Music for Work and Play:
Carriacou, Grenada, 1962
In August 1962, Alan Lomax arrived in Carriacou, a small island of the Eastern Caribbean nation Grenada, with a state-of-the-art stereo tape machine. Over five days he captured the songs and tunes performed by Carriacouans to pass the time at work: group and solo sea chanties sung by seamen to coordinate physical labor, alleviate boredom, and express the homesickness that was often felt by sailors. He also documented the music that Carriacouans performed to entertain themselves and each other, including “pass play” songs - a social music and dance performed by unmarried young men and women - waltzes, polkas, calypsos, and other string-band tunes, and he captured the stunning polyrhythmic music played for quadrille dancing by solo violinists and accompanied by often virtuoso percussionists. Featuring 33 re-mastered tracks from Lomax’s original recordings, Music for Work and Play: Carriacou, Grenada, 1962, is a snapshot of Lomax’s warm welcome to Carriacou as well as a portrait of its diverse and vital musical culture.