This blog is a collaboration between Glenn Patterson and Vision Gaspé-Percé Now, a local organization serving the health and social needs of the anglophone minority of the Gaspé region.
My name is Glenn Patterson and I’m doing my PhD in ethnomusicology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. I’m currently in Gaspé doing fieldwork for my dissertation and I have been coming out here seasonally since 2010. During this time, I’ve helped collect and digitize home recordings of local musicians given to us by community members, and made new field recordings of musicians still active in the community. Vision has generously agreed to be a local steward of the hundreds of hours of audio materials in my collections in order to make sure this material is available to future generations of Gaspesians and anyone else who is interested.
Many of the recordings were collected under the auspices of a local ethnography project run by the Douglas Community Centre between 2010 and 2014. I was a volunteer consultant on that project and served as a co-producer with Laura Risk to digitize and process over 70 hours of collected audio and select 74 minutes of music and spoken word for a CD-Booklet, “Douglastown: Music and Song from the Gaspé Coast,” that won the 2014 Prix Mnémo in Quebec. Since then, I’ve been trying to expand the collection to feature more local country and rock musicians and expand outside of Douglastown into the other English-speaking communities in the area.
I have another blog about music from this part of the world, mostly on the fiddling of Erskine Morris, that I began with my friend Brian Morris in 2010. I will occasionally copy posts from here over to there and vice versa. This blog will be a bit more inclusive and feature a range of local sounds, including including country singers, fiddle players, guitar pickers, oral history interviews and more.
Here’s Gaspé if you’ve never heard of it before. It hangs out over New Brunswick.
Here’s the area where I do most of my work, at the eastern-most edge of the peninsula:
For those unfamiliar with the area, Gaspé means many things to many people: “lands end” to the indigenous Mi’kmaq people, a peninsula, a major town at the eastern edge of the peninsula, a 10, 552 square kilometre regional municipality, and home for people living all over North America who might speak English, French, or Mi’kmaq.
Here’s my home for the time being: