Is music folk or traditional? Used as synonyms in the English language, the two adjectives carry a very different meaning in French. By definition, folk is related to the people. In the French language, a pejorative connotation is now commonly understood which explains why musicians rather use the more neutral expression traditional music: Folk music ("musique folklorique") became the expression to categorise a type of unchanged music, like for the museums, whereas traditional music ("musique traditionnelle") is interpreted, arranged within a living society.
"Ur wech e oa, ur wech e vo, ur wech ne oa ket…"1
Once upon a time, a king married a woman on the one condition that he never would ask her her name or where she came from. He accepted and they lived happily together for many years. Every week, the queen would disappear for several hours, and nobody knew when she would come back. Rumours grew within the kingdom. One day, riddled with doubt, the king finally decided to follow her in secret.
The 7th edition of the Hofheim-am-Taunus Inter Celtic Folkfestival (Interkeltisches Folkfestival) in Germany will be running next week from the 2nd to the 25th of August. For my fourth participation1 in this festival, I will perform solo during the Breton night, on Saturday the 24th of August on the very atmospheric stage of the old water castle (Altes Wasserschloss). As every year, the eclectic program keeps its faithful approach in programming Celtic music, particularly from Scotland, Ireland and Brittany.
Sharp lines, pure elegance of shapes carved in matter, interlacing and dragon sculptures at the top: Richard van Rhijn's harp seems to come straight from the heart of Celtic legends. And like in legends, a secret surrounds the magical instrument. Eighty centimetres high, the smallest harp played on stage during the recent Rencontres Internationales de Harpe Celtique has a name: Airéelle1. Twenty-five kilos but only nineteen metal strings. One more clue to decipher the undecipherable: the harp is made in stone. (more…)