Kim Bates, Music Editor, here bringing you some musings on the world that ties us together here at Green Man Review. I've always loved our motto of bringing you the best of the 'roots and branches' of folklore traditions, because the traditions harken to a kind of magic, to a secret world, that can be experienced but never really explained. Most of us like working here on the border, in our Green Man offices, slipping across into the otherworld -- and some days we might even want to live there. And we're lucky, because we can share the little bits and pieces we pick up with each other -- glimpses of the far shore that we retain in our waking minds, that we glean from the visions of the authors, film makers and musicians that we review. Of these things, the music often seems to provide the most elusive glimpses of that otherworld, and yet to me the most evocative ones. As an editor I see our writers' valiant endeavors to communicate the magic in the material we review. Because it's there in the beat of a drum, in the twang of a bow on a string, in the indrawn breath before a note -- oh it's there, all right. Without the otherworld, music might not even exist, for where would it transport us if there were no magic?

And that brings us back to the traditions -- those rhythms, ballads, melodies and conventions that encode the otherworld in melody, rhythm and story. In my more prosaic moments I almost believe that traditional pieces are those that have withstood the ultimate marketing focus group: generations of players and listeners who chose not to discard them, but rather to carry them forward. But then I shake my head and come back to reality, and remember the feeling that comes from listening to traditional music, of being carried away into another place that seems to overlap our own, of the joy I feel when a song writer hits the mark with an original work that seems destined to join a list of essential songs. Sure, we humans can implicitly recognize the rules that bound a traditional musical form -- that Cajun beat or the slippery melody that makes it a Celtic reel. But that's not why we listen -- we listen because of the feelings the music evokes, the little tremor that runs down our spine when a ballad hits home, when a voice brings something across -- with an new melody written within a tradition connects with something very old.

So, listen, read, get yourself out to a film or gig, and think about the world that's lurking just behind the artist's vision. It's there, waiting around the corner, between the notes, just after the final chapter. I can't really describe it here; but like the artists whose work Green Man reviews, I can point the way. You'll just have to go there on your own.