Mudcat Café message #3178124 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138735   Message #3178124
Posted By: theleveller
29-Jun-11 - 03:41 AM
Thread Name: Do purists really exist?
Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
"I guess the first stage of the Folk Process is the removal of both the sentiment and the angenda that might have inspired them in the first place; to remove the individual from the equation and give them a more common heart."

Suibhne, that's a fascinating insight and, as such, I would agree that I come to my music from the opposite end of the spectrum - connection rather than a detachment which immediately made me think of early English translations of the Bible - though not, perhaps, the Psalms. By connection I mean a personal connection with the landscape, the people, the legends and the events of the area where I live and where my family comes from, and a sense of continuity which this brings. Without getting too new-agey, it's what, from my earliest childhood, has produced a visceral excitement that can be intense when I stand in ancient sites, old buildings, woods and even places like abandoned factories, railway sidings and canals; places that have seen profound human interaction that is, to me. actually palpable.

This is the connection that, I think, E M Forster was invoking at the start of Howards End when he says, "Only connect the prose and the passion..." and there is a long literary precedent here, running from Beowulf through Piers Plowman and Willam of Palerne, to Blake and on to Heaney and Hughes. OK, folk it ain't in the purest sense but it is embedded in the human condition and folk memory. Which brings us back to the subject of "purism" - anyone claiming to be a purist must first explain their own definition of what is "pure". It's a fascinating debate but one which, I think, will always be cyclical.