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Your Folk Presentation

Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 18 Oct 10 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 18 Oct 10 - 03:16 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 18 Oct 10 - 03:39 PM
Tim Chesterton 18 Oct 10 - 04:46 PM
Fidjit 18 Oct 10 - 04:53 PM
Phil Cooper 18 Oct 10 - 05:26 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 19 Oct 10 - 04:59 AM
Fidjit 19 Oct 10 - 08:15 AM
Valmai Goodyear 19 Oct 10 - 08:26 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Oct 10 - 05:14 PM
VirginiaTam 19 Oct 10 - 05:25 PM
VirginiaTam 20 Oct 10 - 03:13 AM
Valmai Goodyear 20 Oct 10 - 03:32 AM
Fidjit 20 Oct 10 - 05:06 AM
Valmai Goodyear 20 Oct 10 - 05:39 AM
Suffet 20 Oct 10 - 09:54 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 24 Oct 10 - 03:36 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 24 Oct 10 - 08:15 AM
Willa 24 Oct 10 - 08:34 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 24 Oct 10 - 08:55 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 24 Oct 10 - 09:34 AM
Deckman 24 Oct 10 - 10:05 AM
Richard Bridge 24 Oct 10 - 11:02 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 24 Oct 10 - 12:21 PM
Surreysinger 24 Oct 10 - 05:36 PM
GUEST,Desi C 25 Oct 10 - 06:57 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 25 Oct 10 - 07:17 AM
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Subject: Your Folk Presentation
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 03:06 PM

If you've done a semi-educational talk/concert featuring traditional folk song, how did you go about it?
With whom and where and what on?
Library, school, Uni, WI etc?
What are the keys to making such a project work?
Anything from anecdotes to lists welcomed.


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 03:16 PM

What's the back story on this one, CS?


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 03:39 PM

Just a germ of an idea at the mo'.


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: Tim Chesterton
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 04:46 PM

I'd like to hear about this too. In the folk music community in my city there are only two or three people doing trad music. I am soon going to be giving a mini-workshop on traditional music to a group of young musicians and would love to know if others have done this and how they've gone about it.


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: Fidjit
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 04:53 PM

Do it almost every gig. Do mostly Libraries and Museums. Gave up Pub gigs in the '70's.

Where I am in Sweden it's a matter of course to explain that I am one of the folk roots that have spread over to Scandinavia from England.
(They mostly only know of the, Dubliner's or Fairport Convention here)

Explaining the essence of a Ballad like The Cruel Sister.

I start by explaining about arranged marriages. Even about babes in arms being taken to church in the past (and I mean the distant past)
Then what was once common that a betrothed was actually betrothed to the family and as in, The Cruel Sister. If one died he was obliged to marry into the family anyway. Then say that there is the legend of a large stone In Scotland that is known as, The Cruel Sister.

Work on those lines. Do your homework first.

Of course in England you would be talking down to the already initiated. So probably wouldn't work.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 05:26 PM

We've done some workshops at Folk Alliance in the US about presenting traditional music to audience more used to contemporary music. We talk about points in common and play some songs. I also had an idea for a library presentation I called ballads and sketches. I presented mostly ballads and talked about what line/verse drew me to want to learn/arrange the song. I also included a couple newer songs (thus the sketches part of the title). I had that dry run at my house, inviting folklore society and storytelling guild members from the area. I plied them with beer and asked, after the hour presentation, what worked for them and what didn't. So there's ways you can persue trying your idea out. I still have to start trying to sell the show to libraries, but I was happy with the dryrun and feedback.


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 04:59 AM

How long is best for non-folk audience? 45 minutes, 1 hr, half an hour? 1 hr with a break?
Do you give people handouts or other stuff to take away?
Err biscuits?


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: Fidjit
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 08:15 AM

45 minutes is enough for bums on seats.

I give them a copy of the song that I am singing so's they can follow along with text easier. Also a leaflet with websites to look at more English folk music and song. I've website you can look at my blogg. Ill PM you.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 08:26 AM

This is a show that two Magic Lantern enthusiasts present from time to time with the Spare Parts Concertina Band:

FROM THE FIELD TO THE FOUNDRY
A Journey with Magic Lantern & Concertinas
Friday 19th. November 8.00 p.m. Doors open 7.30 p.m. Licensed bar
Michelham Priory Great Barn, Arlington, E. Sussex BN27 3QS
Tickets £6 on the door or from 01323 844244 (Chris Tuckett)

Images, traditional songs and readings about life on the land in Sussex at the time the Lewes Phoenix Foundry opened in 1832 and the changes it brought to working people's lives. Images from Allan and Rene Marriott's Magic Lantern, the Victorian ancestor of the slide projector. Music from Spare Parts Concertina Band.
        In aid of the Sussex Archaeological Society.


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 05:14 PM

Various members of The Yorkshire Garland Group regularly give presentations about traditional Yorkshire songs and the Group's work at colleges, schools, museums, festivals, civic societies etc. all around the county. We sing the songs, talk about their background, and play recordings of source singers we've made, partly to publicise our website. We organised our own seminar last year at York and brought in other presenters running similar projects around the country. This was aimed mainly at music leaders, teachers and students. We tried to run a more practical seminar this year but the take-up was so small we had to cancel.
The length of the presentation usually depends on who the audience are. If it's a society or a school an hour or more is plenty, but a festival workshop can be longer. It also depends on how many of our singers are present.
Website at www.yorkshirefolksong.net


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 05:25 PM

The group asking for you to give talk will take care of the venue and the refreshments.

the speaker provides handouts if there are any

various ways to do this... from the techno powerpoint presentation or videos to dressing in period costume and story telling as a character to just a straight talk and demonstration

tailor it to the audience.

that yorkshire garland site is cool


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 03:13 AM

If you want to charge for talks maybe only cover the costs of reproduction of handouts and travel... or you could ask for donations to charity..

Heritage Education outreach in Essex County sends history tutors with reproductions of archive material held at Essex Record Office...

There is a charge per pupil participant but it no where near covers, what we pay the freelance tutors and reprographics.

Same for our archivists who go out and give talks to WI, U3A, Family history groups, Rotary clubs, etc. They use to charge £25 for a 2 hour talk. That has increased to £40 this year, in order to cover the archivist's time (not working on accessioning and cataloguing), travel and reprographics. Given that it takes from 1 to 2 hours to prepare a talk (including digitisation of archived material for Powerpoint presentations) we are still not covering costs. So the charges (in the current financial climate) will likely go up even more, causing them to price themselves out of work.

So this opens an opportunity for amateurs (like you and like I - sorry had to push a little folk idiom into this) to fill that slot.


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 03:32 AM

I wouldn't count on the organisation doing all the necessary publicity. They probably won't know how to circulate information in the folk music community; it's worth doing that yourself with a few cheap fliers and email advertising on relevant lists and sites.

A few years ago, the Lewes Saturday Folk Club put on an all-day workshop and evening performance by Alistair Anderson; both events sold out. About ten days later a Brighton Arts Centre put on a concert with Alistair and Newcastle folk degree students: they sold about a dozen tickets. This was purely because the arts centre didn't know how to reach the folk music community; the concert was sufficiently different from Alistair's solo performance not to have competed with it.

Our workshops are probably more specific than the sort of presentation you are contemplating, but you'll find examples of booking forms and content on our website if that would be helpful.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: Fidjit
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 05:06 AM

but you'll find examples of booking forms and content on our website if that would be helpful.

Didn't find that bit Valmai

Chas


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 05:39 AM

Chas, if you go to the Lewes Saturday Folk Club website you will see a list of the workshops for which we are currently booking. It's to the right of the beautiful chequered elephant and is headed Forthcoming Workshops.

If you click on any of them (Frankie Armstrong, Tim Laycock, Martin Carthy)you'll be taken straight to a page giving full details of that individual workshop with date, timetable, content, information about the tutor and links to their own websites.

If you can't get this to work, let me know.

Valmai


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: Suffet
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 09:54 AM

Greetings:

For the past eight years Anne Price and I have been doing an educational workshop we call Woody Rediscovered, and which we describe as "a musical exploration of Woody Guthrie's less known songs." During that time we found out what works best and what doesn't work at all.

It is important to understand that Woody Rediscovered is not simply a concert. In addition to singing, Anne and I show and discuss photographs, song books, periodicals, records, and other source material. We also distribute a handout which summarizes what we call the three periods of Woody's musical life. And above all, we actively engage the audience in our discussion by encouraging questions and comments, and by asking a few questions of our own. Very often there are members of the audience who actually knew Woody and have much to contribute. From time to time we have even called upon a particular member of the audience to perform a less known Woody Guthrie song that he or she knew.


So what works best?

• Sitting, not standing. We prefer our chairs to be at floor level rather than upon a stage.

• A house concert style presentation. This provides the most intimacy and informality.

• A meeting room style coffee house (church basement, community center, legion hall, etc), provided the chairs can be pulled close and moved into a circle.

• A classroom with moveable furniture, so we can push the tables or desks away and pull the chairs into a circle.

• An audience of between 15 and 50.

• Two sets, each about 40 to 45 minutes long with a 15 minute break in-between.


What doesn't work at all?

• A large auditorium with a high stage and fixed theater style seating.

Otherwise, Anne and I are able to work with the sponsor to adapt Woody Rediscovered to fit the needs of its particular audience.

Please click here for more information about Woody Rediscovered. And please feel free to e-mail me if you would like to discuss booking us.

Thanks.

--- Steve Suffet


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 03:36 AM

Thanks for people's suggestions thus far, both on and offlist.
Any further thoughts?


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 08:15 AM

My husband Hunt and I have started doing the rounds, giving programs on traditional New England songs and dance tunes. We find 50 minutes to be just about perfect. We've recently done a spate of retirement communities, a local "First Friday of the month" concert, and an Elder hostel program. The folks who come are not "folkies" or even necessarily regular concert goers. We've found that our delivery is key- we are cheerful and warm, inject humorous local stories (it helps that our village is famous for its "characters"), and we deliver the historical info as brief story-snippets rather than lengthy lectures. Our audiences don't seem to care about our bibliography and sources- they want to be entertained. In fact, we've discovered that apparently we are "charming"- two aging hippies living outside the main stream, having a good time and delivering the best quality of old music we can muster!

Hope that helps!


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: Willa
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 08:34 AM

Yorkshire Garland link - well worth a look!

http://www.yorkshirefolksong.net/song_database/all.aspx


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 08:55 AM

At the Morpeth Gathering of 2009, I attended one such event by an expert on Edwin Waugh (one of Lancashire's best poets, who also penned songs), and the presenter spoke about Waugh's upbringing, the places he frequented, etc. - interspersed with recited poems and unaccompanied singing.


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 09:34 AM

Yo WAV - I wonder what your Folk Presentation would be like? A Re-Imagining of the Imagined Village in Line with the Promotion of National Cultural Oikotypes.


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: Deckman
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 10:05 AM

Over here in the U.S., about one year ago I taught a series of five classes titled: "American History as Found in Folk Songs." I picked five themes for the classes: the Western developement, Heroes and Hardcases, the Love ballads, the murder ballads, and I drew from my archives for the last class where I played music and presented the histories of 28 different (legendary) folk musicians. It was a popular class. Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 11:02 AM

I would have thought that there are several different strands to be dealt with - the tales about the aristocracy with incest and vengeful brothers etc - the oppression and occasional joys of the common man (and woman) on land and at sea - the often relatively self-contained heritage of the travelling folk.

Then you come to the industrial revolution.

Unless your development is to be purely anecdotal you will have to deal with the issue of definition and how the industrial revolution leads to a different concept of "community".

You need scholastic sources to depict the marginal lifestyle of periods when prudent housekeeping was essential and an imprudent budget manager or small misfortune could readily tip a family into destitution and the dreaded workhouse.

You need pictorial sources - and paintings from that era like "the Haywain" tend to picture a rural idyll when the reality was often less idyllic and you could starve if "God's lantern" did not enable you to till your tiny field with a hand plough until midnight before rising at dawn.   Maybe reconstructions for TV of medieval life can help you here.

Dentistry and surgery of those ages - and the view of the church of those who had learned without formal training what herbs could achieve by way of medicine - all provide some gripping horror stories.

To demonstrate the music of the ages you can use recordings from recent times of the formal musics to contrast the vernacular music, but the vernacular music is hard convincingly to reconstruct. You will probably need a musician who can play the recorder and whistle, the drum, the lute and guitar and indeed viol and fiddle would be useful. The transformation of the music is surely very important to the picture.

Once you reach the industrial revolution at least broadsides can lend you texts, although often the tunes are lost.

You know your English source singers well so I need offer no great hints.

Luckily, the traveller heritage may provide some recordings - even as recently as the Brasil family and photographs from the 1950s are most evocative.


You will appreciate that this is very different from the US common use of the expression "folk music" or "folk musician".


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 12:21 PM

S: And I still wonder what your live story telling is like...I think the abovementioned Morpeth gig clashed with yours, and, having read quite a lot of Edwin Waugh, I gave it preference, I'm afraid...maybe when I do, you can include an explanation of "oikotypes"?!

(The closest thing I've done to what C.S. describes, by the way, is a Theory Slam, and I've another coming up at The Sage Gateshead - here.)


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: Surreysinger
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 05:36 PM

Crow Sister - as you know (I think) I have been presenting a show with Ralphie Jordan on Lucy Broadwood's life and work in the last couple of years. We have presented it to folk festivals, a couple of folk clubs, as a charity raising event for my local choral society (very successful), and also to the Surrey History Centre (the archive centre holding many of Ms Broadwood's personal records, and the focal point of much of my research to date)all with very rewarding reactions from the audiences present - whether folkies or non-folkies. The show consists of 50% speech, 50% song (two songs unaccompanied) and includes a couple of duet concertina duets. The whole lasted two hours, with a 20 minute interval in the middle (mostly to allow me to get my breath back and sit down for a little while ... and answer questions).

However,before the Listen and You Shall Hear show came into being, I was giving talks (and still do so, if anybody would like to hire me!!) with the same title. I have given these to local history societies, a local Retirement Association, the Local Guildford Institute membership, an old people's church group and to folk festivals. In the case of the talk it is generally around one hour to one hour ten minutes in length - incorporating just four unaccompanied songs (which tend to startle those who are not expecting them ... makes them wake up, and results in some lovely smiles on faces sometimes!!) The talks are normally tailored to some degree to the audience which I am giving them to (but using the same basic material), and incorporate a great deal more spoken material than the show. They have no interval - most organisations that you give talks to will provide the tea and buns for their membership after the talk - and if you're lucky they might serve up some jammy dodgers so that you can drink tea and eat biscuits while fielding the inevitable questions (eg have your ever made a CD , where can I find out more etc etc) after you've finished the talk! WIth the exception of two talks given at Sidmouth and Whitby Folk weeks, the talks have all been to non-folk orientated organisations, all of whom have received them with great interest and apparent enthusiasm (I'm happy to say)

The rate of fees that Virginia Tams records her organisation as charging for talks sound more than a little light to me, I have to say. I don't propose to go into my recent fees here, but they do tend to recognise the amount of pre-preparation that go into them amongst other things. (Several dry run throughs talking to the wall in the week before hand to time them,writing new material,excising duff material, retweaking etc etc, preparing photographs, additional material to take along, print out bits and pieces etc). I don't as yet use powerpoint as an additonal aid - on the whole it hasn't been necessary. You shouldn't forget the matter of travel costs to and from the venue either.Having said which the actual figure of fee can differ according to the organisation and their state of finance (something that gets probed in the minefield that comprises the "How much do you charge?" element of discussions

On the whole I have found that the type of audience for these talks makes little difference to the reception that they get,which may very well be down to the way in which the talk is put over.

What you will discover is that those who organise talks are always on the look out for the new talks on the circuit - variety, and novelty are quite often very welcome.

If you want any further discussion - PM me! :-)


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 06:57 AM

I mainly perform trad and contemporary Irish Ballads, when I started I suffered badly with Stage fright. The only thing that helped me was, initially I knew quite a bit about the song Raglan Road, it's history, the writer, who recorded it etc. So gradually I began to research at least some history of every song I sing (370 total so far) and I would work out a little story/description to relate before singing it. People started to say how much they enjoyed this aspect and it's pretty much cured my stage fright and having researched the songs so well, I'm sure it helped my delivery as well, I feel I can put more passion and feeling into the songs I sing, and I extended this to other music like Country and folk.

So my advise is firstly concentrate on what music you are most interested in, you can find pretty much all you need to know on the internet, If you perform as well then interweave your narrative between your songs/tunes. When I watch other performers I'm always more interested when they tell one something about the song/tune, likewise there are many who just sit and play with no introduction and I find it hard who warm to those. If you enjoy your subject that will be reflected in your talk or performance. Audiences like to come away feeling they learned something. Hope that helps

Desi C
The Circle Folk Club
Coseley U.K


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Subject: RE: Your Folk Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 07:17 AM

I think it's good to, at least, mention the name of the song/tune, so others can (as you say, Desi) look it up and, thereby, help keep the tradition going.


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