Sam Amidon: The Anthology of American Folk Music

Concert or Performance

5 May 2020

In 1952, Harry Smith – filmmaker, musician, collector and bohemian mystic – released a six-album anthology of American folk music. It changed the course of music history, setting the scene for the folk revivals of the 60s and 70s. When the collection came out on CD in 1997, the 16-year-old Sam Amidon received a musical uppercut that would change his life.

Amidon’s new show reworks songs from the famous Anthology as if it were a modern masterpiece. He returns to Australia for the first time since his acclaimed collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 2017, in an Australian-exclusive appearance at the Canberra International Music Festival.

The Anthology inspired Amidon’s new EP, Fatal Flower Garden (release date 16 November 2019), which follows six solo albums on the Bedroom Community and Nonesuch labels with collaborators such as composer Nico Muhly, guitarist Bill Frisell, producer Thomas Bartlett, and improvisers Shahzad Ismaily and Milford Graves. Amidon recomposes traditional American ballads, hymns and work songs, with the New York Times writing that Amidon “transforms all of the songs, changing their colours and loading them with trapdoors.”

This is a co-production between Canberra Theatre Centre & Canberra International Music Festival


Bar Carpark Disabled access available Public Toilet

Event Times

5 May 2020

Once Only Event


Canberra Theatre Centre

London Circuit, Canberra, 2601

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