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Alan Stivell : The Inner Keltia Interview - Part One

I had the chance to get an approach to this magnificent magazine through Wendy Newton from Green Linnet Records who kindly send me some volumes as a present by the 80's. Thus I got acquainted of the outstanding work of J.A.Johnston (also known by his druidic name Kaledon Naddair ) who was it's editor and reviewer.Besides several articles each volume contained amazing interviews like this one published on Inner Keltia 5 issued on Nov '83 , and I thought worthy to post. If you wish to purchase more of Kaledon books and works please feel free to visit the official website of Keltia Publications.

For someone who has done more for Keltic Muaic than anyone else in the world Alan Stivell remains a very warm and amiable gentleman, with not the slightest trace of any ego-mania problems. After patiently waiting whilst I attempted (in vain) to eviot some gremlins from a borrowed tape recorder, the interview got under way in Alan's dressingroom (after his Edinburgh Gig and whilst Rían Rig were power-ing away on stage above us).
For some deep dialogue read on:-

JOHN - Some people felt that on your album "Terre des Vivants" there were some apocalyptic overtones. Is this reflected in Brittany at present? Do you think that there will be some very dramatic changes in Brittany, or will they be very slow and gradual?

ALAN - Yes, I think we are in a very dramatic period, I think the people in Brittany will have to give out a very strong cry, a shout for survival, if we are going to pass through this era. We were disparing one or two years ago, we felt we had to put as much energy as possible into the struggle, without knowing the result. I felt that although it was not the end of Keltic Civilization it was a time for 'shouting' (affirming your right to be). And now we must 'explode', to pass through into the New Age.

J. - Do yon think it's a case of either we will pour enough energy into Keltic Culture and take it through that transition point or, if ve don't put enough energy into it, it will die?

A. - Whilst committin'g ourselves, I think we must choose to save those things which bind us together, I mean those Keltic traits that we hold in common, that make us stronger. I think we need to take our distinctiveness, and show it to the other Nations of the World. We need to search out what is in common to the Keltic Peoples and push it through, on to the next century.

J. - Obviously Society is changing becoming more modern, more technological. Do you think our Keltic Culture will have to transform itself at the same time, to become more modern, more sophisticated, to pass through to the "New Age"?

A. - The Keltic Peoples haven't spoken for a long while, but now in this crucial time we are beginning to speak. I think that is good. We have experienced the worst of the old technology, and now there is a new technology developing, a non-polluting technology connected with the Sun, Wind and Waves. I think the Keltic Soul is more with this type of technology. I think the Kelts have something to say in this field.

J. - Some people would say that linking up Keltic Nations is an ideological dream. Do you think it is actually feasable to link them as independent Nations?

A. - I don't see any other way of surviving as Kelts, if we haven't the right to our own Political Federation. I think it is Eutopic, but possible.

J. - In attempting to set this up some people place a lot of emphasis on the political approach, others on language, others on Art, Music and Poetry. What is your personal view?

A. - What I consider is that people are choosing their way too much, some political militants think that music is only something to bring people to Political meetings. What I think is that all of these things should be worked in common, there should be more conciousness between how we use political action and more intemporal inner philosophy.

J. - I think this is something quite noticeable in the Breton people, which is sadly lacking in the Scottish People, and that is, you personally and other people in Brittany seem to be able to blend a Spirituality with a practical grass roots politics.

A, - I think this is very new, even in Brittany people are not very involved with Spiritual things, maybe they were too much under the French rationalistic view. I think, now with the new generation, a more Spiritual view is growing.

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