Home Page Cornish Music Symposium

Kesareth Ilow Kernow - Cornish Music Symposium
5th Nov 2017 11 am – 13.30pm - Benenden Room, Bristol Hotel, Newquay


Argh Ilow Kernow – The Cornish Music Archive is a collaboration between Lowender Peran, The Institute of Cornish Studies and Kresen Kernow to create an archive and on-line database of Cornish music. As part of this project speakers are invited to Lowender Peran each year to talk on different aspects of Cornish music. This year’s symposium is chaired by Garry Tregidga, Institute of Cornish Studies, Exeter University and we have three speakers

Kanow Kernewek Brenda: The Cornish Language songs of Brenda Wootton: Richard Trethewey

Richard Trethewey is a singer and fiddle player with a fierce pride for the music, history and culture of Cornwall. Since his involvement in the Cornish music scene he has looked to Brenda Wootton as a figure who embodied these elements with unrivalled passion and commitment. In this symposium, an overview of Brenda’s recording career will be presented with particular focus on songs recorded in the Cornish language, which Richard has catalogued for this event. Richard will be joined by Steve Hunt to perform three of the songs that Brenda recorded in Cornish.

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Lyver Canow Kernewek: An Ideological Battleground? Merv Davey

In 1929 Dr Ralph Dunstan edited and published “Lyver Canow Kernewek – The Cornish Songbook”, a collection of songs, carols and tunes from Cornwall. It was the first of its kind and following on from the revived Gorsedh Kernow of 1928 it was intended to be a National Songbook for Cornwall. Inside its covers, however, one cannot help but notice the tensions between Ralph Dunstan, “the boy bandsman done good”; Henry Jenner “the Celtic supremacist”; and the young Robert Morton Nance who wanted to build a new Cornwall owned by its people and not the academic elite. There has to be an interesting story here!

Photo Credit -  'Quiet Please' (c) Paul Kidby used by permission, all rights reserved.

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Cornish Music in the 18th Century : Mike O Connor

Mike gives us a lively musical tour of Cornish social music between about 1730 and 1800 with examples from many early manuscripts. We can guess what music sounded like in ale house and concert – but what did it sound like in drawing room and assembly hall? Mike has the answers. To help him with the music he is joined by the rest of his quartet ‘Hantergantic’: Barbara Griggs (violin), Jim McKay (clarinet) and Mary McKay (bassoon).

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For further information call 01872 55 3413