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Robin Williamson: The Inner Keltia Interview - Part Two

Robin Williamson: The Inner Keltia Interview - Part Two. If you wish to purchase more of Kaledon books and works please feel free to visit the official website of Keltia Publications.

John: The academia world classifies 'Keltic' as something from various times BC to about 600 AD and that for them is the Keltic period, and it takes a big jump in their understanding to think that Keltic things have been passed on to the present day. Depending on the individuals scholar's approach, they're willing to see Keltic things flowing on. My personal view is that I take Keltic Culture back very much further than a lot of scholara do.

Robin: Quite, and I'd like to say also that I would like to take it into
the future, I mean I see it asbeing very relevant now, and also not racial. I mean certain elements which I think are Keltic I find in such people as Kandinsky, who has no relationahip whatsoever to Scotland or Ireland or the language movement.

DEIRDRE: So you're really talking about the Keltic Spirit.

R: Absolutely.

J: With regard to your personal sources of inspiration in that field, how do you draw from the countries that you visit, whether it's Ireland, Scotland, Germany or America? I mean when you're in America, how do you get Keltic things from there?

R: Well.....where I am to me is in one sense quite irrelevant. I'm always where I have to be to do what you're talking about. That has nothing to do with being somewhere in the world - it is not in the world, it's in the heart.
But the other answer is that you can find places that seem to be specially significant tucked away in all parts of the world. I was at this incredible place in Cornwall recently called Modron'a Well - and of course Mabon being son of Modron you know (Robin's poem 'Song of Mabon' has been published in Poetry London - Eds.), I thought och well, that'll be an interesting place for a walk. I looked around and couldn't find it.
I went back to the place where I was staying and asked if there was a well around there, and they said "Oh yea as a matter of fact there is", and they told me how to get to it as I went back the next day, down this wee tiny lane to this big alder forest, a thicket of alder trees, and in the middle a little muddy puddle, a spring, with all the rags tied on the thorn trees, and next to it a 6th century (Or so) Christian oratory for the baptism. It was obviousaly still in use. What I felt was that people in really extreme, circumstances had gone there as a last resort to tie a rag on the tree and say "Help me in this situation, nothing else will do." You really felt that it was not just a sort of 'folkay I thing at all, it was something dating back to the most rootish Neolithic.....Megalithic.....Paleolithic.....lithic.... (laughter)

J: Obviously you have very much realised your aims, to a large extent, and your potential as a musician and a singer. Do you now wish to progress more into the writing field?

R: I'd like to try and do as many things aa possible, aa well as possible, in the time that I have left before death, I really think that every second counts. I'd like to continue doing these theatrical pieces very much ( Mabinogion;Tree of Leaf and Flame). There are a number of things that I'd like to do using the theatre and dance. But also I'd like to do some writing. And I'm really very much into the harp.

J: When you're planning a theatre production, how much do you have to take a very tight control of production to make it correspond to exactly what you wish? Or would there be a time when you could just write a score and write a script and hand it over to a theatre company? Do you think there might come a time when you could perhaps do that in California and perhaps send it to a Welsh theatre company to do across here? Would you feel happy about doing that, or would you think that you should have a very personal involvement?

R: I don't know, I've never got to the point where.... I've never become a playwriter, I've only ever written things for myself before really, and the dancers.....are really "pieces of muaic" I've written that Geoff Moore has choreographed. I've never really written theatre for anybody other than myself. It's all very much in its infancy. I don't know.....maybe.

D: Do you have any specific plans to bring other art forms into your performances?

R: No.....I honestly just try to take things one step at a time, and things seem to present themselves with a variety of possibilities, and I try to do the best I can with those possibilities. You see, what I'm doing now, it's taken twenty years to get here, and I haven't got there yet, but it's coming cloaer to doing aomething I waa trying to do when I was sixteen or aeventeen. But then, I didn't have the understanding, didn't have the knowledge, didn't have the abilities, the techniques, the connections. But gradually one acquires bits of those things.....

J: How much does running your own production - this record company, Flying Fish Records, that you're on in America, how much does that aid you in what you want to do, rather than, let's say, being signed on with one of the big record companies?

R: Well, big record companies aren't signing on this sort of things, there's not really any interest there in the sort of thing I'm trying to do.

J: I know quite a few other people who've pretty much had to form their own small record labels to do what they want to do.

R: It's the old, old story - if you really want to do something interesting, you've got to find alternative ways to do it. The things that sell the most aren't necessarily the beat. I mean the best selling newspapers aren't necessarily the beat newspapers. If you make a survey of newspapers you'll see that the really big sellers haven't got any particular quality, except being........ (Laughter)
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