This is the second album recorded by the Celtic duo "The Harper and the Minstrel".
The title song was inspired by the Celtic and Norse legends of the Alfar, the Elves...an ancient and noble race, said to be gardiens of Nature and the friends of the Trees. The song was based on this premise...what if one Elf still lived in the modern era...what might he or she think, sing and pray?
"Dreaming of Butterflies" was composed after watching a pair of powdery white butterflies find each other, lose each other, and find each other again. This is one of the duos most requested songs.
"Seven Secrets" is another original...inspired by the seven pointed star known as the "Elf Star". The Seven Points are said to represent the seven colours, the seven notes, or mayhaps the "Seven Secrets".
"Remembering the Wizard" is a Song Spell about Merlin...an attempt through song to bring his wisdom back to the world.
Daughters Kim and Ashley sing on this track as well.
Renaissance Magazine says...
"Jay (aka Sellador the Harper) and Abby (aka Tarma the Minstrel) Michaels perform often at Renaissance Faires and Celtic festivals throughout New England. Her sweet voice and occasional flute and his simple, delicate folk-harp style combine for gentle, lovely music.
Four of the songs here, including the title piece, were composed by the duo. The other original piece is John Playford's "All in a Garden Green." Other selections are familiar folk compositions from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, such as "Loch Lommond," "Danny Boy,"
and "Wild Mountain Thyme."
According to their promotional material, the Michaels strive to return the listener "to a time when minstrels roamed the lands singing songs of love, of loss, of nature and of ale."
They certainly succeed in this, as I Pray Thee Save the Trees is an enjoyable visit to bygone centuries when one or
two singers with simple instrumental accompaniment could find an eager audience in every village. Their polished, sincere renderings would have earned them wide renown."
Harmon Renaissance Magazine (#49)
The Harper and the Minstrel are Jay and Abby Michaels.
When performing as Medieval Bards at Renaissance Faires
they are known as Sellador the Harper and Tarma the Minstrel.
Jay plays the nylon-strung and wire-strung Celtic Harps, Guitar and Sings.
Abby Sings, plays the Flute, Guitar and Harp. Together they perform traditional and popular music from the Celtic lands, Renaissance music and original compositions.
Abby and Jay have spent their lives studying and performing Music.
Both have BA's in that field. Both have been performing in various musical groups since High School.
In a review of their performance at the 2004 Killington Renaissance Festival, Lise Winne wrote:
"Also featured were a duo from Massachusetts called "The Harper and the Minstrel", also known as Sellador the Harper and Tarma the Minstrel. They play a lot of Irish pieces as well as compositions from John Playford, King Henry the Eighth and Turlough O'Carolan. Their performances are also sprinkled with a few of their own compositions. We all marveled at Sellador's carved Harp, fluid playing and flowing robes and Tarma's beautiful vocals, which have a similar timbre to Loreena Mckennit's."