From The Library… ’Tis the Season

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Tuesday, 4 December, 2007

This week’s daily programmes feature a collection of Christmas and Yuletide music from NW Europe and North America, including classical, Celtic and folk traditions, as well as the occasional modern piece (which we hope will not be too much of a surprise – one has to have a little fun sometimes).

We have, however, with great reluctance, refrained from including the Christmas version of It’s a Small World After All, despite it being an absolutely stunning arrangement; and you will also not be hearing the disco Christmas medley the present writer co-produced in the early 1980s. Really.

What is of particular interest, however, is the work of the Derbyshire-based folk trio Coope, Boyes & Simpson. The group specialises in acapella performances that are astonishingly moving and powerful, and their repertoire includes both traditional and self-penned works. In this programme we will be focusing on a selection of their Christmas music.

With bands of carollers and wassail songs, tales of Mowbray Pies and ghosts, and customs such as Mumping and Clementing, the winter season in the English countryside was a time of fireside celebration and travellers’ voices at the door. Drawing on first-hand accounts of old customs, traditional stories and carols from small towns and villages in the English counties, the group – augmented here by Fi Fraser, Jo Freya and Georgina Boyes – brings these once common experiences back to life, creating a vivid picture of the rich traditions of the countryside to give a new insight into local life at Christmas past and present.

From The Library is presented by Radio Riel in conjunction with the Caledon Library in Second Life, and today’s programme was produced by Elrik Merlin. For more information on the Caledon Library, current exhibits and the work of Second Life reference libraries in general, please visit the Caledon Library Web site, or one of their locations in-world.

• You can listen to the program now at http://music.radioriel.org, or simply visit any Caledon Library branch in-world and press Play on your embedded music player.

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