Two new releases for you!
Torlan: an ethereal ambient folk-pop compilation of water music from our albums. Torlan is Welsh for ‘from the riverbank’. Celebrating water magic – nymphs, nixies, nereids, mermaids, island witches – we’ve gathered songs of seas, lakes and streams. Between each song is a recording of water. Listen for waterbirds, discover wetlands, dream of voyages beyond the estuary, rest by a well, trace a forest lane in the rain.
Envoys to the empress
Fated intervention: Gracing, musing and the wishing well
A spiel & spell, if you linger longer…
Mark & I struggle with post-traumatic stress and chronic fatigue/anxiety respectively. Ironically, some of you have written to thank us for soothing your own souls. In the spirit of “physician, heal thyself”, perhaps we can all help each other? :-)
We are fortunate first-worlders with an advanced democracy. Yet depression rises. While scientists cavort with insurance companies on a genetic hereditary angle, let’s not forget that humans excel in inflicting pain. Workplace abuse is demoralising, as are politics of Australia’s allies, Britain (Brexit) and America (Trumpery). Many of you who write to me are in the Arts. Perhaps you’ve self-funded your independence by working in jobs where sensitive folk seldom thrive? Then you know the pressure to conform, or how people abuse power. You know how hard it is to appease that insatiable maw. Or the dilemma of time versus money. Unbridled capitalism (not meritocracy tempered with compassion) = exploitation. Much could be solved with kindness, empathy and imagination, instead of goodies for bullies, carrots for cowards and junkets for jargon junkies.
Our faerielore was never about escapism; it was about delving deeply into reality, relishing humanity, cherishing heritage while embracing innovation. So it’s disturbing when all we have loved and struggled for, indeed our very freedom, feels so tenuous, so vulnerable, under this zeitgeist of thuggery.
As for marketing, what has it given civilisation? Reality TV? Canned chart hits? Alternative Facts? Fake News? Troll farms? Vapid popularism? Casinos? Mobsters and molesters who trash free speech and language itself? Yet despair is not the answer. I joined the international Women’s March. Between protesting, I’ve found solace in books, gardening, rescuing cats, writing, listening to Purcell’s Fairy Queen, or illustrating my album booklet, which hopefully you’ll soon be holding.
Cancelling a record contract and performance plans to care for my co-songwriter-hubby, I was financing albums at a gentler pace. Then my employer needed more hours than I could spare. Since retreating I’ve been reading books, researching fairy tales and exploring ways to share songs digitally for a while, e.g. our newbie ‘Evander the Unicorn’ at Bandcamp:
Amidst work on the Elderbrook Chronicles, my writing has borne other fruit: A peer-reviewed journal accepted two of my articles: an essay & story. Publication: ‘Into the Bush: Australasian Fairy Tales’- Special Issue of TEXT http://www.textjournal.com.au/ Editors: Dr Nike Sulway, Dr Rebecca Anne Do Rozario, Dr Belinda Calderone.
Poet Bee Williamson published her collection Torment & Soul with my intro, available at Collected Works, Readings and other quality bookstores. It’s a joy to appraise Bee, who is not only the daughter of one of our long-cherished producers, but also an inspiring artist whose eco-literary-soulfulness resonates with this fairy.
Australian Fairy Tale Society elected me as Vice President. I continue to lead Victoria’s Fairy Tale Ring, and help edit the society’s national ezine.
Video released January 2016: ‘The Green Lady’
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Writers Victoria caught my pitch for a Fairy Tale edition of ‘The Victorian Writer’ (Dec 2015-Jan 2016), featuring my story & articles by The Monash Fairy Tale Salon’s brilliant, savvy Dr Rebecca-Anne Do Rozario and fantasy author Dr Kate Forsyth, members of The Australian Fairy Tale Society.
A rare spate of shows:
Sunday 21st June: Australian Fairy Tale Society annual national conference, NSW Writers Centre, Sydney. As a founding member I’m honoured to be invited to open & close this event with music, and witness some leading fairy tale researchers, folklorists, storytellers, exhibitors and fantasy authors, explore the world of Faery. Theme: “Transformations: spinning straw into green and gold”.
Secret show: a wedding, in which the bride asked me to sing an Elizabethan classic ‘Greensleeves’. Because it’s in South Australia where longtime producer Brett Taylor lives, I’ve slipped in substantial production time at Pilgrim Arts studio. Could this be the completion of Elderbrook? Fey folk, abide…
Saturday 13th June: The Monash Fairy Tale Salon celebrates the 150th Anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in theatrette of Glen Eira Town Hall, Caulfield, Melbourne. I’m performing my song ‘Alice in the Garden of Live Flowers’ from CD Ariel (French record label Prikosnovenie), which sold out of all editions & is out-of-print. Accompanying my singing & mandolin, will be Naomi & Nicholas (Dandelion Wine), on shruti-box/ percussion, vocal harmonies & lute. As part of the Glen Eira Storytelling Festival, there’ll be storytelling & scholarly fairy tale presentations, interspersed with music. Come as your favourite wonderland character!
As a founding member of the Australian Fairy Tale Society and longtime friend of whimsy, I’ve set up a fairy blog. Fairy rings are sprouting in every state; I lead the Melbourne one, nesting at Storytelling Australia Victoria: http://victorianfairytalering.blogspot.com.au/
My first music clip, featuring Rachael Hammond, Melissa Rose Tonkins and Zeinab Yazdanfar, is in editing with videographer Ian Clarke. (So far all You-Tube videos of our songs on the web have been initiated by others – a lovely surprise!) It’s for ‘The Green Lady’, on my forthcoming double-album Elderbrook.
In respect for my role as a carer, please understand that I’m not touring overseas, yet am abiding with ethereal arts – listening, reading, reviewing, fostering links between tribes. Thanks for listening and for your kind messages, cards & letters x Louisa.
News 2012 & 2013 & 2014:
Elderbrook will no longer be released in 2013. I cancelled this book-cd deal (amicably) with the label, to bring the music into a double-album and hold the story until chronicles are ready, and care for hubby.
A dragon now lives in our fairy waterfall, courtesy of website designer ‘Made by Karl!‘. For more of Karl’s enchanting design, please visit the site of brilliant Belgian harpist/ singer Keltia: http://keltia.be
Here’s a preview of my unfolding story & soundtrack, Elderbrook: www.elderbrook.com.au It features my first audio-reading: a chapter of the chronicles & a song ‘The Fountains of Alderbee’.
Another version, ‘Fountainsong (Singing Fountains)’, appears on a fairy compilation Graines De Berceuses, on the label in France: prikosnovenie.com
We trust you enjoy exploring our realm – Louisa.