Mudcat Café message #3176412 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138735   Message #3176412
Posted By: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
25-Jun-11 - 05:30 PM
Thread Name: Do purists really exist?
Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
I've met many self-confessed Purists who didn't come close; then I've met some seriously qualified people whose encyclopedic knowledge of Traditional Music was matched only by their love of it yet were not purist in the slightest. My conclusion is that Purism is unqualified fundamentalism founded largely on personal insecurity and a complete lack of understanding of cultural / musical process - let alone Folk. The people who really know about this stuff always take a wider picture.

So - sadly - Purists do exist; fortunately they're few and far between, but (as the saying goes) there's always one... I've had guitar-weilding Purists take me to task for using a Turkish fiddle for accompanying Traditional English Folk Songs; I've had technophobic Purists telling me they were personally offended by my use of an electronic Shruti box in an otherwise acoustic folk club, PA notwithstanding! Best of all was an irate Purist who took exception to me using a looping phrase-synthesizer (a Korg Kaossilator) as part of a ballad performance because he reckoned it was no better than using a backing tape. In all these cases they called themselves Purists; in all cases they were, of course, male*. Someday, they will isolate the Purist Gene. God knows life is too short.

* That said, I recall two highly educated & otherwise dignified lady singers of my acquaintance almost coming to blows over whose version of The Trees They Do Grow High was the most authentic!