Seeing Martin play on Saturday night with the Gloaming will go down as one of the unforgettable moments in my young life. The rush of blood and feeling as he took control of the first medley back from Thomas Bartlett on the piano was just incredible to experience. There were times where the adrenalin of the whole thing reminded me very much of some great DJ sets that I’ve been at. Just the level of control, the builds, the stretches, the eventual climaxes, it had it all and Martin was the fulcrum of the whole night.
I would like to move it onto the plain of just pure music and assume that we now have a universal acceptance that our national identity is both diverse and secure. This is not to say that our music is not reflective of our past or of some essential part of our national psyche. However, we are treating the music as an unruly teenager to whom we are unwilling to offer full independence lest it not adhere to some static notion of what the tradition is. That fear exists because the context that created the music, that nourished it, that even brought the revival movement of this music into existence, all of these things have, in some sense, almost run their course and we now no longer have the cultural environment that created this music. The passing on of the tradition has to involve more than dogma and repetition. It must now also include some of the universals that are part of any artistic journey.