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When Music Like Food Was Local

September 14, 2016, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Geneva History Museum
543 South Main Street
Geneva, NY 14456

Our 2016 Fall Lecture Series will focus on the history of music in Geneva's past, in conjunction with our city-wide exhibit Music in the Key of Geneva. The lecture program  kicks off Wednesday, September 14 at a new time, 7:00 p.m., with Dave Ruch’s “When Music, Like Food Was Local” at the Geneva History Museum.

Dave Ruch’s musical presentation creates a compelling window into the self-made entertainment of our ancestors by drawing a direct parallel with the contemporary local-foods movement. In the days before electronic media (and sometimes well after), New Yorkers made their own music just as they provided for their own food. As often as not, this music was "locally sourced," coming from just around the corner rather than around the world.  Songs were learned from neighbors, coworkers, elders in the community, grandparents, and other relatives. They were passed down through the generations.  Once the phonograph and the radio came into the home, the need to do this diminished greatly, and over time, a long-held tradition with a grand sense of place all but disappears. Why don't we know anything about this heritage here in New York? Was the repertoire truly "local" and unique, and if so, what did it sound like? Join performer and teaching artist Dave Ruch for a richly researched and highly interactive concert program exploring New York's "heirloom music." A highly participatory presentation, the program also includes images and field recordings from Ruch's research.

Dave Ruch is a Public Scholar for the New York Council for the Humanities and a full-time musician, researcher, and performer who travels regionally and internationally from his home base in Buffalo, New York. He gives hundreds of concerts and workshops each year for schools, music festivals, historical societies, museums, community events and more, and writes for the Huffington Post and his own blog.

This program is supported in part by the Samuel B. Williams Fund for Programs in the Humanities. For more information about the lecture, call the Geneva Historical Society office at 315-789-5151.

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