Album: Secret Museum of Mankind – Atlas of Instruments: Fiddles Vol. 1
Release Date: September 15, 2023
Label: Jalopy Records
In Their Words: “The museum’s musical atlas of instruments continues with the opening of another wing, the first in a series on bowed instruments. To stretch boundaries over the earth and over time is to forsake them; whether it is a matter of Synchronizität or just the plain unconscious. In Western cultural history, the bowed instrument is a late installment, after centuries, of an almost primordial vibration that we imagine in sound; see in the old paintings; and yet can sample in the remnants of the ancient world captured on gramophone records.” – Pat Conte, curator
“The Secret Museum series is legendary. It opened up new possibilities for me when I first heard it in the 1990s. The curator is Pat Conte, he did something remarkable, even more so because it was before the internet: Starting in the 1970s he began assembling the first and arguably greatest collection of world music recorded in the 78 rpm record era of the 1920s – 1950s, give or take. He did it by casing junk stores in Queens, New York, the most diverse place in the world, and by maintaining letter correspondence with collectors and dealers across the globe. That is the music you will find on the Secret Museum of Mankind albums.
“Conte programs the records by feel, not with a predefined structure. The records are not meant to be academic, they are meant to move the listener. The movement is emotional, using music that was recorded in different places and at different times. Each listener will experience the sequence in their own way, and each track is its own world.
“The Secret Museum of Mankind: Atlas of Instruments – Fiddles, Vol. 1 continues the series and presents fiddle sounds developed and practiced across the globe. The compilation, drawn from Conte’s pioneering and remarkable personal collection of 78 rpm discs recorded in the 1920s – 1950s, offers fiddle music recorded across the world from Crete to Madagascar, Mexico, England, Sicily, Norway, India, the USA, Cape Verde, China and more.” – Eli Smith, producer
Image courtesy of Jalopy Records, Nick Loss-Eaton Media