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Robin Williamson

New Sounds

Folk-Inspired Ballads, Male Edition (Special Podcast)

Monday, March 24, 2014

WNYC

Listen to folk-inspired ballads, featuring male folk-singers & wandering minstrels on this New Sounds.  There are surreal songs from a haunting record, “Hirta Songs,” by Alistair Roberts and poet Robin Robertson, with texts inspired by the history, landscape and people of the remote Scottish archipelago of St. Kilda (about 100 miles off the coast of Scotland.)  The record is named after the largest of these islands, where the main employment was fowling the great quantities of sea birds.  (Sheep-herding, crofting and fishing were ways of life as well.)  The eerie songs we’ll hear are both based on Celtic melodies; "A Fall of Sleet," is based on the tune 'The Battle of Inverlochy.' while the other, "Exodus," concerns the 1930 voluntary evacuation of the islands and is based on two tunes.

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New Sounds

Folk-Inspired Ballads, Male Edition

Monday, March 03, 2014

Listen to folk-inspired ballads, featuring male folk-singers & wandering minstrels on this New Sounds.  There are surreal songs from a haunting record, “Hirta Songs,” by Alistair Roberts and poet Robin Robertson, with texts inspired by the history, landscape and people of the remote Scottish archipelago of St. Kilda (about 100 miles off the coast of Scotland.)  The record is named after the largest of these islands, where the main employment was fowling the great quantities of sea birds.  (Sheep-herding, crofting and fishing were ways of life as well.)  The eerie songs we’ll hear are both based on Celtic melodies; "A Fall of Sleet," is based on the tune 'The Battle of Inverlochy.' while the other, "Exodus," concerns the 1930 voluntary evacuation of the islands and is based on two tunes.

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New Sounds

A Wand'ring Minstrel…Aye!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Modern troubadours may not travel from court to court, but some musicians still keep the bardic tradition alive, telling stories and accompanying themselves on the harp.  We’ll hear from Joanna Newsom, a contemporary songwriter whose earlier epic work made a most memorable musical narrative out of her sister teaching her to name stars, accompanied by a concert harp.  From her 3-CD set called “Have One On Me,” we’ll hear “Go Long” in which she improbably manages to use “palanquin,” “bequeath,” and “Kentucky” in the same song.

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New Sounds

A Wand'ring Minstrel…Aye!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Modern troubadours may not travel from court to court, but some musicians still keep the bardic tradition alive, telling stories and accompanying themselves on the harp.  We’ll hear from Joanna Newsom, a contemporary songwriter whose earlier epic work made a most memorable musical narrative out of her sister teaching her to name stars, accompanied by a concert harp.  From her 3-CD set called “Have One On Me,” we’ll hear “Go Long” in which she improbably manages to use “palanquin,” “bequeath,” and “Kentucky” in the same song.  

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