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Witchvox Chapter: Pagan Music
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Bardic Circle Featuring...
(words & music by Christopher Bingham)
A health to the mothers of the Merry Begotten
A health to the maiden with the firey eyes
A health to the crone that smiles beside us
On the other side of a Beltane Fire
A health to the sweet rain gently falling
Down upon the Earth so fair
A health to the wind that Gails around us
And feeds the passion of a Beltane Fire
A health to the lovley green-eyed Susan
She whose heart is my desire
And after all the May Pole's rising…
Will you leap with me now o'er a Beltane Fire?
A health to the acts of love and pleasure
A health to the way the May poles rise
A health to those who bear no children
So those who do come along survive!
Copyright 2000 Christopher Bingham
Eo! The Maiden and the horned one
Eo! The call to spill the seed
Eo! The stirring of the Cauldron
Eo! The Green Man ever present
Eo! The Raven in the wood
Eo! The kisses ripe for tasting
Eo! The rising of the sleepers
Eo! To hear the Pipe at dawn
Eo! The quickening is here
Eo! The sweet rain gently falling
Eo! The seed deep in the Earth
Eo! I hear my lovers calling
Eo! The lusty summer coming
Eo! The green leaf in the bud
Eo! The wild sap is running
Eo! The musky Piper playing
Eo! The One Who Calls the Dance
Eo! The howling earth is saying
Copyright 2001 Christopher Bingham
copyright 2001 Christopher Bingham
Gaia Consort [a Witchvox Sponsor] ...
(by Christopher Bingham)
Audience Count: 3,047
I wanted to make a song for folks to dance to at Beltane, and celebrate the spring - the life, sex and joy of it all. So the songs starts with offereing a health, tipping a glass to all kinds of people and elements - mothers of the Merry Beggoten, the Crone beside us, the the rain and fire. Then the fiddler starts us off on a double reel and the band kicks in. Everyone gets to shout "Yo!" and the songs ends with a great wind up - spin until you all fall down kind of ending. It's great fun in concert and almost everyone dances...
Recorded: Audio Logic Studios, Seattle
Guests/Players: Christopher Bingham; acoustic guitar and vocals, Sue Tinney; vocals, Jay Kenney; Hammond organ, James Lowe; flute, Mathew Weiss; violin, Dan Occipinti; drums, Dan Mohler: fretless bass
Technical Notes: This is another full band PLUS guests tune - drums, bass, acoustic guitar, violin, flute, Hammond B-3, vocals. Recorded in Audio Logic's professional class digital studio. I'm sure we used at least 32 tracks, all the usual compression, reverb, delay. The "crowd" you hear chanting "Eo!" is three of us, multitracked 4 or five times...
Artist Profile: Gaia (Gaea) 'guy-uh': 1) The Greek Earth Goddess and Mother of the Titans 2) The autopoietic superorganism that is the living biosphere
consort:'kan-soert: 1) one who shares a common lot 2) a ship accompanying another
3) spouse / lover 4) to make harmony
5) a group of singers or instrumentalists performing together
Gaia Consort makes music that makes you want to dance naked in moonlight. Excellent musicianship, acoustic instruments, classical interludes among diverse danceable rhythms. Think Bare Naked Ladies meets Peter Gabriel meets Jethro Tull with a bit of CSN thrown in for good measure.
Christopher Bingham and Sue Tinney played their first gig as Gaia Consort at Nudestock '97, playing to about 800 nudists. It was the perfect place to debut a new Pagan band – their record label is called Suddenly Naked Arts Collective - and judging by the enthusiatic response, they fit right in.
In 1999 and 2001 the Consort released Gaia Circles and Secret Voices to critical acclaim in all the major Pagan magazines. They are currently recording their next CD, Evolve, continuing Bingham’s musical and philosphical explorations within the framework of an expanding Gaian Culture.
Backing Bingham and Tinney are some of the Pacific Northwest’s finest musicians. Gaia Consort’s current line up includes Larry Golding violin, Dan Ochipinti drums and percussion, Jay Kenney, keyboards, Betsy Tinney, cello, Dan Mohler, bass and Larry Murante on backing vocals.
Gaia Consort has never been about making it big in the music “industry.” Eschewing the usual venues of clubs and coffee houses, Gaia Consort has managed to quietly build an audience that fills rooms, playing house concerts and self-produced shows in halls around the Pacific Northwest. They’ve built enough of a following to have been invited to play a variety of festivals and events, including headlining the long running Heartland Pagan Festival (2000) in Kansas, and Canada’s Wic Can Fest (2002) outside Toronto.
Christopher Bingham’s crystal clear tenor used to get compared to David Crosby but lately it's been Bare Naked Ladies and Dave Matthews. And watch out for his acoustic guitar work – think Bruce Cockburn meets Ian Anderson, fluid from one rhythm to the next.
Bingham left his hometown of St. Louis to study jazz at The Evergreen State College in Olympia in 1979, fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and stayed. Before Gaia Circles he released Always the Sirens (cassette, 1987) The Burning (1993) and Angel and the Hanged Man (1995) Several cuts on all CDs have received airplay on a number of college and commercial radio stations across the US and in Europe.
Sue Tinney's voice is like a lover's soft lips nibbling your earlobe while telling you the bed is on fire and what are you going to do about it? She has a special gift for picking out the perfect harmony line. She’s been singing alto parts all her life and it shows. She’s also co-produced four of Bingham’s Suddenly Naked releases. Growing up literally in the Olympic National park, (Kalaloch and the Hoh river valley) the spirit of the rainforest is imbued in all her work.
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