Lydia McCauley's music is a combination of contemporary sounds mixed with an older tradition that is categorized as New Age or Folk. As with most songwriters, her music follows the dynamic journey of her own life and is pretty true to form. This means that each album is crafted from the experiences of the particular year in which it was written.
First of all, Lydia grew up playing music from the age of five. Her early years studying piano and singing in choirs gave her a good base for songwriting, which began when Lydia was eighteen. In the mid 1990’s Lydia formed her own music label, Brimstone Music, and launched a professional career as a touring and recording artist. With the companionship of her husband/co-producer Kurt Scherer, Lydia has released six full-length albums that receive distribution across North America. Lydia’s band, GEOFFREY’S NEPHEW, tours with her in the U.S. and Canada. She also performs with RIVER, a three-composer concert program which features Nancy Rumbel, Jami Sieber, and Lydia McCauley.
QUIETING, Lydia's latest album is an all-instrumental recording that sprang forth from an intensely quiet period of about three years when Lydia lost her singing voice. It was an inward time, what she calls "the midlife turnstile," that introspective place where one crosses the threshold into the second half of life. It was in that space that the fragrance of trees, seeds drifting through the forest, and the unexpected friendship of a frog inspired such pieces as "Hawthorn," "Cottonwood," and "Every Bug, Every Bee, Every Breath." Full of wonder and beauty, QUIETING is quieting. There are some wonderful musicians featured on the recording, such as Grammy Winner Nancy Rumbel (oboe, English horn) and Jami Sieber (cello), Lee Mohler (trumpet and flugelhorn) and Lydia's long-time group of musicians.
FOREIGNLANDER is a project full of Traditional Appalachian songs that Lydia arranged in her own particular music style. She studied Appalachian music at Berea College in Kentucky, and documented music from the back hills of Maine all the way down to Georgia. Some of the songs on the album date from medieval times and carry with them the older strains of harmony, beckoning the listener into an earlier world. Lydia's ensemble beautifully accompanies her into these territories, embellishing the melodies with viola, recorder, guitar, and percussion.
THE MOON OF WINTERTIME is a project that was recorded quickly, (we’re talking two and a half hours at the end of another album session), and bears a freshness of spirit for the winter season. It’s a wonderful addition to winter holiday collections, expanding the usual Christmas faire into pieces from medieval Italy, France, Scotland and England. “Bring Us In Good Ale” includes vocals by The Blessed Lady’s Pub Chorus and ends with peals of laughter.
THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH stands as Lydia’s most successful recording, rated at number one selling New Age album 2004 (Goldenrod Distributors). This album sports the best of Lydia’s songwriting. Full of earthy and spiritual imagery, we get a glimpse of the soul’s journey in songs such as “When You See,” and the title track “The Beauty of the Earth.” The last song “Kyrie eleison” was written on 9/11 and it holds a powerful message of Peace for the world. It is featured on worldwide radio programs (such as SIRIUS and Martha Stewart Living Radio), as well as on airlines, and perhaps in certain elevators.
ENTRANCES is a mystical sounding record, some of the pieces are a little on the dark side. Okay, most of them are, but one of them isn’t - “Traveling Moorland,” which is a unity song (“we all come from different places, but we are the same”) with a Scottish Blessing (“safe and whole may you return home”). On the other hand, songs like “The Fire,” “Hope Grows,” and “Ashes” give the soul an interior space for yearning. Recorded on tape and mastered HDCD in Los Angeles, this album packs power.
SABBATH DAY’S JOURNEY, Lydia’s popular debut combines original songwriting with traditional Folk. Instruments such as sitar and concertina, and even a garden weasel are paired alongside the viola, recorders, penny whistles, piano and synth. Legendary member of The Wrecking Crew, Larry Knechtel arranged and performed two songs on the album (“Graceday” and “Burning Bush”). “Black is the Color” and “O Beautiful Earth” are excellent examples of McCauley’s traditional music arranging style. Her original music of Julian of Norwich’s words “All Shall Be Well” provides a joyous end to a spirited recording