‘Art Is Appropriation,' Says Folklorist Jake Xerxes Fussell

Jake Xerxes Fussell attempted and failed for more than a decade to perform an ancient American folk tune he had adored since he was a youngster. "Oh, go get your revolver / And come on and blow out my brain / For I'd rather be dead and in my grave / Than to be in […]

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‘I Found Myself in a Boat on Mushrooms with Mariah Carey Blaring on a Boombox'

My mother used to have a vacation home on the Mornington Peninsula with her brothers and sisters. My cousin, sister, and I were so anxious to save the home when they informed us they wanted to sell it one year that we came up with a plan: we'd start organizing tiny festival parties in the […]

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Singer-Songwriter Jana Horn Is Guided by Her Beliefs

Jana Horn had no idea what her song Jordan was about when she penned it. She'd been brooding over two chords for two days at her brother's place after a breakup when a lyric occurred to her: "They called me to Jordan." She followed the trail of the thread. "I had no idea what I […]

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Irreversible Brain Taint from Segregation: Leo Nocentelli

Leo Nocentelli is impossible to pin down. When I ask how the renowned funk guitarist's astonishing solo record Another Side came to be published after 50 years in obscurity, he gives me the whole tale in a seven-minute monologue, but I can't confirm his age. "It's not important," he adds, his Louisiana accent thick as […]

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How Susana Baca Revived Afro-Peruvian Music

Susana Baca has lived several lives throughout the course of her 77 years. She is a well-known singer in Peru and an advocate for Afro-Peruvian music, thanks to a collaboration with David Byrne's Luaka Bop record label. She is an ethnomusicologist who runs a cultural center in Peru, and she was just the second Afro-Peruvian […]

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The Flexibility of Film Scoring: An Interview with Joyce Oh

Yong Yue "Joyce" Oh, who composes film music as Joyce Oh, is an international award-winning pianist and multi-instrumentalist.  One of her composition trademarks is skillfully combining orchestral music with ethnic and traditional instruments where appropriate.  Like the most successful score composers, Oh's work evolves and adapts to each project, which she recognizes as one of […]

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