Celticsprite’s Blog

Suggested Albums : Robin Williamson – "Love Will Remain" (2012)
July 3, 2012, 7:17 pm
Filed under: Robin Williamson, Suggested Albums

“Robin Williamson” – Love Will Remain / New Release 180 Gram Vinyl LP + CD insert + booklet (Official Press)

After “Just Like The River And Other Songs With Guitar”, his last album with Quadrant Records, “Love Will Remain” is the second instalment from Robin Williamson, who offers his songs with the simple format of voice, acoustic guitar and other instruments played by himself. Williamson, an icon of British folk-rock, since in the sixties he revolutionized the scene as co-leader of the unique “The Incredible String Band”, now presents, in addition to ten songs on vinyl and CD, an approach to his paintings and a series of texts that includes both his thoughts and explanations on the creation of these paintings. Ten songs, seven of his own compositions and three covers among which we find The Band and Syd Barrett, making up the repertoire of this album, a work that is very personal, which largely takes us back to the personal and restless composer, closer to the aesthetics of the years immediately following the String Band than the deepened facet of traditional music in which the group plunged into after its split.

“Love Will Remain” kindly invites us to enter the universe of a singular and extremely unique artist, an artist whose influence has been openly acknowledged by some of the most important musicians of recent decades. The edition includes 180-gram vinyl, CD insert and booklet with large paintings and texts from this contemporary bard whose work continues to remain latent and timeless.

Feel free to listen some sample tracks on the Reverbnation Official Page

Celtic Poems: Sigil
May 15, 2010, 4:12 pm
Filed under: Celtic Poems, Robin Williamson
Let night enfold,
let silence own
The kiss you spare for me alone
Time has awhile that none can bind
Tomorrow thieves your hand from mine

Then lean to me, darling, darling, darling
Your dear dark head my heart above

The summer’s night that turns the tide
Yields this to those whom lives divide
Love has a right that none can bind
Tomorrow thieves your hand from mine

Then lean to me, darling, darling, darling
Your dear dark head my heart above

words and music by Robin Williamson
(c) 1981 Robin Williamson. All rights reserved

Celtic Poems : Verses In Stewart Street
May 9, 2010, 3:32 pm
Filed under: Celtic Poems, Robin Williamson
How could I find you
So many years now
In some other marriage
Or some other town
All through the streets, love
I questioned in vain
But not one of your neighbors
Remembered your name

How many nights, love
You’ve haunted my rest
And the voice of your sighing
And the soft of your breast
In sorrow or pain, love
Your hurt is at my heart
And these words still to send you
Wherever you are

words and music by Robin Williamson
(c) 1980, ’81 Robin Williamson – All Righls Reserved

Robin Williamson: The Inner Keltia Interview – part 4
March 14, 2010, 11:27 pm
Filed under: Robin Williamson
John: There is a Keltic Renaisaance on at present – one branch of that is a form of paganism which is strongly matriarchal. What do you feel about Keltic religion with regard to Druidism or Paganism, or patriarchal and matriarchal forms of belief?

Robin: Well personally, my religion is art, and I do regard it as being a Spiritual activity. But I have certain pagan…..leanings, if you
like. But I don’t adhere to the present-day operative forms of Wicca or any of those things. But the old gods have a certain meaning for
me, artistically…..and for real !. Also I am not entirely convinced
that there was ever total matriarchy in this country, although it is undoubtedly true that that was an element in the goddess religions.

J: I think a lot of the current matriarchal groups tend to overbalance things in the other direction, which is no better than patriarchy.

R: Yes, if one is really concerned about ending sexism, there doesn’t seem much point in letting it go the other way and saying men are all evil. I think the seres are part of each other.

J: I’ve been talking to a lot of people about renaissances in Keltic culture, interest in Keltic things. There was one at the end of the last century/beginning of this one – quite a pronounged one -but then that died off in the 40’/50’s. Recently there seems to be a new Keltic Renaissance. But people have said to me, “OK if there is one, it’ll just be another short-term one for about twenty years , then it will die out and there will be a great lapse again.” They said that there is not really time left enough for another renaissance and lapse, renaissance and lapse and so on, because they see the Keltic language, especially the languages, as dying out. If this renaissance, as it were, fails, we might not be in a fit state to attempt another ‘Revival’ containing genuine Kelticness.

R: Well they might get a lot of disagreement on that in Wales. Welsh is going from strength to strength at the moment, and Cornish shows every sign of making some sort of resurgence. Breton is stronger than it’s been in a long time, and as for Scottish Gaelic, I mean it was virtually extinct when I was a lad, but it seems now to be doing better than it was then.» I think it shows definite signs of a resurgance.

J: I was just wondering about the possibility of a Keltic Renaissance coming which would stick, which would last, catch fire and continue. There could be a resurfacing of something which could then continue for a long time.
R: I think it is true to say that civilization runs on ideas, not on bullets, and that culture is founded, usually, on aesthetic ideas, and that someone unleashes some sort of aesthetic force which eventually bocones a city. In the end, all you can detect in history are these markers left by people of vision. I mean you don’t see anything left of the wars….all that is left of the wars…..well the blood just -just drains away into the sand. But the statue with blind eyes is still staring across two thousand years later.

J: My ideas behind launching Inner Keltia were to promote this cultural, artistic, religious side, because I see this as being the most important aspect of Keltic culture, and also the most durable, and I think that’s where a lot of the primal inspiration comes from, from that realm, art, poetry, music, religion.
R: Very very true.

J: Whereas most of the Keltic magazines on the market up to now have dealt with politics, economics, language, various thing like that, which are all important, but for me they are not as important as the other ‘Inner’ side. And yet Inner Keltia will be criticized for that approach, it will be “arty”, “airy fairy”, “non-substantial”, etc……

Deirdre: “Out of touch with reality”…..which reality, I ask?!

J: There1s a Keltic magazine called Carn which in a recent issue talked about the shutting down of a steel smelter in the West of Scotland, which is really relevant, but….I mean….think acceptable, that’s talkable material for the general public, whereas the more esoteric things are not.

R: It’s peculiar how often in Scotland you could go up to somebody and say, you know, listen, here we are in the Borders, until the sixth century this was part of Prydain (Britain) it was Welsh speaking, and some of the earliest Welsh poetry was written here, and that would be such news…..it’s never taught in schools.

No-one’s ever heard about it, no one’s ever heard of Taliesin, no one’s ever heard of any of those people. Or what the Arthurian connection is to the Borders and why there is an Arthur’s Seat and a Merlin’s Grave and all the rest of it.

Let alone any connections Finn MacCuil has to the Southern Hebrides or the Island of Arran…..or Ossian or whatnot. And the real Gaelic side is buried even deeper, the real Gaelic stories are away to Canada and lost with the people who knew what the name of that knoll was, or what that rock in the river was called and why.

J: I believe it’s of importance, but what importance do you think there is for modern-day people, out there in the streets, to know stuff about the connections of the South of Scotland with Brythonic-speaking Wales?

R: It’s not very important to a lot of people, but it’s important to some, and it’s important that it’s not allowed to be lost, it’s important that people should be able to revoice some of these things from time to time. One doesn’t really think it’s going to be important to a lot of people, but to those for whom it is, it’s going to be extremely relevant.

J: 3o in a way you’re almost talking to the few?

R: Well, some things you are only going to be able to talk to the few about…..I mean, without being elitist at all, or without even wanting to be – I mean I’d like to be able to talk to lots of people -there are some things you’re only going to be able to say to a few. But they can be worth saying for all that. It’s worth having a go.

Robin Williamson: The Inner Keltia Interview – Part 3
March 14, 2010, 11:24 pm
Filed under: Robin Williamson

Deirdre: The trouble is, if you want to make a decent living out of any form of creative activity, you’ve got to become commercial, at least to some extent.

Robin: It’s almost an axiom that the better the piece is, the harder it
will be to get it across. Luckily that is not always true, some-times you can do something that’s really great and get it across, but it then has to retain a lot of communicativeness to be understandable by people.

John: That is something I feel ….. a lot of the Keltic Bards are famous
for their very involved poetry, which used a a lot of kennings, symbolic terms, which you pretty much have to be schooled in Bardism to understand.

R: Absolutely ….. well there is a Bardic aecret, there genuinely is a Bardic secret, and the reason it is a secret is because you can’t describe it to someone who doesn’t know what it is. What does it mean, I mean what are these people on about? I mean it’s like I’m trying to say in ‘Song of Mabon’, “There’s a treachery hidden in words and human love.” I mean, there’s no way you can describe to someone what that is, unless they know what it means, unless they’ re already aware of that treachery hidden in words and human love.

J: How difficult do you find it to incorporate some of these important but, to everyday people, obscure, ideas, obscure terms?

R: Well luckily, these things don’t have to be comprehensible intellectually, provided that they have word-music, melody, provided they have musical movement, harmonious content, provided they create a spell. I think these things have a charm of their own.

D: Do you think then that these things which you’re trying to express get through to people on whatever level they are able to understand them?

R: It seems to be so. I don’t think it matters, because I think that when you get into talking about pieces that are involved with myth and so forth, myth being a subjective thing, it means different things to different people. The pieces as I wrote them have a meaning for me – they might have an entirely different meaning to somebody elae. I don’t think it matters, because it’s the performance of them that is important. It’s the ritual aspect ….. it’s the actual doing of the thing that has meaning.

There are extraordinary depths in the Celtic Heritage – I think there ‘s a sort of Renaissance coming in Scotland and Ireland. I’m getting more and more passionately Scottish the older I get, you know, I really want to see Scotland awake. It’s been held under this dark waterfall so long that its fire has been quenched out. Victorian/Knoxian prudery has killed the passionate flower that it should really have been, and anyone looking at Scottish scenery and hearing the best of, say, Pibroch music, can see that there is undoubtedly a very wild soul there, which can still infect even the most mundane hearts with certain forms of •’xaltation. I’d really like to see Scottish art start to wake up to its (quote/unquote) “Celticness” instead of being quite so Tartan cimraick orientated.

D: Do you still miss Scotland a lot?

R: Well luckily I’ve been in and out of it a lot recently. But yes, I miss Scotland even when I’m here, the Scotland I miss is not here yet.

D: Are you still planning to move back here?

R: Oh yes ….. oh yes. But I think I will always be a traveller.

J: Some of the material you want to incorporate in your muaic/theatre at present is quite serious, involved with myth, involved with symbolism about meaning, about life, about seasons, about things like that, that’s quite a serious content…..

R: ‘Tree of Leaf and Flame” is that…..for better or worse that is what it deals with. But there are a lot of other things I’d like to deal with, including such things as humour, lighter things.

J: But even in the performance last night, there was a lot of humour. How much is that a natural expression of your character, or how much do you consciously say, “Well I’ve got quite a lot of serious stuff here, I’d better lighten it up a bit”?

R: Well I think in ‘Tree of Leaf and Flame”, I did that less than I’ve ever done in my life. I mean I very consciously perform, you know, but I think it’s a temptation to overdo that, and I think this was the least I’ve ever yielded to that trap. But I do think humour has a definite place…..it’s a marvellous thing…..laughter is very powerful. I like it! Ideally you should have both. Last night was presumably mostly serious, but I think it had its humorous bits.

J: Staying over here myself, I’m quite interested in how people in the States approach the celtic field. You know, there are a lot of Highland Societies, Gaelic Societies, Welsh Societies, and so on, in America. We tend to get get bad reports about them, that people are into them because of their name, because their name is Macintosh or suchlike.

R: There is that, there definitely is that, but on the other hand, looking on the more positive aids, there is a lot of really sincere enthusiasm, especially in music. For instance, some of the Scottish pipers in the States and Canada are absolutely staggeringly good. One of the best pipers I ever heard was a young American with a sort of German sounding name, from San Francisco, he was great. He was only about nineteen, he was a Pipe Major, and he’d been a member of the pipe band that won the competitions in Scotland the year before. Also some of the Cape Breton fiddlers are fantastic. So there is a lot of enthusiasm, which is very refreshing.

One thing I’d like to add: it seems that there has been a sort of pattern over the last few years in my own Keltic Path. The ‘Glint of the Kindling’ album was really about childhood and about growing up, particularly growing up in Scotland, and I then got into this whole thing about ‘Merlin’sGrave’ and the various connections of Wales to the South of Scotland, which I think are very important connections. Edinburgh really is the scene of certain very key events in early Bardic matter, and also in early chivalric matter. So we’ve got the Arthurian, the Chivalric, and of course that leads into the Masonic and what have you …..Knights Templars…..anyway, the next thing from there was, I got into the whole issue of Bardic and Provencal things, Amour Courtois -that’s what the ‘Songs of Love and Parting’ album was about. But I’m currently in a very different state again, having actualized a lot of that.