Radio Show 4/17/16 Program Notes

Spring is dazzling right now. We continue our celebration of this bright, blossoming season with a green field of music that ranges from fun, lovely, to bold, and ancient in an exotic way.

I always have more than I can say about each piece than can fit into a one-hour show! The program notes are where you can find out a little bit more about the musicians and music. Also, this is a good place to look if you want to find contact info for any of the artists or events I mention.

The show is available on demand. Enjoy!

Forest Halls Celtic – live radio show – Episode 2: 4/17/16

Format: Artist – “Track Title” – (Album/source)
Gadbaw & Krimmel – “Across the Western Ocean” – (Live at the Black Rose Acoustic Society)
Colorado-based Celtic duo Beth Gadbaw and Margot Krimmel play music inspired by Celtic and American traditions, and is enhanced by the artists’ originality and creativity. I love Margot’s harp playing on this track: rhythmic and innovative!

Next weekend this duo will be performing in Tacoma and on Fox Island with the excellent Tacoma choir, Cora Voce. Cora Voce is a Tacoma-based ensemble of about 40 singers dedicated to sharing and performing high-quality choral music.

Gadbaw and Krimmel will perform with Cora Voce a W. B. Yeats poem, “The Second Coming” set to music they’ve written expressly for the choir. This will be the premiere of the piece. They’ll also play their original, ‘Innisfree’ (another Yeats poem set to music), with the choir, plus a duo set. They’ll play two concerts, one on Saturday evening in Tacoma and a Sunday Matinee on Fox Island.  Visit: http://coravoce.org/performance.htm for more details.

Huizinga & Coulter (Liquid Gold) – “The Quarter Inch Wick(Kathleen Keane)/One Night In Bethlehem (trad. Ireland)” – (From a Concert Tour)
Edwin and William have been touring together for three years. This season they are performing together all over the United States as Liquid Gold, and as part of Tom Foley’s A Celtic Christmas. Canadian-born violinist Edwin Huizinga has established himself as one of North America’s most versatile violinists. Grammy award winning guitarist William Coulter has been performing and recording traditional and classical music for over 25 years. We heard him last show on the track by Orison.

They are performing on the island.

Liquid Gold – Edwin Huizing & William Coulter
April 22 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
The Havurah Opening act is our very own Kat Eggleston. Tickets at Vashon Bookstore

Niamh Parsons – “The Water is Wide” – (Blackbirds and Thrushes)
Niamh Parsons is a singer of contemporary and traditional Irish music, and is herself Irish. This is a favorite traditional folk song of Scottish origin, based on lyrics that partly date to the 1600s.

Gadbaw & Krimmel – “The White Bird (W. B. Yeats poem)” – (Live at the Black Rose Acoustic Society)
“The White Birds” is a Yeats poem that Gadbaw and Krimmel have set to music. This poem is one of several by Yeats ignited by his turbulant relationship of unrequited love with Maud Gonne, an English-born Irish revolutionary and suffragette. Walking along a cliffside near a seaside village, Yeats proposed to Maud for the first time (he proposed to her four times over several years). She during that walk expressed a wish to become a seagull. This poem is Yeats’ take on what she meant by that wish, and his own yearning that they could escape the landscape that interferes with them apart by heading out as white birds to the “Danaan Shore,” a land of myth and blessing.
Silly Wizard – “If I Was a Blackbird” – (Wild and Beautiful)
This song features the warm and gorgeous vocals of Andy M. Stewart. As eloquently expressed in his obituary, “Andy M Stewart was a Scots singer and songwriter who was at the forefront of a resurgent contemporary Scottish folk scene in the 1970s as the voice of the Edinburgh-formed group Silly Wizard. A well-spoken raconteur on the live stage, whose ability to introduce his songs informatively and with genuine humour enhanced the experience of hearing them, Stewart wrote music and lyrics which are – particularly in the case of his ballads – rich and still freshly emotive.”

The obituary also pointed out that Andy M. Stewart was “A skilled banjo player who used his middle initial to distinguish himself from the elder Scots singer who shared his name.”

What a loss to our Celtic music community! But his lively and passionate spirit as expressed in his gorgeous and rollicking songs muisc certainly does live on.

Alasdair Fraser & Paul Machlis – Traditional Gaelic Melody/Tommy’s Tarbukas – (The Road North)
Alasdair Fraser is a Scottish fiddler living in California. Leads three notable Scottish fiddle camps and directs the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers. Alasdair Fraser and cellist Natalie Haas are performing in Port Townsend tonight! Visit his website for details.

The San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers have concerts with our Director, Alasdair Fraser, coming up on the weekend of April 22. Perhaps some of your listeners would be interested, if they live anywhere near one of the venues. Here’s a graphic of our poster for the concerts, with information on it. There’s also information about the concerts on their web site sfscottishfiddlers.org. Yountville, Sacramento, Livermore.

Airmid’s Herbal Cloak: Dandelion Lore / Music: Jane Valencia – “St. Brigit’s Hymn” (RoseGarden)
Music is Derived from the third “Bridget Cruise” air by Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738)
Last show Airmid’s herbal cloak was scattered to the four winds. This show we begin reassembling the healing wisdom by plucking a Dandelion … More information about Dandelion’s healing magic will be included in a separate post.

Here’s a snippet of lore to welcome you into Dandelion.

Some names for Dandelion (Taraxacum offinale):

In Gaelic: am bearnan Bridhe (“Notched plant of Bride/Bridget”), or Bearnan bride (bearn = notch-in leaf and brigh = sap: thus, “sappy leaf”)
Welsh: Dant-y-Llew (“Tooth of the Lion”)
Scots names/Local Names: pissa bed, milk gowan, devil’s milk plant, and more

In Glencoe, it was recorded that those with ulcers ate Dandelion leaf sandwiches to help cure their plight.

Young leaves are tasty in salad. Use them like spinach! You can make Dandelion wine with the flowers, as well as Dandelion fritters – a favorite recipe with my family each spring.

Tips for correctly identifying Dandelion, plus a slightly different recipe for Dandelion fritters (+variations) can be found here.

A great plunge into the nutrition and medicine of Dandelion can be found here.  Dandelion is  surely one of the herbs that Airmid had collected in her cloak!.

Valerie Rose – “The Gardener” – (Petals of Stone)
An Irish fiddler & singer in the San Francisco Bay Area, Valerie plays in several Irish/Celtic bands Valerie’s solo CD, Petals of Stone,  exploredsedgier territory, successfully mixing Irish and English traditional ballads with hard-rock instrumentation. This song is an example! One of her reviewers said:

“Rose’s pure, sweet voice should please fans of Annie Haslam, Maddy Prior, or Sandy Denny [of Fairport Convention].”

I would also include that her style is reminiscent too of Jacqui McShee of Pentangle. What do you think? Enjoy!

Violaine Mayor – “Tud Kembre” – (Gens Cambrina)
Violaine Mayor  is a Breton wire-harp player, adapting historical techniques to traditional Breton music. This tune has very much of a Breton dance feel, then segues into vocals in a plainchant style.

Patsy Seddon & Barnaby Brown – Deus Auribus (from BBC’s History of Scotland)
Patsy Seddon and Barnaby Brown performing Psalm 44 in Iona forBBC’s History of Scotland.

Patsy Seddon is a harper, vocalist, and fiddler who is known for her playing in the Scottish harp duo Sileas and the all-woman folk band, The Poozies. Barnaby Brown leads the revival of the northern triplepipe, the precursor of the bagpipe in Britain and Ireland.  The triplepipe is basically a bagpipe without a bag, and is played with the two chanters and a drone in the mouth, so you need to use circular breathing. and is basically a bagpipe without the bag. The bag part of the pipes came arrived in Britain in the 13th century.

The northern triplepipe tradition of Britain and Ireland died out in the late Middle Ages.

Newsflash! Garden Sneaking up on Unsuspecting Harp!

Many year ago, Dian Cecht — physician, god of healing, and member of the Tuatha De Danaan (an ancient tribe of divine folk in Ireland) — scattered his daughter Airmid’s cloak of herbs. With this action, he cast a possible comprehensive herbal tradition to the winds. As you might guess of an action initiated by rage and jealousy, unintended consequences have resulted.

(Hear the tale in Forest Halls Celtic – Episode 1. It takes place about halfway through the show. You can also read the tale in the Forest Halls Celtic – 4/3/16 Show Notes)

Rumors that herbal tradition had gone underground, and has recently erupted into renewed vigor and mischief appear to be well-founded, as represented in the photo below. It appears that a harp is about to be set upon by herbs

Garden Sneaking up on harp - photo
Garden Sneaking up on Harp – photo by field reporter Jane Valencia

Alert!

Herbal magic may pounce upon us at any time! It is imperative that we reassemble Airmid’s herbal cloak to prevent absolute pandemonium. PLEASE NOTE: Disagreement exists as to whether the chaos will result from feral herbs having wild garden parties in our hallowed concrete jungles, or from unconscious followers of Dian Cecht’s emotional state responding with fear and outrage to the fun and powerful healing mystery of the green beings that have been living beside us all this time.  Agreement does exist that reassembling Airmid’s herbal cloak will help bring the healing ways of the herbs to one and all. This was Airmid’s original intentio, and, we presume, that of her brother the astounding healer, Miach.

Help us reassemble Airmid’s herbal cloak! Here’s how:

In the comment box below:

  • Identify one or more herbs in this photo
  • Describe a healing property of each one you I.D.
  • Describe where one might find that herb laid out on Airmid’s cloak

Furthermore:

  • If you are an herbalist or lover of the plants, please let us know how you are contributing to the restoration of Airmid’s herbal cloak!

Important PS.!

Rumor has it that harp tradition – also resurfacing after centuries underground –  is in cahoots with the herbs. If that’s so, then the above photo may not actually represent the herbs sneaking up on the harp, but the harp leading the charge!!!! If you have reason to believe that the harp is enmeshed in restoring lost tradition please report the following:

  • How has a harp you’ve witnessed contributed to restoring lost wisdom to your neighborhood or community at large. 

PLEASE NOTE: If you are a harper, you yourself may have inadverently — or deliberately — contributed in this way!!!

  • If so, please share your subversive action(s). (In the harp underground, this is often referred to as a “random act of harping”)
Harp and Herbs photo
Harp and Herbs Clearly in Subversive Conversation – photo by field reporter Jane Valencia

Important PPS:

If you play an instrument, engage in a folk craft, art, or tradition, or creative expression of any kind you likely are contributing to a revitalized, intelligent, nature-allied, wise world. This is absolutely noteworthy, and we here at Forest Halls commend you for your dedication and passion.

  • Please share with us your creative expression, and your thoughts on how it helps reweave a cloak of joyful and wise healing ways in the world.

Please submit reports in the comment box below!

Your comments will be compiled into a Forest Halls report (blog post) that will be issued in conjunction with the next episode of Forest Halls Celtic, and given special mention there.

Thank you for your important contributions to healing, peace, harmony, authenitic expression, creative imagination, and radical fun in the world!

Medicine Song: An Honoring to the Milky Oats

Okay – I sing to just about everything, and songs come to me just about any time. In this short video, recorded five years ago, I sing an honoring song to the Oats (Avena sativa) in my garden as I harvest the milky oat tops for a tincture. Songs and melodies like these just come to me, especially when I’m with a plant or out on the land.

Since the song in the video is a response to the Oats when their seeds are ripening (i.e., “milky” tops), I have to wonder if it carries some of Avena sativa’s nutritive, restorative, nerve-soothing, and gently grounding medicine. Listen to the song, and learn it if you wish. Don’t worry about getting the melody exact, or about learning the vocables the way I’ve sung them. You can let the song transform and attune to you.

[Note: in some traditions it’s important to learn a plant’s song exactly. In the way I work with plants, it feels right to allow — at least in this song — for shift and change].

Absorb the song, sing it if you wish. How does your body, mind, spirit feel as the song moves through you? Relax into the song, and into the healing magic of Milky Oats.

Does this song carry Milky Oat Top medicine? You tell me! Please do so in the comment box below.

Read more about Milky Oat Tops here.