Community Arts Festival, Utrecht (Jaap de Boer)  2

Testing the rules

Human beings exist in language. Words and people change each other constantly. The meaning of words shifts as they slip from one object to another like viruses. And then what we mean, or think we mean, changes too when we use them. To prove something originally meant to test it, not to show its truth.…

Izzy Young by Krister Kleréus (591 Photography Blog)

Music matters

A quick post to highlight a radio programme called The Folklorist, about Izzy Young, who was central to the Greenwich Village folk scene in the 1950s and 1960s. It’s a wonderful conversation between Young and the English musician, Seth Lakeman, enriched by  other voices and music from the archives. Apart from its own insights and delights, the programme demonstrates…

Norfolk dusk

Local accents

The tension between city and countryside, capital and regions, centre and periphery is ancient and probably inevitable, because of the uneven distribution of everything in human affairs. Its current pressure points include the possible independence of Scotland, resources for flood defences and—in the arts—the allocation of public funds between London and the rest of the country.…

Pete Seeger

A Chorus of Solidarity

‘Pete Seeger’s great work was not just singing the songs, but getting everybody else to sing them—getting his audience, us, to sing.’ John Wiener, The Nation Columbia Records (CBS) must have produced many odd records since 1888, but Pete Seeger’s Greatest Hits is certainly one of them. The blacklisted singer had not been heard on…

Unknown Empires

Dancing down the years

The pleasures of one generation are often incomprehensible to another. I first heard the phrase ‘Old Time and Sequence Dancing’ when a couple wanted to print a poster advertising sessions they ran at the local community centre. I was 25 and they were retired. Their artistic tastes seemed exotically remote to me then, like those…

Waiting

Who speaks?

Who am I? It is one of the basic existential questions that human beings have been asking themselves since they became able to call themselves human beings—Homo sapiens sapiens, the being who knows that she knows, who is conscious and aware of her own consciousness. Each of us must answer it in her own way,…