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EFN Newsletter January 2024 #20

WELCOME AND SUMMARY


Welcome to the new edition of this communication and outreach initiative of the EFN. Feel free to forward it to your friends and colleagues. Receiving this newsletter is open to anyone for free, here. Read to the end to find out how to submit content for future editions.


This is what you'll find below:

🔸News from the EFN: EFN at showcases; Happy birthday, International Music Council!; Survey on the status and working conditions of artists and cultural and creative professionals in Europe

🔹EFN welcomes new members: Pablo Camino, Kerry Harvey-Piper, Xabi Aburruzaga and Petra Eisenburger

🔸News from our members: Special event in Hungary, Jugendfolkorchester

🔹Our next featured member is Fèis Rois Ltd

🔸Our next featured artist is the Romanian singer Maria Tănase

🔹Special content: North Atlantic Song Convention 2024 - Registration Now Open; Russian World Music Chart Announces Top-10 Russian World Music Albums in 2023; Collaboration between Live Music Now Scotland and PRISMA made Mexico residency possible for trad fiddler Roo Geddes


✍️ Do you want to participate? At the end of the newsletter you will find how you can contribute to future editions, whether you are an EFN member or not. And of course EFN is always looking for new members and at the end of this newsletter there is a note about how and why to join, with links to the membership pages of the website and the application form. 

 
 

News from EFN


🔸EFN at showcases

January is a busy month for showcases – with Your Roots Are Showing in Dundalk, Ireland 17-21 January and Showcase Scotland in Glasgow 24- 28 January. Happily both organisations are EFN members and EFN representatives will be attending both – make sure you say hello to us there!


🔸Happy birthday, International Music Council!


The International Music Council (IMC) – of which the European Music Council (EMC) is a part – is 75 years old this month! EFN joined EMC three years ago, as the only pan-European representative of folk/traditional arts and will be participating in EMC events during 2024. IMC is an official UNESCO partner – and EFN will keep a close eye on its special events for this celebratory year. For more information, check their website: www.imc-cim.org


🔸Survey on the status and working conditions of artists and cultural and creative professionals in Europe


A survey being carried out by Panteia and Culture Action Europe regarding the status and working conditions of artists and cultural and creative professionals in Europe is still open for submissions until 9 February. 


Work in the cultural and creative sectors is often characterised by poor working conditions high cross-border mobility, while at the same time there is no easy portability of their social security entitlements. Because of this, the European Parliament has proposed an EU framework to improve the living and working conditions for cultural and creative workers. The survey is in response to this recent effort by the Parliament and aims to collect first hand experiences from artists, cultural and creative professionals, as well as cultural organisations regarding working conditions in the sector.


You are invited to complete a survey that invites artists, cultural and creative professionals and cultural organisations and institutions to share their experience in regard to working conditions in the sector as well as future actions to address the challenges faced by artists and creative professionals.


There are two links to the survey: 

  • For artists and cultural and creative professionals, click here.  

  • For cultural organisations and institutions, click here. 

Picture: Murad Murat


 

EFN WELCOMES FOUR NEW MEMBERS

By EFN editors


Four new members joined EFN ready for 2024.


🔸From Spain, Pablo Camino


Pablo Camino, who was a panellist at the EFN conference in Manchester, is the founder of Spain is Music, travel agency that runs tailored programs of music-based tourism in Spain. He says that in joining EFN he can share “expertise in tourism and how to get musicians, festivals and local artists involved in touristic itineraries and packages.”


The picture is from his website. Check it for more information.


🔸From UK, Kerry Harvey-Piper 


Kerry runs Red Grape Music, an independent label, management & music consultancy company and production company. Her main folk client is Peggy Seeger, the 88-year-old singer and songwriter best known for her feminist and political songs and Kerry also administrates the catalogue of the late songwriter and singer Ewan MacColl. She’s on the Board of the MMF (UK) and runs a sub-group for managers working in folk, roots and acoustic genres, and has been a showcase juror for Folk Alliance International.


In applying for EFN membership Kerry says that “As a member of EFEX, the MMF UK, the European Music Managers Association and AIM I’m keen to foster and deepen relationships across the industry for the benefit of our artists and our wider business. I’d love to extend the reach of the Managers’ sub-group to include more European managers to give as wide a perspective as possible.”


The picture is from her website. Check it for more information.


🔸From Basque Country, Spain, Xabi Aburruzaga


Xabi Aburruzaga is a diatonic accordion player and composer, with his own band and music studio. Explaining why he is joining EFN, Xabi says he can offer his “experience (20 years) playing and composing music in the Basque Country.”  He also says “I think my benefits will be to learn about potential collaborators and clients, identify trends in the folk scene, be updated about projects from the members and be a reference in case of need of information about Basque culture.”


The picture is provided by Xabi. Check his website more information.


🔸From Germany, Petra Eisenburger


Petra, who books tours in Germany, mainly for Scottish, Irish & English groups, says that to her “The benefits of membership will be networking, possibly cooperating and creating new projects.”


The picture is from her Facebook profile. Check her website more information.


 

News from the members


🔹Special event in Hungary

By EFN editors, with information from the Hungarian Heritage House 


On April 4, 2024 the Hungarian Heritage House in Budapest will organise a grand professional event, focusing on innovation, digitalization, and transmission of folk traditions. They will present the Folk_ME online folk music teaching programme and showcase the updated interfaces of their digital platforms for organizing archival sources. In addition, this weekend will host the National Dance House Festival 2024, providing an excellent opportunity to get to know the methodology of dance house traditions personally.


They will extend invitations and eagerly await the participation of key national and international institutions and instructors engaged in folk music education, aiming to explore further development opportunities for folk music education in Europe.


The Hungarian Heritage House are planning to send official invitations soon. Representatives will be invited from well-established foreign institutions in the fields of education and research.


🔹Jugendfolkorchester

By Gudrud Walther, on behalf of Profolk e.V. Germany


We are very happy to report that we were able to select 40 young musicians out of a great number of fantastic applications. The two ensembles (12-17 and 18-25) with instruments like bagpipes, accordions, harp, nyckelharpa, guitar, mandolin, banjo, flute, clarinet, oboe and bass clarinet as well as violins, viola, cello and double bass will get together in the first week of July and rehearse for two performances at Rudolstadt Festival on 6th and 7th of July.


For more information, check the website.


 

Featured Member: Fèis Rois Ltd


When they became a founder member in 2019 this is how they presented themselves: 


"Fèis Rois creates transformative opportunities for people of all ages to celebrate and engage with the traditional arts, principally music, in the Highlands of Scotland and beyond. Fèis Rois works with more than 200 schools across Scotland each year, as well as providing weekly traditional music classes in communities across Ross-Shire, annual week-long residential courses, and a summer Ceilidh Trail.


Fèis Rois is a registered charity governed by a Board of Directors. The day to day work is undertaken by a team of 5 staff and 400+ freelance artists. Fèis Rois currently works with partner organisations in Europe, Canada and Australia."


And about what they can give to the European Folk Network as a member and what they thought that would be the benefits of membership, they explained that:


"Fèis Rois is widely recognised as a national leader in the arts and has partnerships with many organisations in Europe (primarily across the UK and in France, Ireland, Ukraine and Romania) and beyond to Australia and Canada. We wish to participate in knowledge exchange, build relationships, and create opportunities for artists, organisers and audiences in Europe and beyond. We will contribute to the work of the network and strengthen its voice and impact."


For more information, check their website.


 

Remember: the Featured Artist section is open to the contributions of the members of the EFN. If you want to talk about someone contact efneditors@gmail.com


Featured Artist: Maria Tănase

By Araceli Tzigane


Maria Tănase is possibly the most famous singer in Romania. During a life that was short and troubled by the terrible events of XX century, Maria got to build a rich folkloric and artistic heritage that is still nowadays a benchmark. 


Her life is well-documented. Here, I will provide a summary.


The portrait is from Wikimedia Commons, is of public domain and announced as from 1937, the year she made her debut on the radio.


She was born in Bucharest in 1913, into a humble family with no connections to the arts. At the age of 8, she performed on stage for the first time. Journalist Sandu Eliad later introduced her to intellectual circles, encouraging her to pursue an artistic career. In 1934, she participated in a variety play directed by Constantin Tanase. She began recording in 1936 for the Columbia label, supported by Aurora Sotropa. Aurora invited her to record in Vienna the same year. In 1938, she joined the Alhambra band to perform folk music. Success led her to perform at the Neptun restaurant, where she came into contact with personalities from international culture and diplomacy. In 1939, she traveled to the New York International Exposition representing Romanian folk music.


In the 1940s, she faced problems with the dictatorship due to her friendships with Jewish individuals: her music as forbidden, her house was vandalized and the molds of her records were destroyed, except for two, saved by an employee of the Radio Broadcasting Company.


Until August 1944, Romania was governed by the pro-Nazi Marshal Ion Antonescu, who was overthrown in a coup. During World War II, Romania's position shifted from supporting the German Axis to joining the Allied side. According to Europafm.ro, "it has been speculated that Maria Tanase was one of the liaisons between Romanians and British, and that thanks to her and others, Romania finally turned its arms against Nazi Germany."


Communist power began to consolidate in the country in 1947. I explain all this because these historical events greatly influence how artists like her have reached our knowledge and can be enjoyed... or not.


From 1955 onward, Maria received various recognitions from the country's institutions and dedicated the rest of her life to folklore education.


Maria did not live under the infamous Ceaușescu regime. In 1962 she lost her voice during a concert. The doctor diagnosed her with lung cancer. She would die in June of 1963. Maria requested that there be no ostentation at her burial or processions, and instead, the money should be spent on digging a well in a place where it was needed or helping students who had almost nothing to eat. 

In 2001 the German record label Oriente released a compilation album called "Ciuleandra". On the webpage dedicated to the album, they say this:


"Hardly anyone in Romania knows a plausible answer to the question of why almost 40 years have had to pass before CDs containing her songs have been released outside her native country. The Second World War, the iron curtain, her early death, there are many reasons to account for the fact that only insiders on the other side of the Balkans were aware of Maria Tanase until the end of the Nineties.


But Maria Tanase is by no means an inexplicable phenomenon. Her voice undoubtedly has got the depth and emotional power of an Edith Piaf, of an Amalia Rodrigues, of an Om Kalsoum, and she has the ability that distinguishes great singers from good singers: to share her emotions with her audience." 


Let's listen to her voice in this piece: Marie, si Marioara



Sources:


 

Special content:


North Atlantic Song Convention 2024 - Registration Now Open

Submitted for EFN by David Francis, Director of Traditional Arts & Culture Scotland (TRACS)

 

The North Atlantic Song Convention (NASC) is delighted to announce that registration for its 2024 event is now open. Traditional singers, educators, students, and folk music enthusiasts from across the North Atlantic region are invited to attend this annual celebration of song and cultural exchange.


NASC takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland between 22-24 March 2024 and will welcome guest speakers and the finest singers from across the North Atlantic region including Canada, USA, Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Sweden, and Latvia.  


The convention hosts talks, workshops, panels, song circles, concerts, and more. Individuals can purchase weekend or day passes, with the option to buy tickets for specific events. In a commitment to accessibility, student passes are available at half-price.  


Brian Ó hEadhra, NASC Co-convenor, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "NASC brings together voices from diverse communities, fostering a rich exchange of musical traditions and ideas. We're thrilled to welcome participants to share in this celebration of folk song and indigenous cultural heritage."


Emma Björling, NASC Co-convenor, added, "Anyone interested in folk song is welcome to attend.  We will host a diverse range of guest singers and speakers including community tradition bearers, industry experts, and academics.  There’s lots to learn and everyone is welcome to sing!"


NASC is funded by Creative Scotland National Lottery funding and supported by Traditional Arts & Culture Scotland (TRACS), reflecting a commitment to the preservation and celebration of cultural traditions.


To register and explore the programme of events, visit the Scottish Storytelling Centre website or the NASC website.  


For media inquiries, contact:

Brian Ó hEadhra, northatlanticsong@gmail.com, +44(0)7717224360


About NASC:

The North Atlantic Song Convention (NASC) is a network dedicated to the development and celebration of folk songs from the North Atlantic region. NASC fosters collaboration, knowledge exchange, and cultural enrichment among traditional singers and enthusiasts.  


Event Details:

Date: 22-24 March 2024

Location: Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland

Registration: Follow links on the NASC Website: https://www.northatlanticsong.com/events/convention-2024 

Social Media: Follow NASC on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/northatlanticsong for updates and highlights.  


Guest Singers and Speakers include:

  • Professor Mairéad Nic Craith (Ireland/Scotland)

  • Bláithín Mhic Cana (Ireland)

  • Dr Ingrid Åkesson (Sweden) 

  • Jordan Price Williams (Wales) 

  • Kit Knight Folk (England)

  • Linus Orri (Iceland)

  • Eilidh Cormack (Scotland)

  • Josie Duncan (Scotland)

  • Dr Thomas McKean (Scotland/USA)

  • Professor Fay Hield (England)

  • Daina Zalane (Latvia) 

  • Zane Šmite (Latvia)

  • Steve Byrne (Scotland)

  • Tom Besford (England)

  • Emma Böjrling (Sweden)

  • David Francis (Scotland)

  • Brian Ó hEadhra (Scotland/Ireland/Canada)

  • Dr Esbjörn Wettermark (Sweden/England)



Special content:


Russian World Music Chart Announces Top-10 Russian World Music Albums in 2023

By Daryana Antipova

 

The Russian World Music Chart (RWMC), Russia’s first world/folk music chart, has revealed the top 10 Russian world music albums of 2023. A total of 54 releases from 14 labels participated in the chart in the genres of world, ethnic and folk music, released in 2023, including 16 albums of traditional music.


The new world music chart was launched in October 2021 by Daryana Antipova and Irina Brykova. The goal of the RWMC is to attract the attention of the world music community to the new folk music of multinational Russia, as well as popularizing and assisting in the promotion of unique musicians from remote corners of Russia in the Russian Federation and abroad. “With this project we want to celebrate the independent recording world, the music label business, and the media that brings the artists to the community.”


The international jury, which includes 18 representatives from Serbia, Norway, the USA, Hungary, Slovakia, Germany, Poland, Spain, the Czech Republic, and Russia, selected and will officially announce the 10 best albums on December 17th in Moscow.


The Best albums of 2023 according to Russian World Music Chart:

  1. Shono — Kolkhozoy traktor — CPL-Music / CPL-Musicgroup - link

  2. Merema — Eryamon’ Koytneva — CPL-music

  3. Nytt Land — Torem — Napalm Records link

  4. Rabor — Beyond the outskirt — C. O. D. label / Der Schwarze Tod

  5. Belukha Jam — Belukha Jam — Self-released - link

  6. Irina Ladkina - Inga - Self-released

  7. Ryohei Terada — Kyzyl Tokyo — Halva music - link / Sainkho Namtchylak — Where water meets water: Bird songs & lullabies — Ponderosa - link / Elem — Northern Spirituals — Self-released

  8. Kolenkor — The foreign land — Self-released / Kiberspassk — Smorodina - Out Of Line - link

  9. Hazina — Naza — Yummy Music - link

  10. Aina — Northstar — ddbd

  • The Best EP of 2023: Tatyana Molchanova — Karta pamyati — Self-released - link

  • The Best Authentic Album of 2023: Santeri Dobrynin, Egor Masaltsev, Olga Plekhanova - Karjalan Jouhikko: Karelian Instrumental Music - Antonovka records - link

  • Listeners' Choice of 2023 — The Album: Belukha Jam — Belukha Jam — Self-released!

  • Listeners' Choice of 2023 — The EP: Evgeniya Zontikova - Khorovod vremen - Luchi music



Special content:


Collaboration between Live Music Now Scotland and PRISMA made Mexico residency possible for trad fiddler Roo Geddes

By Malena Persson, from Live Music Now Scotland (LMN)

 

With support from the British Mexican Society, a collaboration between Mexico based PRISMA and Live Music Now Scotland resulted in inviting one musician from LMNS to do a residency in Mexico this autumn. Following an open call to LMNS violinists, fiddler Roo Geddes was successful in his application. 


During his time in Mexico, Roo delivered workshops and a diverse range of performances to children in schools and orphanages in remote areas, as well as to local communities that normally wouldn’t have access to live music. PRISMA shared a wonderful reel on their social media,


About PRISMA


PRISMA began very small-scale, with guitarist Morgan Szymanski, an alumnus of Live Music Now, being the organisation's only musician. When returning to Mexico in the late 90s, Morgan missed working with LMN and when discovering that no such scheme existed in his country, he started PRISMA, based on the model of LMN, and with great support from LMNS Director Carol Main.


Morgan Szymanski was delivering all the workshops himself, often in remote areas where access to live music is rare. But his work in schools caught the attention of the Mexican Government and the programme expanded exponentially, and to date over 17,000 children have attended PRISMA workshops.



HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS NEWSLETTER


Are you already a member? Then, remember that you can submit contents for this monthly newsletter. Email your content to efneditors@gmail.com, for these sections:

 

· News from EFN Members. Brief announcements – of around 100 words and a link. 

 

· Featured artist. A profile with around 200 words, an embedded video and one link. Members are invited to submit profiles, considering solo and ensemble living or not living artists who have achieved lifelong artistic and technical quality or historical significance in the field of folk art from or developed in or settled in Europe. If you have any artists in mind that you'd like to feature, please ask in advance, just to be sure there is no other member already doing it.


And whether you are a member or not, you can participate in this section:

 

· Special sections. For instance, an interview with someone from an institution that is not a member or a thematic article by a guest writer or anything that can appear and be considered as interesting. This section can also host guest writers that are not members.


If you'd like to share any content, contact us in advance to schedule it by emailing efneditors@gmail.com

 

Of course, self promotional articles lacking interest won't be accepted. In case of doubt, the EFN board will be consulted and will decide. 

BECOMING A MEMBER?


EFN membership is growing rapidly – why not join the network of traditional arts organisers and artists that stretches across Europe from the Irish Sea to the Baltic, the Mediterranean to the Black Sea? Find out more about membership and download an application form from www.europeanfolknetwork.com/membership.

DO YOU WANT TO SUPPORT THE EFN MORE?


The EFN welcomes donations. We do a lot with little money. Imagine what we can do with a little more :) Let us know how much do you want to donate and we'll issue an invoice for your organization.



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