Thursday, December 27, 2012

My CDs: Wingd With Hopes, The Goldenrod and Saratoga Romance

I haven't written much about my CDs in this blog, so I thought I'd mention some of them. Afterall, it has taken up a large part of my time and life.

My CDs are all available on-line through:

My Artfire on-line shop (scroll down past the featured products)

or through CD Baby:
(a Renaissance CD and an original song CD) 
(Celtic music CD)

You can also listen to clips on MYSPACE to our
Renaissance band's music (Lise Winne and the Spirites Consort)
or our predominantly Celtic/acoustic/folk band's CD (Saratoga Faire band)
or my own Myspace site which has a smattering of the two bands, my own original songs and some demo songs that were never put out for sale  
Here are some of my CDs:

Wing'd With Hopes with The Spirites Consort was released in 2001:

Wing'd With Hopes is my best-selling CD to date. It is an album of Renaissance songs using modern instruments, an innovative approach and a produced sound. It was recorded, mixed, mastered and co-produced with Scott Petito (who also records big names like James Taylor, the Band, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, Pete Seeger, Dave Brubeck and Aine Minogue, so it is a quality recording). The instruments are primarily acoustic instruments with world percussion, so it is a kind of hybrid sound somewhere between folk, classical and world music.

Before this recording, I was performing the works of Thomas Campion and John Dowland as a solo artist tackling both the lute part and singing, but it was challanging to do both, to say the least. My father who is a trained classical and jazz pianist suggested I try a new age, creative approach to the music instead, using a band. And that is how Wing'd With Hopes came to be.

After recording Wing'd With Hopes, I won a grant from The New York Foundation for the Arts to make another CD. This resulted in The Goldenrod, which was released in 2004:

The Goldenrod is an original song CD. Three of the originals were written with Jason Kessler, who I worked with from 1998 - 2000 in various capacities from Renaissance and light classical concerts, holiday concerts and jazz/new age style originals. The three compositions, Seaflight I, Where Did You Go and Perhaps Butterflies were songs in which Jason wrote the music and I wrote the lyrics.

There is one song on the CD which did not have my lyrics or music: Dreaming You Back to Me. This one was written by my music partner, Jeff Belding (music) and a lyricist he worked with for awhile, Rene Balsam.

As with Wing'd With Hopes, the CD is also recorded, mixed, mastered and co-produced with Scott Petito.

The inspiration for writing the CD came from the break-up of a relationship and the healing and spiritual journey afterward. Musically, the influences range from Renaissance music, jazz, folk and new age.

In the midst of finishing The Goldenrod CD project, Jeff Belding and I formed a band with Frank Orsini (violin, viola and mandolin) with Jim Lestrange (hammered dulcimer, bass and guitar). We called ourselves Saratoga Faire.

Our debut album, released in 2009 is called Saratoga Romance:

The title track is a waltz written by Jeff Belding about the place where we all met. He also contributes songwriting to The Fountain and Living to Eternity.

But a predominance of the album is Celtic and traditional songs.

We covered two songs on the album: Wind in the Willows written by Alan Bell and made popular by Blackmore's Night and Far Away, an instrumental by Peter Jung that has a Celtic style to it.

I produced the cover art for the CD.

Saratoga Faire is on a bit of a performance hiatus (medical for one of our members -- should be better soon), but we've performed at some great venues.

Our two favorite performances took place at Troy Music Hall (one a concert of our usual repertoire and one a Christmas concert). It is an ornate Victorian era music hall with two upper balconies in upstate NY.

This is a snippet of a photo of the inside of the hall with two upper balconies just above the stage area (from the Troy Music Hall website):

Finally I leave you with a photo of our band at Troy Music Hall after the audience went home (photo by Tania Susi, a Julliard grad violinist):

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