Gaia: (Gaea) 'guy-uh': Consort: 'kan-soert:
Gaia Consort makes music that makes you want to dance naked in moonlight. Excellent musicianship, acoustic instruments, classical interludes among diverse danceable rhythms. Think Bare Naked Ladies meets Peter Gabriel meets Jethro Tull with a bit of CSN thrown in for good measure.
In the spring of 1996, Christopher Bingham and his partner Sue Tinney, returned from an admittedly disastrous European "tour" that left them deeply in debt and forced them to literally face the music - to figure out what was important in their lives, and to make music that reflected their values. After a year long performing hiatus they resurfaced at Nudestock '97 as Gaia Consort.
In December 1999 they released Gaia Circles to critical acclaim in all the major Pagan magazines. Now Gaia Consort has released their second CD, Secret Voices and the excitment continues.
Released by the Seattle, WA based Suddenly Naked Arts Collective in December 1999, Gaia Circles is an "out of the broom closet" collection of celebratory songs about the Earth and our relationship with Her. Guests include Heather Alexander, violin, Dan Ochipinti drums and percussion, Jay Kenney, keyboards, Betsy Tinney, cello, Dan Mohler, bass and Jennifer Kay on backing vocals. Secret Voices continues the tradition with the classically influenced violin work of Matthew Weiss and Ed Davis.
Gaia Consort has never been about "making it big" in the music industry. Eschewing the usual venues of clubs and coffee houses for the more intimate house concerts and self produced shows in halls around the Pacific Northwest, Gaia Consort has managed to quietly build a following that fills rooms though their mailing list. Enough to have been invited to play a variety of festivals and events, including headlining the long running Heartland Pagan Festival (2000) in Kansas.
Christopher Bingham was born cursed with a crystal clear voice in a time when gravel is almost a requirement, so he's had to learn other ways to get the same intensity out of his vocals. And watch out for his acoustic guitar work - think Bruce Cockburn meets Ian Anderson, fluid from one rhythm to the next - and wow that's only ONE guitar.... People used to compare him to David Crosby but lately it's been Bare Naked Ladies and Dave Matthews. He left his hometown of St. Louis to study jazz at The Evergreen State College in Olympia in 1979, fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and stayed. Before Gaia Circles he released two CDs, The Burning (1993) and Angel and the Hanged Man (1995) Several cuts on both CDs have received airplay on a number of college and commercial radio stations across the US and in Europe.
Sue Tinney's voice is like a lover's soft lips nibbling your earlobe while telling you the bed is on fire and what are you going to do about it? She has a special gift for picking out the perfect harmony line. She's been singing alto parts all her life and it shows. She's also co-produced all of Bingham's Suddenly Naked releases. Growing up literally in the Olympic National park, (Kalaloch and the Hoh river valley) the spirit of the rainforest is imbued in all her work.
Some Festivals / Fairs / Clubs: Celebrate the Spirit, WV, Heartland Pagan Festival 2000, Pantheacon 99, Northwest Folklife, Oregon Folklife, Ancient Ways, Olympia Spiral Dance, Loving More Conference (1999, 2001), Okanogon County Fair, University District Street Fair, Ballard Seafood Fest, Fremont Fair, Magnolia Summerfest, Nudestock '94, '95 & '97, Wild in the Woods, Backstage in Ballard, Tractor Tavern, Ok Hotel, Parker's Ballroom, John Henry's (Eugene) Earth Day, (The Evergreen State College)
Split Bills / Openers: Greg Brown, Sheryl Wiser, Hand to Mouth, Bill Davie, Three Track Mind, October's Gate, Chuck Brodsky, Laura Love (Venus Envy) Erin Corday, Bright Blue Gorilla, Jim Page, Reggie Garrett, Trillian Green, Carolyn Currie, Rick Ruskin, Bill Bourne, Craig Olson, Katya Chorover, Jef Jaisun, Larry Murante
Some Benefits: April Divilbiss Legal Defense Fund, Tacoma Aids Walk, Native Forest Network, Hands Off Washington, Planned Parenthood, American Cancer Society, Victory Music New Year's Eve, and the New Beginnings Shelter.