Ottawa Folk Music Network:
A hub for community, participatory & traditional singing & playing
We met last night and had a very good discussion of what a new group could do. Liz took minutes and sent them to me the following night (amazingly speedy, thanks!). I have posted them as a pdf at the bottom of this note.
The most exciting part for me is that we now have both a clearer idea of what we are and a name. This may change if we decide it doesn’t work well, but for now most of us feel that the above name sums up the goals and intentions of this new network pretty well.
What led us to the name Ottawa Folk Music Network was a discussion of the potential function of this new group. Primarily we see ourselves as a group of people wanting to make it easier for people to meet and sing and play with others who approach music with a folk perspective. This is very much about process: participatory and owned by the people who are doing it rather than being in the hands of experts who sell it to us for passive consumption. It was also agreed that the old folk songs are very good for that process, but most of us are less concerned about purity of form than inclusivity of process. This is an open-source, DIY, network, all about the music we make for ourselves.
We talked about setting up a web presence people can use to find others they want to sing and play with, whether in small groups for practicing material in depth or in larger gatherings focused on a particular time, place, type of music or other criteria. I committed to work on that and will be following through with research and implementation of that strategy.
In the meantime we can start by using this website for connecting people. If anyone wants to connect with others to sing and play folk music in Ottawa or the surrounding area, please feel free to post a comment on this website. I will approve all comments unless they are offensive. If you choose to post your contact information, people can communicate directly with you. Otherwise, I can act as a contact person connecting people who wish to host gatherings, find other musicians and singers, find other musical people in their part of town, or whatever their interest might be.
If you want to host a gathering, with whatever limitations you choose, (relating to style, instrumentation desired, geographical location, …) please feel free to do so. Again, you can give me your address and/or phone number and/or email address and I will pass it to those who express an interest in attending.
As this network grows we will develop a more efficient system, but for now, I am happy to help people get together in any way I can.
We also talked about a gathering of those who want to sing and play music or get to know a few musical people. I will keep you posted about this, but we are thinking about something in May, either at a home or some other space that would be accessible to all who want to come.
I am very excited about the new Ottawa Folk Music Network, and I hope to hear comments from many of you about how you want to connect with others to sing and play folk music in Ottawa.