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EFDSS awards funding for new music

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Vic Smith 15 Aug 17 - 10:55 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 15 Aug 17 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,Peter Cripps 15 Aug 17 - 04:09 PM
Vic Smith 15 Aug 17 - 04:10 PM
GUEST 16 Aug 17 - 04:05 AM
GUEST 16 Aug 17 - 05:15 AM
GUEST,matt milton 16 Aug 17 - 05:22 AM
GUEST 16 Aug 17 - 05:37 AM
Andy M 16 Aug 17 - 05:59 AM
The Sandman 16 Aug 17 - 06:06 AM
The Sandman 16 Aug 17 - 07:15 AM
Vic Smith 16 Aug 17 - 07:16 AM
GUEST,matt milton 16 Aug 17 - 08:00 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 16 Aug 17 - 08:00 AM
GUEST 16 Aug 17 - 09:04 AM
GUEST,Peter Cripps 16 Aug 17 - 10:25 AM
GUEST 16 Aug 17 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 16 Aug 17 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 16 Aug 17 - 11:33 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Aug 17 - 03:46 PM
Big Al Whittle 16 Aug 17 - 05:27 PM
GUEST 17 Aug 17 - 05:02 AM
Mo the caller 17 Aug 17 - 06:00 AM
The Sandman 17 Aug 17 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,Peter Cripps 18 Aug 17 - 05:53 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 18 Aug 17 - 06:16 AM
GUEST 18 Aug 17 - 06:17 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 18 Aug 17 - 08:08 AM
GUEST 18 Aug 17 - 08:25 AM
The Sandman 18 Aug 17 - 08:49 AM
GUEST 18 Aug 17 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,Ned of the hill 18 Aug 17 - 10:59 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 18 Aug 17 - 11:05 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 17 - 11:24 AM
GUEST 18 Aug 17 - 11:56 AM
Vic Smith 18 Aug 17 - 12:37 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 17 - 01:16 PM
The Sandman 18 Aug 17 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 18 Aug 17 - 02:45 PM
The Sandman 18 Aug 17 - 02:45 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 17 - 04:01 PM
GUEST,henryp 18 Aug 17 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,ST 19 Aug 17 - 04:01 AM
Howard Jones 19 Aug 17 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,Guest 19 Aug 17 - 05:19 AM
Vic Smith 19 Aug 17 - 06:32 AM
Steve Gardham 20 Aug 17 - 04:34 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Aug 17 - 06:15 AM
Steve Gardham 20 Aug 17 - 05:25 PM
Big Al Whittle 21 Aug 17 - 06:29 AM
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Subject: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Aug 17 - 10:55 AM

August 15, 2017

English Folk Dance and Song Society awards funding for new music

Seven projects will create new music rooted in the English folk tradition following the latest round of funding awards by England's national development agency for the folk arts.

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) has made four awards under its 2017 Creative Bursary scheme and three through its Creative Seed Funding programme.

Both initiatives are funded through the PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development Partner scheme. They come under the umbrella of EFDSS' Artists' Development Programme, which provides professional development support, both creative and business, to artists at all levels of their career.

Katy Spicer, EFDSS Chief Executive and Artistic Director, said: "All the successful applications are rooted in the folk arts but will bring a fresh take on their subject matter.

"By its very nature, folk music has always evolved and reflected the issues of its generation and these awards will help to develop some very innovative and relevant proposals. We look forward to supporting and working with the artists as their ideas take shape.

"Our bursary and funding schemes are designed to kickstart projects, giving the recipients time to bring their ideas to life. A great example is Sam Sweeney's Made in the Great War music and storytelling project which began thanks to an EFDSS Creative Bursary."

The Creative Bursary scheme invited applications from more established artists for an award of up to £2,000 to support creative research and development, together with use of rehearsal space at Cecil Sharp House and access to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. They have been made to:

·       Alex Vann (Spiro) to create an instrumental concert trio using traditional English tunes as the basis for improvisation where each performance is one piece of improvised music using traditional tunes as the cornerstones

·       Tom Moore and Archie Churchill-Moss (Moore Moss Rutter) to develop and produce an album of new art-music based compositions and devised improvisations with their roots in local English folk tune traditions

·       Alma (John Dipper, Emily Askew & Adrian Lever) and Nick Hennessey to devise a new multi media experience including lighting, data projectors and other technology to enhance the performance and build bridges between inherited traditions and modern media experiences

·       Fiddler Rowan Piggott to explore traditional and contemporary folk songs highlighting the decline and environmental threats to our native honeybee and bumblebees.

The Creative Seed Funding Programme was open to emerging artists and involves a £750 bursary to research and develop new work linked to the English folk arts. The awards have been made to:

·       Emily Mae Winters to research, record and tour new songs dealing with modern socio-political issues including the movement of people, feminism, fake news, global warming, war and social media

·       Heg Brignall (Heg & The Wolf Chorus) to research new material based on modern day myths or myths and legends that have found their way back into our culture, leading to a single/EP release and finished studio album in 2018

·       India Electric Company to research, write, record and release the second in a series of releases for 2017 with the theme of country and the city on a six track EP/album.

Further EFDSS Artist Development opportunities:

More information on forthcoming Musicians in Museums residencies: www.efdss.org/efdss-artists-development/musicians-in-museums

Sign up to EFDSS' Artist Development e-mail newsletter highlighting upcoming shows and opportunities at: www.efdss.org/csh-visit-us/e-newsletter-sign-up

New opportunities information: https://www.efdss.org/efdss-artists-development/other-opportunities

For further press information please contact: Jo Cunningham (Press Manager, part time) press@efdss.org or 07815 913887


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 15 Aug 17 - 02:31 PM

Thanks for the warning Vic, it sounds bloody horrendous.

Folk music made to order what more could we ask for?

A modern day myth which might be investigated is that the EFDSS is really interested in folk music.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST,Peter Cripps
Date: 15 Aug 17 - 04:09 PM

New music! We do not need 'new' music! We need more resources put in to prompting 'old' (ie traditional) music! (IMHO)


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Aug 17 - 04:10 PM

I must admit that I posted this press release with some trepidation because I know from experience that there are two buttons that you should not press on Mudcat - EFDSS and fRoots - because both will incite negative reactions.
Neither EFDSS nor fRoots are perfect but both do much more good than harm.
In this case I happen to know two of the young performers amongst those who have won awards and have seen on Facebook the delight that these talented hard working young performers have expressed at this. Giving opportunities and inspiration to them can only be useful for the cause of folk music.
On the one hand, I would have to wonder whether the EFDSS should be funding new work over research but on the other, I have had at least one conversation with and seen at least one performance of seven of the award winners listed. One I would regard as a total chancer but the others have shown a strong commitment to traditional song.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 04:05 AM

Whether we agree or not we can all submit a paper for our pet project and see if we are lucky. I have to say personally there are couple there that have me shaking my head. But then what would I know I am an old northern folkie.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 05:15 AM

@Vic - are EFDSS actually funding this? They way that I read it is that they are distributing money from PRS which is only available for these projects.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 05:22 AM

Thanks for sharing that Vic.

I realise that to be criticising EFDSS's funding choices on Mudcat is a bit like Donald Trump criticising the media – in terms of sheer predictability and slotting into stereotypes.

But in this instance, I'm going to be that person... I do think it is slightly, well, wrong.

If these bursaries are essentially "money for singer-songwriters to record their albums", I wish they'd just come clean about it. That is what, essentially, the last three awards are. In saying so, I make no judgements on their music. They might be wonderful singer-songwriters who will record wonderful albums. But the fact remains they are three singer-songwriters (or groups of) whose chief focus is not traditional music. And the "project" they propose is, er, recording an album. Great.

I mean, the Elli Mae Winters description could fit any number of young singer-songwriters today. I also note that the India Electric Company's project is for their "second" release of "2017" – given we're in mid-August now, a cynic would wonder how much research they are really going to be doing, and really whether they actually required any funding at all, given it would appear they were going to do it anyway.

Well, I suppose at least the first four acts are engaged in projects that aren't quite so directly self-serving; they are not just "money for albums" and they are being given to musicians with demonstrable commitments to trad music.

That said they are very fiddle-centric and almost exclusively musicians engaged in classical-folk arrangements. You'd have thought that someone at EFDSS would have pointed out the notable homogeneity there.

I'm kicking myself for not putting in an application myself.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 05:37 AM

"we don't need new music." Bloody hell... How narrow Peter. No wonder it is so hard to get young people interested ! We should welcome new music imho .


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: Andy M
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 05:59 AM

The Creative Bursary awards all sound brilliant to me; exactly what should be happening. Clearly there are still too many who can only cope with listening to what they already know they like, something which defines so many festivals and audiences in this world of the 'folkscene'.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 06:06 AM

I would prefer to see funding inceased for musicians to teach or play traditional songs and tunes in schools.
However EFDSS members should criticise if they are inclined, decisions like this at EFDSS AGM, or write to those concerned, which would be more effective than criticising on this forum.
However on a positive note it is refreshing to see money being spent on some form of song.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 07:15 AM

"They way that I read it is that they are distributing money from PRS which is only available for these projects."
this seems logical since prs are about collecting royalties for song writing.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 07:16 AM

Matt Milton writes:-
"You'd have thought that someone at EFDSS would have pointed out the notable homogeneity there."


I am a member of EFDSS. It took me over 30 years of active interest to reach that stage. The biggest thing that influenced me to join in 2000 was the tremendous work of their library director, Malcolm Taylor and the great things that he was behind in projects, publications and digitising so much and making it available on line. This work continues in the way that Full English database has continued its development.
That aside, I do have some concerns about the direction of EFDSS since Malcolm's retirement. At the present time there does not seem to me to be 'someone at EFDSS' to use Matt's phrase who has sufficient vibrancy and influence within the organisation to progress the thrust of the direction that Malcolm was steering it in. I am very impressed by the new young librarian, Laura Smyth, but understandably as yet she does not seem to have the clout that Malcolm had. We will have to wait and see.

At the same time, it must be said that the top full time staff at EFDSS have become much more adept at fund-raising and obtaining much larger grants from Arts England etc. In that sense the EFDSS has been dragged screaming into the 21st century and schemes like the 'Musicians in Museums' residencies are brilliant and innovative and do help to get the songs and music heard by a wider audience. I ought to point out to Dick that there are already extensive and ongoing EFDSS involvement with schools. In fact, with the crisis in music funding in English schools that schools are more welcoming in having outside experts involved. Have a look at https://www.efdss.org/efdss-about-us/staff and you will see that EFDSS has seven members of staff in its education department.

I think what I am saying is that there needs to be a fine balance between creative and inventive fund raising and careful delivery and assessment of projects whilst retaining a love of English dance and song and knowing how it can be presented in a way that will make it grow and thrive.

As a matter of interest, how many of those who have posted here either pro or anti what happens at EFDSS are actually members who contribute the annual membership fees and suggest ideas to the organisation?


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 08:00 AM

I'm not "anti what happens at EFDSS" – it's great that they are funding singers and musicians at all. I'm not a member, but I probably should join. As I go to a fair few events at Cecil Sharp House, I suppose I've always felt like I was financially supporting what they do.

Not having seen all the applications, perhaps they have indeed selected the most interesting, coherent, most convincing proposals they were sent. I just think that some of the proposals are a bit cynical, frankly. Almost like the EFDSS is being taken advantage of here. Just seems like the bar is fairly low in terms of level of ideas, of ambition. You mentioned Laura Smyth, Vic – she's a good example of someone who I'm confident could have come up with a more interesting research/performance idea than most of those picked, but presumably as an employee she's not entitled to apply.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 08:00 AM

May I point out to Guest above that new music is aimed at us every day. It's generally referred to as POP music

Most of it thankfully dies after a very short life span. Music that is worthwhile i.e; brings lasting pleasure to a number of people lives on for a longer period, some of it for hundreds of years.

New does not been better and neither does old but there is a vast amount of old material that still brings pleasure to a number of people. Unfortunately the older material is rarely heard by the general public.

I wonder how happy PRS members will be to know that part of their Royalties is being used to susidise new competition.

Like-wise I used to wonder the same when as I understood it PPL used some of their members royalties to subsidies the Brits. Perhaps they still do.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 09:04 AM

Hello Hootenanny, I think you read far more into my post than was actually there. I did not suggest that new was better, I just feel that new music, pop, folk or classical,or rap or Jazz ought to be encouraged. In terms of folk music, much new and wonderful material has been added over the last 25 years or so, that is what I meant. Sorry if that was unclear.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST,Peter Cripps
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 10:25 AM

Sorry, "GUEST", but I do not believe that (a) letting people hear 'new' music, will entice young people (or older people) to listen to traditional music, and (b) as a member of EFDSS (40+ years) I do know that the objectives of the Society are to promote traditional music, not ALL music!


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 10:36 AM

I did not say ALL music. I was talking about new kinds of folk..I will leave it there, I thought I was clear, perhaps I was not.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 10:41 AM

I have been racking my brain, but still cannot come up with any "
traditional ... folk songs highlighting the decline and environmental threats to our native honeybee and bumblebees".

Be interesting to see if this grant brings any such songs out of the woodwork.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 11:33 AM

Would Arthur Askey be considered a folkie? He once sang a song with the chorus

"Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz Honeybee, Honeybee
Buzz if you like but don't sting me"

Then there is the American fiddle tune Bumblebee in a Jug, I guess keeping it in a jug would be a threat.

I also rememebered a trumpet piece "Plight of the Bumblebee" but thinking about it a little longer it was Flight not Plight.

Back to the drawing board.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 03:46 PM

We need to put aside our prejudices. Any song/tune whether folk-orientated or not will live or die on its own merits. Yes it needs to be given the chance to be heard. I personally don't like a lot of the vocal acrobatics some of the new generation are using but I'm very glad it is all happening and the scene is vibrant enough to include a wide range of styles and experimentation.

>>>>> I do not believe that (a) letting people hear 'new' music, will entice young people (or older people) to listen to traditional music<<<< I disagree.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 05:27 PM

i don't understand much of the thinking about folk music. in virtually all discussions about the nature of folk music i find myself isolated by my beliefs based on observations of what's gone on in English folk clubs over the last fifty years.

however i have discerned this much. input and activity is good. inaction and festering away in a vacuum with a set of beliefs is bad.

this is an effort to promote activity and endeavour, and it has to be good for the betterment of the movement.

i hold no brief for any of the organisations involved and as far as my vision of folksong is concerned, they wouldn't piss on me if i were on fire.
nevertheless nothing but good can come from this.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Aug 17 - 05:02 AM

"I have been racking my brain, but still cannot come up with any traditional ... folk songs highlighting the decline and environmental threats to our native honeybee and bumblebees".

a good point well made. this is exactly the sort of thing that leaves me scratching my head over the proposals here. I wonder if the adjudicators queried this, that, by default there literally cannot be any trad songs on this topic, because the topic itself did not exist in any era one would associate with the "traditional".

If you wanted to be generous to the proposal, I suppose you could broaden the remit to include, say, traditional folk songs celebrating the outdoors and cycle of nature; and folk songs from the industrial age that bemoaned the encroachment of man onto nature. "Woodman, Spare That Tree", or the ecologically minded songs of Ewan MacColl, Peggy (and Pete) Seeger ... that sort of thing... Personally I wouldn't have the chutzpah to put in a proposal like that, I would feel like I was being a right chancer.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: Mo the caller
Date: 17 Aug 17 - 06:00 AM

Well, I am a member. Joined when Whitby FF and other events offered a discount for members, and because I supported what they did, left when there was all the fuss over CS House, joined again for the insurance when I started calling for the general public.

One thing that is not stated here (maybe I could find out if I bothered). How much the grant is compared to what the artists have raised, or put in themselves.

I don't remember noticing the opportunity to apply (but maybe those interested would).


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Aug 17 - 02:35 PM

"I do know that the objectives of the Society are to promote traditional music, not ALL music!"
So is it the remit of EFDSS to promote songwriting?
particularly if few people seem to be able to define a modern folk song, how are EFDDS,whose remit is apparently to promote traditional folk song,supposed to judge what is a modern folk song if nobody can define it.
Vic points out that EFDSS are already promoting tradtional folk songs in schools, so is that a reason, that they should not increase their spending on this, of course not.
This new proposal is a complete waste of EFDSS time, if they are distributing PRS royalties as someone suggested, that is not their job, if they or nobody else cannot define a modern folk song, EFDSS should be spending more money on promoting traditional music instead. some people on this forum claim that beatles songs will be future folk songs others disagree, nobody in the folk world seems to be able to define a modern folk song, if that is the case encouraging songwriting should be left to non folk organisations, and folk organisations should spend their money on encouraging and promoting folk song or tradtional music which is the brief of EFDSS


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST,Peter Cripps
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 05:53 AM

The Sandman: Hear! Hear!


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 06:16 AM

Presumably, those carping about this have no issue with trotting out terms such as living tradition, oral evolution of song etc etc. Yet have some narrow nostalgic definition that defies logic.

This is a most welcome initiative that Vic is publicising, helps keep the love of traditional music going long after fair isle sweaters and beards are subjects of history lessons and helps ensure the generation of the folk revival don't kill what they started by some bizarre preciousness that up till recently put younger people off.

I joined EFDSS years ago when the committee stopped wearing their trousers up to their tits. I'll be having a look around the various museums at Whitby though as singarounds of the same old songs won't be with us forever...


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 06:17 AM

Modern folk songs have been written and recognized as being "folk" .Some examples would be songs written by Stan Rogers, woody Guthrie, Ewan   McColl , Ian Tyson and many others .


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 08:08 AM

Guest, they didn't write folk songs. They wrote songs. Some of which seem to be lasting a long time (Woody has been gone for some time now) and the best of them no doubt will be around long after we have.

Worthwhile songs will last.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 08:25 AM

so, why aren't they folksongs ? I don't mean this to be an argumentative question, but I really don't understand at what date songs stopped becoming folk ?


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 08:49 AM

"so, why aren't they folksongs ?"
look at the 1954 definition, then you will find in numerous threads WHEREIN everybody disagrees as to what a modern folk song is,iF we go by 1954 definition this includes some of the chants of football crowds.are EFDDS seriously going to promote that, or are they going to encourage some other modern songs and on what other basis other than the 1954 definition will they decide what a modern folk song is., and if they do they need to revise their definition, if they wish to exclude football chants.
defining modern folk songs is an intellectual minefield.
EFDSS IMO should be Promoting traditional song and dance and spending more money on the promotion of this.
Let ALL modern composed songs be   promoted by songwriting associations such as PRS.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 10:31 AM

!954 definition...well you can't argue with a "definition", can you ?


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST,Ned of the hill
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 10:59 AM

many people have argued about 1954 defintion


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 11:05 AM

Those who cling to the rather odd 1954 resolution of a committee in session etc do so as it fits their own view.

In order for "folk" to embrace styles, origin etc, it is usually best to see how the other few billion people define it. As a musical genre.

Never trust a definition that was formed by a committee....


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 11:24 AM

Here we go again!!!!!


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 11:56 AM

none can agree on its defintion on this forum


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: Vic Smith
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 12:37 PM

Steve Gardham wrote:-
Here we go again!!!!!
Sad, isn't it? Sorry, Steve, this was not my intention when I posted the EFDSS press release that was sent to me though I did say in my post of 15 Aug 17 - 04:10 PM - I must admit that I posted this press release with some trepidation.....


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 01:16 PM

There really should be no argument here. Like most words in the dictionary the word 'folk' has acquired different meanings. The 1954 revised guidelines are straightforward enough for those who wish to apply them to traditional song, and I do when wearing my research hat: BUT FOLK MUSIC has acquired over the last 60 years a much wider meaning as acknowledged by the masses (some might say the 'folk' themselves) and the music industry and the folkscene at large. To deny this is to bury your head in the sand.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 02:31 PM

"Welcome to the website of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) or eff-dss as we say for ease!

EFDSS is the national folk arts development organisation for England. We are here to champion the English traditional arts – music, song, dance, storytelling, customs and traditions – as part of the rich and diverse cultural landscape of the UK.

We're about preserving them, and we do that in our award winning library, the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML) named after our former president, the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

But we're also about promoting – shouting about the richness and huge variety of art forms and wonderful people that work under this all-encompassing, very elastic term called FOLK, and providing endless opportunities for people to get involved.

And we're about developing. Folk is living, breathing and constantly being re-invented; we encourage artists to be inspired by the songs and dances that have been handed down through the generations and support them in various ways to create new songs, tunes and dances.

From big bands to solo singers, morris dancers to contemporary choreographers, schools to mass participation, intimate folk clubs to major concert halls – our work reaches far and wide. And we'd love you to be a part of it.

Take a look to find out more about our activities, or let us know what you're up to through Facebook or Twitter.

Welcome to the world of folk!

Katy Spicer
Chief Executive"
Nowhere does it say that EFDSS are about promoting modern songs, quote from EFDSS website.
"EFDSS is the national folk arts development organisation for England. We are here to champion the English traditional arts – music, song, dance, storytelling, customs and traditions – as part of the rich and diverse cultural landscape of the UK."


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 02:45 PM

"Acknowledgement by the Music Industry" ???? That's what folk music really needs.

And believe it or not Steve "The Masses" couldn't give damn about folk music or how it is defined.

Vic, "Here we go again!!!!" You knew very well what you were doing and you are probably well pleased with the result.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 02:45 PM

they do say
"And we're about developing. Folk is living, breathing and constantly being re-invented; we encourage artists to be inspired by the songs and dances that have been handed down through the generations and support them in various ways to create new songs, tunes and dances."
yet nobody can appear to come to am agreed definition of a modern folk song, many of us have our own take on it which appears to vary considerably.
there does not appear to be the same problem with folk dance, if however nobody can come to an agreed definition of a modern folk song, should EFDSS be promoting something which cannot be defined successfully?, that does not mean that other organisation should not be promoting modern songs, but who is to say whether they are folk songs[ they need the test of time]. I am not against modern songs being sung [in fact on occasions i sing them myself]but i am not sure they are folk songs, my basis for singing them is whether they are IMO a good song. However EFDSS are there to promote tradtional song, they then say"to support them in various ways to create new songs" What exactly does that waffle mean? talk about pseuds corner


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 04:01 PM

Here's a challenge for you, Dick.
Define jazz, classical, pop, rock, hip-hop, folk-rock, disco, etc.

They all have certain characteristics that would be recognised easily but try to see them as a Venn diagram all overlapping in some way. Why do you clamour for a cast iron definition?

I think what you quote is a perfectly good desription of what they are trying to do. You are fully entitled to not like what they are doing. Just like Vic I think that they sometimes appear to be moving too far away from the main task, but to get the funding to keep the movement going and provide all that wonderful material in the archive they have to tick a multitude of boxes and it just so happens that providing new music and opportunities for young people ticks a lot of these boxes. They are widening the net if you like, and are being pretty successful with it. Your own personal preferences and those of a few dinosaurs living here matter diddly squat in the overall scheme of things!


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 04:22 PM

I wonder whether composition is a traditional activity.

And when can we apply for the next round of awards?


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST,ST
Date: 19 Aug 17 - 04:01 AM

"We are here to champion the English traditional arts – music, song, dance, storytelling, customs and traditions" … "And we're about developing. Folk is living, breathing and constantly being re-invented;" (From: The Sandman : Date: 18 Aug 17 - 02:31 PM presumably quoting EFDSS)

It could be interpreted that EFDDS are about promoting the "traditional art" of creating a folk song (whatever that is - and whether or not you believe that's possible) rather than promoting the preservation of existing songs and, as they say "Folk is living, breathing and constantly being re-invented;" they could argue that "creation of new folk songs" is part of their brief as part of the "living breathing reinvention".

Whether they are right or wrong to award these grants is perhaps a separate issue but I cannot see from what has been quoted that they are in breach of their stated aims.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Aug 17 - 05:11 AM

Without re-hashing the old and unresolvable "what is folk?" debate, I don't doubt that all this new music will fall within the compass of "folk" in its widest sense. However it is legitimate to ask whether EFDSS should be championing that wide sense or should be more focussed on English traditional music.

I have been involved in folk music for more than 45 years, and during that time EFDSS has reinvented itself several times. When I started out it was mainly interested in dance, in its current incarnation it now presents itself as an arts organisation and seems to be mainly interested in promoting professional musicians and educators.

Throughout all that time the EFDSS has seemed to have little relevance to the folk music I am involved in, playing in folk clubs, sessions and ceilidhs. It seems to have little interest in, and offers little support to, grass-roots folk.

The direction the EFDSS takes is of course a matter for its members. Where I think it has a problem is that large numbers of people involved in folk aren't members and don't find the Society is relevant to them. It should be automatic for anyone interested in English folk to become a member, but many of the people I know are not, and those that are often join only for the insurance or to support the Library, rather than because it offers them anything.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 19 Aug 17 - 05:19 AM

The first bursary quoted:

·       Alex Vann (Spiro) to create an instrumental concert trio using traditional English tunes as the basis for improvisation where each performance is one piece of improvised music using traditional tunes as the cornerstones

Having very much enjoyed the Spiro performances I've seen, I find giving Alex the opportunity to branch out and experiment most excellent. I look forward to what he come out with...


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: Vic Smith
Date: 19 Aug 17 - 06:32 AM

Hootenanay wrote:-
Vic, "Here we go again!!!!" You knew very well what you were doing and you are probably well pleased with the result.

Comments like this really make me wonder why I bother. I assure everyone that my sole intention in copying the opening press release was to spread information on what seemed an interesting scheme that was worth discussion. To be honest there have been some thought-provoking posts above.... but with the negativity implied in what I have quoted, I am out of here.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Aug 17 - 04:34 AM

Those complaining about a few hundred quid being spent on 'new music' need to put this in context with the hundreds of thousands being spent on the making available of numerous manuscript collections on the website!!!!


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Aug 17 - 06:15 AM

Render unto Caeser what is Caeser's...

years ago the EFdds (English daft sods) had an office in Newtown Birmingham. I sought it out and explained to the lady there that I ran three folk clubs locally. Was she interested. No she didn't have any time to go to folk clubs.

They have made their position very plain over a number of years. As bob Dylan said, we don't want hill billies. we want folksingers here.


they have no interest in the strata of society that produces folk music.

whatever they spend their money on. it won't have owt to do with us. however its good that they're spending it on music.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Aug 17 - 05:25 PM

'strata of society that produces folk music.'

Not sure what you mean by this phrase nowadays, Al, but they sure as hell had a lot to do with promoting the likes of Fred Jordan, Harry Cox, Copper Family etc. Whatever the EFDSS did years ago is now history. Our folk club had EFDSS membership back in the 60s when it was more like the Camden Old Dears Dance Society.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS awards funding for new music
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Aug 17 - 06:29 AM

the one i've met and from the books and mags they circulate, i'm sure they're really nice people, but they have their ideas and its my way or the highway.

as the late Derek Brimstone said, They never asked me or Gerry Lockran to sing at one of their gigs. I think Derek did one gig way back when he was Maddy Prior's guitarist.


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