Talented and versatile Multi-Instrumentalists Jay and Abby Michaels make up the duo The Harper and The Minstrel. Their unique sound is influenced by Celtic, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Folk and Rock Music.
This disc contains a collection of original music written by Jay and Abby. Five of these songs have not been previously released. The rest are from older albums, some no longer available. Those songs have been re-arranged and re-recorded for this CD.
Grandfather Clock (Abby Michaels) Abby: Vocals, Folk Guitar Jay: Mountain Dulcimer
Abby composed this heartfelt ballad about her two daughters and her family. It was inspired by their journey through life's many moments both happy and sad
Five and Seven (Jay M. Michaels) Abby: Vocals Jay: Vocals, Classical Guitar
Jay wrote this song in 2006 as a present to Abby for their 1st Anniversary. They were married on May 7, 2005 It was a Renaissance themed Wedding, outdoors, during a nor'easter. They say rain is good luck!
The Hobbit Drinking Song (Pour Me Another Pint) (Jay M. Michaels)
Abby: Vocals Jay: Vocals, Folk Guitar, Harp Minstrel Dave Sterenchock: Vocals
In 2005 Jay was sick for about a week and a half. He woke up one morning with a fever and delusions. He decided that there needed to be a drinking song about the adventures of the Hobbits from The Lord of The Rings and that he should write it. He wrote this song that morning then went back to sleep for the rest of the day. It is one of the duos most requested songs.
The Seisiun (Dreaming about Dublin) (Jay M. Michaels)
Abby: Vocals, Harp Jay: Vocals, Folk Guitar, Classical Guitar
This song was inspired by an evening in 2005 that Jay spent at the Kinsale Inn, an Irish Pub on the South Coast of Massachusetts. It was a Sunday evening, and the Pub was hosting a Seisiun; an old Irish tradition where musicians gather around a table and share music. Jay returned home feeling like he had spent the night in Dublin. He wrote this song the next day.
Believe (Jay M. Michaels) Abby: Vocals, Flute Jay: Vocals, Harp
It is said that in days of olde in the Celtic and Norse lands, people spoke of the Elves and the Faeries often. They were a part of everyday life. As time went on, our belief diminished and they went away...or did they? Could Belief be the most powerful Magic of all?
Remembering The Wizard (Jay M. Michaels)
Abby: Vocals Jay: Vocals, Guitar, Mountain Dulcimer Kimberly Humason: Vocals
Jay wrote this song in the mid 1990's in honor of the legendary Wizard Merlin.
7 Secrets (Jay M. Michaels) Abby: Vocals Jay: Vocals, Classical Guitar
Another one of Jay's compositions from the 1990's. What are the 7 Secrets? Jay suggests there are 7 notes in the scale, 7 colors in the rainbow, 7 points on the Faerie Star, 7 points on the Elf Star...
Dreaming of Butterflies (Jay M. Michaels) Abby: Vocals Jay: Vocals, Harp
While living on Cape Cod in the 1990's Jay was watching two Butterflies find each other, lose each other, and find each other again. He thought the subject would make a good love song
Home (Jay M. Michaels) Abby: Vocals, Flute Jay: Vocals, Classical Guitar
Jay wrote this in 1976 during his first year in college. The arrangement and a few of the lyrics have evolved a bit over the years, but the essence of the song remains the same
I Pray Thee Save The Trees...The Lament Of The Last Elf (Jay M. Michaels)
Abby: Vocals Jay: Harp
What if one of the Elves from ancient myth and legend was still alive?
What would this wonderous Being think? Feel? Sing? Pray? The lyrics were inspired by the Norse legends of The Alfar, the Light Elves
Chasing My Muse (Jay M. Michaels)
Abby: Vocals, Bowed Psaltery Jay: Vocals, Guitar
In 2010 Jay was attempting to write some music but felt no particular inspiration. He found his motivation in the lack of inspiration...the elusive Muse
The First Face (Jay M. Michaels)
Abby: Flute Jay: Vocals, Guitar, Harp
Jay composed this song in 2010. It is dedicated to and about his mother Joyce Russell. She was indeed the first face he ever saw
Two Faeries Dancing (Jay M. Michaels) Abby: Bowed Psaltery Jay: Harp
The interplay here between the Harp and Bowed Psaltery is meant to evoke imagery of a pair of Faeries Dancing
Titania's Dance (Abby Michaels) Abby: Harp Jay: Classical and Folk Guitar
Abby composed this piece for the Harp. It was inspired by the Queen of the Faeries Titania from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Last Day Of The Faire (Jay M. Michaels)
Abby: Vocals Jay: Vocals, Harp
Jay and Abby spend about six months of every year performing at Medieval and Renaissance festivals. They have made many friends over the years; Patrons, Performers and Vendors. When a Faire ends it is a sad time for all involved. This song was written by Jay in the Fall of 2004 at the end of the Festival season in an attempt to sum up how everyone felt at the time. Jay and Abby perform this song on the last day of every Renaissance Faire they attend.
Our Revels Now Are Ended (Lyrics: Shakespeare Music: Jay M. Michaels)
Abby: Vocals Jay: Vocals, Classical Guitar
These words by Shakespeare are spoken at the end of the day at many Renaissance Festivals. Jay set these words to music after the death of friend and fellow musician Owain Phyfe. This song is dedicated to his memory
Our revels now are ended.
These our actors, As I foretold you,
were all spirits and Are melted into air,
into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind.
We are such stuff As dreams are made on,
and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep
(William Shakespeare fromThe Tempest Act 4 Scene 1)
All Music on Chasing My Muse arranged by Jay M. Michaels and Abigail S. Michaels
Copyright 2012 BMI All Rights Reserved
Produced by Jay Michaels at Lindemar Studios
For the past decade The Harper and The Minstrel have brought their music to many venues across America including Folk, Renaissance, Medieval, and Celtic Festivals, Coffee Houses and Farmers Markets.