Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Original Music of the Blue Ridge Mountains

The movie "Songcatcher" is a wonderful independent film about the culture and music of the Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountains.  It takes place in the early 1900's in the North Carolina Mountains not far from my studio.  When we first moved up to Asheville I decided to collect movies, books, art, and music about the area.  Just most recently the filmed near here is the movie " The Hunger Games".  The "Last of the Mohegans" was filmed here as well.  
What is fascinating about this movie is not only the stunning beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains yet the hard life the early settlers had to endure to live here, but also the music that they brought generations ago with them from their home countries.  The music stayed in the mountain isolated from the influences of more modern music by the sheer geography of the area.  Generation passed to generation stories and songs from Victorian England ...untouched.  In the movie a music professor comes back to the mountains to capture the songs before they are lost, but the locals are an independent suspicious bunch that do not take to strangers is a wonderful movie.  I highly recommend watching it.
I will include several clips from the movie highlighting mountain music.  Click on the arrow on each one of these clips to hear the music samples.  Some are mournful and Father called dirges, others are more lively.  It speaks of a hardy people who were determined to live in harsh conditions to live in the beauty of these wonderful mountains.

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