Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cornish Surf music.

Surfing in different places has spawned and then embedded different music into its varying scene. I often find it pretty odd that Hawaii renowned for heavy locals, violence, strong waves has the plinky plonky ukulele at its heart. The Balinese have Gamelan and Ketchak as their oceanic pulse which I adore.

 Cornwall and surfing here to me is about folk music (you can tell it through blues but its still folk if you ask me) because that's what best describes the lore of the land. On a recent wonder through some cow fields on the way to surf I came across Carn Euny an ancient Celtic settlement dating from the 5th century BC which wasn't abandoned till the Romans left the best part of a millennia later. Remote, beautiful and weather battered it must have been an amazing existence, tough at times undoubtedly, battling the elements and everyday disasters that life before advanced medicine raised. But those folk must have spent many an evening gathered around storytelling, huddled out of harms way, a few yarns must have been set to verse.


 Today Cornwall still feels the same but its shape and form has moved on. The Fogou (an underground structure created by the Celts whose purpose is debatable) are  no longer constructed, yet the Cornish Cottages very much keep the granite building tradition alive and the hand of music and art proliferates as ever.

 The musician who best reflects Cornwall and surfing this ancient land for me is Martin Harley. The rhythm and poetry of his language reflects not only the pace of life here but also the spirit in which it should be lived to me. It can be lively enough to get you going, and mellow enough not to attempt suicidal overtaking of a tracter which might be driving you nuts with frustration. What more could you want?!?

 His days of turning up at the Sand Bar with long hair and mud on his boots have gone and these days if he isn't making documentaries about African music in Mali then he's galavanting around Europe playing gigs. Good on him nice to see someone with talent and passion do well.

 Anyway Martin Harley check him out.

1 comment:

  1. edward, you need to start writing for the surf mags like surfer´s journal. your voice and perspective rock!