Loran Olsen, Professor Emeritus of Music & Native American Studies, Washington State University.
Music serves a culture in various ways — as a container for cosmology, mythology, folklore, customs, celebrations, ceremonies, rituals, histories, prophecies, to accompany daily life’s activities and special events, and practical knowledge. Loran Olsen, musician and Professor Emeritus of Music and Native American Studies at Washington State University, shares a sampling from the Nez Perce Music Archive which he founded in the 1972.
Loran draws from the collection of over 600 recordings, the oldest on wax cylinders from 1897. He will recite and translate the words and meaning, and put the collection into context for us. He will demonstrate how one song was sung, and changed, over the decades, how Protestant hymms were incorporated, how these songs were recorded from 1897 on, and how, he says, the collection “indicates in a subtle way the external influences impinging upon Nez Perce culture over the stressful years of acculturation and shows how artistic elements survive by changing their function in a changing environment.”