Natural Rhythm

A multimedia music recording project that follows the path of the Great Migration, emulating Alan Lomax’s folk recordings for the Library of Congress.
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Abigail Nover
Email Verified
Community
New York, New York
United States
3 Team Members
Natural Rhythm is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of Natural Rhythm must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

The Project

NATURAL RHYTHM is a multimedia music recording project which emulates folklorist Alan Lomax’s field recordings for the Library of Congress, creating an updated public archive of contemporary folk music for the first time since 1968.

For six weeks from May to June, the NATURAL RHYTHM team will travel up the Mississippi following the path of the Great Migration, starting in New Orleans and finding closure in Chicago. 

In each stop in large cities and rural towns, we will connect with the local communities to document performances and interviews along our route; recording in non-traditional yet sonically rich venues such as nursing homes, river banks, schools, churches, summer camps, and cul-de-sacs to investigate the role that non-commercial music serves in the daily workings of a community.  

The research, recordings, and photographs we collect along the journey will bridge the gap between the 1968 archives and now, to embrace a complete catalog of our musical heritage.

Following in the Footsteps of Alan Lomax

Alan Lomax is the folklorist and archivist who brought the sounds of Woody Guthrie, Muddy Waters, Jelly Roll Morton, Lead Belly, and other integral artists to the mainstream. In 1937 and 1959, Alan Lomax traveled through the United States recording over 10,000 songs and interviews. He discovered icons of American music and shared them with the world.

NATURAL RHYTHM aims to honor and elaborate on Lomax's legacy of capturing the sounds of our times.

Our Team

We have a core team of two making the journey:

      Abigail Nover, Creator & Research Lead
      Tegan Ritz McDuffie, Photographer & Recording Assistant

And a pre-travel manager preparing our goals for actualization:

       Ariel Beach-Westmorland, Project Manager

In addition to this team, we will be interviewing and recording many valuable voices along the journey. They will all be a part of the team who will bring this project to life and provide the essential material for an updated archive of folk music in the United States.

The Impact and Product

The research we conduct for NATURAL RHYTHM will be free to the public through an online archive which will include:

  • Music Recordings
  • Interviews
  • Video Footage
  • Essays
  • Photographs

Your contribution will support presenting the work through:

  • Multimedia art exhibits in Pittsburgh and New York City
  • Presentations at universities and schools 
  • CD & DVD set of music & interviews
  • Booklet of lyrics, writings and photographs

By sharing these materials with the public, educational institutions, and music archives, we’ll be achieving the project’s goals:

  • Ensure the legacy of traditional American music 
  • Create a comprehensive record in an easily accessible form for the public
  • Jump-start dialogue about what is considered folk music and how it has evolved
  • Analyze how our national music traditions are changing
  • Inspire artists and communities throughout the United States
  • Celebrate musical traditions passed down through generations
  • Promote individuals that bring their own voice to tradition

Budget Breakdown

"There was never any money in it for Alan. He did it out of the passion he had for it, and found ways to fund projects that were closest to his heart."    Don Fleming

Closest to the heart of a project about community is the community itself. We’re asking you to contribute towards our budget, which breaks down as follows:

  • $10,000 - Travel & Housing
  • $5,000 - Equipment
  • $5,000 - Marketing & Distribution
  • $3,000 - Promotional Events
  • $3,000 - Stipends

TOTAL BUDGET: $26,000

If we surpass our goal, we will be able to explore the full potential of the archival print versions of the distributed materials and the galleries openings. It is our priority to present the public with beautiful and professional documentation of the people and communities we encounter on the journey. 

Other Ways You Can Help

Finding the Voices of Contemporary Folk Music

In addition to contributing financially, please reach out to us if you know anyone living along the path we have outlined who you believe would be a valuable voice to include in our interviews or recordings. We’d love your input and perspective.

Social Media

Throughout the trip we’ll be communicating through various social media platforms to share our journey. Follow our accounts to stay informed and receive exciting updates.

  • Our website for blog entries detailing our hunt for the contemporary roots of folk. Facebook: Natural Rhythm
  • Instagram: naturalrhythm14
  • Twitter: naturalrhythm14

Empower Authenticity, Celebrate Innovators &  Invest in Our Community’s Music Heritage

Thank You for Supporting 
NATURAL RHYTHM

Contact Us: naturalrhythmproject.com | naturalrhythm14@gmail.com

Find This Campaign On
$3,535USD
raised by 39 people in 23 days
24% funded
0 time left
Verified Nonprofit
$15,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 30, 2014
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  • $10USD
    Music Fan

    Thank you! We appreciate any and all help, so thanks for your donation! (fully tax-deductible)

    3 claimed

  • $25USD
    Woody Gutherie

    Receive: - A sticker donated from our artist friends at STL Style in Memphis - Be included as a supporter of NR (amount over $3 is tax-deductible)

    6 out of 70 claimed

    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $50USD
    Jelly Roll Morton

    Receive: - An archival print (4”X 4”) of a photograph from the project - A digital download of all the music recorded for the project with custom album art - Be included as a supporter of NR (amount over $15 is tax-deductible)

    12 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $100USD
    Minne Barksdale

    Receive: - An archival print (7”X 7”) of a photograph from the project - A digital download of all the music recorded for the project with custom album art - Be included as a supporter of NR (amount over $20 is tax-deductible)

    6 out of 50 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $250USD
    Cecil Augusta

    Receive: - An archival print (7”X 7”) - A custom tote bag designed by local artists along our route - A digital download of all the music recorded for the project with custom album art - Be included as a supporter of NR (amount over $60 is tax-deductible)

    0 out of 25 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $500USD
    Johnny St. Cyr

    Receive: - An archival print (12”X 12”) - A Natural Rhythm tote bag filled with swag by local artists from the journey - A digital download of all the music recorded for the project with custom album art - Be included as a supporter of NR (amount over $90 is tax-deductible)

    0 claimed

  • $1,000USD
    Leadbelly

    Receive: - An archival book of photographs - A digital download of all the music recorded for the project with custom album art - A Natural Rhythm tote bag filled with swag by local artists from the trip - Be included as a featured supporter of NR (amount over $100 is tax-deductible)

    0 out of 10 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $5,000USD
    Muddy Waters

    Enjoy a private concert by a local New York City band at Structure 13 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for you and up to ten friends. Complete with wine* and hors o'deurves. *Red, white, or bubbly. You will also recieve: - The photo book - A digital download of all the music recorded for the project with custom album art - A tote bag of swag - Be included as a featured supporter of NR (amount over $300 is tax-deductible)

    0 out of 2 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2014
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