Cross Cut: Traditional Ontario Folk Songs Revisited Exhibit Comes to Lang Pioneer Village

The Lang Pioneer Village hosted an opening reception Friday night for the museum exhibit Cross Cut: Traditional Ontario Folk Songs Revisited in the Peterborough County Agricultural Heritage Building.

The opening reception launched a songbook and double CD titled “Cross Cut”.

The exhibit opens to the public on May 24 and will run until June 4 at the pioneer village north of Keene.

As part of the exhibit, Lang Pioneer Village Museum will host on-site Artist Days with visual artist Rob Niezen from noon to 3:30 p.m. on May 28 and June 4. Neizen will be at the Lang Pioneer Village Museum to discuss the Cross Cut exhibit and demonstrate lino cutting.

At Friday’s opening reception, Niezen and Allan Kirby presented the exhibit at the reception, with a performance by the traditional music group Backwoodsmen.

A release from Lang Pioneer Village explains that CBC’s Edith Fowke collected folksongs in rural Ontario during the 1950s, including many in Peterborough County. Traditional music came to Ontario with European settlers. The lyrics and tunes have been adapted to the local experiences and personal preferences of the players, and these offer a reflection of society at different points in history.

The underlying themes are timeless in nature, as they deal with human existence: love, deception, politics, war, immigration, work, leisure, murder and death. Kirby, musician and music historian, Niezen and the traditional music group Backwoodsmen have selected and revisited nearly two dozen folksongs from rural Ontario.

They created contemporary arrangements and adapted the lyrics, resulting in a double CD and an illustrated songbook.

The songbook presents the songs with lyrics and chord progressions, an introduction through the linocuts of Kirby and Niezen reflecting on the narrative of the songs with a contemporary perspective by applying the concept of “overlapping”.

More information for visitors is posted at

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