adventures in enamelling, stories, music and travel
It was over 20 years ago that I first discovered Angelo Dornan. It was one of those old floppy record albums that were sometimes included in the front sleeve of Collections that had more esoteric than popular interest.
Angelo Dornan was born of Irish parents in Elgin, New Brunswick. Both of his parents were noted (amateur) singers and often hosted singing parties in their home – so he grew up surrounded by song. When he was 13 or 14 he moved to Alberta to work on a farm. He stayed there most of his life, married and settled down. But when he retired, he had a hankering for his original home, and moved back to New Brunswick. Being back in the atmosphere of his youth, and again surrounded by music, he remembered 125 songs that his parents used to sing, though he hadn’t sung a note his whole life. (at least not consciously – his wife revealed that he used to sing in his sleep!)
I was fascinated by his story, but it was 15 years later before I went to the archives in Ottawa, and listened to all the fantastic recordings of this great singer. At the time I was not only allowed to make copies of the recordings, but I was given all the equipment to do it!
I went back a few years later and was told that recording was no longer allowed since people had been using them for unauthorized purposes. I puzzled over this for a minute – trying to imagine what an “unauthorized use” of field recordings of traditional singers might be. When I asked – I was told “They are using them in schools”
This was such a epic example of bureaucratic madness that I was momentarily silenced.
Later – I thought of a great “unauthorized” use of my recordings: I would put them up on the Internet so that they would be available to for all!
So, I have put together a collection of traditional songs from the collections of Helen Creighton. You can listen to them all by clicking this link. I hope that you will be able to think of other unauthorized purposes that you can put them to: like singing them!