Traditional Arts in Upstate New York. Traditional Arts of Upstate New York
53 Main Street
Canton, NY 13617
(315) 386-4289

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TAUNY, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, will host a place-based songwriting workshop with acclaimed singer-songwriter Greg Cornell  and TAUNY Director of Research and Programs Camilla Ammirati on Saturday, October 14 from 2:00-4:00pm. “For a landshake, for a handshake…” “Little Red to Big Blue…” “Just stay awake around the power…” The stories of the Raquette River dams and surrounding community life include a lot of powerful water and a lot of powerful words. As part of TAUNY’s year-long focus on regional study projects, TAUNY invites members of the community to take part in the experience of bringing the rich raw material of a place-based research project to life through creative expression. At this program, Camilla Ammirati will give some background on the Raquette River Dams Oral History Project and why she felt that the stories that emerged are full of songs waiting to be sung. Singer-songwriter Greg Cornell will then lead a workshop and discussion on creating music based on a strong sense of place. Participants will have a chance to hear some musical examples and then try their own hand at writing a place-based song. Materials from the Raquette River Dams Oral History Project will be provided.


This workshop is open to all experience levels. Participants are invited to bring their instruments. Pre-registration for this workshop is requested at 315-386-4289 or online at tauny.org. The cost for this program is $12 or $10 for TAUNY Friends.


Born in Elmira, NY, Greg Cornell has lived most of his life in NY State. He grew up mostly in Westchester County, spending summers at his 230-year-old family farm in Chemung County. He developed a deep affection for the North Country as a student at St. Lawrence University and spent his 20's living in Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. He has traveled extensively throughout the US, and in Europe, South America and India. He has worked as a journalist, teacher, actor, carpenter, building contractor, and activist. Ten years ago, while living in Brooklyn, he came upon the vibrant acoustic music scene there, and started writing songs. He formed a band, The Cornell Brothers (brothers in music), and has toured extensively in the Northeast and the rest of the US, including several shows at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in Utah. His songs are mostly stories about people struggling over regrets from the past and finding hope for the future, set on oceans, mountains and fields. He has released two albums of original songs over the past four years, "The Deep Ocean Blues" in 2013 and "Come On Home" in 2016. He lives on a farm in the Hudson Valley.


Camilla Ammirati is TAUNY’s Director of Research and Programs. She is especially interested in musical traditions in the North Country and beyond, and she makes music regularly singing and playing clawhammer banjo with the local music groups Uprooted and the Northern Southern Old-time Society.


This program is a part of the program series for TAUNY’s latest exhibit, “‘Look Down, You’ll See Our Tracks’: Raquette River Dam Stories.” This exhibit tells the stories of people involved in or significantly affected by the construction of the hydroelectric dams and powerhouses along the Raquette River. The exhibit will be on view at The TAUNY Center until October 21, 2017. Additional information about this and other programs in the exhibit program series can be found at tauny.org.


The TAUNY Center is located at 53 Main Street, Downtown Canton, NY. TAUNY, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people understand and appreciate the folk traditions and local culture of everyday life—present and past—in the North Country. To do so, TAUNY seeks to research and preserve a record of diverse groups, customs and traditions; to recognize and empower traditional arts and artists; to identify and promote regional identity; and to provide opportunities for people of all ages to learn about folklore and culture. More information is available at tauny.org.


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Photos: [seated portrait] Greg Cornell album cover photo, Come On Home. Photo by Matt Bogosian.


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