Researching HT Burleigh has proven an engaging and inspiring process. My task, as I’ve chosen to accept it, is to find performances of Burleigh outside of New York City. I chose to make this a cluster map to show how many times he performed in a city or in a single venue (he performed at the Metropolitan AME church in Washington DC many times over the years1). This way, the map will hopefully show both the spread of Burleigh performances as well as the frequency. To quote my own mother, “Anyone can perform somewhere once, it’s getting invited back that’s the trick.”
Hopefully this map shows the national fame of HT Burleigh. This map serves as a proof of concept to show what a map of this topic would look like in terms of style, and is in no way exhaustive or even reflective of any trends in Burleigh’s performing career.
I’ve also learned a lot about Burleigh as a musician through researching. The program information is remarkably well kept, with very favorable reviews of his performances. I find it particularly interesting that Burleigh sang so much German repertoire, though as a fellow Bass-Baritone, I respect that. It takes a lot of bass to pull off Schubert’s Der Wanderer and Schumann’s Ich Grolle Nicht in the same recital, so go you Burleigh. There’s also an instance where he gave two recitals in the same afternoon in Albany, with each one well documented as having existed separate from the other (I was suspicious that they may have been the same performance).
There have been quite a few issues determining specific locations for venues that no longer exist, or might never have existed. This kind of ambiguity of specific location makes a map difficult to make, especially when that map can be zoomed. I think it’s very helpful to have those specific locations when we have them, but I’m not sure what to do with those outliers yet. Going forward, I would like to add a feature using a color gradient to show the passage of time (lighter color for earlier dates, darker color for later dates). I’m looking forward to where this map will take me, and maybe I’ll learn some new pieces to add to my own recital set.