The Poet W.B. Yeats once asked an old woman in Ireland,
"Do you believe in the Faeries?" "No," she replied, "but they're here."
The Circle of Fae is the latest CD from the husband and wife Celtic/Renaissance duo The Harper and the Minstrel. Recorded in the last half of 2006, this album features songs of Faeries, Elves and other Magical Beings. The Harper and the Minstrel are...
Jay Michaels - Celtic Harps (Nylon & Wire-Strung), Guitar, Vocals.
Abby Michaels - Vocals, Flute, Recorder, Low D Penny Whistle, Harp,
In the liner notes of the CD, Jay Michaels writes about the music...
"Abby and I have been inspired for years by songs
and stories of the Faeries and Elves, so we decided to devote an
entire CD to the music of Magical Beings. We hope you enjoy!
I originally wrote TWO FAERIES DANCING as a solo harp piece.
We recently added Abby’s Bowed Psaltery to it.
I penned the lyrics to THE CIRCLE OF FAE as a poem many years ago. I recently rediscovered them and set them to music.
KING OF THE FAERIES is a traditional Irish tune.
I found the lyrics to THE FAERIE QUEENS' LAMENT in an antique Irish book called 'Pulse of the Bards', the moment I read it I
felt compelled to make it into a song.
ELFSTORM is a tune I started playing at the King Richard’s Faire in the mornings, as patrons would arrive. The music was inspired by the natural energy swirling through the trees.
Loreena McKennitt’s musical setting for the Alfred Lord Tennyson
poem THE LADY OF SHALOTT is one of our favorite songs. We are grateful to the folks at Quinlan Road Music ltd for giving
us permission to record it.
For my birthday a few years back, Abby give me a card. It had
a painting on it called 'The Triumphal March of the Elf King',
It inspired me to write
THE MARCH OF THE ELF KING...THE DANCE OF THE FLOWERS.
One night after a very late music session, my good friend Jura of
The Regal Royales told me a story. She is Lithuanian, and named
after the Lithuanian Goddess of the sea, Jurate. She told me how
Jurate fell in love with a fisherman, and they lived in her Amber
castle in the Baltic Sea. This angered the God of Thunder who
destroyed the Castle. That’s why, it is said, the Baltic Sea is full
of bits of Amber. I was so inspired, the next morning
I woke up and wrote JURATE.
The poem LAVENDER IN M'LADYS GARDEN was written by our
friend CJ Landram. He was on the King Richard's Fairegrounds,
raking near a memorial garden dedicated to
Barbara “Bodge” Burinski-Shelton.
She had been the queen of this, and several other
Renaissance Faires, and was very well loved. She passed
away years ago, but is still remembered and honored.
While raking CJ smelled Lavender, yet there was none growing
in or near the garden, nor anywhere on the grounds. He was later
told that Lavender was Bodges’ favorite scent. Cj asked us to write
music for his poem. We asked him to sing it with us on this CD.
THE ABBOT'S DREAM Abby learned at a Harp seminar at an
Irish Festival we perform in evey year at The Irish Cultural
Center in Canton, Massachusetts.It was written in the 1100’s.
Abby arranged it and performs it on the Harp.
I bought a book of Chaucer’s poetry a few years ago thinking
that I might find something I could set to music. I came across
the story of Sir Topaz and his quest to find the Elf Queen.
The poem seemed incomplete, I wrote a chorus and added a
few verses. Abby and I wrote the music. We call it
SIR TOPAZ AND THE ELF QUEEN.
John Playford’s ALL IN A GARDEN GREEN is a wonderful old
English tune. We originally recorded it on the
'I Pray Thee Save the Trees...The Lament of the Last Elf' CD for
solo Harp. We have been perfoming it live with Abby playing the
Bowed Psaltery, so we decided to record that version for this album.
It is said that an Irish Piper wandering home late one night spied
a circle of Faeries dancing and singing under the full moon.
He remembered the music and passed it down through
the generations. We know it today as THE FAERIES DANCE.
I perform it as a solo Harp piece.
I wrote FIVE AND SEVEN as a first anniversary gift for Abby.
On the seventh of May 2005 we held a Renaissance themed
wedding under a tent during a nor’easter. Our guests came
dressed as Faeries, Elves, Hobbits, Minstrels and Mortals.
We had an unforgettably Great time!
That’s the story behind the music on The Circle of Fae!"
Jay Michaels December 2006