Finding the Singing Spruce: Musical Instrument Makers and Appalachia's Mountain Forests | Jasper Waugh-Quasebarth
248 pages | West Virginia University Press | 11.1.23
Environment, craft, and meaning in the work of Appalachian instrument makers.
How can the craft of musical instrument making help reconnect people to place and reenchant work in Appalachia? How does the sonic search for musical tone change relationships with trees and forests? Following three craftspeople in the mountain forests of Appalachia through their processes of making instruments, Finding the Singing Spruce considers the meanings of work, place, and creative expression in drawing music from wood.
Jasper Waugh-Quasebarth explores the complexities and contradictions of instrument-making labor, which is deeply rooted in mountain forests and expressive traditions but also engaged with global processes of production and consumption. Using historical narratives and sensory ethnography, among other approaches, he finds that the craft of lutherie speaks to the past, present, and future of the region's work and nature.
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