Mudcat Café message #3179589 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138735   Message #3179589
Posted By: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
01-Jul-11 - 05:07 AM
Thread Name: Do purists really exist?
Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
I can't flatter myself that I'm capable of reproducing those sounds,

Music is never a matter of reproduction, and always one of interpretation. Even the recreation of classic arrangements exist in the area of specific hommage, but one thing cannot possibly be another, not yet carry the same weight or significance, no matter how exacting. Elvis Impersonators take note. This Stars in Your Eyes approach to folk, however, is not uncommon, nor yet is it entirely without value, for tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be Shirley Collins singing Glenlogie...


Another aspect of Purism is Folk Faith and Folk Belief. In another thread we are being invited to believe that following his untimely death in 1695, certain aspects of the music of Henry Purcell were Folk Processed. The term exists as a Folk / Mudcat Truism - an article of a particular faith that underwrites the Reliosity of Folk, much as a Roman Catholic accepts the reality Transubstantiation. But to the inquisitive outsider both Transubstantiation and the Folk Process must (after long years of careful deliberation, about 35 in all) amount to what the Good Doctor would call ineffable twaddle*. Indeed, the very belief in Folk as being distinct in essence from any other type of music - popular or otherwise - is a very particular Purism which only confirms that religiosity. Likewise a wafer is only ever a wafer, and crap red wine is only ever crap red wine...   

And Folk is only ever a particular style of music - any one of dozens of idiomatic genres which have become the aesthetic signifiers of The Colonial Revival these past 60 years or so. There is nothing pure about any of it, and none of it operates in a way that is any different from other type of music. And yet the religiosity of Folkies persists, ad infinitum, and for any number of reasons...

Folk says: Give me your tired, your Pure, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door

The Folkie says: But I, being Pure, have only my dreams. I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly, because you tread on my dreams..

S O'P (with a wink and a smile after drinking more beer last night** than was strictly necessary...)

* Watson that is, upon reading Holmes' article on the science of deduction in A Study in Scarlet; the irony being that Holmes proceeds to trounce him thoroughly. Myself, I still await a satisfactory explanation of The Folk Process that isn't agenda driven fiction, then I will consider myself well & truly trounced.

** The Golden Dream - A Celebration of Fleetwood's 175th Anniversary in words, pictures and folk music although, tellingly perhaps, our esteemed compere introduced it is The Golden Dawn... Anyway, we were packing them in to the ball-room of the North Euston - and we're doing it again tonight. Fylde Goers might look forward to the show on the Sunday...