Re Collecting & Different Versions of the Same Events

Now that I’ve finished the big spring clean here, back to business.

I’m still thinking about collections and learning to write just the right amount (not over or under) today. Bothered by it.

Remembering a concert I’d been to in Belfast before Christmas. Trad musicians Iarla O’Lionaird and Steve Cooney to be exact. Iarla sang a couple of songs which were new to me in the sense that they were really well known pieces but he had found really unusual and lovely versions brought together by unknown (to me) collectors of songs in the oral tradition. To be fair, not a subject I know a lot about – Robin Flower –  is the only name I would recognise.

Of course, we wouldn’t do this now that people copperfasten their own work onto pages, but then when people played with work that had already a long shelf life to breathe another generation into it, very different versions would have been usual. It’s interesting what makes it into the canon, or fixed version, and what,  like Beowulf, will always bear a new telling. And then there is remixing which probably comes from the same instinct.

And a quirky project from Pen Point Press called ‘Edi[t]fy‘- where people created new pieces by applying their own editing methods to an original poem..an uncomfortable exercise.

I needn’t but say I haven’t yet done the un-underwriting excercises that Pascale Petit had suggested in her ‘Towards a Collection’.

And this is the perfect excuse to lay down my tin whistle forever and lose myself in a very new (to me) version of the once overfamiliar, now entirely loved in its new version (now to get the words of ‘Raglan Road’ to work with the melody).

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