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The good earth: The musical life of Corrales farmer Evelyn Salce Curtis Losack

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Posted: Friday, November 22, 2013 5:00 am | Updated: 11:53 pm, Thu Nov 28, 2013.

Evelyn Salce Curtis Losack has been a music teacher for many decades as well as a farmer. Her story, and the story of her community, Corrales, is wonderfully told (and pictured) in If There’s Squash Bugs in Heaven, I Ain’t Staying: Learning to Make the Perfect Pie, Sing When You Need To, and Find the Way Home With Farmer Evelyn (Museum of New Mexico Press). “She’s a farmer, but music is where her heart is grounded,” author Stacia Spragg-Braude said. “It’s woven into her farm, because her parents would sing when she was out in the orchard.”

Spragg-Braude worked for many years as a photographer for the Albuquerque Tribune. Her previous projects include a portfolio focused on Bulgaria’s Roma community and the book To Walk in Beauty: A Navajo Family’s Journey Home. A dedicated film photographer, she usually shoots with a Leica 35mm camera. For If There’s Squash Bugs, however, she chose to employ one of the cheap, medium-format Holga cameras that often yield unpredictable results. “I liked letting go of any kind of control,” she said. “A lot of stuff didn’t turn out, but it was more about the process, as opposed to the end results.”

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