Today marks one of the most important events in the history of EFDSS with the launch of the World’s biggest free digital archive of English Traditional Folk Music and Dance Music. The project was a huge undertaking made possible by a £585,400 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The archive brings together 12 major collections featuring 58,400 items including manuscripts, notes and letters allowing users to search through the English folk songs, tunes, dances and customs.
“The Full English is possibly the most exciting and significant thing to happen to British folk music in at least a generation. It is a hugely important moment and a massive gift to the nation.”
Lee Hall, playwright and screenwriter (Billy Elliot, Pitman Painters, War Horse)
The archive is unveiled today at a special event at EFDSS’ London headquarters, Cecil Sharp House. There is to be a keynote speech from EFDSS President Shirley Collins MBE as well as a premiere of new music and arrangements commissioned by EFDSS which was inspired by material found by Fay Hield within The Full English archive…a good example as any of how useful the archive is. Performing will be Seth Lakeman, Martin Simpson, Fay Hield, Nancy Kerr, Sam Sweeney, Rob Harbron and Ben Nicholls.
Fay Hield said:
“Exploring the archives so far has led to some amazing discoveries and there is a wealth of material that, from 20 June, will be available to anyone who is interested. I am delighted that so many talented and experienced musicians will be part of The Full English Tour, enabling us to share our discoveries.”
There will be opportunities to see the performance again as The Full English goes on tour, dates are below.
There is a lot more going on around The Full English launch including a series of study days allowing participants to learn about the roots, development and social impact of English folk song and singers. Gain practical knowledge of source materials available, such as The Full English digital archive,and the skills with which to use them effectively. Each region of England will be celebrated in a series of day-long courses exploring a wealth of traditional folk songs, from ballads to shanties. More details here.
Go and Discover:
The Full English Tour Dates
24 October Sage, Gateshead
0191 443 4661