The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157386   Message #3715704
Posted By: Jim Carroll
10-Jun-15 - 04:00 AM
Thread Name: Still wondering what's folk these days?
Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
It's always struck me that those folkies who find folk song proper 'old and boring' and feel the need for 'something new, are not unlike, say, those who follow Classical Music saying, "we've got fed up with that old Beethoven and Mozart crap and have decided to introduce a bit of Heavy Metal onto the scene (still remember the embarrassing 'Classics Go Pop' campaign that fizzled out - not soon enough)
Here in Ireland over the last 20 years, there's seen an amazing upturn in the fortunes of traditional/folk music proper, with many thousands of young people taking up traditional instruments and going to the older musicians, either in the flesh or through recordings, to learn the older styles of playin - no need for constant searching for 'something new' - they've realised that, played well and with respect, the traditional tunes and styles work as well as they have for centuries.
Doesn't mean that some don't experiment with new forms, but the fact that the improvement has built a firm foundation in the tradition to come back to means that folk music has been guaranteed a future for at least another two generations and does not need to seek constant change to keep it alive      
Nice feeling.
An unexpected offshoot of this upturn has been that is has fed into the Irish economy and now brings many thousands of visitors to Ireland in search of 'the real stuff' - it's helped weather the economic crash caused by the bankers bleeding the nation dry.
In a few weeks time this one-street town in The West will be hosting the 42nd annual, week-long Willie Clancy Summer School, dedicated to the teaching and promoting of traditional music and song, and throughout the year we boast at least half-a-dozen traditional music sessions ranging from enjoyable to world-class.
It seems there is life in the old music yet, if you put your mind to it.
The same has yet to happen with traditional song, but there are signs that things are stirring in that direction and some of the best singing can be heard in Dublin in a club set up and run by young people who have adopted the policy of encouraging people of their own age to perform.
Similarly, earlier this year we heard some stunning singing from young people at a two-day conference at Limerick University's 'World Music Centre' - came home walking on air.
We are hoping that the new websites of song that have been facilitated by The Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin and our own Clare County Library site will be the start of making available the large collections of recorded song that are, at present inaccessible.




Jim Carroll
"this very night i sang a roscoe holcomb song accompanied by banjo"
Sorry to have missed that !!!!