The New England Literature Program is sponsoring a Shape Note Singing School with Tim Eriksen at Camp Kabeyun on Monday, May 29, 2023.
The session will take place from 1 PM to 6 PM. Singers are welcome to join the Literature Program for dinner after the session.
Camp Kabeyun is located at 43 Camp Kabeyun Rd., Alton Bay, NH 03810; and there is ample parking for visitors.
Note that the Monadnock Folklore Society will present Tim Eriksen in concert on Sunday, May 28, 2023.
Shape Note Singing Workshop with Tim Eriksen
It’s been called “proto-Americana” and “America’s earliest music” but whatever you call it, shape note singing is one of America’s earliest and most vibrant roots music forms, and a critical, if underappreciated, influence on artists like Jean Ritchie, Doc Watson, Johnny Cash, and the Louvin Brothers. It is best known from the venerable Sacred Harp tunebook, where “Amazing Grace” and “Wayfaring Stranger” meet the blistering “fuguing tunes” of early New England, familiar folk melodies like “Old Lang Syne” and the African-tinged “camp meeting” choruses of the nineteenth century, all harmonized for social singing and written in a unique notation system developed in the northeast USA in 1800.
Tim Eriksen is a three-time GRAMMY nominee, songwriter, and Hardcore Americana/world music artist who has helped bring the sounds of shape note music and traditional American folksong to the fore with his pioneering punk folk band Cordelia’s Dad, his courses at Dartmouth College and the University of Minnesota, and his shape note “singing schools” from the Newport Folk Festival to Singapore’s Tapestry of Sacred Music and Dance, where his students have ranged from inner city kindergarteners to the cast of the movie Cold Mountain. His Ph.D. research and published writing detail previously unreported connections between this repertoire, the 19th-century Abolitionist movement, and the birth of science fiction.
No one has done more to help revive Sacred Harp singing among a younger generation.
-Josh Jackson, Paste Magazine
One of the best voices in music
– T Bone Burnett
Apart from being the coolest-looking man in folk song, Eriksen is an uncompromising performer, ethnomusicologist, Sacred Harp singing master, musical adventurer and punk-folk pioneer, who seems to play every instrument under the sun and has shared a stage with both Kurt Cobain and Doc Watson.
-The Guardian, UK