Aphex Twin – The National Music of Cornwall?
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  1. Delia Brotherton

    Yes indeed Seamas Carey, what does the “music of Cornwall” sound like? Surely it depends on personal taste, age, cultural influences, historic influences, landscape influences and, on a more basic level, access to the things that make music possible – instruments, manuscripts/sheet music (or some method of writing compositions down), recording gear and so on. Similar to many other places I suppose. Many musicians would say that using the language, Kernewek, in songs is a mark of distinction, regardless of the genre, so Aphex Twin with Kernewek might appeal to an audience who were keen to support their identity as Cornish but were not choir, folk or brass band fans. Some people identify with the rhythm and time signature of other Celtic musics, such as 6/8 or, in the case of Breton influence, 5/4. Many singers have adopted “Cornwall My Home” as a modern anthem, but the melody and sentiments expressed are timeless and might one day be given the Aphex Twin treatment by some enterprising person who prefers to express these sentiments in a different way. Perhaps this music could best be described as one of many “musics of Cornwall” in the same way as Gwenno’s techo style has captured the mainstream music industry in a way that other styles have not. I was interested to see young poet Pol Hodge (now the Grand Bard of Cornwall) featured in the short film of John Peel in Cornwall. Pol is a man who has consistently promoted Cornwall as a place of inspiration and technical expertise and continues to make a case for Cornwall, a place now so heavily diluted by outside influences that one might indeed wonder what next, but most people are influenced through their lifetimes in an ever expanding world of culture while never forgetting their roots, however that is expressed musically.

    1. Merv Davey

      Yes the “Musics of Cornwall” is a good way of putting it. We also have a feature on “Big Al Hodge” in the CNMA. As a rock musician touring with Leo Sayer “Cornwall” did not spring to mind but anyone listening to him live was never left in doubt that he was a Bodmin boy and Cornish through and through. He also composed the soundtrack for D.M.Thomas’s play “Hellfire Corner” tellng the story of Cornish Miner and Rugby international Bert Soloman which it would be nice to hear more of.
      Nice to se a younger version of our current Grand Bard, Pol Hodge, interviewed by John Peel alongside of Aphex Twin! Many thanks Seamas.