Enjoy the magic of autumn with Show 13 – “Time of Fulfillment” and Show 14 – “Creative Fire, ” now available for your listening pleasure. Although these are encore airings, I’ve slipped in a few new pieces. In any case, the music, poetry, folklore, and tales remain as vibrant and refreshing as ever!
We’re nearing the Autumn Equinox, sometimes known as the festival of Mabon, in which the length of the night and the day are equal. It’s a time of balance.
But this year in 2020, we’re experiencing anything but balance. Wildfires rage up and down the West coast, the air is otherworldy in the mingling glow of the smoke and sun. Every day seems to bring to light injustices, concerns, and other challenges that feel overwhelming. That said, since time immemorial, music has been a balm for distressing and difficult times. Celtic music has always spoken to and for the heart. With that in mind, we offer Show 55 as Respite.
Music today travels into the human landscape, and with the sun and the waters. We enjoy a Welsh fairy tale along the way, and head off-trail to experience magical vocal expressions arising from the African-American landscape and a rich mingling of musical tradition and style .
May rains soothe air and land, the breezes be gentle and cleansing, and the wildfires of both earth and heart grow calm.
Harp “sightings”: Enjoy the music of harpers Sandra Parker (she performs piano and her own poem in today’s show), Christina Tourin, Margie Butler (she sings in her piece and plays penny whistle), and Ceri Owen-Jones.
Our second hour is an encore airing of Show 33.
01:43 Shantalla – A Band of Gold
05:23 Réalta – Open the Door for Three
08:08 Tannas – O Ho Na Ribeannan / Sean Truibhas / Faca Tu Saor An T-Sabhaidh
14:18 Sandra Parker – High Summer/ Martin Wyndd’s Air
16:12 Christina Tourin – Seal Lullaby
22:39 Golden Bough – The Mermaid’s Song – Song of the Seals
30:25 Ceri Owen-Jones, Elsa Davies, Peter Stevenson – Gvasi Cefn Garsi
36:17 Eve Goodman – Siren Song
40:06 Derw – Dau Gam
46:03 Caladh Nua – Cad é sin don té sin
48:59 Rhiannon Giddens / Wayfaring Stranger
51:24 Jennah Bell / Black Hole Sun
55:58 Mary Dillon / The Boatman
Mugwort – Artemesia vulgaris
Welsh name: Y Ganwraidd Lwydd
Irish name: Mongach meisce
Scots name: muggert, muggons
Shetland name: grey bulwand
Silvery like the Moon, and embodying certain qualities that the Moon holds in tradition, Mugwort is an herb with long medicinal and magical use in Britain, Ireland, and throughout Europe. These days, Mugwort is called upon to assist dreaming.
In Show 53, we musically travel into “Mugwort dreaming.” To be honest, I actively chose only a few of the pieces with this plant in mind. Still, the intention of the theme was there. Perhaps you’ll discover how the music and Mugwort interlace with one another. If you find the medicine in the music, please share your reflections and insights!
As a side note, I’ve upleveled my ability to record harp at home, and I’m delighted at the quality of sound I’m now able to get for my wire-strung harp. The musical improvisation underlying the Mugwort folklore is my first expression with this setup.
Enjoy the harp playing of Robin Williamson, Tiffany Schaefer, Julia Cunningham, Jane Valencia, Sue Richards (in Ceoltoiri).
The second hour is a rebroadcast of Show 8 – “Power of Music.” Irish myth describes “Three Noble Strains” of music, known as the geantraí – song of joy/merriment, the goltraí – song of sorrow, and the suantraí – song of comfort/for soothing. You’ll hear expressions of all three “strains” in the music and stories played and told today.
Harpers featured: Máire Ní Chathasaigh (in the Heartstring Quartet and solo), William Taylor, Barra the Bard‘s retelling of “Harp of Dagda”, Fiona Davidson (harp and story), Anne-Marie O’Farrell (in Anúna), Tiffany Schaefer, Siobhán Armstrong (in The Irish Consort)
You can also catch Show 9 – Island Life for another week. Harpers featured are: Harper Tasche, Seumus Gagne, Chris Caswell (in The Owner’s Daughter), Jane Valencia, N’Faly Kouyaté (kora playing in the Afro Celt Sound System, Sakaue Masume.
See you in Forest Halls!
Playlist for Show 53 – Mugwort Dreaming
00:50 Lúnasa – Black River
04:22 Mary Jane Lamond & Wendy MacIsaac – Jewels of the Ocean
11:38 Robin Williamson – Lammas
16:00 Ayreheart – John Barleycorn
23:14 Tiffany Schaefer – Road to Lisdoonvarna
25:27 Julia Cunningham – Innocenza
31:00 Jane Valencia – Mugwort Dreaming
38:19 Ceoltoiri – Far Away
43:47 Beòlach – Annie’s New Heart
48:52 Ashley MacIsaac with Mary Jane Lamond – Sleepy Maggie
53:25 Spookytree – Lochaber No More
55:02 Auļi – Ozoliņi