Mudcat Café message #2149599 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #104731   Message #2149599
Posted By: Uncle_DaveO
14-Sep-07 - 09:52 PM
Thread Name: how important is the label traditional singer?
Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
Stallion, I think you've missed the point.

This discussion is not really about a singer who is a singer who is a singer (with apologies to Gertrude Stein). This is about recording and documentation of songs that exist "in the wild", so to speak, in the culture, passed along in tradition.

"Traditional singer" for this purpose really is not seen as an entertainer or an artist, the creator of a performance. "Traditional singer" here is someone who has, out of his experience in his traditional culture, the knowledge of a song (or variant) that otherwise may not be known, and which may be lost if not collected.

The recording of such a traditional singer may be good, bad, or indifferent as a performance. If it's good, well and good. But the point is to document the song, regardless of how well or badly done, in its native habitat, so that we know more about the flow of tradition, more about the songs in a culture, and so that the collected song is available in context for later singers rather than being lost.

Personally, I like the term "source singer" better than "traditional singer", even though that singer clearly isn't the ultimate source who originated the song but only the point through whom the song's path through the culture comes to the surface, as it were.

Dave Oesterreich