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Sun 星期日 12noon

    Songs of the Earth 大地之歌

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    SONGS OF THE EARTH 大地之歌
    Sundays at 12nn   星期日正午
    Host: Colin Touchin 杜程

    One of the great collections of folk music is that broadly labelled “Celtic”. But what exactly can this name include, and where exactly are the regions which produced and continue to inspire these songs and melodies? Well, most of us might start off with the obvious Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and possibly include northern France, Brittany, etc. We might not have thought that there are also provable and recognisable associations in and with Canada, Norway and Austria.

     

    This series of 13 programmes will begin with a general introduction aiming to give an effective overview of the connections across the seas and lands of history. Then will follow programmes focussing in turn on each country to attempt to discover the unique essence of each people and their singing. To conclude we’ll do another round-up of these countries with an ear for recent developments – the growth of authentic folk-groups reviving music of the past for modern audiences, both local and international, and the search for a contemporary approach to the old music, just as relevant in the folk idiom as it has proved to be in mainstream classical composition.

     

    My first month’s journey through this musical treasure trove will cover the big three, as it were, of Ireland, Wales and Scotland. So we’ll begin in Ireland, the home of so much great humour, heart and heritage. There are songs from the fireside, from the countryside and farmland, from the hills and valleys, and, of course, from the pub! Although Ireland’s cities are as highly developed as any in the rest of the world, there is still an enormous proportion of the country still as pastoral and untouched by modern technology as some so-called Third-World countries, and blessed be the country for retaining its character so purely and proudly.

     

    Next we can explore the legacy of Wales; and here I must state a vested interest, as I am currently the musical director of the Hong Kong Welsh Male Voice Choir, which has enabled me to experience firsthand the joy and beauty of their melodic lines and their lilting expression in this traditional language (still spoken by many thousands of people). Here, too, we can experience songs of the land, of the fighters and chieftains, of the seas and sailors, and of course of the miners who trudge underground in the darkest, most dangerous conditions to sustain the economy, and provide genuinely black humour!

     

    Our next stop will be Scotland, where we will encounter, for sure, the bagpipes, strathspeys and reels as well as evocative songs of great warriors and lovers. The differing landscapes of this great country, from the soft glens and rivers to the lochs and sea-coast, from the rolling hills to the craggy mountains has inspired some superb melodies, and tales of heroism and sacrifice to protect the land they love against invaders, by seas from the north but mostly those Sassenachs from the south!

     

    And there will also be a brief trip to the Isle of Man where their own music incorporates the Manx language and their own singers and harpists continue to create new material. Their unique take on Celtic traditions can be heard in one of the purest forms of folk-singing, as the island has been able to retain a more sedentary way of life, less tainted by the influences of 20th century living (mind you, they have certainly absorbed modern conveniences and technology).

     

    So the aim of this journey is to connect the music with the history of the people and their experiences, both domestic and communal, and with the dramatic events of their unfolding culture and the features of the landscapes which continue to inspire their creativity and singing.

    主持杜程將帶聽眾遨遊愛爾蘭、威爾斯和蘇格蘭等地, 並介紹各地的傳統民風和特色歌曲,從田野、山村、酒吧,至由水手、礦工等所唱的作品都盡在其中。 11月份逢星期日中午12 時的大地之歌(英語節目), 準時出發!

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