From the Library: Music Around a Theme—Lughnasadh

Wikipedia says of Lugh­nasadh:

Lugh­nasadh was one of the four main fes­ti­vals of the medieval Irish cal­en­dar: Imbolc at the begin­ning of Feb­ru­ary, Beltaine on the first of May, Lugh­nasadh in August and Samhain first of Novem­ber. One ear­ly Con­ti­nen­tal Celtic cal­en­dar was based on the lunar, solar, and veg­e­ta­tive cycles, so the actu­al cal­en­dar date in ancient times may have var­ied.

Lugh­nasadh marked the begin­ning of the har­vest sea­son, the ripen­ing of first fruits, and was tra­di­tion­al­ly a time of com­mu­ni­ty gath­er­ings, mar­ket fes­ti­vals, horse races and reunions with dis­tant fam­i­ly and friends. Among the Irish it was a favored time for hand­fast­ings — tri­al mar­riages that would gen­er­al­ly last a year and a day, with the option of end­ing the con­tract before the new year, or lat­er for­mal­iz­ing it as a more per­ma­nent mar­riage.”

Today, of course, Lugh­nasadh is a part of both the Wic­can and neo-Pagan cal­en­dars as well as the recon­struct­ed Celtic.

Rather than inter­pret this lit­er­al­ly and play a bunch of Celtic music, writes Elrik Mer­lin, I decid­ed to try some­thing rather more loose, and let the music be inspired by some of the inter­twin­ing themes of this time of year. So yes, there is plen­ty of Celtic music in this set, and some of it relates direct­ly to Lugh­nasadh. But in addi­tion, you’ll find the Moon (or moons) in there too; har­vest; fire; and many oth­er inter­wo­ven themes from a vari­ety of gen­res. Some­times the con­nec­tion is obvi­ous; some­times it may be a bit more ten­u­ous or metaphor­i­cal. I do hope you enjoy today’s exer­cise in musi­cal word-asso­ci­a­tion.

Today’s pro­gramme on Radio Riel is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin and pro­duced in con­junc­tion with the Alexan­dri­an Free Library Con­sor­tium of Sec­ond Life. You can tune in now at http://music.radioriel.org .

For more infor­ma­tion on the Alexan­dri­an Free Library, cur­rent exhibits and the work of Con­sor­tium mem­bers in gen­er­al, please vis­it the Alexan­dri­an Free Library web­site, or one of their branch­es in-world.

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