Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

October 10, 1997

New Endangered Music Project Releases Featured Music from Brazil

The American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress, in cooperation with Rykodisc and 360 Degree Projections, is pleased to announce the release of two new albums in the Endangered Music Project series: The Discoteca Collection: Misso de Pesquisas Folclricas (Rykodisc RCD 10403) and L.H. Corra de Azevedo: Music of Cear and Minas Gerais (Rykodisc RCD 10404).

These historical collections of field recordings were made in the late 1930s and early 1940s and are now part of the Folklife Center's Archive of Folk Culture. The albums were coproduced by Alan Jabbour, director of the Center, and Mickey Hart, the renowned percussionist whose series of albums The World is making available to new audiences the musical cultures of many regions. All material has been expertly remastered from the original source discs for these releases. Liner notes were written by ethnomusicologist Morton Marks.

The Discoteca Collection is 1938-vintage field recordings culled from the library of the Discoteca Pblica Municipal (Municipal Public Recordings Collection) in So Paulo, Brazil. The Discoteca dispatched a team to six states in north and northeast Brazil to document regional folklore, ritual music, and dance. The cultural expedition gathered recordings, musical instruments, costumes, and ritual objects. The music they collected, much of which accompanied ritual, social, and dramatic dance, is primarily vocal, accompanied by various types of drums, bells, rattles, shakers, and assorted Brazilian percussion and strings.

Luiz Heitor Corra de Azevedo, a professor of music and composer from Rio de Janeiro, recorded the material on Music of Cear and Minas Gerais in the early 1940s. Azevedo's involvement in folk culture began in 1937 and lead to his being appointed to a chair in National Folklore at Rio's National Institute of Music. In 1941 he visited Washington, D.C., as a guest of the Pan-American Union and returned to Brazil with recording equipment lent to him by the Library of Congress. He then began to undertake arduous expeditions through Brazil documenting a great variety of his country's folk music. The northern and central Brazilian songs on this collection are performed on shaker, wooden box, claps, strings, bell, friction drum, guitar, and other instruments. The music Azevedo recorded documents the roots of Brazilian music that would later enter the mainstream of world popular music.

The Endangered Music Project draws its material from one of the world's greatest repositiories of ethnomusicological treasures, the American Folklife Center's Archive of Folk Culture in the Library of Congress. The term "endangered music" can be used to describe music from cultures whose very existence is threatened by war, political upheaval, natural disasters, or by the encroachment of industrial and agricultural interests.

Misso de Pesquisas Folclricas and Music of Cear and Minas Gerais are available in the world music sections of fine retail outlets nationwide or from Rykodisc mail order: 1-888-2-EARFUL (1-888-232-7385).

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PR 97-173
ISSN 0731-3527

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