While most people love the old-time bagpipes and slow melodies of traditional Scottish songs, most of the younger crowd prefers a faster-paced style of music. Surprisingly Celtic music has risen up to meet this trend, and in most places, you can now find young and hip Scottish music.
Most of this rise comes from young Americans who want to bring the social knee-slapping tunes of Celtic music to the modern era, taking the roots and origins of the music before twisting them and adding in what makes modern music so great.
This mix mostly comes by keeping the music about telling stories of love, loss, and courage, before presenting the music in an upbeat and modern way. The stories still have all the same themes and the captivating tale-telling, and that’s what makes the change so understood and accepted.
The connection to the culture and where these songs came from originally, and the respect for that culture is astonishing. This separates it from many other attempts, not just in music, that seek to breathe new life into something enjoyed in the past.
The newcomers don’t just respect the origins and traditions of what came before and seek to make every part of it new, often losing the old crowd and the magic that kept them there in the first place. Thankfully in Celtic music, this is different.
Mostly in Boston, where a large community of Scottish and Irish Musicians and people have made their home, pub communities of music called seisiuns have popped up like weeds and are inviting all people of any skill level to come up and add their own twist on this style of music.
Flutes, guitars, fiddles, and drums all mix together at a pace to create a blend that is not only Celtic but also something else. That something is far greater than the sum of its parts, and that’s the best part for many musicians about these gatherings, everyone can join in.
Families and bands are encouraged to sign up and get on stage, and then try their luck at keeping up with the fast pace before trying to add a style all their own. If they can’t keep up, then beginner seisiuns are available at certain times that gradually coax the players into the speed required while still keeping the music fun.
Everything is community-based and if musicians manage to earn the respect of the community then they’ve earned the respect of everyone, and then they are part of that community for life. People don’t just listen to Celtic music for fun, but they listen to it to become part of something bigger.
Several Seisiuns are still operational not just in Boston, but throughout the U.S and other parts of the world, and every musician with even a hint of interest in Celtic music should make way to travel to one in their lifetime. The experience won’t be forgotten, and it might even form a few new bonds.