Will Baxley Records Africa!

My name is Will Baxley.  I am a rising senior at Jacksonville University as a double major in Music Composition & Theory and Commercial Music.  For the summer before my senior year (and grad school applications!) I wanted to do an internship that would be both adventurous and applicable to my career.  I began looking into the field of ethnomusicology.

Ethnomusicology is a field that seeks to document different music cultures, typically through audio or video recordings.  This could range from making audio recordings out in the most rural parts of the world, or just documenting a music scene in a major city.  I began looking for internships in this field, but my searches came back with no programs that were designed for undergraduate students.

So then I decided to look at creating my own program.

In August of 2013, I found an organization called the International Library of African Music that seemed to be an authority in ethnomusicology and its fieldwork.  Innocently, I decided to send a personal email to the director of the organization inquiring about any upcoming projects or fieldwork of which I may be a part.  She emailed me back within THREE DAYS, and for the past year we have been working together to design an internship where I will be traveling as her personal assistant.  

The plan is this:  I will fly to East London, South Africa to meet Prof Thram for the ICTM Ethnomusicology Symposium.  Next we will attend the South Africa National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, SA.  Then we will fly to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  There we will attend the Wagogo Festival as well as a symposium on the island of Zanzibar.  Finally, the last major leg of the trip will be actual fieldwork in and around Nairobi, Kenya.  We will be working with a guide there to repatriate existing traditional music recordings.

The fieldwork in Kenya is meant to be a pilot project, where the recordings and logs will be used to pitch a similar project on a larger scale across the whole continent to major philanthropic organizations.  There is lots of repatriation work to be done all over Africa, and this initial trip is designed to solidify the method and results to be expected.  And I have been invited to be a part of this cutting edge work!

Because this is a pilot project, funding is minimal and I have to basically cover all of my own travel and lodging costs.  This is where you come in!  Please consider supporting me in this once in a lifetime opportunity.  I have $6000 of expenses for flights, visas, vaccinations, supplies, food, and lodging.  I hope you will consider donating to one of the reward levels, even as little as $15 for a selfie from Africa!

My flight to South Africa is June 26th, so time is short!  Please consider supporting today!


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Will Baxley 
Jacksonville, FL

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