Summer is here. Ever since mid-May, I’ve been going out to sit in the garden every day, practically willing the plants to grow. Especially in this pandemic, it seems like a meditation on time and place, tuning into the infinitesimally small changes of nature. And maybe it’s because I’ve lived in the northeast for all of my life, but with every bite of tomatoes right off the vine, I also feel just a tiny little bit of paradoxical dread of the winter down the bend, even though it can’t be farther away than it is today, and I savor every bite that much more, as if a year’s worth of sunlight could be concentrated in each tomato. Even so, I remember that winter is always followed by spring and summer again. This week we have music from Pete’s Posse, Windborne, lydia ievins, the Starry Mountain Singers, and Nova. Peter Amidon reads a poem by Walt Whitman. Lissa Schneckenburger reads a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, and I read a recent poem by Susan Reid. Take care, everyone.
1. Moonshine Holler – Pete Sutherland (Burlington, VT). This is an original waltz from Pete’s Posse’s latest recording project called Dance Party. This project is five full-length contra dance tracks plus this waltz. Designed to spur on a contra dance party at home, these tracks are available for download from their website. www.petesposse.com
2. This is what you shall do, by Walt Whitman. Read by Peter Amidon (Brattleboro, VT), with piano accompaniment by Aaron Marcus (Montpelier, VT).
3. South Pond – Lauren Breunig (Brattleboro, VT). This song is from Windborne’s album Midwinter Meeting. Will Rowan wrote this shape note-style piece for his wife Lynn, naming it for the place in Marlboro, VT where they were married. www.windbornesingers.com
4. Afternoon on a hill, by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Read by Lissa Schneckenburger (Brattleboro, VT), with fiddle accompaniment by Rachel Panitch (Boston, MA).
5. I denna ljuva (In this lovely [summertime]) – lydia ievins (Montague, MA). This glorious waltz by Hans Kennemark, played here on 5-string fiddle and piano, gets its name from the opening phrase of a broadly known Swedish psalm. Recorded on Koivu, lydia’s duo album with Helsinki-based pianist Juha Kujanpää. www.lydiamusic.org
6. Father’s Day, by Susan Reid (Montpelier, VT). Read by Julie Vallimont (Brattleboro, VT).
7. Bright Morning Stars – Peter Amidon (Brattleboro, VT). Peter Amidon’s arrangement of the traditional American spiritual “Bright Morning Stars”, recorded by Al Stockwell at Guilford Sound in Guilford, VT. The Starry Mountain Singers are Zara Bode, Stefan Amidon, Suzannah Park, Gideon Crevoshay, Jeff Fellinger, Emily Miller, Nathan Morrison, and Avery Book, joined here by Peter and Mary Alice Amidon and Cora Neilson Kelly. www.starrymountainsingers.com
8. Big Country – Everest Witman (Brattleboro, VT). This tune is from Nova’s album Little Sky, featuring Kathleen Fownes on fiddle, Everest on guitar, and Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin on accordion. www.novatriomusic.com
The opening music is “The Pearl in Sorrow’s Hand” by Julie Vallimont, from her album Dark Sky, Bright Stars. Produced by Julie Vallimont. Mixed and mastered by Dana Billings. All content courtesy of the artists, all rights reserved. This series is supported in part by the Country Dance and Song Society.