Field recordings and films of ethnomusicologist Robert Garfias
November 17, 2007 11:26 PM   Subscribe

The website of ethnomusicologist Robert Garfias is a treasure trove of mp3 sound recordings and short realplayer film clips of traditional music from all over the world, including Japan, India, Mexico, Turkey, Albania, Okinawa, Spain, Burma, Alaska, Sudan, Venezuela, Spain and many more. Garfias' field recordings are illustrated with his photographs.
posted by Kattullus (14 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
Hmm... some of the films don't seem to be loading properly, the sound is just dandy but the video is jumpy. So far I've only run into this problem with Necdet Yasar and Hamza el Din but I haven't watched every single clip.
posted by Kattullus at 11:39 PM on November 17, 2007

Amazing. Great find!
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:49 PM on November 17, 2007

Oh yes, yes. This is good, very good! Bookmarked, favorited, and everything else possible!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:52 PM on November 17, 2007

Best of the Web, best of Metafilter. Thank you!
posted by gum at 12:24 AM on November 18, 2007

This should have been the [more inside] but I forgot:
Garfias' main website, more photographs from his travels and articles by him in pdf format.
posted by Kattullus at 12:33 AM on November 18, 2007

I remember running across the Hamza El Din clips after Digaman's posting about his death last year last year but never went back to check out the rest of this treasure trove, so thank you so much for posting this.

I took some classes from Garfias way back when I was at the UW. He was a wonderful lecturer. And I still can't get over the fact that I lived two blocks from Hamza el Din for a couple of years and never found out until he was long gone.
posted by y2karl at 3:18 AM on November 18, 2007

awesome site. quite a find.
posted by gcbv at 6:46 AM on November 18, 2007

Fantastic. He even has sound recordings of Burmese music, which is amazing. The circle drum is an amazing instrument and the compositions are mathy and challenging. If only Burmese hardcore punk music was allowed to survive to this day.
posted by fuq at 7:20 AM on November 18, 2007

I'm listening to the old Japanese recordings. Excellent, and thanks!
posted by carter at 7:45 AM on November 18, 2007

I believe that Prof. Garfias' site was originally set up as an online adjunct to his classes. It seems that he has retired, and so a lot of the links have not been updated. I've been a fan of his site for years... the Romanian pages are full of old style lautarii chestnuts that you just can't find these days, and his field recordings are astoundingly great - a lot of this stuff simply is no longer played in the region anymore.
posted by zaelic at 8:34 AM on November 18, 2007

Hey zaelic (and anyone else, I guess), if you are interested in newer bands performing in the lautari style of music, there are a few out there now that do a sort of reconstructionist Romanian folk/lautari... The Fishtank Ensemble, The Toids, and (yes really) a band called Lautari come to mind.

They are all excellent, with some jazz/flamenco aspects in addition to the lautari/romanian style. The Toids are really more of an accordion-based dark gypsy band, but anyway. Fishtank is probably where you want to start.

And, this is great, as usual, Katullus.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 8:46 AM on November 18, 2007

Thanks, Synaesthetic! I knew Fabrice from Fishtank back in Romania... he's an amazing musician. We used to jam together. I'll be back there on tour in late January.
posted by zaelic at 10:24 AM on November 18, 2007

Wow, what the hell? I can't believe you know the violinist. I just discovered Fishtank a few weeks ago, and they are probably my favorite new band. Incredible that you know the guy... he can sure play a mean roma violin.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 10:37 AM on November 18, 2007

The Juan Vicente Torrealba album is amazing. I have been unable to stop listening to it since I first heard it.

Thank you!
posted by 999 at 5:07 AM on November 21, 2007

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