Sunday 31 December 2017

MUSIC, Ignorance and Faith 2017

Adam Holmes performed at Celtic Connections with Rura
The Arts lift us out of the ordinary, offer us permanence, shift time, give us beauty, hope and dreams..“When the arts are neglected and obscured, people suffer from dullness or ignorance.” Alan Raich

I now have my old record collection on display – and there appears a shift back to the quality of the physical purchase. In our world of fast moving shifting sands people are now searching out some classic permanence. 
Significantly my son said, ‘I want to own my music.’

At Milngavie folk club I enjoyed quality performances from Dougie Maclean, Cara Dillon , Blue Rose Code. Thanks Jason for running such a top folk club!
I enjoyed a great concert with the legend Celtic soul man Van Morrison.
At Celtic 2017 – I exhibited some of my Celtic photos of my ten years covering this major event, at the Old Fruitmarket venue and I thought of the many fun gigs I’ve enjoyed there. This year Rab Noakes played a quality concert with a mostly female band. Also concerts by many top Women musicians. Men continue to dominate music, but there are some highly talented and wonderful women musicians – both young and old – to be discovered. Julie Fowlis, Siobhan Wilson, Eddi Reader, Joni Mitchell, Cara Dillon, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Alice Marra, Laura Marling and many many more... 

The Scottish pipes were altered a while back, so that they can now be played along side an orchestra or band and this has made a big difference to ceilidh music.

Laura Marling backed by the RSNO
Beautiful Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis
the indomitable Eddi Reader
Iona Fyfe
Other artists I rate highly – Lorde, Father John Misty, Christine and the Queens, Radiohead,

Mary Chapin Carpenter and friends

**CUTs to the ARTS – Both Brexit and the deregulations by the UK government of Lottery Funds threaten the future success of the Arts.
The arts are of vital importance for our well being, how we view the world and ourselves and place in the world. The Arts give shape and understanding.
Van Morrison
It’s important we preserve our significant heritage and in so doing ensure a flourishing, creative and rich artistic future. I’ve been reading of Burn’s travels over Caledonia – from the highlands to the Borders, when he kept his finely tuned ear alert for some of the world’s most memorable oral ballads, and to preserve them for all time. He added verses and altered tunes. What a legacy!

SCOTTISH WRITERS – Apart from Burns, I have been reading of the many other great Scottish writers – William Dunbar, Edwin Morgan, Iain Crichton Smith, Edwina Muir, James Hogg, Elizabeth Melville, Hugh MacDiarmid, 
As we entered into the Looking glass of Neverland in 2017…

I am sad for the lost forgetting, the hollow dreams, the ignorant minds…
Are we at crossroads, certainly not new beginnings. We are in a downward spiral, without balance and must now hope for options on the next turn. This is not about standing on the shoulders of the greats – its about being lost in some dark tunnels.
Blue Rose Code
For 2018 I hope we may find new balances, real informed debate in physical spaces, free press and build bridges across old, entrenched divides. 
Then I found a piece I’d written on inspiring people.
And I have to wonder - why can’t different cultures co-exits In harmony, side by side – are we not stronger for our very diversities?

There were many terrorist attacks UK – we need to build bridges and reach out. ….and we in Scotia long for self-determination

‘One World’
All the arts depend on collaborating – the more diverse and broader the better. Bono of U2 wrote his ‘One World’ when the Berlin wall came down. Sadly today walls are going back up…..
Rab Noakes and his band