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West Virginia Musician Finds Inspiration from Ruth Ann Musick’s Collection of Folktales Impact
Fairmont State News

West Virginia Musician Finds Inspiration from Ruth Ann Musick’s Collection of Folktales

Nov 24, 2020

While the global pandemic has caused many setbacks for artists around the world, Annick Odom, a West Virginia musician living in the Netherlands, channeled her creative energy into an unlikely project. While quarantined, Odom worked with fellow musician and housemate, Federico Forla, an Italian oboist residing in the Netherlands, on a new piece inspired by one of the few books on her bookshelf at the time — A Collection of West Virginia Ghost Stories.  

“Seven Bones,” a folktale as told by Anna Krajnak in 1948, was collected in "Green Hills of Magic," by Fairmont State University Library namesake, Ruth Ann Musick, and is the inspiration for Annick Odom’s newest work.  

“One of my favorite parts of the story ‘Seven Bones,’ is the storyteller Anna Krajnak’s use of the word putce which, when I looked it up, seemed to have no meaning,” Odom said.  “I’ve always loved the way stories morph as they are passed down generation to generation, and though I thought of taking the word out of the story, I decided this was the perfect way to highlight what I find to be the most exciting part of oral traditions.”  

While she may be separated from her home state by an ocean and the pandemic, there was a strong desire for Odom to preserve the culture and histories she values in a visible and audible music scene.  Her newest music video explores the style of crankie artwork and blends stop motion for a delightful and beautiful visual interpretation of the story.  

“I’m so thankful to people like Ruth Ann Musick who spent time speaking to community members and writing down their stories,” Odom said. “It's been a highlight of my last couple of months to be able to delve into her collections.” 

The music video for “Seven Bones” is now available for viewing here.

Ruth Ann MusickWest Virginia FolktalesFairmont State Folk Life