throughout the US. The college was founded in 1855 as the first interracial and coeducational school in the South. Students can choose to work regular on-campus jobs or study with a master craftsman to learn traditional Appalachian woodwork, pottery, and weaving, which is sold at their campus store. It was hard to leave Berea; it is an institution that doesn’t seem institutional, it just seems like a great place to live and learn. Best of luck to our contact, Tim Jordan, and everyone else in Berea!
A student (above) at work at one of the looms in Berea’s weaving studio (below)
The library’s sound archivist, Harry Rice, gave us a tour of Berea’s amazing online catalog, which is the most extensive sound archive in Kentucky and houses old field recordings of traditional Appalachian musicians, storytellers, Baptist preachings, and historical Kentucky radio broadcasts. In the photo above, Harry shows us musical notation done by one of Berea’s Appalachian Music Fellows of a traditional fiddle tune that had never been written down before. Many of the recordings were transfered from the original acetate disks to digital, and have a beautiful quality to them.
Listen to the archives here.
This Saturday Kent Wavekill and Gigi LaSwerve stopped by the StoryCorpse booth to record a special interview. The pair came in to celebrate the forty-year anniversary of their first meeting at a Malibu Beach resort. Gigi had just finished back-up dancing that night at a Jefferson Airplane concert when she found Kent stumbling around in the surf, covered in seaweed, chewing on fish skeletons. (He had washed up there the night before). Gi-Gi did most of the talking during their conversation, (and was dancing the entire time) but Kent added some choice words as well. Mostly: "Brains, dude! Braaaaains!" It warms the heart to see a Zombie Surfer and a 60s go-go dancer staying together for as long as they have. Thanks guys!
This classic Chevy acts as a sentry at the gates of Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville’s beautiful burial ground that borders the Highlands neighborhood. Many eminent Louisvillians are buried here, including James Speed, Lincoln’s attorney general, and Harlan Sanders, who had this quote when he was alive: "There’s no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery, you can’t do any business from there." Wise words, Colonel, but we reckon you’re still making deals! Here are some shots Yuki & Quentin took walking around the grounds:
In Louisville the booth is parked on West Main St., two blocks from ’21C’, a new art museum/hotel hybrid that exclusively features art made in the twenty-first century. Facilitators Yuki and Quentin spent a lunch break taking in the sights, including the interactive video exhibit shown above. Here are a couple more of our favorites:
The East Booth finds a happy new home in downtown Louisville, KY. Above, buildings along West Main Street are reflected on the many different glass surfaces of the The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, one of our excellent local partners. The Center houses Kentucky’s premiere performing arts spaces, and since we have been parked outside has seen everyone from Mikhail Gorbachev, David Crosby and D.L. Hughley perform inside its shiny walls.
Anita brought her friend Cyd to the Booth to tell her how some words Cyd said in passing changed Anita’s life. After graduating law school, Anita was working unhappily at a firm while pursuing her hobby as a seamstress on the side. She made weekly trips to Baer’s Fabrics where she would chat with Cyd at the register. One day Anita asked Cyd why she worked at Baer’s when she could be pursuing her talent for sewing further, and Cyd replied, "I get to see something beautiful everyday." Anita realized she couldn’t say that of her life, and quit the firm to follow her passion for sewing. The two hadn’t seen each other since then until coming to do a StoryCorps interview. Both of them are now professional dressmakers, and get to see beautiful things every day.?