Maine Acadian musician Robert Sylvain will perform on Zoom from 4-5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25. Submitted photo

Musician Robert Sylvain will play and sing selections from his Mémère’s notebook of Acadian folk songs from 4-5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25, for the first presentation of the Spring 2021 Zoom series presented by The Franco-American Collection at the University of Southern Maine, Lewiston-Auburn College.

Sylvain will perform the songs in the original French as well as his English translations, along with a discussion of the process of unearthing the autochthonous melodies, their origin and evolution through the generations, and his method of researching these traditional laments and broadsides.

Robert’s grandmother, Elisa Sylvain née Thibodeau, grew up in the St. John River Valley, in the heart of Maine’s Acadian region. As the keeper of songs in his generation, Robert inherited his Mémère’s cherished notebook of old Acadian ballads, which he has painstakingly researched for historical sources, found the original melodies, translated and arranged the songs to present to new audiences as proof that Acadian culture still lives in Maine. Thanks in part to a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, a songbook and CD set of the music is now available for purchase.

Robert Sylvain, Jr. is an Acadian-Mainer committed to bringing the extensive musical heritage of his ancestors forward to a new generation of listeners, exploring the depths of traditional culture and the edges of modern culture to present heritage music that is both relevant and timeless. With over 30 years of professional experience in performance and recording arts, Robert has earned accolades for innovation and inspiration among trad-music aficionados and critics worldwide. Learn more on his website: http://robertsylvain.com/

There is no fee for the programs. All programs are archived at https://video.maine.edu/channel/Franco-American%2BCollection%2BHistory%2Band%2BMemory%2BVirtual%2BSeries/186544603 and can be viewed at your leisure. A full listing of The Franco-American Collection’s 2020-2021 programs is also available there.

The second in our series will be a book launch with Doug Rooks, author of the new book “First Franco: Albert Beliveau in Law, Politics and Love.” Rooks’ Zoom talk will be held at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17.

 

For more information or to register, contact Denis Ledoux, the FAC board’s Program Chair at [email protected] or the FAC’s archivist, Anna Faherty at [email protected] or by phone (207) 753-6545. You can also register at this link: https://maine.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwtfuqurD8jHtZ7Nt5U09sCetMKS5ocvE4a

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