Mudcat Café message #727916 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #47499   Message #727916
Posted By: GUEST,Rick Spencer
11-Jun-02 - 06:19 PM
Thread Name: Mystic Sea Song Fest 2002
Subject: RE: Mystic Sea Song Fest 2002
Dear Friends: Rick here, in slow recovery from the Sea Music Festival. It was a huge task again this year, and Craig Edwards and I owe thanks to a large number of people who help us make it work. Thanks to all of you for the comments and input on this thread. What we read and hear from our performers, volunteers, contributors and visitors is very important to us. We've already started thinking about what we need to do to make next year's event even better.

Just a few things to mention. Thanks Marc for being our contact with the 'catters. I haven't had time to get on and check for SMF threads or questions, since most of my time has been spent working on the thing. Thanks to Greg for all the support, the report and a lot of hard work.

Abby: I didn't realize when you introduced yourself to me as being from Mudcat that you were THE mudcat himself. I looked for you later in the weekend to get you the copy of my "Contentment" CD that you had asked for, but had no luck finding you. Write to me in care of the museum and I'll ship one to you.

Yes, the website was not what we would have liked. It's been under construction for quite a while and there are still some bugs to work out. I hope that as things are determined for next year (performer lineups, etc) they'll be added to a specific Sea Music Festival page that will be updated regularly.

As far as getting on the roster of the festival, that's a tough one. I suggest that musicians who would like to be considered first attend the festival to see what it's like and what we expect from our acts. You'd be amazed at the kind of stuff we get from people who think they should be considered. Everything from pop-folk "yo-ho" music by people dressed as pirates to solicitations from musicians who don't seem to understand that "Sea Music Festival" involves sea music. Go figure. Ours is a scholarly as well as entertaining event. Here's what we look for in our performers: A significant scholarly understanding about some aspect of sea music (like Bob Walser or the McLeods). An understanding of the differences between the various major chantey forms. A knowledge of the difference between sea songs (forebitters, ballads, wardroom songs, etc) and chanteys. A particular and/or specific cultural connection to some aspect of sea music (like the Barrouallie Whalers). Oh yes, it would help if you were a musician.

Every year we are solicited by hundreds of people who want to perform at our festival, and by many who have been performers here in the past who want to come back. We only have room for a tiny percentage of the qualified acts. Those of you who want to solicit are invited to. First I suggest that you look at the lineup for the last few years and understand that you're competing with some pretty heavy hitters. Still I don't intend to discourage anyone. Once in a while a performer comes out of nowhere with an extraordinary sound and talent, and gets onto the roster. Note the case of the WindLasses.

Well that's enough out of me. I'll check to see if there are any additions to this thread in the days ahead. Anyone who would like to write directly to me can at ricks@mysticseaport.org I'll try to respond as fully as time will allow. Thanks again to all who attended, volunteered, contributed and worked hard to make it another great festival. I hope to see you all next year if not before. RS