The name was adopted for Folk music’s connection to poetry and I am first and foremost a poet. You can see my poetry at www.sparrowpoetry.com.au. Much like poetry, folk music has its roots in communicating collective knowledge in an artful way. After all, music in all genres speaks to us in a universal language, a method of communication that makes it very accessible and highly effective in conveying a message.
Folk music in particular has a strong emphasis in storytelling that is transmitted not only through a memorable rhythm but also with words that speak to the heart. That is to say the words stir within us an emotional response, the theme of the story becomes relatable as it is personally felt. By evoking empathy in this way, we strengthen our connections to one another and for me I see the possibility of this principle in connection materialising into the creation of community.
The name is not literally inferring that I am the last folk singer, more that I found it very interesting and telling that when I searched for Folk music on my music app it was not listed as a genre. This loss further cemented my decision to use the stage name The Last Folk Singer to bring attention to the fact that “music of the people” AKA folk music has been diminished. And with it an avenue for the people to grow their collective knowledge has been curtailed.
Extending collective knowledge beyond the realm of academia is an important element in the transmission of ideas and facts as scholarly information can be difficult to digest thus limiting access. For example, even scientists themselves would agree that their efforts in informing the general population about the climate crisis could use some help. This example reminds me of the benefit in art and science acting as complimentary associations for “art sets the imagination free while science has the ability to make dreams come true”.
Within the context of music, music can act as the bridge that connects collective knowledge to the general population. The protest songs that emerged from the revival of folk music during the 1960’s demonstrate this well, they were hugely influential in giving a voice to the movements at the time, and were in a way the soundtrack to our lives at that time. Both folk music and poetry have always been powerful tools for the people to share their lived experience and impart wisdom, giving people a voice that empowers.
As a poet the big draw card to music has always been the lyrics, reading them while listening to music was such a joy back when albums almost always came with great artwork and a copy of the lyrics. It was one of the things that inspired me to continually write poetry from a young age. So, when I finally got the opportunity to play around with music it just seemed like such a natural progression to turn my poetry into lyrics. The themes within my music are best represented by the genre of folk music providing a gravitational pull that keeps me searching for answers and questioning the world we are creating.
For more about Camille’s poetry – www.sparrowpoetry.com.au