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Page McClean / Hobe Sound, Florida / 2013-2014 / Topic: Kinship and Traditional Music
Project: Page’s video documentation work involves studying the role of kinship in the preservation and transmission of Appalachian folk musical traditions. She will focus both on multigenerational families that have passed down their musical knowledge as well as situations in which a lost tradition was recovered through an alternative interpretation of kinship. As an addendum to her fieldwork with families, she will attend the Hindman Settlement School’s Appalachian Family Folk Week to explore the role that an institution can serve in supporting families in the promotion and preservation of folk traditions.
Page’s research will result in a series of filmed interviews and performances that will be available for future research use in the Berea College Archives. She will edit her research into a film that she will share with the participants of the project and will later submit to film festivals. Page also presented at the 2015 Appalachian Studies Conference.
Page is a visual anthropologist who has engaged in ethnographic and visual research in Europe and the Americas. In addition to her video work, she is a singer-songwriter and an acoustic guitarist. She currently works as an educator and a writer in Colorado.
"Family Music: The Role of Kinship in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Music in Kentucky." This presentation will share my findings from ethnographic field research conducted in 2014 across the state of Kentucky. Through participant observation and interviews, my research focused on the role that kinship can play in preserving and passing on a variety of traditional musical styles. While kinship can be interpreted as blood bonds, one essential finding of the research was the broader notion of what anthropologists call “fictive kinship.” My research explores the ways in which music can help create kin, and also the deep bonds shared through music when playing with one’s own family. The research was designed to document not only multi-generational musical families, but also those where a tradition was lost, or recovered after a gap in transmission. I looked also at the role that institutions can play in fostering and supporting musical traditions both new and old, and at ways these musicians interpreted what it means to preserve and transmit their music, which is as varied as the geography of the state.