Monday, March 01, 2010

Patrick season: music and mist

In Irish, the word for music is ceol; the word for mist is ceo.

It would seem a fairly large leap to suppose they are related. I’ve asked several scholars of Irish about this over the years, and other Irish musicians too, and have heard of no connection.

Music comes out of silence, and out of mystery. That does not have one face or one landscape, of course, but mist and the varied aspects of Irish landscape are certainly two of them.

Making connection between the two words and the two ideas seems a leap that’s more spiritual than practical or intellectual -- which of course makes it entirely possible. The only musician who offered a thought about this remarked that she didn’t know about the words, but that music rises out of the landscape in Ireland, though it’s not something much talked about.

I think she’s got it right, on both counts. This is in her music and in that of others you have met and will meet along the music road. It’s an aspect of music that travels to other landscapes and other silences as well, I think (see, for example, this ). As is often the case, Irish music gives a good perspective to think about things within Ireland and beyond.

you may also want to see

patrick season: far from home

Potato Music

patrick season: thoughts for patrick's eve

Irish music, Irish landscape

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Blogger Anjuli said...

thank you for your visit. I'm so glad I found your blog- I enjoyed this post immensely. The leap from mist to music, when it comes to Irish music, is not far off at all. After all, when I listen to the lovely sounds...I do almost feel as though I'm in an ethereal mist of sorts.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's really interesting. I love it when there are weird things like that about words.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous jessiev said...

lovely - because, really, music can be so ethereal, amazing that someone could CREATE it!

7:44 PM  

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