Our calendars have mostly been cleared in this pandemic, inviting us to clear space in our lives and in our souls for the things that matter most. Farming is a kind of clearing too, where we’re making space to grow things, and we are blessed to have some wonderful farms in New England. But we have to make sure everyone has a seat at the table. It’s obviously time to also clear out centuries of oppression. We all need to do what we can to fight for justice. And work to build a society where everyone can live in equality, freedom, and safety. This week we have music from lydia ievins, Aaron Marcus, Live Wire, Windborne, and Bob Mills. Sam Sanders reads a poem by Martha Postlethwaite, and Julie reads a passage from The Prophet and a poem by Rumi. As always, you can find out more at starsintherafters.com, and you can reach out to me there.
1. Sälskär – lydia ievins (Montague, MA). A pensive tune by Juha Kujanpää, played here on nyckelharpa and piano. Sälskär is a tiny island in the Swedish archipelago of Åland, with a lighthouse that stands midway across the gulf between Sweden and Finland. Recorded on Koivu, lydia’s duo album with Helsinki-based pianist Juha Kujanpää. www.lydiamusic.org
2. Clearing by Martha Postlethwaite, read by Sam Sanders with piano accompaniment by Aaron Marcus (Montpelier, VT). The tune is a recent composition of Aaron’s called David the Nightingale, written for David Kaynor. Aaron says, “I think we’ve all been entranced and inspired by David’s beautiful fiddling over the years, and the generosity with which he shares it.”
3. The Clootie Well – Sarah Gowan (Philadelphia, PA). This tune by Sarah is performed by the band Live Wire (Tom Krumm – fiddle, Ben Kennedy – keyboard, Bill Quern – cuatro, Sarah Gowan – guitar). A Clootie Well is a place, usually at a spring surrounded by trees, where people seeking healing from an illness or woe make an offering of a piece of cloth (cloot). More info is at http://sarahgowan.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-munlochy-clootie-well.html. http://livewirecontra.band/
4. Buying and Selling from The Prophet, by Khalil Gibran, read by Julie Vallimont (Brattleboro, VT). Fiddle accompaniment by Rachel Panitch (Boston, MA).
5. Sabodisho – Windborne (VT, MA). This traditional Georgian song is performed by Windborne (Lynn Mahoney Rowan, Will Thomas Rowan, Lauren Breunig, and Jeremy Carter-Gordon) on their album Midwinter Meeting. In Georgia there is a tradition of singing songs to sick children in order to appease unhappy spirits. The spirits are addressed as “Batonebo,” an honorific, and flowers are strewn about the child’s room. http://www.windbornesingers.com
6. The guest house, by Rumi, read by Julie Vallimont. Piano accompaniment by Aaron Marcus.
7. Love is Little – Bob Mills (Montague, MA). Bob writes, “I got this Shaker song from Freyda Epstein when we played together in the late 90s. It came with only one verse, which seemed lonely, so I made it some friends to play with. The tune that follows after leapt from the guitar unbidden so I won’t be surprised if someone else wrote it.”
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.