FolkWorld Issue 37 11/2008
by Petr Pandula
This autumn, Magnetic Music's Rainbow Expedition tour invites music lovers in Germany, France and Switzerland to a musical journey to Ireland. A hot-air balloon stands as a symbol for the effortlessness and the sense of freedom of a living tradition. Together with a young generation of exciting artists we take a look at today's Ireland from a bird's-eye view, so to speak.
As we conceive folk music as an art form with cultural and political dimensions, we use this tour to protest against the formatted media. Irish folk, Celtic rock, jazz, blues, flamenco, and many other world music genres no longer find a place in many radio and tv stations. One may understand, with limitations, that commercial broadcast stations rank business considerations before any informational mandate against the society.
However, we don't understand it regarding publically funded radio stations. We pay radio and tv licence fees after all in order to get a well-balanced program. Unfortunatly, public stations more and more act like commercial stations and place the bar for the cultural content and standards lower and lower. In the end it makes no difference, if it happens because of strategic considerations or because a financially strong lobby backing pop and rock music, is managing to snap more and more timeslots at the expense of world music.
Download protest button :
In order to call attention to these problems, we have launched a comprehensive information campaign. Our symbol is a protest button against format radios. We hope that agencies, promoters, musicians, arts centres, clubs and festivals add this button to their means of print and internet promotion, so that format radios soon perceive a stiff opposition.
This protest is not meant to be an undifferentiated attack against all press. We know from our own experience that many of our media partners are under considerable pressure. Every year the number of journalists, which we provide with CD samples, is getting smaller. They are made redundant, their programmes are axed or relocated to unattractive timeslots.
Our solidarity is with them.
Petr Pandula & the Magnetic Music team
© The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld; Published 11/2008
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