New, but Gaining Recognition

By: Suzanne Smedley


The Natal Witness

When people list their favourite music genres, they tend to go for the mainstream options, rap, hip hop, rock, r n b, metal, punk etc. However there is a genre that has its roots in music that has been played for centuries, folk. It is once again making its way into the hearts of the people. One such folk artist is Arlyn Culwick.

The first thing anyone will tell you about Arlyn is that he is a man who will never be caught following the crowd. With a philosophy degree from Wits University, his very personality is enchanting and unique. Having known Arlyn personally for many years, it has always fascinated me how what captures his attention is not the obvious aspects of the world around him but rather the subtle beauties that are just waiting to be discovered. This alternative spirit is captured in his music.
At performances around the country, including here in Grahamstown, Arlyn has extended his repertoire to include several folk songs, each with their own imagination. However the first and only song he has recorded is his single, Young but Growing.

Close your eyes, press play and you will enter into another world where Arlyns tranquil voice crafts the story of a woman married to a young boy for his wealth and the love that grows between them. This is done in the form of a dialogue between the daughter and her father. The lyrics are poetically uplifting and with the delicate plucking of a guitar and violin, the song lulls the listener into simply appreciating the music and refraining from over analyzing the story being told.

Perhaps the highlight of the song is the tuneful and captivating guitar combined with the carefully integrated violin, together creating that perfect folk song mood. Overall it is a peaceful yet memorable experience. When I listen to the song, in my mind I see girls dressed in the 50s style skipping along a lane in the opening scene of an indie movie.

Arlyn is not alone in his career. Several folk artists, including Arlyn are forming a community of this special form of music, such as Miles Sievwrigh, Darren Roderick and Joshua Grierson. Joining Arlyn in his performances is his wife, Erica Lombard. Their duets together are unique and emotive. I cannot sing enough praise for Arlyn Culwick.

Arlyn Culwick

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