Folk is stripped-down music that continually repeats and is easy to sing along to. You don’t have to be a great musician to participate – as long as you can stomp the beat, you’re in. You hear it mostly in back-door pubs and at smaller-scale festivals*. It’s not popular music and it doesn’t have conventionally big performance value to it. But then again, most of the music that we hear today was created to provide a source of income for someone. Isn’t it refreshing how folk songs always feel like they were just put together for fun? I bet that folk musicians are still playing in small venues & festivals, playing acoustic music in small ensembles, or playing for their friends & neighbours for free.
Folk musicians are so authentically grounded in the communities in which they play. So of course they play songs that echo what’s important to those communities. It’s an opportunity to hear about moments and ideas that may be untouched or underrepresented in other genres of music. Folk music is wonderful because it paints pictures of ordinary people’s experiences.
This November, let’s Fall for Folk and celebrate you on your most ordinary days. See specialness in the little things that would normally go by unnoticed. There are so many moments like this every day: My cat has tucked himself into my unmade bed. Nice old ladies do tai chi each and every morning in our condominium parking lot. The sunrise and the sunset. The way that she smiles when she’s dancing. You don’t have to celebrate all these little moments … but honour them with your attention. When you enjoy an experience, have the humility to acknowledge that little gift in your day. It’s easier to remember the things that don’t feel good, especially as it gets colder outside – so this month, we hope that you’ll really take notice of all those little things that make you feel good.
When it comes to your dance practice, focus on the little things: Make your movements smaller, but more intentional. Dancing isn’t about quantity of movement – it’s about quality of movement. Try to move each individual muscle on its own. What does that look like if you do it painfully slowly? Pay attention to what your hands are doing. Where are you looking? Be efficient in your facial expressions. And like Helga always says … POINT YOUR TOES!
Also, keep warm! As it gets colder outside, our bodies get colder and more prone to injury while we work out. Be sure to warm up thoroughly and wear layers as needed – leg warmers, shoulder shrugs, sweaters and sweatpants are all great to warm up in!
Like we do every month, we’ve put together a playlist for you. This month we were feeling Folky, but with a sexy, IXF twist. We hope that these songs make you SEXY AS FOLK.
* Okay, I’m a liar: if you’re lucky enough to live in Ottawa, you do get to hear it at CityFolk Festival in September.
Work with me, I’m trying to write a dramatic introduction here.