FolkWorld Issue 41 03/2010

Letters to the Editors

Ger Wolfe: The Velvet Earth

Hi, I hadn't seen the review until now. Thanking you. It is good and fair enough. On reflection I think that what I produce musically is probably not that acceptable in the broader market for 'irish' (maybe 'celtic' is a better label?) music which is out there today. The general marketed forms of music out there to me seem very far removed from what I percieve to be 'Irish' music in the real and living context of my community's life and where I live.

My highly subjective and personal opinion is that an awful lot of contemporary Irish music is highly marketed to fit into a 'marketplace' which often brings the music dangerously close to outdated stereotypes such as those seen in North American 'oirishness' of films like 'The Quiet Man' and the buffoonery of theatrical plays etc. Such as most if not all, George Bernard Shaw's work. The difference nowadays is that the actors appear in a much more sophisticated manner, though still ultimately living up to a false vision of a rich and culturally valuable heritage.What I think is one of the saddest aspects of this over-marketed and, in my mind, untruthful representation of a culture is that it is also believed in by many musicians and listeners alike. It is perhaps less obvious than someone 'aping' a mid-atlantic type American accent but likewise exists and I'm sure has every right to exist, but it's just not my cup of tea!

In this way, ironically, it becomes part of the culture. This is un-deniable but does not take away from its falsity and is certainly nothing new - the ego has many layers.The perfect anti-dote to such effects in my opinion would be the poetry of Patrick Kavanagh, the plays of Brian Friel for instance or Flann O' Brien's classic parody 'The Poor Mouth', singers such as Joe Heaney, Darach O Catháin and Danny Maidhcí O Súilleabháin and musicians such as Johnny O' Leary, Julia Clifford and Mary Bergin (there are thousands of them as you know).

I am straying from my point! I manufacture my own records, market my own work and fund all the asscociated activities myself (posters, flyers, promotional work etc.). It is a difficult business and in my naivité I find often that people who you would imagine to be kind and open hearted (because of the definition of all of this music as 'folk' music) are often, sadly, not so - and on the contrary can be very ego-centric and ruthless in their pursuit of what they see as success. I'm afraid I have had very negative experiences of some people when it comes to business related issues. Due to general dis-illusionment with the 'industry' I am un-able to send any more promotional copies of this or any of my other CD's, the main reason being that from previous experience there has not been a reasonable return to justify sending material abroad. I am hoping that this may change and I will let you know if it does. I really hate having to look at the music from a business perspective but that unfortunately is what has come about for me, nearly twenty years since I begun writing and 12 since I first begun recording.

In the meantime I wish you all the best with your work and continued enjoyment of music in all it's forms. I believe it to be one of the most powerful tools that we posess to spread happiness and contentment in the world. Best wishes, thanking you again for your interest, slán tamaill, Ger

Battlefield Band: Zuma, Zuma

Thank you for your review. As always, the review tells us as much about the reviewer as it does about the album. It would be good to know why it was that you didn't enjoy Battlefield Band for a while. One thing, were you aware that we had translated Alan Reid's song the Robber Barons into German? You can find this at: I do hope that you will enjoy it.

Robin Morton (Temple Records)

Fellside Recordings: Sara Grey, Andy May

Thanks. I’m not sure why Sandy Boys is labelled Scottish! [She's American, sure. ed.] It seems a good review even with the strange English of the translation. Andy’s review doesn’t seem to be much of a review at all, just a resume of his career.

Best wishes, Paul Adams (Fellside Recordings)

Silta: Kjetto

Hi, I just got an email from a friend who had spotted a review of my band's (Silta) EP. Thank you very much! We really appreciate that! I have been reading your online magazine for years, and am delighted to see our review included!

All the best, Angun Sønnesyn Olsen

German Letters

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© The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld; Published 03/2010

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