Communities are inevitable among humans. They can be generational, geographical, professional, circumstantial, cultural and can take on any shape you can think of. We are drawn together by factors and forces from without and within the individual. For an example of a community; even if you’ve never read The Thin Air before, if you sniff around the pages you’ll find a community; a group of pro-active fans and know-alls and eager heads that co-operate to publish a sweet piece of street literature that reflects them and their community. Their art and their era. But of course the community doesn’t stop there, it’s probably only the beginning. The vast majority of the communal experience is by the readers. These words mean precious little unless you, yes YOU decide that you wish to read it. Wahey! So nice to see you!
I am pointing to what we do in cultural communities and celebrating the platform that they provide to us all. In a creative community there are some things that are inherent and yet they are boundless. These things are some of the most treasured discoveries that any individual can experience in life; friendship, inspiration, participation and a sense of belonging. There are so many more, every community experience is different for every individual. Every community purpose is not always defined.
Music communities are alive, living and breathing. Sometimes they are just about surviving and evolving. In my experience of music tribes and communities, they survive on a staple diet of passion and youth. This freshness and creativity is the essential core to the evolution of music. It is often said that there aren’t any subcultures anymore, but I think if you look closer you will find that there are. Without subcultures and communities, there would be no such thing as hardcore. Without hardcore, a music community lacks identity.
Something that fascinates me is when the community aspect turns around and defines the music. The very act of participating in a music community becomes an intrinsic motivator and inspiration for creation and evolution of art. This is when the art is bigger than the sum of the parts, the experience is the goal and sharing is the joy. All of the community, all of the collective experience and all of the art and passion crescendos in the event. The gathering of the tribe.
A good old DIY hardcore participatory musical community will inspire and motivate you in ways that are a) not selfish and b) probably make absolutely no sense to anyone that cannot relate. You probably participate for free or at a cost. It is probably pointless trying to define a musical community. The proof is in the pudding. The worth is in the art and the spirit. The reward is in the experience.
The tenth annual Community Skratch Games takes place in Galway on Easter weekend. It is an all-encompassing experience there to be embraced in all of its awesomeness by hardcores and new-comers alike. The community, the event and the experience is bigger than we know, and the hardcore is as defiant as ever. If you want to join in, just follow the bass to the west end of the city and we’ll all be there waiting for you. Ray Wingnut
Community Skratch Games 2016 takes place at Galway’s Bierhaus on Saturday, March 26 and 27. Go here for the Facebook event page.