This Week's Free Lab Radio -Mississippi Prison Songs Reimagined

Mississippi State Penitentiary

The Prison Songs Project invited 30 artists such as Laurence Colbert, a member of the band Ride, and Karhide a post-rock circles musician to rework the original folksongs recorded and written in the Mississippi State Penitentiary in the 1940s. The results are both subtle and dramatic.

The project examines the lives of the prisoners of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in the late 1940s, by reimagining the work songs recorded and sung there in the 40s and 50s.

The Mississippi State Penitentiary founded in 1901, is the oldest prison in the USA and was and is known by its inmates as “Parchman Farm”. As well as a prison, thanks to Alan Lomax’s pioneering work, the prison is also an important location in the history of field recording as a practice and folk music as a culture.
Mississippi State Penitentiary

From ‘Eighteen Hammers’ to ‘No More My Lawd’, the songs are a moving portrait of prison life, and defiant statements of hope and unity in the face of appalling conditions. The project is one part of a global field recording and sound art project called Cities and Memory, which aims to present and remix the sounds of the world through a global sound map. Each location on the map has two sounds: a documentary field recording and a reworking of that sound. 

Since its launch in 2014 the Cities and Memory project has had nearly 300,000 listens, records both the current reality of a place, alongside its imagined, alternative counterpart, a processing or an interpretation that imagines that place and time as somewhere else, somewhere new - "a remixing the world, one sound at at time".  More than 240 field recordists and sound artists from as far afield as Calcutta, Los Angeles and Cape Town have taken part, providing field recordings and radical reimaginings of global sounds.
Mississippi State Penitentiary
Weigh Five Hundred - Anthony Lyons   
Barney Spigel - Prettiest Train (Spigelsound version)   
18,000 Hammers - Cities and Memory   
Fernando Ramalho - You Better Stay Off Ol' Parchman Farm   
If The Rest Was Dead (Whoa Buck) - Jeff Dungfelder
Whoa Fuck - Laurence Colbert       
No More My Lawd (I Am With You) - Walker Wooding   
No More My Lawd (Alex Hehir version)- Alex Hehir   
Old Alabama (Karhide version) - Karhide   
Old Alabama (Ian Haygreen version) - Ian Haygreen   
Penitentiary Blues - Andy Lyon       
RMM - Solo1
The Wrong Side of the Tracks (My Baby Got to Go)- Nick St. George   
Trapped in the Void (No Way Home)- Mark Taylor  

Broadcasts Times: 
On air on 104.4FM across London, online and on digital.

Saturdays 11-midnight UK time, (2-3am GST Gulf Standard Time)
Repeats Tuesday 4am UK time (7am GST)

On digital across Brighton and online:
The following Friday 19:30-20:30 UK time (10:30-11.30pm GST) on Resonance Extra


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