Author: Andy Letcher

Pay the Fiddler. When Can We Have Sustainable Music?

Perhaps we need a sea change in culture, where art and artists come to be valued once again. ...

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Can Music Ever Be Sustainable?

Pop music can create not just idols, but shaman-like figures who help us negotiate our way through life and death. How do we keep it coming?...

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Towards a Sustainable Music

Making a living is just one aspect of the sustainable music industry that isn't happening...

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To Mow a Meadow (Green Scythe Fair)

Remember where your food comes from. Remember the hands that toiled for you....

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A Wedding Without a Bagpipe is Like a Funeral

Bagpiping provides a route straight to the heart of another culture....

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Look Again: The Way of the Morris

Forget the decades of Pythonesque ribbing, Morris dancing is deep rooted folk ritual...

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A Decade of ‘Delics: Shroom, Ten Years On

Ten years later, the cultural history of the magic mushroom still gathers fans and furore...

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Smell the air and rub the sky

For most of us in the cities and towns the weather is just something that happens to us, something inconvenient, an impediment. Perhaps we should pay it more attention. ...

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Walking With Plants

Is a Native American Church peyote ceremony less shamanistic than a Neo-Pagan sweat-lodge simply by virtue of its using a teacher plant? ...

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Pagan Britain (and Ronald Hutton)

Qithin the generous limits imposed by the evidence you're free to imagine the past how you like....

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On Troubadours, Sufism and Robert Graves

The original medieval troubadours, who expounded the art of Courtly Love through poetry and song and who were embroiled with the heretical ideas of gnosticism and Catharism, owed their existence to...

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On Twitter, Birdsong and Bards

The Mistle Thrush reminds us not to be beguiled by outward display but to see through to what, if anything, lies beneath....

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Scary Monsters

Fiction is fiction and monsters are not predators: they're monsters. As such they're human projections, our worst nightmares made flesh. ...

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Drawing Inspiration

Symbols don't mean anything; rather they are fecund triggers to the imagination that allow meaning to arise through their contemplation....

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Dragon Paths and Pilgrimages

At a time when many of us experience a profound sense of disconnection or even alienation from the land, we need more modern pilgrimages...

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Druids, Magic Mushrooms and Cultural Memory

Iron Age Druids might have known about and used magic mushrooms even if there's no way of testing it....

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Bosky Man Visits Scarfolk

I became convinced that the village had a darker secret. I was quite certain that it had its very own coven of witches....

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Notes from the Noosphere

The interconnectedness of all things internet has less in common with the neural network as with a fungal mycelium. So writes Andy Letcher...

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Brythonic Gyrations

I see Breton dances as a kind of bhajan. They are about losing yourself to something greater. We forget the Dionysian at our peril....

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Evolution of a Classic [Folk Music]

The sipsi is a small reedpipe, played using circular breathing, with a wild and thrilling sound. I was immediately captivated by the lumpy nine-time rhythms and mind-boggling technique....

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Locomotion

The trick of getting a lift is not in persuading someone to stop. It is in being at exactly the right place at the right time such that the person who would give you a lift and is heading your way...

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Go Fly a Kite

And don't kites just lend themselves to metaphor? They punctuate the sky, return it to a human scale. They hug the wind. Our minds can't help but follow them up into the empyrean; watching them, we...

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The Tribes of Britain

To be an activist is to suffer defeat after defeat after defeat. Without spirituality to recharge and revive us the danger is we fall into bitterness or despair or worse, self-righteousness. ...

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Trouble at t’Mill: Radio 2 Axe Mike Harding

Folk. An English lower middle-class museum music. Ouch....

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