Showing posts with label alan riach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label alan riach. Show all posts

Sunday 24 September 2017

'Framing the Arts' with Alan Riach Edinburgh book festival (EIBF 2017)

Sandy Moffat, Alan Riach, John Purser
'Framing The Arts' - Three elder statesmen of the Arts in Scotland – with Professor Alan Riach, Painter Sandy Moffat, Musician and composer John Purser, gave a talk at Edinburgh international Book festival 2017.
"Arts at the heart of life in Scotland and the cultural history of literature, painting, and music."

"ARTS and the NATION" - There were limited copies of their new book and I have just received my copy via Amazon. It is a great read so far and i highly recommend to anyone who sees the importance of the arts in shaping our society to a more caring and compassionate one. The arts are first about our humanity. 

They spoke of the reconstruction by the Arts for a new vision of Scotland that are totally different in nature than the national movement of fascists, and that the Scottish arts are not focused inwards at all. Also the opening up of the arts to the young in order to move ideas forwards. They discussed places like the Abbotsford bar, which were once physical meeting places and gave connections for artists and journalists back in the 50s.
Professor Raich spoke of his two page spread in the National newspaper, that day with no adds or interference, and he said that the writing was of a very high standard.

Scots always look outward with their Arts and festivals, but we need, as these respected artists state, to also understand and know our own heritage and stories - and to look inside our own house too. Scotland does not want to leave Europe (or England) – but also there are strong movements to reconnect to Scottish stories, cross borders, and to open windows on Scotland’s arts.

John Purser, composer an writer 
Until recently, Scots had no knowledge of Scottish classical music, composers or Scottish folk music. Scottish theatre, folk music, pipe music, and classical music were neglected – which has led to a cultural destruction. Purser spoke of the Scottish Music archive.
He said all students at Glasgow’s RCS (The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) had studied in Europe, and that music is of course  international. They were instructed never to look within the house and always asked to look outward! It is scandalous that those who graduate know nothing of their own country’s heritage. Purser told a story of a young girl studying for her music higher, she was part of the travelling peoples and felt she lacked musical knowledge, but said that she made reeds for her uncle’s pipes. He told her that she probably knew more of Scottish music than those studying at the colleges!
John Purser
Painter Moffat said they were starting to take the Scottish art out of the basement at the National galleries.
Scottish Artists - Raeburn, Ramsay, David Willkie, Glasgow Boys, JD Fergusso., He said that Scottish artists won’t leave Europe. The highly respected art critic John Bellamy was mentioned. Scots are very poorly educated in our Scots history and arts.

They all spoke of the aim to build a grassroots audience for arts and not only an elite audience. (1934 SNP established.) The modern Scot world of reconstruction; the Montrose Renaissance which was then the equivalent of Paris in the 30s and was led by the revolutionary poet Hugh MacDiarmid, a co-founder of the SNP.

I agree with all of this. I was educated in Edinburgh and learned nothing of Scottish history, heritage, arts or music! I mean nothing here!  Even though I studied Art, History and English Highers and went on to teaching!  (Now I am older I am teaching myself Scottish heritage!) I did learn English heritage though, of the Tudors and Shakespeare. 
BOOK – ‘ARTS AND THE NATION’ - To engage in the recovery of neglected Scottish composers, artists and writers, locating them in an international context.
As the poet Hugh MacDiarmid wrote, artists must be both national and international. Perhaps in our fast moving Digital age there is a strong desire to reconnect to permanence, to traditions and to those lasting stories...

MEDIA ?? (PS  There was no mention of Digital, Media, TV or film – and how Scots can access their own and international arts via the new platforms. For young people they want diverse ease of access via many mediums and that’s how they access their news also. They want control, which is a good thing.
The new film, tv studio at the Pentlands is welcome new and long overdue. Scotland first tv channel will air in autumn 2018! it’s a scandal. (both Wales and Northern Ireland have studios with the massive Game of Thrones film in Northern Ireland.) Good news is that both the recent success of Outlander and T2, have brought recognition to Scotland.Other regions such as Catalonia, has Five TV channels. 

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Alan Bisset ‘Vote Britain’

Alan Bisset ‘Vote Britain’
Take a listen!
Professor Alan Riach writes of how brilliantly many of our Scots poets and writers use both satire and extreme scorn to consider very serious issues, and he mentioned Alan Bisset’s Vote Britain - in his recent article in the National, ‘A Flyting philosophy distilled from books’ : Alan Riach
Vote Britain” begins: “People of Scotland, vote with your heart. / Vote with your love for the Queen who nurtured you, cradle to grave, / Who protects you and cares for you, her most darling subjects, to whom you gave the glens she adores to roam freely through, the stags her children so dearly enjoy killing. / First into battle, loyal and true. The enemy’s scared of you.”
“It moves through very serious issues indeed and uses extreme scorn and satire and ferocious comedy to prompt us to consider them. That combination of humour and seriousness is a literary skill, an approach or technique that runs back through MacDiarmid to Burns and Fergusson all the way to Dunbar, and is another example of the democratic strain that characterises Scottish literature.” 

“I have no use for any measure of devolution. I want complete independence and the complete disjunction of Scotland from England. The Westminster Government can never give us independence. Independence is not given but taken.”

This time we will be prepared for a new vote – far far more than back in 2013. We’ve now had 5 years to gather arguments and to look at both sides.  And for us to consider what the union has meant and to question if it is really a “union” at all?  We must be more radical too – after all why have independence at all if its not for something new?

It’s too soon right now for the IndyRef 2 vote – but we need to be ready. Brexit appears to be leading us all off a cliff edge by those in Westminster who appear to not know what they are doing. It’s quite scary. What are they doing? 

We need to focus on invigorating debates, open hearts and minds, investigate what democracy really means, examine creatively, listen and read widely,


 *A Flyting philosophy distilled from books : Alan Riach
He writes about how important it is for all of us to read – and to read a variety of materials. And how that will effect change to a more democratic Scotland. Flyting is when poets get together and try to out do each other in words!

“If folk are to be open to the big questions and have some fun talking about them, the discussion needs to be snappy and sharp, and the whole world is the location in which the debate needs to take place, in popular culture and also in the entertainment world as much as in the most serious, esoteric or difficult arenas. Politics has for so long normally been the provenance of slippery, sneaky, snaky evaders of direct questions, the organised and impenetrable self-congratulators or the unapproachably smug and affluent. Radical thinking makes a different politics, informed by irreverence, imagination, honesty and respect for what matters. It gets us to the fundamental things. This is what close reading helps us to do. Or close listening.
When we open the maps to find the destination of a different Scotland, more democratic and less institutionally dominated, we know that even if the cartography is mistaken today, at least the maps show that the land is there. Whatever actually happens, or can be made to happen, change starts happening in the way you think about what might happen.” 

Extract from A Flyting philosophy distilled from books : Alan Raich -

We need to focus on invigorating debates, open hearts and minds, investigate what democracy really means, examine creatively, listen and read widely,