EFN September's Newsletter, #7
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: 🔸A reminder of the annual EFN Conference with some basics about the programme. 🔸News about the WMCE. 🔸EFN welcomes two new members: Maison des Cultures du Monde and the Norwegian Centre for Traditional Music and Dance. 🔸We share a news from our member the Bulgarian Music Association. 🔸Our next featured member is the English Folk Dance and Song Society. 🔸Our next featured artist is the Greek singer Antonis Dalgas. 🔸And we have two special contents: an interview with Carol Main, from Live Music Now Scotland about the project "All Aboard With Traditional Tunes" and the reflections about the intergenerational issues by Tina Jordan Rees. ✍️ 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. Thanks for your attention, have a fruitful reading.
News from EFN
🔸EFN CONFERENCE 2022
As we write this newsletter we are getting ready for the 2022 Conference on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th October in the beautiful ancient city of Manresa, near Barcelona, in collaboration with our generous host Fira Mediterrània. In this very busy month packed with many other international folk and music events, over 50 EFN members have already registered for the conference on Manresa, looking forward to a programme of discussions, panels – and of course a wealth of music concerts. Here’s what they can expect: 🔸Panellist speakers from across Europe – on Intergenerational Issues – how do we pass down traditions to the next generation in the modern world? With experienced Spanish professional musician Juan Antonio Torres, conservatoire leader Unni Lovlid from Norway and young Scottish musician Tina Jordan Rees. 🔸Panellist speakers on Showcases – Budapest Ritmo organiser and WOMEX Samurai Balazs Weyer from Hungary, Finnish agent and showcase ‘customer’ Minna Huuskonen, Linda Dyrnes from Norway’s Folkelarm and Steven Vanderaspoilden representing the new Flemish showcase VONK from Belgium. 🔸The conference schedule packed with important subjects for delegates to discuss in breakout groups - especially ideas for a future European Folk Day – and then the opportunity to get together in interest groups with colleagues from the same kind of work, including Festivals, Workshops, Researchers, Artists, Agents, Educators, and Showcase/Expos. The new Open Mic session offers everyone an opportunity to pitch their own ideas, proposals or information to EFN members. 🔸And, of course, there is a wealth of concerts all weekend – conference delegates have free access and can choose from Fira Mediterrània’s incredible showcases - see them all here - and then wind up the weekend with a history-led tour of the city of Manresa, Heart of Catalonia. The full schedule for the weekend is on the EFN website and EFN will compile a full Conference report which will be made available to as soon as possible after the event. NOTE two EFN members have showcases: 🔸The Spanish colleagues from Mapamundi Música bring a world premiere with Vigüela and the dancer Patricia Álvarez, on Friday afternoon (just after our welcome wine tasting) (picture on the left). 🔸The colleagues from World Music Serbia (meet Bojan Djordjevic there) bring the Bosnian band Divanhana on Friday evening (picture on the right).
EFN Members – promoters, festivals, showcase organisers, artists and managers – watch carefully for special awards and signs of success. One measure of success is a place in the World Music Charts Europe, in which this month 11 out of the top 20 are European traditional artists – including Finland’s Päivi Hirvonen (in the picture below), represented by EFN Member Johanna Sauramäki. Check out her entry and the full Top 20 at https://www.wmce.de/.
🔸EFN WELCOMES TWO NEW MEMBERS By EFN editors
The latest members to join EFN are from France and from Norway:
🔸Maison des Cultures du Monde
From Vitre in France, our new member the Maison des Cultures du Monde tells us:
"La Masion des Cultures du Monde was created in 1982 to promote cultural exchange programmes. It is open to all civilisations, favouring cultural and artistic perspectives and exchanges.
Through its actions, record label, publications, festival de l’Imaginaire, training programme, it strives to reveal the immense diversity of creation, and invites us to better know ourselves and the world around us.
The Maison des cultures du Monde is recognised in France and abroad for its pioneering role in:
protecting and encouraging awareness of cultural diversity and respect for difference;
research and programming in the performing arts of intangible cultural heritage;
the creation of the anthropological discipline "ethnoscenology", in collaboration with the international academic community and UNESCO;
the documentation and recording of rare and endangered music."
They say that their reason for joining EFN is:
“To contribute to the development of a network of institutions and actors on traditional music and dance in Europe.”
For more information, check their website.
🔸The Norwegian Centre for Traditional Music and Dance
From Trondheim in Norway, the Norwegian Centre for Traditional Music and Dance describes itself like this:
“The Centre is a private, independent foundation financed by the Norwegian state. The foundation started as a council for folk music and folk dance in 1972 and was established as a foundation in 1992.
The foundation’s main goal is to promote, safeguard and transmit Norwegian traditional music and dance as an expression of cultural identity with unique qualities. Sff functions as a coordinator for all disciplines concerning Norwegian folk music and dance. The foundation ensures representativeness and expertise in public administration, as well as rigorous scientific work in the documentation, examination and dissemination of knowledge to provide quality and width in folk music and folk dance.”
And here’s why they want to join EFN:
“We are interested in building better network amongst European colleagues and organisations. We think we can find that in EFN. Also we can contribute with our knowledge on traditional music and dance and intangible cultural heritage and UNESCOs convention on that matter.”
Find out more on their website.
News from EFN members
RECOGNITION FOR BULGARIA AT WOMEX 2022: ARTIST AWARD FOR IVO PAPAZOV - IBRIAMA AND ORATNITSA’S CONCERT
By Roumena Kalcheva
This year’s 22nd edition of the International Festival for world and electronic music WOMEX 2022 witnessed a great recognition for Bulgaria and Bulgarian ethnic music. The clarinet and wedding music virtuoso Ivo Papazov is awarded with the WOMEX 2022 Artist Award for its inimitable style, persistence to consolidate the Tracian and Turkish-Roma music to the world stage, and for his pure and passionate clarinet mastery.
For the first time at WOMEX there will be a Balkan MOST stage where will be presented the finalists of the International project for Balkan music MOST, in which the Bulgarian Music Association is one of the partners. The Bulgarian acoustic band Oratnitsa will take part in the showcase programme.
Featured Member: English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS)
According to their application to be a founding member of EFN "EFDSS is the national development organisation for the English folk arts, responsible for preservation, promotion and development, delivered through the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, running educational activities nationally, and supporting professional artists. We present activities at our venue Cecil Sharp House and around England, and beyond, in partnership with other organisations."
And this is what they can give to the European Folk Network:
Experience of collaborating on educational and creative development projects.
Working at grass roots through to academia.
Connected into the wider arts, arts education and heritage sectors of the UK.
From their perspective, EFDSS stated that they would "benefit from developing networks and contacts, gain knowledge of different folk practices – artists, education, and sectoral and passing on knowledge to the English folk scene".
Find out a lot more about EFDSS on 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured Artist: Antonis Dalgas By Araceli Tzigane
According to Discogs, Antonis Diamantidis (b. 1892, İstanbul – d. 1945) was a Greek Rebetiko singer, musician and composer. He started playing oud when he was 16, and worked as a professional singer in İstanbul from 1917 until 1922. In 1922 he relocated in Greece, where from 1923 until 1930 he collaborated with many "Smyrna-style" Rebetiko ensembles as a singer and oud player. After 1930 he started playing the guitar and continued working as a professional musician until his demise in 1945.
Why was he called "Dalgas"? Dalgas means passion in Greek, and ripple or wave in Turkish. You will understand it better if you listen to him:
Antonis Dalgas recorded this song you have below, Eleni Elenara Mou, on several ocassions. This one from 1929 is very wild! He speaks of his love for Elena and his devastating jealousy, which even leads to threats of murder. You can find the lyrics translated into English, here.
In his lifetime, Dalgas experienced first-hand two of the most traumatic events of the 20th century. The first one was the Asia Minor disaster, which meant that millions of people, Greeks living in what is now Turkey and Turks living in what is now Greece, had to leave their homes. Dalgas was working as a singer on a ship carrying Greek emigrants to America, the King Alexander, between 1920 and 1922. On his return, he had to settle in Greece, abandoning his native Istanbul.
The other disaster was World War II and the entry of the Germans into Greece. These event would cause Dalgas to leave the stage, sink into depression and die in 1945 of unclear causes.
Between the two tragedies, he recorded hundreds of pieces, sang live in clubs and composed some pieces. He also collaborated with some of the leading rebetiko artists of his time.
On this recording below Dalgas is joined by another of rebetiko's most fascinating performers, Zacharias Kasimatis, in the piece Oi dyo seretes, composed in words and music by Manolis Chrysafakis, in a 1933 recording. The lyrics speak of a fight between two habitual brawlers, which ends tragically and one of them, who had spent 10 years in prison, will end up spending another 10:
🔸ALL ABOARD WITH TRADITIONAL TUNES: COMMUNITY HEALTH PROJECT ON A BARGE A conversation between Carol Main and Claire Sawers, from Live Music Now Scotland and the EFN editors
This summer, Live Music Now Scotland has been presenting a programme of concerts in partnership with Health All Round, with rising stars of Scottish traditional music performing a series of wellbeing concerts on an Edinburgh canal barge: Megan MacDonald and Calum McIlroy (accordion and guitar duo), Siannie Moodie (clarsach player), Penny James and Matt Tighe (fiddle duo), Sally Simpson and Catriona Hawksworth (fiddle and piano duo) have already performed and on Monday 19 of September it will be the time for Roo & Neil (fiddle and accordion duo). Live Music Now Scotland Director, Carol Main MBE explained that: “Live Music Now Scotland musicians are used to playing in unusual venues, but this is the first time in the organisation’s history that they have performed on a canal boat!”. On behalf of the EFN, Araceli Tzigane asked them a few questions about how this initiative is going so far.
EFN: So far, you have made 4 of the planned concerts, the last one will be on the 19th of September. How is it going and what reactions have you had from the public? LMNS: The series is all going very well indeed with people really appreciating the chance to connect with music and nature along the canal at the same time. The groups on board are all local community groups experiencing a range of health and wellbeing issues such as loneliness and social isolation or mental health difficulties, especially coming out of covid. People on the banks of the canal have also been surprised to see and hear musicians performing on a boat and it’s cheered up everyone’s day! EFN: What were the logistical challenges you encountered and how did you overcome them? LMNS: We didn’t really encounter any logistical challenges, especially as the boat has been very well set up and equipped and we are working in partnership with three super organisations – Health All Round, People Know How and Polwarth Parish Church. EFN: You are used to facing challenges. According to Carol Main MBE, “Live Music Now Scotland musicians are used to playing in unusual venues.” Is it easy to convince third parties, e.g. venue owners or managers, about holding concerts? How do you convince them, what do you offer them? LMNS: There is no one answer to this question! We can work with partners about their aims and objectives and help them to achieve them. Live Music Now Scotland has a fantastic USP in its artists. They are not only first class musicians, but are exceptionally skilled in communicating and connecting with a wide range of people. For instance, we were able to have two outdoor sessions of our Traditional Tunes for Tiny People project as part of a classical chamber music festival, Music at Paxton. This brought new, family audiences to the festival which might not otherwise have attended it. EFN: How does the budgetary aspect work? I suppose there are quite a lot of logistical expenses, in addition to the artists' fees. LMNS: Our main costs are artists’ fees, which are paid at fair rates, and their travel expenses. We have a modest amount that goes towards management of concerts, evaluation and communications. EFN: I noticed that in the presentation document you say that you "give fairly paid performing opportunities to the best of Scotland's up and coming traditional talent". It's as if artists in this kind of music are expected to do these things for free or for very little money. I ask you this because, at least in my country (Spain), this field of music (folk/traditional) is much less well paid than most others. Does this also happen in Scotland? LMNS: In the past, traditional musicians may have been expected to perform for a very small fee. We have worked hard to make sure that all artists, of whatever genre, are paid a fair rate for their work and that is the same for other organisations in our sector, with funders also understanding that this is important. Working with emerging artists, who tend to be young, there can also be the perception that performing is part of their education and while of course they are learning a lot with Live Music Now Scotland activity, it is only right that they are remunerated for it as part of their continuing professional development.
Live Music Now Scotland shared with us this video with some reflections by Carol Main MBE and some of the artists:
🔸INTERGENERATIONAL ISSUES By Tina Jordan Rees
Tina Jordan Rees is one of the speakers on the conference about intergenerational issues on the Annual Meeting in Manresa. She kindly shared with us some reflections about her career and this topic.
Picture by Elly Lucas Hi, I’m Tina - musician, composer and piano teacher originally from Lancashire, England now living in Glasgow, Scotland. I first got into Irish music through Irish dancing. My older sister saw some Irish dancers performing in the local shopping centre and asked if she could do it. So, our mum signed her up to the local Irish dancing school and when I was old enough, I joined too. Through being involved in Irish dancing, my dad began to get into Irish music. He found a local Comhaltas session and we got some tin whistles. I then started to go to lessons at a Comhaltas group, and it was here I began to learn Irish tunes on the whistle. I then progressed on to the wooden flute and I was totally hooked. When I was 18, I moved to Ireland to study on the BA in Irish Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. Here, I was very lucky to learn from some of the most amazing Irish musicians including Majella Bartley (flute), Niall Keegan (flute), Derek Hickey (button accordion), Annmarie Acosta (piano) and many more.
Derek Hickey is one of the artists aforementioned by Tina. Watch him here, performing with Macdara Ó Faoláin:
And here you can watch Majella Bartley performing two reels from Josie McDermott:
In my third year on the Irish Music degree, I had the opportunity to study a traditional music at another university. I chose the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, Scotland. For a number of reasons, I decided to transfer and ended up finishing my degree in Scottish Music. Whilst at the RSAMD I studied piano with James Ross and learnt so much about piano arrangements for traditional tunes. As well as formal lessons and teaching, probably the biggest place I’ve learnt from is the session scene. Both in Limerick and Glasgow, there are a huge number of traditional sessions happening weekly. Week after week, I would join sessions and record tune after tune to go away and learn. It’s great when you’ve heard a tune you like, gone away to learn it, and then you hear it at another session and can join in. I am now passing on the tradition in a few ways - I teach private piano pupils weekly. Most of the kids are learning classical piano but I do teach a couple of pupils some Irish and Scottish music as well. I’ve also just released a solo flute and whistle album of all my own compositions. The band set up on the album is in a traditional style with flute and whistles, guitar, bodhrán and double bass, but with all new music. At the same time I released the album, I also released a tune book of 76 of my own compositions. I hope that the album and tune book are adding to the pool of traditional music and could potentially inspire some young musicians to take up traditional music or write their own tunes in a traditional style. If my sister hadn’t have seen those Irish dancers performing that day, I’m not sure how or if, as a family, we would’ve fallen into the fantastic world of Irish traditional music. So, how can traditions be passed down in this modern age? We need to get young kids to experience and hear more trad music. In Scotland, every January during Celtic Connections the festival puts on kids concerts. Groups of school children go to the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow and are given wonderful concerts by some of the top festival artists. This is fantastic and I’d like to see more of this sort of thing happening throughout the year, out with Celtic Connections. I’d also like to see more trad concerts happening in child-friendly venues. Most music venues in Glasgow are over 18s. It would be great to see more gigs that are accessible to kids. More funding for getting traditional tutors into schools would also be good. We mostly see classical piano, clarinet, trumpets etc in schools but it would be great if we could start to see more accordion, tin whistle, and banjo teachers so that the children have the opportunity to give a different instrument a try. Things like Fèisean in Scotland - a group of Gaelic arts tuition festivals, mainly for young people - and Comhaltas - the largest worldwide organisation devoted to the promotion and preservation of Irish traditional music, song, dance and language - are fantastic but we need to get more young people hearing about them. From my experience, the Irish music and dance, and Scottish music traditions are more popular than ever. There seems to be more and more young people taking up Irish dancing, competing in the Irish music competitions at the Fleadhs, and attending Fèis weeks. This is fantastic. We should continue what we are doing and also keep a constant eye on what else we could be doing to preserve and develop these important and brilliant traditions.
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.