Community music making
James Galway was being interviewed on RTE radio this morning. Generally I’d be a bit wary of celebs like this as they usually have a well rehearsed patter. He was asked at one point about people following his musical path and he more or less said it was pointless. That he grew up in an era of little TV or media of any kind, and amongst various types of community music, that he was exposed to classical music and that was his path. That these days the music culture was very different and that’s where careers lay etc. That orchestras were fading away and interest in classical music was declining and so on.
This got me thinking on community music of which trad sessions are of course, one expression. But I also know that villages and towns in the area of Ireland where I live, once sported a variety of bands - brass bands, flute bands, pipe bands, ceili bands and so on, all practically gone. I can think of one pipe band left and a youth orchestra. Other than that and outside the trad scene, musical opportunity seems limited to the odd few who’ll put together a ‘rock’ band. But of course, music is still a very important part of our kid’s lives - they’d hardly go anywhere without an iPod and going to gigs etc. is where it’s at socially too.
What’s it like in your part of the world? Are there opportunities for music making in the local community, regardless of genre? Are the generations slowly but inexorably being turned into consumers rather than makers of music?