Archive for October, 2018

La Hermandad de los Celtas

October 27, 2018

I’m now reading Carlos’s book on Celtic music which is very interesting and beautifully written, if maybe a bit unscientific (no references, no index, a lot of fangirling for actual academics). Watch this space for a review when I’m through. in the meantime, you can read the first chapter online.



October session

October 20, 2018

There are five Wednesdays this month, so the October edition of our Galician session / foliada is not on the fourth this time, but as always on the last Wednesday, which is the very last day of the month, namely Wed, 31.10., starting from 8:30pm, at the James Street Tavern as usual.  (People at the Latin American session this Wednesday told me somebody asked for the Galician one and was disappointed to hear that it isn’t happening every week. I can relate to that … )

While we’re talking dates and diaries, the last Wednesday in December falls on Boxing Day, so I am running a poll on whether to have the session on Boxing Day (pub is open as usual), on the Wednesday after (2.1.), or on an earlier date to be confirmed (Wed before being occupied by the Latin American session, unless they decide to move, too, but I’ve asked the pub to keep the Sun 23.12. for us. Let me know which date you would prefer. Poll closes on the night of the October session, i.e. 31.10.)

Anyhow, in the sixteenth session in the new sequence, we’ll again play lots of lovely tunes from our vast collection of Galician traditionals, including of course A bruxa (the witch) for Samaín/Halloween. The Oxford Pandeireteiras will play their tambourines and sing some of the songs they practise in their weekly classes. Sheet music will be provided for anybody who brings an instrument and wants to join in (I also have a PDF file with 19 of our favourite tunes which I can email on request). Feel free to dance if you find space to move. A box of miscellaneous percussion instruments (plus cunchas!) is also on hand if you would like to rattle along with the rhythms.

Note that the Tavern has a 11:30 curfew for musical activities, so the  session will close before that time with the traditional anthem of “Fisterra”. If you don’t have to leave earlier, it would be nice if you could stay for that. The curfew also means that if we start late, we’ll just have less time to play music.

For further info about the sessions and sharing audio and video recordings of the tunes we play, subscribe to this blog or join the Facebook group. There is also a mailing list for email reminders sent a week before the sessions.


Other events coming up:

November, date TBC – Magosto. There has usually been a Magosto (chestnut party) celebration in November, organised by the Galician Studies Centre together with the Catalan Studies Centre, but as the new lecturer for Galician has only just taken up the job this month, I haven’t got confirmation for that yet.

Wed 28.11. Galician Session Oxford

December session, date TBC

29.12. -2.1. Folk Marathon Porto – As this year’s location for the annual folk marathon is geographically very close to Galicia, I should expect that there will be some Galician tunes played at the sessions.

… and looking ahead a bit:

August 2 to 11, 2019, Galicia will be the featured Celtic nation at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient.