“Take me to the Sacred Oaks, where ancient mysteries unfold;
and druids who draw magic mists preserve each age in songs they’ve told!
Where seasons guide a way of life, and trees each have a name;
where I go to join with spirits old, of earth and fire, of wind and rain...” [from the song Sacred Oaks]
American balladeers inspired by the ancient Druids, the Bards of FoDLA celebrate the spirit of the sacred oaks with Celtic harps, guitar and voices. This beautiful collection includes traditional music from Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man as well as original folk music in a deeply mystical and joyful fusion of past and present.
FoDLA is a Neo Druidic pagan community based in the Los Angeles area, dedicated to and inspired by the spiritual ideologies of the ancient Druids. Named in honor of "Fodla," (pronounced "FOE-lah"; the D is silent), one of the three patron goddesses of ancient Ireland, the community uses cultural, artifactual and reconstructed religious practice to explore and connect to the mysteries of the numinous.
1. Bardic Invocation: A hymn to the Celtic Goddess Brigid, asking for her to bring the light of inspiration to the Bard.
2. Bràigh Loch Iall: A traditional Scottish Gaelic air, from a song about an exile's longing to return home, and his memories of courting a young girl at the summer pastures.
3. Isle of Mystery: A meditation on the home of the Sidhe, where once the Tuatha Dé Danann reigned and Oisín sang.
4. Lament for Miach: A song about the death of the Irish God of healing, whose body was transformed into the 365 herbs of healing.
5. Aeval’s Grimoire: the book of magic belonging to the Faerie Queen.
6. Dance of the Morrigan: The Celtic Goddess of War and Sovereignty, in her Raven form, flies over the battlefield, carrying the fallen heroes to the Otherworld.
7. The Butterfly: A traditional Irish slip jig.
8. Guilderoy: A jaunty Irish tune that gathers steam as it goes on, like a céilidh where the dancers spin faster and faster!
9. Balancing the Moon: Commissioned as the theme music to the stage play of the same name by playwright Patricia Lamkin, this jig in genre-bending 15/8 meter illustrates the lively goings-on in the “supernatural screwball comedy” populated by a friendly ghost, an eccentric medium and a lascivious Irish love fairy!
10. Sacred Oaks: Like an acorn that contains within it a towering oak, this song is an expression of the ancient and continuing story of Druidic mythology.
11. Manannán Mac Y Lir: A traditional Manx tune, for the Patron God of the Isle of Man, God of the Sea, worker of magic, and Gatekeeper to the Otherworld. He brings an enchanted mist to conceal the island from its enemies, and sails in a magical boat called Wave Sweeper.
Composers and Musicians:
1. Bardic Invocation: (traditional Scottish Gaelic music, with lyric by Eva Gordon)
Eva, lead vocal; Stephanie Bennett, backup vocal and Celtic harp.
2. Bràigh Loch Iall (traditional Scottish, arr. Eva Gordon)
Eva, Celtic harp.
3. Isle of Mystery (by Stephanie Bennett)
Stephanie, Cláirseach (wire-strung Celtic harp).
4. Lament for Miach (by Eva Gordon)
Eva, Celtic harp.
5. Aeval’s Grimoire (by Stephanie Bennett)
6. Dance of the Morrigan (by Eva Gordon)
Eva, Celtic harp.
7. The Butterfly (traditional Irish, arr. Eva Gordon)
Eva, Celtic harp
8. Guilderoy (traditional Irish, arr. Stephanie Bennett)
Stephanie, Celtic harp
9. Balancing the Moon (by Stephanie Bennett)
Stephanie, Celtic harp, Clàirseach and percussion
10. Sacred Oaks: (by Patricia Lamkin)
Patricia, lead vocal and guitar; Stephanie and Eva, backup vocals
11. Manannán Mac Y Lir (Manannan, Son of the Sea)
Traditional Manx, arr. by Charles Guard (used by permission)
Eva and Stephanie, Celtic harps.
Produced by Stephanie Bennett at Harpworld Studio A, Northridge CA