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Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?

Musket 17 Jul 11 - 01:42 PM
mg 17 Jul 11 - 01:49 PM
The Borchester Echo 17 Jul 11 - 02:04 PM
Phil Edwards 17 Jul 11 - 02:28 PM
GUEST,SteveG 17 Jul 11 - 02:33 PM
Siochain 17 Jul 11 - 02:38 PM
glueman 17 Jul 11 - 05:43 PM
Gibb Sahib 17 Jul 11 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 17 Jul 11 - 05:51 PM
Little Hawk 17 Jul 11 - 06:11 PM
Leadfingers 17 Jul 11 - 06:16 PM
Spleen Cringe 17 Jul 11 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 17 Jul 11 - 06:20 PM
Ian Fyvie 17 Jul 11 - 06:34 PM
Phil Edwards 17 Jul 11 - 06:39 PM
Leadfingers 17 Jul 11 - 07:16 PM
DrugCrazed 17 Jul 11 - 07:18 PM
Phil Cooper 17 Jul 11 - 08:45 PM
VirginiaTam 18 Jul 11 - 02:58 AM
theleveller 18 Jul 11 - 03:58 AM
The Borchester Echo 18 Jul 11 - 05:44 AM
theleveller 18 Jul 11 - 05:51 AM
The Borchester Echo 18 Jul 11 - 06:01 AM
glueman 18 Jul 11 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 18 Jul 11 - 06:37 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Jul 11 - 06:45 AM
kendall 18 Jul 11 - 09:06 AM
Richard Bridge 18 Jul 11 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,Callingbird 18 Jul 11 - 02:35 PM
Joe_F 18 Jul 11 - 06:37 PM
theleveller 19 Jul 11 - 03:12 AM
Will Fly 19 Jul 11 - 04:13 AM
Ian Fyvie 24 Jul 11 - 09:48 PM
Big Ballad Singer 25 Jul 11 - 12:04 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 25 Jul 11 - 04:10 AM
matt milton 25 Jul 11 - 05:51 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 25 Jul 11 - 06:10 AM
autolycus 25 Jul 11 - 06:10 AM
Rob Naylor 25 Jul 11 - 06:41 AM
The Sandman 25 Jul 11 - 06:53 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 25 Jul 11 - 07:13 AM
GUEST,leeneia 25 Jul 11 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,Jon 25 Jul 11 - 03:56 PM
autolycus 25 Jul 11 - 04:32 PM
The Sandman 25 Jul 11 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,Jon 25 Jul 11 - 05:47 PM
michaelr 26 Jul 11 - 02:26 PM
Sian H 27 Jul 11 - 04:55 AM
bubblyrat 27 Jul 11 - 05:40 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Jul 11 - 06:01 AM
Big Al Whittle 27 Jul 11 - 06:20 AM
Musket 27 Jul 11 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 27 Jul 11 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,Desi C 27 Jul 11 - 12:55 PM
The Sandman 27 Jul 11 - 06:55 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 Jul 11 - 09:25 PM
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Subject: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Musket
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 01:42 PM

There have been many threads that have eventually become a "what is folk" discussion. Sometimes, serious, sometimes not. Sometimes both.

I don't want to get that discussion going again, there are a couple of current threads doing the rounds if you must...

I am curious about what YOUR folk means to you, and the degree you embrace it. For instance, for me..

I have a nostalgic liking for sitting in a pub being part of a singaround, getting up in a more concert type club and doing a quick turn and enjoy hearing various levels of talent on the basis of "having a go" and sharing your enjoyment for the music.

I personally don't enjoy traditional dance, overtly political rants disguised as providing enjoyment or living the stereotype.

What does YOUR folk mean to you, and which aspects of folk do you not personally relate to?


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: mg
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 01:49 PM

For me it is first and foremost a sensory experience, and if it does not sound good I do not enjoy it. Historical stuff passed down through the ages is a big bonus. Nice people are a big bonus. But the sound is the most important thing to me. mg


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 02:04 PM

I dislike people who ridicule Morris dancing and fail to understand the importance of music which upholds the struggles of ordinary people against oppression. discrimination and prejudice.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 02:28 PM

Enjoy a lot: hearing and singing traditional songs (and a few others) in any setting, but especially in a singaround; playing and dancing to traditional music
Enjoy a bit: new songs & unfamiliar cover versions done well; listening to traditional music
Tolerate: familiar cover versions done well
Dislike: new songs & cover versions done badly
Dislike quite a lot: familiar covers done badly

"Is it trad?" is question 1, not because I'm a p*r*st but just because I've found over the years that I'm much more likely to enjoy the sound if the answer's Yes. (Obviously this is less to do with a mystical quality of traditionality and more to do with the alternatives usually available in a Designated Folk Venue.) If the answer is No, the questions are "is it being done well?" and "have I heard it a hundred times before?".

The subject matter doesn't bother me, with only one exception - anything that I feel is glorifying racism has me heading for the door. (Sometimes before I know I'm doing it - I must have right-on legs.)


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 02:33 PM

For me it's something generated for and by the people as opposed to big business and the politicians. The less money and power are involved the more attractive 'it' is to me. That's lore, dance, song, music, the whole package.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Siochain
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 02:38 PM

Yikes! What ridicule? What failure to understand?

I took the original poster at his word - what do you relate to - what do you not relate to. There are certainly many genres within the very large realm of folk, and I know that they do not all resonate with me - I have my preferences and I suppose my dislikes as well.

Did I miss something?

I enjoy reading the 'Cat. I rarely post - I don't know many folks here - but I have noticed that sometimes there seem to be topics and/or posters that participate just to grind axes.

This topic looked interesting, but without clarity as to the intent of the posters, I believe I will withdraw to lurking again.

Siochain

(and siochain to you all)


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: glueman
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 05:43 PM

First introduction to folk music was the background record to English country dancing at infant school. The lady who took it would have been born around 1920, so close to the original revival. I remember even then thinking this was nothing to do with me and suspect many of the children thought the same but we wanted to please our 'posh' teacher so got on with it as a bit of a chore.
Around 1974 I began going out with a girl who sang and sometimes went to her local folk club. Some of the music appealed but it was very much a beards and tankards set up - and before anyone asks, no, the ladies didn't have beards but facial hair was hugely over-represented even by 70s standards - and I felt the same lack of identification or ownership I had as a kid. It was around then that I began to buy recordings of folk music, all traditional, without any desire to partake in its alien culture.

In 1987 I next visited a folk club and it was largely singer-songwriter oriented. I wanted to eat my own limbs it was so excruciating with a kind of false cheerfulness and an acceptance of poor standards. All in all, my experience with folk clubs have not been good but perhaps I was unlucky. In recent years I've begun to attend concerts, festivals and pub singings and while some still elicit the need to run for the nearest exit and hit the fire bell as I leave, I am probably more tolerant of not very good stuff and don't expect a transcendent musical experience to be included. These days I identify more with the music of other cultures, folk of the Caucasus, Shape Note singing and any form that lacks the trappings of the revival basically. I still buy Eng. Trad but don't feel more proprietorial towards it than any other fine music.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 05:47 PM

Self-made music.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 05:51 PM

When I was a child I loved 'story songs' - I distinctly remember being thrilled by 'The Raggle Taggle Gypsies', which I first heard in a school music lesson; I had absolutely no idea where the song came from.

Later I was always attracted to songs which told a story or conjured up vivid imagery, for example the Beatles 'Penny Lane' or Simon and Garfunkel's version of 'Scarborough Fair' (and I had no idea where that song came from either).

At the age of 19 a mate of mine persuaded me to go the local folk club and I heard English Traditional songs sung unaccompanied for the first time. This had a huge impact on me and I realised that this was the type of music that I had been looking for since childhood.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 06:11 PM

I like it. ;-)

I mainly associate "folk" with a broad cross-section of songs that can range from traditional and ethnic music through modern singer-songwriter music played by people who have been influenced by the past folk tradition to some extent.

The main way in which it differs from most radio music is that the folk audience pays a lot more attention to the words than the pop or rock audience does...and folksongs more often address serious or complex issues than is the case in other forms of popular music...though they can also be lighthearted songs "just for fun".

In the final analysis, though, this is what it comes down to:

I listen to singers whose style I like and whose songs I like and whose sound I like. They might be thought of as "folksingers", they might be thought of as something else. Either way is fine with me. I never see a better mix of music than I see at folk festivals, but not all of it is what I would call "folk music".


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 06:16 PM

Any thing that is well presented and NOT Self Promoting - Traditional OR contemporary , English or other , Blues , Music Hall and a LOT of the 'older' Popular songs ! And I still enjoy good Jazz


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 06:19 PM

I like it best when it's a bit twisted.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 06:20 PM

Folk is one small part of the jigsaw - most likely the bit that's missing.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 06:34 PM

I agree with the piece about being part of a singaroumd.

Folk is a shared experience be it as part of that singaround circle or getting a couple of songs as a spot on stage; along with others who want to try a song or two - maybe thier first ever song on a stage.

What I detest is the big name 'concert' scenario - big name, no floor singers (or perhaps just an awful 'Resident' turn). This is simply the Folk wing of the music industry.

Of course there are plenty of punters willing to pay to see the latest 'big name' or old name doing the rounds. But it's not Folk as I understand it - it's a commercial concert with a folk 'product' being offered to the Market.

Folk is essentially participatory, and concerts offering a Folk product should really be called something else.

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 06:39 PM

I like it best when it's a bit twisted.

I'd have said A Mon Like Thee was pretty warped...


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 07:16 PM

Singarounds are fine , as are Tune sessions , but a nice mix is better . I REALLY enjoy being backed by good musicians almost as much as I enjoy playing backing to a good Muso or singer !


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 07:18 PM

It's the joy of the new songs for me. I love hearing new songs. And the advantage of not knowing many is that I get to hear new songs all the time. Yay!

I also find a cappella harmony sexy, and shanties in a sing around manage to be manly and butch but still sexy to me.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 08:45 PM

I was never interested in listening to or performing anything but folk music. But the stuff I've liked covers both the trad and modern aspects.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 02:58 AM

3 somewhat local monthly sing around / music sessions are the highlights of my month. Content, format, quality irrelevant. Even the repititious and redundant are better than sitting home watching rubbish on tv or frittering time on forums and social networks.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: theleveller
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 03:58 AM

What I relate to most is good singer/songwriters, especially if their music has a definite 'sense of place'. I prefer singing in singarounds rather than on stage, but enjoy good stage performances from others. I like traditional stuff but, like Spleen Cringe, prefer it 'a bit twisted'. Dislikes? Sorry, but I'm not into shanties. It too often seems to be a load of Captain Birdseye impersonators bawling out the same old songs in loud, raucous voices. Just doesn't do it for me.

What I especially relate to in the current folk scene are all the new youngsters who are coming on the scene with formidable talents, a real love of the music and a new and refreshing approach that's not hide-bound by the dictates of the folk revival. This is the future of the folk scene and I wish I was forty years younger.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 05:44 AM

Skimming down these replies, I find (predictably despite the OP's assertions that it should not be) a stereotypical "what is folk?" thread, ot, more exactly, "what one person thinks it should be according to them".

That is why, as I've said time and time again. the word should be binned forthwith.

I spent my very early years on the floor of a country pub (when I could escape my mother who diapproved of us both) playing along with my grandfather and his matess. Did we call this a "folk session"? Did we hell, we'd never heard of the term. I learned tras dancing after school and at 14 was invited to what I discovered was called a "folk festival". Unimpressed. we played our violins on the promenade with a few characters dressed in Morris kit. We didn't call that "folk music" either.

I worked at CSH and learned very well what that academics said was folk music and, to a point, they were right.Over the next several decades, as well as writing for various radical journals, I became involved in escalating peoples' struggles and the music produced in their concerts and rallies. Like Pip Radish. I have a right-on foot.

This I'd call Music if the People. Those who prefer anodyne singer-songwriter whining, let them get on with it. Just don't call it "folk music". It is merely a tiny niche way out on the outskirts, of a lamentably ill-defined genre.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: theleveller
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 05:51 AM

"Those who prefer anodyne singer-songwriter whining"

Why whining? Most of the singer/songwiters I know produce exceptionally good songs about the issues, places and people that they personally relate to. To dismiss this as whining is pure ignorance of what is happening at a roots level today. Call it what you like, this true music of the people, by the people and for the people.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 06:01 AM

As you very well kniw, I am referring only to the ones who whine anodynely. I didn't think it necessary to make a list of those who don't (e.g. Dylan, Simon, Johnson, Rosselson, Bragg. . .) to name only a few of the foremost) who would be highly bemused at being dubbed "folk".


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: glueman
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 06:06 AM

As a musical primitive voluptuary ascetic, anything with parallel fifths and two note chords is my 'folk music'.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 06:37 AM

It's not that I've any objection to people writing songs, but I don't much get the Contemporary Folk Idiom or how that relates to the Old Traditional Songs, which are a very different beast altogether. In Relating to Folk I have all my life suffered from this problem - ever since seeing June Tabor sing The Plains of Waterloo alongside The Band Played Waltzing Matilda in a juxtapositioning which struck me as absurd at the time (age 14) and still might upset my humours some 35 years on. I've since realised that whilst the Old Songs existed quite independently of Folk, the New Ones (and the idioms thereof) were the very product of its various agendas, conceits & vanities, which is only how it should be. That said, if I had a time machine, I'd go back and shoot the King o' Rome and bake it into a pie before it had a chance to end up stuffed in the Derby Museum, much less inspire the song o' same which even for an old pigeon fancier as myself I've always found nauseating.

So - a heaped portion of Old Songs please, with lashings o' salt and vinegar and all washed down with strong black tea and warm bitter. Leave off the sentimental sauces and the political pickles; and wrap it up in yesterday's news, or just leave it open so I might stuff the lot inside the hollow brown loaf from the local bakery, the innards scooped out and consumed by way of starter. You see these things are sentimental enough without singing about them too; here's a song I wrote about folk songs - although Bob Copper wrote a nice one, didn't he? Still exceptions prove rules!

Folk is in the ear of the be-listener; I seem to remember Eliza Carthy making some crack in this respect a while back... Each to their own in the glory of it all. Love Folk; love yourself.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 06:45 AM

I like different voices. Voices with a bit of character. i like seeing young or any age people finding their voice.

I like coming across a new and intriguing talent. Love musicians who take a pride and work hard at their craft.

i treasure the memory of those I can't see any more - Derek Brimstone, Ian Campbell, Tony Rose, Gerry Lockran, Roger Brooks, John Dunkerly.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: kendall
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 09:06 AM

I'm a history freak, and folk music takes me on a trip to another time. As mg said, it's a matter of sound, and if it pleases, then it's good. I love a well played guitar, fiddle and banjo. Not big on drums* or electric instruments of any kind. To my ears, a Saxophone sounds like a giant Kazoo.

Music hath charm to sooth the savage breast.
The main function of music is to free the mind from the tyranny of conscious thought.Couldn't have said it better myself.

I prefer traditional folk music, but there are so many outstanding singer songwriters around today who are able to touch my heart.

I recently wrote a song that Cris Caldaway said is timeless. Could have been written a hundred years ago, or yesterday. That is a supreme compliment.


* a bodrhan in the right hands is ok.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 12:47 PM

Funny, I'm sure I posted here. Is the post eater back, or was it moderation in action?


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: GUEST,Callingbird
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 02:35 PM

Traditional music does it for me.

Especially,the unaccompanied voice (not always perfect)that weaves the story and holds me spellbound.Love it

Also shanties and the wonderful choruses.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Joe_F
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 06:37 PM

A while ago I made an outline of what makes a song magical for me. Eventually I will flesh it out into an essay sometime. It has three departments: Music, Words, and Both. Both comes first.

BOTH
>Long acquaintance
>Power (old songs only)
    Abide with Me
    National anthems
    Internationale
    Horst Wessel Lied
    Marching through Georgia
>Variation, repetition, recollection
    Lord Randall
    Dillan Bay
    Love's Old Sweet Song
    Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

MUSIC
>Harmonic interest (opportunity for showy chord progressions)
>Melodic interest
    A new note near the end, especially if out of the previous range:
      Banks of Marble
      Internationale
      Horst Wessel Lied
>Rhythmic interest

WORDS
>Conviviality
>Consolation
    Cf. Power
    The palpably untrue:
      Johnny Macree
      The Parting Glass
      hymns
>Exotica
    Time & place: Eppie Morrie
>Malice
    The characters'
    The narrator's:
      The Parting Glass
    The author's
    The singer's
      Thru identification
      Thru offense given
    _Not_ the composer's
>Particularity, vividness
>Poetry
    Prosodic agility
      Simultaneous alliteration & rhyme: Married Girl
    Linguistic daring; allusion; wit
>Puzzles (Cf. Exotica)
    Schnitzelbank
    Miss Bailey
>Sentimentality
    The outside: death, love, marriage, misery, poverty, conflict, pain

Most of the songs that I find magical happen to be folk songs -- or at least, of anonymous composition. That, however, is merely an odd fact, not a requirement.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 03:12 AM

"As you very well kniw, I am referring only to the ones who whine anodynely"

Phew! Thanks for that - you had me worried for a mo. I'm with you on that one.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 04:13 AM

I'm a musical tart, and folk - in the form of traditional tunes - is one of my clients.

Which is a rather oblique way of saying that melody, in all its many forms, is of prime musical importance to me. Traditional tunes/tunes in that idiom is one of the wellsprings that I can drink from.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 09:48 PM

Borchester Echo would bin the word "folk'?

In one breath I agree, having problems with what the music industry markets as folk.

But refined definitions should surely com from below. Perhaps too many of us are waiting for some white bearded folkie in the sky to give us these new definitions.

Take the example of the word 'singaround' which, as I've written on before, originated in a local session organiser (Fred Baxter of Lewes) deciding to call his weekly get together something which marked it out from the numerous 'standard' folk clubs operating in the 1970's . It;s taken off globally. Time, once again, for some fresh thought!

A new thread somreone?


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 12:04 AM

I live in New Jersey, USA. I am a descendant (both biologically and by way of adoption) of fishermen and sailors. The songs of the sea and of the men and women who made their lives and livelihoods there have an incredible attraction to me.

Like other posters, the idea of 'escapism', so to speak, is also a great draw to me. I, too, enjoy history, especially reading about specific events or periods of time (I just finished a book on Sir John Franklin and the quest for the Northwest Passage).

I have also been a performer of various kinds of music, folk, pop and otherwise, for over 20 years now. Singing songs that tell stories and preserve traditions is a way for me to both perform AND be, in some small way, one of the many curators/caretakers of those traditions.

The home-made, do-it-yourself aspect is also important to me, as I am completely self-taught on every instrument I play. I like to kid myself into thinking I have somewhat of my own "style" of playing by now.

Basically, 'folk', for lack of a better term, matters to me because it serves both to encapsulate some certain time and place AND to bring the reality and presence of that other time/place into the here and now, if the performer and listener will allow it to be so.

For me, what I do and how I present it is kind of like the Catholic doctrine surrounding the "Real Presence" of Christ in the Eucharist (a ceremony of wine and bread pertaining to Christ's death, burial and resurrection, for those unfamiliar). The Church teaches that Christ is not sacrificed for sin again and again at each Mass, but rather that the immediate merit and significance of Christ's sacrifice, the one that happened in time/space/history, is brought to bear on the present moment.

Yeah, I know, that's a stretch, maybe; still, I feel that "folk" (what I do, anyway), brings the people and places and events of other times into the present moment and invites others to walk that "mile in their shoes", so to speak.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 04:10 AM

For me, what I do and how I present it is kind of like the Catholic doctrine surrounding the "Real Presence" of Christ in the Eucharist

That nails pretty much how I see it, although more by way of a communal communion with the same living presence, and more by way of seance that anything holy, though there's no niftier a piece of hocus-pocus than transubstantiation. Where two or three gather together... etc. etc. I'm not a religious man, but feel that Folk is essentially a religion on all sorts of levels.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: matt milton
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 05:51 AM

I find it very easy to relate to the *content* of folk: the lyrics and the music. I like songs with odd titles, songs with non-sequitur lyrics.

I dig songs about drinking; political struggle; songs in which linguistic anachronisms and long-forgotten events become surrealist by default; songs in which the existence of the supernatural reveals hidden desire; songs which expose the animal in the human; songs about hating your job; songs about loving your craft; songs about killing your boss; songs about the depth of your love. It's the materialism of folk I relate to most, I suppose.

It's fairly unsurprising that these are the things that I most relate to in folk, being an unreconstituted English Literature graduate from the era of postmodern lit crit (Marx, Freud, Derrida, Barthes).

By contrast, I find ballads difficult to relate to, because they strike me as too straightforward, too cut-and-dried: I don't like narratives in which this happened, then that happened, and it is obvious why one led to the other. There's not enough bewilderment in ballads for me. But I enjoy hearing other people singing them with commitment and sincerity.

Music-wise, I can relate to the way the sophisticated haunts the simple. I like my folk modal and contrapuntal, albeit with harmonic twists (I like jazz way too much to ever want my folk purely monophonic and mode-bound).   

Reckon that fills my space in pseud's corner for the day.

As far as the "accoutrements" go, well, I do prefer ale and bitter to lager. And I do appreciate tweed-based clothing. But that's as far as I go.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 06:10 AM

Accoutrements. Folk hasn't been the same since I gave up smoking. I gave up Folk Clubs for 5 years to cement the deal & when I went back most clubs were no-smoking zones anyway. Then came the smoking ban and pubs that reeked of BO, cat piss and air freshener, so these days we seek out the oldest, filthiest pubs we can in which to experience folk at its most malodorous. I like the reek of old fiddles and things; the other day a friend took out an old Gibson 1920s mandolin and you could smell it from the other side of the room. Such pubs are all too rare in this day & age of brutal refits, but if I can create a microcosm / reliquary in my fiddle case then I reckon I'm happy enough.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: autolycus
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 06:10 AM

Intermittently and peripherrally.

I grew up in a house with music on the radio, so my starting-point was commenrcial usic. Loved the chewns, still do, of gershwing, Poter and Co.

Didn't come across folk music till my late teens; the proper stuff in a pub in Lancashire. Thought it was so refreshing and friendly and communal.

But by then I was deep in high culture. Apart from cinema [rather than the pictures] and plays, that meant classical, still my greatest love.

In my LP collecting career, have picked up folk music when I can find it. But I don't happen upon Topic Records much.

For me, despite the little A.L.Lloyd I've read, folk music still means for me written by anon. aka the people.

I like istening to traditional songs from anywhere. I especially like it when the song has a great tune, which is what does it for me most in songs. Tho' I found the Monkey Chant from Polynesia [Bali?] quite something.

Intermittently I listen some more.


Some of the laughing at folk music comes from comedians over the years [tho' more in the past] doing parodies for people who don't know the original.


Perhaps someone would post recommendations for a decent UK radio programme/station and other sources other than YouTube for listening, given my poor position. And any other suggestions for finding my way. I know how to find live outlets locally.

Given my intermitency, please don't expend much effort.

Ta.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 06:41 AM

I guess I just relate to "folk" (in almost *all* it's forms, including some of the contemporary stuff that seems always to be "put down" here) as one of the many strands of music I enjoy.

I like a good mixture of live events, so am happy to go to organised gigs, as well as singarounds, sessions and open mic events. I do find performing when "miced up" much more nerve-wracking than performing unamplified (whic might surprise those who've seen my nerves in unamplified settings!).

"Folky" sessions and singarounds are, however, the main places I can actually perform myself. My favourite sort of "folky" event is a mixed tune session/ singaround environment where the music choice is very broad...a mix of accompanied and unaccompanied songs, tunes and instrumentals. I love melody, I love humour and I love instrumental competence (in others....my own is very limited indeed)

If I have one area that I don't relate to too well, it's very long, not very melodic unaccompanied songs, sung poorly. I generally listen politely (as I know some people are forcing themselves to listen politely to me at times!) as I know that, as long as I'm at a mixed session, "something completely different" will be along in a minute.

So I think that on that front, I'd alos find it hard to relate to *any* event that was too tightly circumscribed...ie only unaccompanied trad songs, only Irish tunes, only guitar-accompanied 60s-70s, etc.

When I go into a room I like to see a good mix of guitars, mandolins, concertinas, accordions/ melodeons (not TOO many of those in one place!), fiddles, flutes, citterns annd people sitting without instruments. I'm even happier if there's an autoharp, psaltery or dulcimer in the room.

Variety is where it's at for me.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 06:53 AM

The problem for me is if I couldnt play or sing any more,I get so much pleasure out of sitting down and playing music.
last weekend I was booked at Scarborough Sea Fest and very nearly lost an eye, I lay awake thinking about the changes to my life, if I had lost my eye, ok i could still play concertina, but my life would have been changed immensely,
my advice is this play what you like and dont worry too much about what other people are doing.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 07:13 AM

""a stereotypical "what is folk?" thread, ot, more exactly, "what one person thinks it should be according to them".""

What one person thinks it should be according to them (him/her?) seems to be exactly what the OP asked for in the title.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 01:33 PM

For my instruments, I look for good melodies that are in the public domain.

For singing, I look for good melodies and lyrics I can live with. I don't sing songs that promote war or diviseness or that belittle people.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 03:56 PM

Primarily melodically, even with songs.

For me, much is about participation and I prefer the informal although I do not believe every event should cater for everything that might be considered folk and I will seek out quite specific events (eg. Irish tunes with few or no songs). I'm not much of a one for concerts.

Dance is a bit of an odd one for me as most of my enjoyment comes from dance music but I don't really get much out of a display of morris dancing or Irish dancing, etc. An exception to this is something like a barn dance or ceilidh. I don't dance myself but I can enjoy watching others have a good time with this while listening to the music - maybe there is a bit of the "performance art" vs "participation" there? - I'm not sure.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: autolycus
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 04:32 PM

""a stereotypical "what is folk?" thread, ot, more exactly, "what one person thinks it should be according to them".""

As contrasted with what exactly?


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 05:17 PM

FredBaxter, I remember him, was he not a folk club organiser? that used to do a bit of burglary on the side, enterprising fellow old Fred


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 05:47 PM

what one person thinks it should be according to them

I think it's more a matter of how a person finds it is for them in this thread.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: michaelr
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 02:26 PM

I'm most interested in how the traditional music of Ireland and the british Isles can be related to contemporary forms (the dreaded "f-word" rears its head) and thereby made relevant to younger generations. I take my cues from people like Donal Lunny and Donald Shaw. I also enjoy songwriters like Brian MacNeill who have the knack of writing new songs that sound old.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Sian H
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 04:55 AM

For me, folk can be time travel. An old song can transport me back through time and when I sing I sometimes lose myself and only return at the end of the song!
When I hear trad folk tunes, especially played live in pubs and sessions it awakens that same sense of the past.
I love traditional dance and even sitting at a ceilidh watching everyone dancing and laughing makes me feel great. To see people of all ages having fun together, is uplifting, and to me this community aspect is the essence of 'my folk'.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 05:40 AM

I'm with Sian H above !! I have played in Ceilidh ( and Appalachian ) bands , but can't actually dance ; nevertheless , just sitting watching other people dancing gives me great pleasure !! And listening to Tom Lewis singing "North West Passage" definitely transports me to the Frozen Wastes , even when sung in Polish ( "Poles Apart" ; the harmonies are gorgeous !!). I like the history contained in so many songs , too. And being part of some indefinable " scene" or "clique" is,at times , very exciting !


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 06:01 AM

I never forget that, before the advent of universal education with the Education Acts of the 1880s & later, illiteracy did not mean lack of talent or ability, but simply a lack of the necessary means of harnessing such attributes. Think of the terrible amount of potential that must have been wasted. The frequently accomplished and beautiful creations of the people thus deprived of the outlets they might have had and the things they might have achieved given the opportunity are among the few things salvaged from that terrible loss and waste. This is by no means the only reason I love and respect Folksong and the other Folk arts; but it is certainly one powerful one, and a good place to start to answer this thread's question.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 06:20 AM

I think the same thing obtains nowadays Mike. A lot of the people who are into folk clubs simply have nowhere else to go musically.

The commercial music marketplace is a harsh place, with harsh disciplines for the unprepared, undetermined and unwary. The hearth and home nowadays is usually the province of the strictly come X factor celebrity twaddle.

Folkmusic is the spiritual home for the awkward squad, and the talent and originality of the practitioners of this black art is occasionally stunning.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Musket
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 10:24 AM

Ah, just to clear up interpretations; I originally asked for what it means to you, rather than what you think it should be. Hope that was clear (!)

Some good replies and my point is; if that is what your "folk" is to you, then beauty being in the eye of the beholder and all that, what you call your folk is indeed folk. However, that's another debate...

Whether it be the company and creic, the musical styles, the collecting and perpetuating how peoples' thought processes have developed over the last few hundred years or indeed the easy route to performing in from of others, it is all folk and just about every aspect came out as ways how we relate to it.

Even so, some people do get a little precious about their folk and perhaps like folk to mean just their take on it. One post above said the folk wing of the music industry should use a different word. Perhaps I agree, but only in that the music industry has to make money by selling to a wide market, and your wish, however strange, has to a degree been granted. Roots and world are genre used in order to sell folk without connotations of weird hippies, as the press tend to badge people with such an interest. (I don't know which jars most, the weird beard with a fried brain or the librarian with socks and sandals. Neither match my experience, and Morris dancers provide their own lampooning...)

So, whatever it is, it appears to be folk after all! So, that's alright then........


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 10:46 AM

This is by no means the only reason I love and respect Folksong and the other Folk arts.

Interesting; I would have thought the opposite actually - that the so-called Folk Arts only appeal to those who can appreciate them academically, hence their prevailing demographic and general lack of appeal to the population as a whole, especially those of the lower orders, who generally have their own thing going on with respect of Popular Culture.

I'm not drifting here; one of the things Folk means to me is dialogue and discussion, so I relate it through debate.


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 12:55 PM

Well Ian
You pretty much summed up 100% what my folk means to me. I love to hear live music in traditional pubs played by all standards of performers, new, old,young, beginners, old timers playing real instruments. Sadly the trad pubs are all too fast diminishing, I'm not British but it truly saddens me to see such a large part of British culture getting less and less. If you haven't got a folk club in your area and have a nice pub, why not start a club, or just a simple Singaround, do your bit for folk and maybe save a pub at the same time


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 06:55 PM

how many folk club organisers were burglars?,Fred was unique


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Subject: RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 09:25 PM

The jean genet of the folk world then....?


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