The Otherworld

Music & Song from Irish Tradition

Edited by: Tom Sherlock, Rionach ui Ogain

Belief in the existence of a parallel world and in otherworldly phenomena has long been established in Irish tradition, and facets of such belief continue to be found in contemporary Irish society. This book, with two accompanying compact discs, examines aspects of the enduring fascination the Irish imagination has with supernatural beings, encounters, and occurrences, as represented in song and music. The material contained in this publication, which includes recorded sound, photographs, and manuscript transcriptions, is drawn from National Folklore Collection/Cnuasach Bhealoideas Eireann at University College Dublin. The book addresses a number of illuminating aspects of popular tradition, such as: the connection between the supernatural and excellence in the performance of music and song * the dangers inherent in engaging with the fairies * the fear of abduction or loss * benign supernatural encounters * the existence of otherworldly creatures * the physical landscape, as perceived in inherited oral knowledge. There are encounters that reflect the blending of Christian and non-Christian ideas. The inclusion of contemporary performers alongside older archival material is testament to the fact that the National Folklore Collection continues to grow and remains the most important repository of Irish vernacular culture. The songs, music, and lore contained here are the foundation stone upon which the book rests, and the selected examples are illustrated with numerous black-and-white photographs. There can be little doubt that the full spectrum of human experience is better comprehended with an understanding of traditional lore and belief. The Otherworld: Music & Song from Irish Tradition addresses an important aspect of that human experience and seeks to encourage just such an engagement. It is a book for both the general reader and scholars of folklore. *** "If there is another compilation like this one, I have never heard of it, and I doubt that it could be as stimulating as this one, a unique and (almost literally) haunting excursion into mystery and melody." - Jerome Clark, Rambles.Net, May 18, 2013 *** "Most songs are sung a cappella, and most instrumentalists perform solo, offering intense listening experiences, as jigs, waltzes, laments, dirges, and recitations chronicle legends, local history, religion, and supernatural happenings." - The Celtic Connection, June 2013 *** "The Otherworld is an accessible, absorbing and beautifully presented publication which brings to life the hopes, fears, beliefs, and sense of devilment of an Irish people, both rural and urban, and those collectors who through their passion and dedication have enriched our archives and our lives. The material included is but a tiny representation of the large volume of material contained in the National Folklore Collection. Both general readers and folklore enthusiasts alike await The Otherworld, Volume 2." - Irish Literary Supplement, Spring 2015 (Series: Folklore Studies / Scribhinni Bealoidis - Vol. 21) [Subject: Irish Studies, Musicology, Folklore]~~

160 pages

Publication Date: 12/7/2012
Format: Paper & CD
ISBN: 9780956562838