Patrick Egan | Digital Humanist and Ethnomusicologist in Cork, Ireland

Connections in Sound

The latest news on Patrick’s research:

Patrick Egan is a scholar and musician from Ireland, who has just served as a Fellow in Digital Studies at the Kluge Center in the Library of Congress and is now on a Fulbright Tech Impact scholarship. He has recently submitted his PhD in digital humanities with ethnomusicology in at University College Cork. Patrick’s interests over the past number of years have focused on ways to creatively use descriptive data in order to re-imagine how research is conducted with archival collections.

Survey of irish Traditional Music in North America

Survey of irish Traditional Music in North America

Throughout 2019, Patrick has had a number of digital projects underway under the working title, Connections in Sound. Patrick is sharing data about recordings of Irish traditional music collected and held by the American Folklife Center (AFC). Patrick’s research aims to understand more fully the role that archives and collections might play in the lives of performers, as a result of the digital turn. He’s created a number of prototypes for exploring the collections and some examples can be seen below. Patrick agreed to share his research and these ongoing digital projects with the public as he creates them and he’s interested in receiving feedback from researchers and the Irish traditional music community.


Pathways to the collections that contain Irish traditional music at the American Folklife Center:

Irish born emigrants in the US (1850-1980) and locations of collections that were discovered during the “Connections in Sound” project:

Patrick is conducting a survey of Irish traditional music in North America, with specific reference to the use of sound files on the internet and with the websites of archives. A visualisation of results so far is shown below, with over 439 responses and counting. This survey is online and open until the end of October. If you are involved with Irish traditional music in North America, responses are greatly encouraged at this link:

These projects are work-in-progress. You can follow Patrick as he documents his fellowships on Twitter. Comment and share your ideas with him there or in the comments below. A final note from Patrick: “This research is digital and cultural in nature, and community feedback is greatly encouraged and much appreciated.”

Patrick is sharing his work in a number of ways. He is documenting his research and thoughts via Open Science Framework. You can dig into his wiki activity and explore the collections data for yourself. You can find code for these visualizations at Patrick’s GitHub account here.

Event: Revealing and uniting hidden recordings of Irish traditional music 

During his time here as a Kluge Fellow in Digital Studies and Fulbright Tech Impact scholar, Patrick Egan’s project, Connections in Sound has been focused on experimental ways to re-combine archived audio material in the digital age. On Thursday 29th August 2019 at 12pm in Library of Congress room LJ119, Patrick will be in conversation with staff from the American Folklife Center and digital experts about the audio collections that contain Irish traditional music. He will also present some digital visualizations and digital infrastructures that he is using for linking music recordings, and finish with a performance of Irish traditional music with local DC musicians. More about this event here:

Check out this inspiring TED talk by Jaron Lanier on “how we need to remake the internet”.

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