Jersey

Jersey Jerriais music joins British Library archive

The band on stage Image copyright Kit Ashton
Image caption The band behind the music was founded by Kit Ashton in collaboration with the Office of Jerriais

A pop-folk band will have two of its albums included in the UK's archive at the British Library.

The first two studio albums of the Jerriais-singing Badlabecques will be permanently catalogued by the library in London.

The 10-piece band performs its music in Jersey's traditional language, Jerriais, to promote the island's cultural identity.

Lead singer Kit Ashton described the inclusion as a "real honour".

Only 3% of the Jersey population speak Jerriais, according to the 2001 census.

"It's great that the value of our local heritage is being recognised beyond Jersey, and it's a real honour and privilege that our music would be seen as a worthwhile contribution," Mr Ashton said.

The musician presented the CDs to Dr Janet Topp Fargion, the lead curator of world and traditional music at the British Library.

Image copyright Kit Ashton
Image caption Mr Ashton was able to present the albums while studying in London

"What's great about receiving these recordings is that hopefully the British Library can play a role in achieving exactly what Kit talks about - the sustainability of the repertoires, keeping them alive for today and for the future," Dr Topp Fargion said.

"When the CDs are no longer available for people to buy, listen to and learn from, they'll still be at the British Library."

Mr Ashton added that while the inclusion was a "brilliant thing", it was important to make sure Jerriais does not become "museumified".

"The value and beauty of Jerriais has been oppressed and hidden for too long and it's up to us all now to change that story and make sure that it's around for generations to come," he said.

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