Thank you all for another great tour in Minnesota! While we were in the Midwest, we laid down 14 tracks for a NEW ALBUM. The fabulous Jim May recorded us in the picturesque town of Amery, WI, where there were early spring swans on the still-frozen lake, and snow drips melting off of the birch trees.
We'll keep you updated on development of the album -- the takes are sounding good, and we're excited to show you more.
For now, here's a free download of a low-budget recording of one of our rehearsals in preparation for the album. We'll sparkle more on the real thing, but we just want to get the anticipation building!
We had a great visit in New York City - thank you to so many of you for welcoming us so warmly. Special thanks to that goat at the Red Hook Bait and Tackle. So glad to share the stage.
Here's some nice coverage from new friend Zlatko Filipović: https://zlatkofilipovic.wordpress.com/
Hey, New York! We're coming your way!
We're returning "home" to Connecticut this month! One is at one of our favorite spots in all of sweet New England: Out on a Whim Farm, home of contra dance caller Bill Fischer. We spent many ecstatic Friday nights dancing to live music in his barn, and we're thrilled to return there to play. Here's the Facebook event, so you can RSVP. Other shows are listed on our Shows page. See you there!
We shot a little home video in Minneapolis - and it's our first Romanian song! This gorgeous arrangement comes from Ayanna Woods, based on a song that we learned from Irina Ivorciuc in Gura Humorului, Romania. Enjoy!
We've got shows in Minneapolis coming up, the weekend of September 18-20! One collaboration with a local women's choir, a gorgeous cathedral show, and two fun pop-ups. Check our Shows page for details.
Friday, September 18
Pop-up concert and Q&A
Dunwoody College of Technology, Holden Center
818 Dunwoody Blvd, Minneapolis
free, with suggested donation
Saturday, September 19
American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55407
free with museum admission
Saturday, September 19
with the Prairie Fire Lady Choir
Doors at 6, Music at 7:00 pm
The Woman's Club of Minneapolis
410 Oak Grove Street, Minneapolis
Sunday, September 20
St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral
519 Oak Grove St.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
free, with suggested donation
We'll be landing soon in Washington, DC for the first shows of our weekend tour. Thanks to the Georgetown Patch for this mention of our tour - glad to know folks will be looking for us on I-95 as we cruise between our "tripleheader" of shows on Saturday!
If you can't catch us in DC or Baltimore this weekend, here are some pictures of what it feels like to be interviewed by Garrison Keillor. Just to tide you over.
We will be singing in more festivals than ever before this summer, with a full weekend of performances in Washington, DC and Baltimore. Come check us out in some of these amazing venues!
Friday, July 17
Capital Fringe Festival
Logan Fringe Arts Space, under the tent
1358 Florida Ave NE/Washington, DC
Saturday, July 18
Historic Brookland Farmers Market
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
On the Arts Walk
716 Monroe St. NE/Washington, DC 20017
Saturday, July 18
"Worlds in Collusion" stage at ArtScape
University of Baltimore Student Center
21 Mt Royal Ave, 5th floor/ Baltimore, MD 51202
Saturday, July 18
Doors at 7pm, Music at 8pm
1307 Corcoran St NW/Washington, DC 20009
$10, Dinner included!
tickets at: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1745896
It's just a few days out from our next performances! We've headed into tech rehearsals with Ethnic Dance Theater for "Mountain Memories," and wanted to take the chance to share what an exciting collaboration this is going to be.
Ethnic Dance Theater (EDT) has been a fixture on the landscape of international folklore in the United States for many years, and many of our musical predecessors have been involved in the company.
In addition to their dancing, Ethnic Dance Theater is known for their incredible costuming work. They perform dances from all over the world, and clothe all their dancers in complete, historical, beautiful folk costumes from the appropriate culture. That means not just a Bulgarian dance in Bulgarian costume, but regionally-specific folk dresses from Rhodope region for a Rhodopian dance, Shoppe regional costumes for Shopska tunes, Thracian for Thrace, and so on.
Eric Ray, who dances and plays accordion with EDT, says that EDT has something like 5,500 costumes in their collection, with 65 countries represented.
When we were in Croatia with the Yale Slavic Chorus (minus Rachel) we visited Ensemble LADO, which is Croatia's premier folk dance ensemble. LADO is famous for being a "dancing museum", with a collection of thousands of historic costumes. And they are a national ensemble for the entire country of Croatia. It is awesome to have Ethnic Dance Theatre right here in the Twin Cities doing the same thing.
Female singing mentors of ours who have been involved in EDT include Natalie Nowytski, the singers of Mila Vocal Ensemble, Karen Sandness, Mary Sherhart, and others... are we forgetting anyone? In addition Tim O'Keefe, the rockstar percussionist who is playing in the band for Mountain Memories, is one of Sarah's percussion teachers. Some of our other favorite Twin Cities musicians are also playing in the orchestra: Colleen Bertsch, Katrina Mundinger, Jim Parker, Matt Miller, and Jenny Schultz.
EDT has studied with some of the most prestigious folk dance ensembles in the world, and they've hosted workshops in all manner of dance traditions. In 2013, they hosted a workshop with the Georgian group Zedashe, from whose work we in the Nightingale Trio learned the song "Ase Chonguri."
Anyways, EDT is awesome. Our performances this weekend are part of their 41st season of performing, and that longevity speaks to both their caliber and the strength of the folk music scene that also supports us. It's great to be connected to all of you!
P.S. Thanks to Marianne Combs for covering our tour on 89.3 The Current!
Hi friends and fans --
We birds are all just returning to our normal lives after one of the fullest, funnest weekends of music last week: The 45th anniversary reunion of the Yale Women's Slavic Chorus.
The Slavic Chorus, or the "Slavs," as we all lovingly refer to the group, was founded in 1969--the very first year that women were admitted to Yale as undergraduates. They have been holding reunions for all alumnae every few years ever since. We met some of the women who were singers in 1969 at the reunion, along with over 100 other alumnae from across the 45 years of the chorus's existence.
Here's a picture of the Yale Slavic Chorus from 1977, featuring some of the ladies we met last weekend:
Nila, Rachel and I met in "Slavs" in 2009, and we sang together in the chorus for 3 years. That's the secret (I think) behind the magic of our three voices working so well together even though The Nightingale Trio is a relatively new ensemble -- we'd really been working on it together for all those years already. We also learned this music in the oral tradition -- from older Slavs who had in turn learned from their predecessors. We each came in as a new singer and were challenged by the experienced members to take solos, learn challenging songs, and get better and better at sounding Bulgarian.
I often like to think about the way that music is transporting -- the songs, harmonies, and stories that surround them are connected to people in distant places and distant times. Some of those people are the village women and poets who composed the songs; some are the audience members we have talked to over the years; and some are these Yale Slavic Chorus singers who came before us and sang the same songs.
Talk about transporting. For the women in the early years of Slavs, the Chorus was a women-filled ensemble on a campus where women numbered 490 out of 4586 undergraduates (I looked it up), and they sang songs from Yugoslavia, Russia, and Bulgaria when the Iron Curtain was part of global politics. This music, and the act of coming together to craft it, surely transported them to a world where paradigms were different, and where women's voices rang out.
That magic has percolated into our singing, even decades later. As a Trio we owe so much to these women in Slavs; both to the trailblazers and to those who have continued it for 45 years. At the reunion, some of the current students singing in Slavs invited us to sing a set for all the alumnae at our party. It's an honor to think that after all we've learned from them that they would want to listen to us now!
What an awesome experience. So here's to the Slavs, and to 45 more years (at least).
-- Sarah (Nightingale #3)
(thanks to Ann Mackey and Celia Rostow for pictures)