About this project
THANK YOU! You can continue to follow and support the film at www.mountainlake.org/songs
*Note: anyone who donates at the $100 level will also receive the CD!
Marjorie Lansing Porter (1891-1973) dedicated her life to preserving the folk songs of the Adirondacks. Throughout the 40s and 50s, Porter traveled through New York State interviewing and recording traditional musicians and singers, creating a comprehensive song collection. For many years this unique time capsule has been inaccessible to the broad public. Now for the first time this documentary will illuminate and revitalize the Porter Collection through contemporary interviews with folk musicians such as the legendary Pete Seeger, a personal friend of Porter, and Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul & Mary. The film also features a whole series of re-recordings from the Porter Collection by modern musicians including Kevin and Michael Bacon of the Bacon Brothers, Lee Knight, Dave Ruch, Dan Berggren, Alex Smith, and many others.
Like folksong collectors Alan Lomax and Anne and Frank Warner, Porter captured many songs just before the last living tradition bearers died. The Porter Collection, consisting of more than 300 traditional ballads, songs of the lumber camps and iron mines, Irish and French-Canadian songs, and Iroquois chants. The collection also includes dozens of oral histories and Porter’s collected writings.
Mountain Lake PBS, Traditional Arts of Upstate New York (TAUNY), SUNY Plattsburgh and The Adirondack History Center Museum have partnered on this multiplatform project to increase awareness of and access to the Marjorie L. Porter Collection of North Country Folklore. Recently, the Special Collections Library at State University of New York digitized the collection, and Lee Knight, a close friend of Porter, has transcribed all the lyrics and completed substantial research on their origins and context. This project seeks to create new publications and events to bring attention and further increase access to this important cultural asset.
Other Project Components
- An album of new recordings from the Porter Collection interpreted by well-known regional and national musicians.
- A traveling exhibit about Marjorie Lansing Porter and her work, including new original research with descendants of Porter and the singers she recorded.
- A manuscript of all the folksongs of Porter Collection.
- Publication of a 40 page songbook from the Porter Collection.
- A concert series hitting six locations throughout the Adirondack Park with local musicians (lineup and set lists to be determined).
Concert Venues & Dates
Clayton Opera House, August 8, 7:30 p.m.
Lake Placid Center for the Arts, August 21, 8 p.m.
View in Old Forge, August 24, 7:30 p.m.
Edwards Opera House, September 14, 7:00 p.m.
Adirondack History Center Museum, September 20, 6 p.m.
Giltz Theater, Hawkins Hall, SUNY Plattsburgh, September 21, 7:00 p.m.
If you select this gift you will specify the date and location of the concert after we conclude the campaign, Tickets will be held at each of the venue box offices.
Performances in the Film
Here are many of the folk artists and songs set to appear in the documentary:
- Fraser Family - "The Irishtown Crew"
- Dave Ruch, "The Days of 49"
- Celia Evans, "Cutting Down the Pines"
- Alex Smith, "The Ballad of Blue Mountain Lake"
- The Bacon Brothers, "My Adirondack Home"
- Colleen Cleveland, "Lord Ullin's Daughter"
- Jamie Savage & Sue Grimm, "Great Grandad"
- Lee Knight, "Young Brennan"
- Dan Berggren, "Sailor's Grave"
- Bernard & Normand Ouimet, "French Canadian songs"
Lineups and set lists are still being finalized.
What others are saying about Marjorie Lansing Porter, and this project
An Amazing Adirondack Music Opportunity - The Adirondack Almanack
Mountain Lake PBS is a local PBS station located in Plattsburgh, NY, with a strong track record of successful independant documentaries like Small Farm Rising, and Dead Reckoning: Champlain in America.
TAUNY (Traditional Arts in Upstate New York) A nonprofit organization dedicated to showcasing the folk culture and living traditions of New York's North Country.
Risks and challenges
Any documentary faces significant challenges, primarily relating to people and logistics. Things don't always go as planned. But, strong partnerships between a number of organizations make us confident that this documentary will be completed by November 2013.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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