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‘Gardens All Wet With Rain’: Pastoralism in the Music of Van Morrison

Smyth, G (2019) ‘Gardens All Wet With Rain’: Pastoralism in the Music of Van Morrison. Irish University Review, 49 (1). pp. 171-187. ISSN 0021-1427

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Abstract

‘Ecomusicology’ is a developing field that looks to explore the interface between modern eco-theory and a range of historical and contemporary musical phenomena. Generated as it is by a country in which ideas of space/place and ideas of music feature particularly strongly, it is likely that Irish cultural history will resonate powerfully in relation to an ecomusicological perspective. The early work of Van Morrison is rooted in the hippie counter-culture of the 1960s, one principal strand of which concerned environmental despoliation and the need for some form of re-enchantment with nature. By contrast, the ‘Celtic Music’ phenomenon of the 1990s was brought to its artistic (and financial) apogee by the Donegal singer Enya. Drawing on techniques initially developed by family members in Clannad, Enya evinced a form of mystical Celticism which, even as it harked back to earlier versions, sang to a quasi-environmentalist discourse embedded within the contemporary style known as ‘New Age’. The essay will conclude with a brief description of the other areas of Irish music that would be amenable to an ecomusicological audit.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Edinburgh University Press in Irish University Review. The Version of Record is available online at: http://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/iur.2019.0387
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ecocriticism; Popular Music; Van Morrison
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
Divisions: Humanities & Social Science
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2019 12:00
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2019 11:30
DOI or Identification number: 10.3366/iur.2019.0387
Editors: Collins, L and Deckard, S
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10338

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