Musicians move to practice their art, to improve their lot or, sometimes, just to stay alive. Since the days of wandering minstrels and troubadours, music has been the one art form that needed to move to be seen and heard. Musicians tour to earn a living, they travel to meet and work with other musicians. Sometimes, they are carried along on the tidal wave of humanity that flees wars or natural disasters. All these people bring their music with them and, in a lot of cases, leave some behind when they move on.
Music, of course, moves in other ways. It moves hearts and minds. Shakespeare said that ‘music hath charms to soothe the savage breast’ and so it has. But it also has the power to inspire and even, to incite. From the Civil Rights marches to the battle against apartheid to Tahir Square, music was upfront and central to the struggle.
And so it moves... Songs from an Open Road is a weekend of music, talks and film that will explore the sources and examine the influence of what is often referred to as “global music”. Such movement was caused by the slave trade from Africa to the West Indies and the southern states of America, the migration of Irish & Scottish music to America as a result of the Famine and Highland clearances, the Blues highway that took the acoustic blues of the Southern states to Chicago to be electrified and become the basis for rock & roll. And, of course, there is the constantly moving music of nomadic peoples like the Roma, the Tuareg and the Traveller communities of Britain and Ireland.
And so it moves in other ways... Songs From An Open Road will also explore how music moves through the centuries, through family, through the oral tradition, through the oldest traditions. From the re-interpretation of centuries old composers through to the simple handing down through the family line of songs and melodies that describe particular histories, joys, heartbreaks, victories, losses and struggles of peoples. Songs that mirror and shine a light on current upheavals and troubles that affect humanity... Songs from an Open Road.
Image: Musician With A Drum - Giuseppe Signorini (Italian, 1857-1932)