Exhibit Background: This exhibit is based on the research and documentation of local music traditions by folklorists James P. Leary and Joseph O’Connell. Jim Leary, Professor Emeritus from UW-Madison, began working with CVM and interviewing regional musicians back in the 1980s. Much of the older historic material is based on Leary’s work. More recently, Joseph O’Connell interviewed Mexican and Somali immigrants as well as musicians who continue to play European-based music.
Exhibited May 1st through September 6th
Discover the great diversity of musical traditions in the Chippewa Valley in this new, original exhibit. Listen Up! encourages you to listen, watch, and learn how music communicates values, memories, and community. Music ranges from old-time lumberjack tunes to Tierra Caliente music performed by 21st century Mexican immigrants. Cultural groups represented include Scandinavian, German, Polish, Ojibwe, Mexican, Somali, and Hmong.
Take a Listen...
Mishomis Giisis (Grandfather Sun)
Spirit Sky, 2005
Txoj Phuam Txoom Suab
"27 Practicing musicians featured,
Audio clips and samples,
... Guide you through how traditions are
carried forward over time."
Highlighted Artifacts Include:
• Randie Easterson Severon’s violin. Severson was the rare female fiddler performing at dances and house parties in the early 20th century. Musicians share their music, and the waltz she shared with Leonard Finseth, a Mondovi farmer also in the exhibit, can be heard in the exhibit. Of special note – the Randie Easterson Waltz is regularly performed by the Minnesota Fiddlers Association which will be doing a modern recording of the waltz
• A reproduction of song lyrics written in 1998 for Pagnia Xiong. Xiong is nationally known within the Hmong community for her Hmong-American pop music. She began singing while growing up in Eau Claire. To date she has produced 3 albums.
• Wooden flute made and used by Frank Montano, on loan. Montano is an Ojibwe flute maker and musician of the Red Cliff Ojibwa who live in northern Wisconsin.
• Stage clothes, music, and photos of La Realeza Del Sur, a Tierra Caliente band popular from the Oaxacan region of Mexico and popular in western Wisconsin within the Mexican community.
• Guitar making materials and two guitars made by Gordy Bischoff, a nationally renown luthier. One of these guitars is on loan from the Pablo Center at the Confluence and was made for Justin Vernon out of whiskey barrel wood.