From the Library: Music Around a Theme—Lughnasadh

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Saturday, 1 August, 2009

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 .

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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