Editorial: Another America

For reasons that perhaps have more to do with Zeitgeist than design, this issue is punctuated by thoughts, comments and comparisons that consider the music and culture of Ireland in the context of the wider world. John McLachlan visits the new music scenes...

For reasons that perhaps have more to do with Zeitgeist than design, this issue is punctuated by thoughts, comments and comparisons that consider the music and culture of Ireland in the context of the wider world. John McLachlan visits the new music scenes of South Africa and Stuttgart and asks are we ‘actually doing anything interesting or provocative in this country?’; Michael McGlynn, Director of the world-renowned Anúna, opens up a new and essential debate for JMI, and asks, while ‘we have excelled at popular music, and our traditional music is the envy of other nations’, if ‘we have the vision to develop a choral community that will be the envy of the world?; Breandán Ó hEaghra teases out the issues relating to the alternative Galway arts festival, Project/Togra ‘06, which went head-to-head with the internationally-acclaimed Galway Arts Festival because west-based artists felt that there was too much emphasis on international acts; Adrian Scahill, in our regular traditional music review, ponders the new collaboration between the always adventurous Kíla and the Ainu musician Oki (the Ainu are a people indigenous to Northern Japan); Barra Ó Séaghdha discusses the work of Cork guitarist Mark O’Leary who has operated largely in the United States and ‘somewhat mysteriously…appears to have no connection with the existing jazz scene in Ireland’; Barra also writes about a stunning recent performance by US-based Irish traditional musician Martin Hayes; and finally, in our lead article this issue, award-winning novelist Desmond Traynor sets about persuading you, or perhaps confirming for you, that ‘there has always been another America’, a world of music and ideas far away from the arrogances and despicable, mindless war-mongering. Sounds worth a visit.

 

Published on 1 September 2006

Toner Quinn is a musician, music writer, founder of The Journal of Music, and lecturer in NUI Galway. www.tonerquinn.com

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