In the Spring 2017, the students of Colby’s MU493 (Sounds of Maine: Research Methods and Practice in Ethnomusicology) set out to learn about Maine’s Franco American music culture by interviewing members of Les Troubadours, an all-women’s Franco American choir based in Lewiston, Maine. As part of their research, the students made audio recordings and transcribed a number of songs performed by this group. We sought out repertoire that had not yet been notated, was less familiar, or that was a part of prosaic, everyday life, such as lullabies and children’s songs. We were fortunate to encounter warm, vibrant women who were generous in sharing with us the songs and stories of their youth and childhood. Their stories reflect the complex and multivalent migrations and experiences of people of French descent in Maine.
We hope that this website presents a vivid snapshot of some of the Franco songs as they are performed by members of Les Troubadours as well as a brief introduction to three members of this vibrant group, Aliette Couturier, Irene Mercier, and Jeannine Doucette. We have made every attempt for the music included on this website to be reflective of the practitioners’ understanding of their tradition.