About a year ago I moved from my comfy graduate town in Southern Indiana to Buffalo, NY, with a mound of books to read for my PhD quals, and only the faintest hint of a dissertation idea. I’d read online that Canadians had placed well at the Clifftop Festival the previous summer, and I’d had a few email exchanges with some old-time players and enthusiasts in Toronto, but not much else.
Once I got through my quals, I was asked to defend my dissertation topic, regarding the old-time Appalachian music community in cosmopolitan Toronto. My committee all agreed it was a great project, and wondered if I’d really find anything there, since the proposal was mostly on speculation. I wondered myself.
The past six months of research have yielded better results than I could have ever asked for. I’ve written some on this blog about it, and much more in my private field notebooks. What I’ve found is a rich, talented, thoughtful community centered in Toronto, but which extends across Canada and the US.
At almost ever event I attend I have my camera with me, snapping away – a fact my Toronto friends are quite used to by now. And I wanted to share some of these photos here.
I used to term friends honestly. The amazing people I’ve met in these past six months have indeed become friends and I have no doubt many relationships will continue long past this project.
Here is a quick recap of some highlights of the past six months, with apologies to several fantastic people who aren’t represented here.