Dan Marcotte is a Bard: Poet, Musician, and Storyteller. This CD is a collection of songs Dan has been performing at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Wisconsin for the past several years. This music was created for folks at a Renaissance Faire, to raise cheer, and perhaps a beer, to melodies and lyrics both old and new.
Dan grew up in Schaumburg, IL, and currently resides in Bolingbrook, IL. His passion for the Bardic Tradition began in his teenage years, and carried on through college and graduate school. Dan has a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Illinois Wesleyan University, and a Master of Music in Historical Musicology and a Certificate of Early Music from Florida State University. His Master's Thesis "The Ap Huw Manuscript and the Welsh Bardic Tradition of the 16th Century" is a major influence on his music and life today.
In addition to the Bristol Renaissance Faire, where Dan is the Music Director and a strolling minstrel, he performs songs at stories at libraries, museums, community centers and schools throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. He is member of the Illinois Arts Council ArtsTour Roster, and also a "Road" scholar with the Illinois Humanities Council. His Irish Band, The Whiskey Brothers, has performed at many pubs and libraries in Illinois and Indianna as well.
Dan plays lute, guitar, mandolin, tin whistle, recorder, oud, laouta, gittern, cittern, doumbek, bodhran, shawm, cuatro, and trumpet. His knack and general obsession with aquiring new and unusual instruments has allowed him to particiapte in an extreme range of programs, inlcuding "Grimm's Grimmest: the Darker Side of Fairy Tales", "Songs and Stories from Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt", "Arthurian Legends","Celtic Stories and Songs", and even "A Taste of Chicago in Story and Song."
The Ancient Bards of Ireland and Wales were more than just minstrels and musicians. Their role in their community was to teach music and history to their clan, accompany religious ceremonies (whether Pagan or Christian), and even inspire fellow warriors in battle. While living in the suburbs of Chicago allows few moments for hand to hand combat, Dan does maintain the role of teacher and church musician. He and his wife, Carrie, are the music directors at St. Scholastica Parish in Woodridge, IL. They direct five choirs, and Dan teaches music classes and band at the Parish school. He teaches private voice and trumpet, and spends free time learning new instruments, writing new songs, and recording.
The music of Unicorns and Dragons was inspired by not only the community of the Bristol Renaissance Faire, but by his family and friends as well. Each song is either original, or uses Renaissance Ballad Tunes and Irish and Scottish reels to bring fun, clever, and poetic lyrics to life. Life is good! Eat, Drink, and be Merry!