Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Faerie News


Faerie News

It is an honour to be nominated for the 
Australian Fairy Tale Society Award 2021, alongside three other nominees, each of whom is outstanding. 
If you are a member, please vote. 
If not, please consider joining & voting. 
Here's a glimpse of my fairy-ing these decades:




Within the Australian Fairy Tale Society:
  • Founding Victoria's Fairy Tale Ring
  • Several committee roles including President
  • Co-founding & co-editing the AFTS Ezine, now in its 9th volume
  • Co-editing the AFTS Anthology, South of the Sun: Australian fairy tales for the 21st century 
  • Performing in and/or co-organising national conferences
  • Liaising with the national Arts Law Centre to formulate Artist First contracts
Before / Beyond AFTS:
  • Releasing eight solo albums and as many collaborations exploring fairytales, myths etc, mostly on fairy-world indie label Prikosnovenie in France, generating acclaim through reviews and interviews in several nations
  • Storytelling at Wonderwings Fairy Shop, first of its kind in the world, inspiring AFTS co-founder Reilly McCarron along her fairytale path
  • Festival performing (e.g. Moomba, Royal Melbourne Show, Lit Fest, Midwinter in SA, Faerieworlds in Oregon USA, Trolls et Legendes in Belgium) & in castles, town halls, ballrooms, historic homesteads, botanic gardens and legendary venues such as La Loco in Paris
  • Publishing a fairy tale & essay in a peer-reviewed journal, TEXT, and fables, poems, reviews etc. in other mags & books
  • Supporting The Monash Fairy Tale Salon, Storytelling Australia Vic / Guild & other fey groups, e.g. sponsoring a resident fairy storyteller of Midsummer Faerie Rade (Golden Owl Events), co-hosting my own events such as Phantosea x 3 & Feline Faery Fest x 3, and helping other fairies find collaborations, opportunities etc.
  • Pitching a fairytale edition of Victorian Writer to Writers Victoria, resulting in several of us publishing articles/ tales
  • Liaising with Bendigo Writers Festival to put together a fairytale panel involving some of our book's participants, and representing them in a major regional newspaper Bendigo Advertiser

Louisa John-Krol 2020

Please vote this week, from Monday 10th May 2021
To join AFTS ($25), go to the Membership page 
Full details of nominees here



Thank you


 

Invitation - Date TBA (possibly postponed due to shipment delay)

Bendigo Writers Festival: Strewth !

Congrats to the participants of Bendigo Writers Festival who are also in our anthology South of the Sun: Australian fairy tales for the 21st century

Four of these six talented, fey women gave stellar spiels in a fairytale panel focusing on discussion points around the book. Here is a photo I took just before they exited the stage afterwards:

Claudia Barnett, Lorena Carrington, Sophie Masson, Eugen Bacon




Claudia Barnett, Lorena Carrington, Sophie Masson, Eugen Bacon

Above: On stage at the Capital Theatre, Bendigo, Bendigo Writers Festival 2021 Photo by Louisa John-Krol

Below: more happy snaps from participants of South of the Sun. Many had additional sessions in the programme, to discuss their other books. 

Louisa John-Krol, Rachel Nightingale, Eugen Bacon


Rachel Nightingale & Eugen Bacon



Louisa John-Krol & Anne E Stewart





Left & Below Right: Outside the Capital Theatre, grouping for the fairytale panel, from left to right: Lorena Carrington, Claudia Barnett, Sophie Masson & Eugen Bacon

Photo: Bendigo Writers Festival


Carmel Bird
on steps of Capital Theatre
Bendigo Writers Festival 2021
photo by Brian Nankervis



Saturday, April 17, 2021

North of the Moon - Three Australian Faerie Bards


Faerie News


North of the Moon: Three Australian Faerie Bards

Introducing our new digital album at Bandcamp

In Tree Time, three Celtic-Australian minstrels united to bring you some of their most fairytalish songs. Together they wove music with myth and fairytale. Instruments on this collection include flute, mandolin, accordion, charango, guitars, harps and bardic vocals, from folklorists honed in storytelling, mythology, poetry and Druidic / Pagan / Fae paths.

The Mermaids by Ferdinand Leeke, 1921

From Druidic circles to taverns, carnivals, fey indie labels, fairy shops, storytelling guilds, castles and audiobook soundtracks, they've fostered links between folklore and eco-spirituality. Hailing from three States of Australia, they joined webs at the Equinox, north of the moon. Let these whimsical balladeers carry you through seas and groves of Faery lands.



We warmly welcome you to visit us: 
Bandcamp & You Tube



Adrienne Piggott
Adrienne Piggott of Spiral Dance
'Under the Dock Leaves' by Richard Doyle, 1878


'The Children of Lir'
by John Duncan, 1914


'In a time of bards and chieftains, 
when the bright ones walked the land
And beauty slipped from silver strings 
touched by a minstrel’s hand 
In a time when giants held the hills 
and stone circles rang with song
And the Lia Fail stood in the soil 
and Tara’s walls stood strong.'

- from 'The Children of Lir' by Adrienne Piggott



'The Hesperides'
by Arthur Rackham, 1913






'The Garden of Hesperides'
by Edward Burne-Jones, 1877



Reilly McCarron
of Meadowlark Soundscapes

'Crystal drops and dragon stones are hidden in the maze

The green isle of apples awaits your longing gaze'

- from 'The Isle of Apples', by Reilly McCarron 



Louisa John-Krol
Elderbrook

Blue Tree by Karan Wicks












'Tig, Tag, Toe, and wouldn't you know?
Nimble my ride to Ramble Row'

- from 'Gwyllion' by Louisa John-Krol


North of the Moon:
Three Australian Faerie Bards


Fey thanks
Louisa, Reilly, Adrienne

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Two great bands whose names begin with D !


Faerie News

Two of my favourite bands have been up to magic. From one hemisphere to the other, Dandelion Wine and Daemonia Nymphe are giving time a shake.

Dandelion Wine


Dandelion Wine - ethereal electro-medieval band

Saturday 10th April, one of my fave bands, ethereal electro-medieval luminaries Dandelion Wine, play their first live show since Dec 2019. Their concert beams in simultaneous livestream via Darkstream Festival (Deutschland) at 1.00 DE time, or 9pm EST AU. If you’re lucky enough to be in Melbourne, you can experience the full pageant at The Alex Theatre, St Kilda. Seek their albums & vids on the web too; instruments include lute, bowed psaltery, flute, bell cittern, sansula, cello, keyboards, electronics, various guitars, dulcimers and avant-garde vocals. And oh! Never, ever underestimate lyrics by artists who read books with lobster pincers by the glow of a lava lamp.

Dandelion Wine - Australia

Bandcamp

Website

Facebook 

(for festival virtual link)




Daemonia Nymphe


Daemonia Nymphe
performing music for Shakespeare's play Macbeth
at the National Theatre of Northern Greece

Here is my adaptation of Daemonia Nymphe's news. As is my custom, I never represent anything in such detail unless I love it! So consider this a rave review:

Daemonia Nymphe have revisited their haunting 'Witches' Lullaby' at Bandcamp. Having composed this music for Shakespeare's supernatural masterpiece, which thaumaturges traditionally called The Scottish Play for fear of invoking bad luck, Daemonia Nymphe staged their own masterwork at the National Theatre of Northern Greece, directed by Anastasia Revi. 

This melody represented the Shakespearean witches, enigmatic and dangerous beings who manipulate Macbeth and make us wonder if they truly are the Fates. 

The lullaby is a melody that symbolises birth: new life. In many cultures, life's loom has trembled under the hands of the Fates. In ancient Greek mythology their names were Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos; the first represented the present, the second the future and the third the past, all that has happened and cannot be changed. 

Lullabies have their own inner strength that can follow a soul into this world. Yet lullabies change depending on who sings them, when the protective force they emit has another starting point and carries different dreams … 

So, based on their melody of the original lullaby (the dark lullaby of Shakespeare's witches), the composers set out to create four original lullabies. Each of the five artists involved had freedom to create a unique lullaby, imparting their own idiosyncratic meanings.  Japanese Hattis Noit, Spanish Priscilla Hernandez, British/Portuguese Victoria Couper in collaboration with British/Turkish Reyhan Yusuf and Greek Evi Stergiou, convey through their voices a memory of their own tenderness, strength and hope. 

Listening to the results at Bandcamp is like sipping an exquisite, rare nectar (I might say ambrosia of the gods, if it were not hubris), with varied piquancy at each listening, like altered consciousness.


Evi Stergiou and sisters of Daemonia Nymphe

Spyros Giasafakis with beloved muse, Evi Stergiou
Daemonia Nymphe
Instruments by Nikolaos Brass

Bandcamp

Daemonia Nymphe You Tube Channel

Acrobat in Daemonia Nymphe concert




Daemonia Nymphe

Evi Stergiou of Daemonia Nymphe


















So there you have it! Dandelion Wine and Daemonia Nymphe! Two distinctive bands whose names start with 'D', each carrying two words. Their founders are all literary, vibrant and daring. All are friends with whom I've sung over the past two decades. And yet for all the parallels ... an enticing contrast with each other! Like I said. Magic.


Afterword from the blogger, Louisa John-Krol:

Please support our international ethereal music scene. We are small, our genres are diverse but we often overlap in unexpected ways, sonically, thematically, eco-spiritually, poetically or philosophically. Despite our abiding communal spirit, it is practically impossible to maintain studio recording, touring or publishing if listeners do no more than affirm a social media post or cycle through the web without considering how - or even if - any revenue reaches the artists. There is a reason many of us have gone over to Bandcamp. I highly recommend this platform and hope more people will join us there.

Yours in curiosity and respect 

- Louisa John-Krol, Australian Fairy Review.


Saturday, March 13, 2021

French Fairy Tales, Music & Secret Gardens

Faerie News & Reviews


Il était une fois - where music, stories, illustration & gardens meet

With delight, I recommend a new fairytale album: Il était une fois by Australian faerie bard Reilly McCarron, due 19th March 2021.



music by Reilly McCarron, CD art by Lorena Carrington



‘Il était une fois’ means Once upon a time, and what a time! Time for discovering this unique soundtrack that Reilly McCarron composed for celebrated author Sophie Masson’s new book French Fairy Tales* and illustrator Lorena Carrington, who designed the cover art of both the book and CD. 


Reilly’s album - her solo debut - is fabulously fey and charming in a very French way. This is not only due to the French reading and singing by Cathy Abadie, but also to the contrast of sweet whimsy with mystery. There is also a hint of the carnivale or an outdoor French cafe. It evokes the magic brimming inside the fairy well of Lorena’s mind, when she moves between photographing insect wings, tiny bones, plants or spider webs, then transforming them into art to bestow upon them another dimension of life, as if summoning hidden potential within forms. Lorena visited France to create a lot of the imagery. Sophie, a French-Australian author born in Indonesia, was awarded an Order of Australia for her Services to Literature. This collaboration across three arts - visual, literary, musical - marks a new high for the Australian Fairy Tale Society, of which all three are members, and which Reilly co-founded.

Songlist:

1. Il était une fois
2. Lorena’s Theme
3. The King of the Crows
4. Beauty and the Beast
5. The Magic Gifts
6. The Booted Cat (or Puss in Boots)
7. A La Claire Fontaine (a traditional French song)
8. The Queen of the Korrigans
9. Once upon a time

Reilly’s blog, for taster & news, is at her website

*Buy Sophie
’s book at Serenity Press

Sophies fairytale website

Lorena’s website of photographic illustration

left: logo designed by Lorena 
for Reillys new soundtrack studio

💫💛💫


Lorena Carrington – Fairy Tales and Secret Gardens at Buda House!

You can find Lorena (with fairytale arts including the album & book featured in this post) at her exhibition and workshop in the historic Buda House during the Castlemaine State Festival from 19th March to 18th April 2021.


Discover ‘Secret’ delights of the rambling garden with a potpourri of exhibitions and resident art & antiques, a treasury of literary talks and a cornucopia of hands on workshops and kids activities.

While you are at Buda House, or visiting Serenity Press online, be sure to catch other fairytale releases, mostly with Lorena’s illustration: a series of books by Kate Forsyth with Reilly’s audiobook soundtrack, The Ivory Tower by Fiona Price and Mother Thorn by Juliet Marillier.

Related news from the Australian Fairy Tale Society:



South of the Sun - Australian fairy tales for the 21st century 
is at the printers, due April/May!
For YA + Adult readership, this intercultural anthology 
tills new genre-bending ground.
Preorder it at the publisher’s website, Serenity Press



Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Faerieworlds Live From Home 2020

 

Faerie News 2020


Congrats Eugen Bacon on her book Black Moon (IFWG Publishing Australia): graphic speculative flash fiction. Preorder here

Celebrated author Sophie Masson launched a new website with a focus on her fairytale books, especially those inspired by France.

Ethereal electro-medieval band Dandelion Wine released their new album Le Cœur.


Most recent reading, recommended:


Shadowfell (first in a trilogy) by Juliet Marillier, in the genre of high fantasy: superb storytelling with powerful shapeshifting, balancing adventure with luminosity and emotive suspense. Her book of fairy tales Mother Thorn is due on Serenity Press soon. Her blog


The Swan Maiden (Blessed Bee Books) by Serene Conneeley: an Australian fairy tale, spinning on transformation tale types of selkies and swans, with knowledge of the Cygnus atratus, especially the black swan native to this continent. 


[Praise for other books, e.g. the gorgeously illustrated fairytale series by Kate Forsyth & Lorena Carrington, or daring phantasmagoria of Eugen Bacon, is in earlier posts.]



Feature: Faerieworlds

Faerieworlds invited me to perform again! The 3-day Faerieworlds Live From Home spree of eco-social fundraising was full of joy, warmth, inspiration, mirth, transcontinental reunions and discoveries.

Where: Based in Oregon, USA, Faerieworlds is the worlds largest, longest-running fairy festival, established nearly 20 years ago. Amidst the pandemic, this was its first venture online: here

What: Musing in music, art, imagination, its a gathering of tribes who revel in costume to the call ‘Live your Legend!’: a ‘bonnaroo for Middle Earth’, a shindig for Elfland, a carousel of elementals.

Who: In 2020, the lineup features troubadours, dancers, storytellers, puppeteers, illustrators and other artists from around the world, from folk/pop/rock legends like Roger Daltrey of The Who, Don McLean, Donovan and the Frouds, to members of platinum German contemporary-medieval bands like Faun, Spanish faery siren Priscilla Hernandez, Woodland, RosaMundi [scroll for more!] and fascinating Scandinavians such as Martine Kraft and Songleilkr. Even a storytelling cook, Wotan!

I was proud to be among Australians including soulful Brother Angus and Wiccan siren Wendy Rule, whose new double album Persephone uncannily suits our era of hibernation. Her incantatory song cycle traces the ancient Greek deity’s descent to the underworld. Collect the eco-wallet & more

Keen to float in waves of incantation, to dream with marine life? Try Little Star, whose beautiful album Celestine is at Bandcamp.

Ready for a possessed Hurdy-Gurdy? Witness Guilhem Desq. How about gothic dream-pop? Jive to Abney Park covering ‘The Never-ending Story’. Activism, anyone? Casey Neill is doing great work with Black Lives Matter, while Hudost is helping districts affected by voter suppression. Its award-winning album Of Water + Mercy comes with videos & fundraisers for social action.

Whilst naming only a few participants, I loved every act. 
Each artist gave something unique.

Full billing sheet: Faerieworlds 

Links to artists’ sites: PORTL artists page 

🔹    🔹    🔹    🔹    🔹


Singer-storyteller in Faerieworlds, Marya Stark, inspired a new phrase: ‘singer-teller’. She has a new album entitled Sapphire, with a fabulous video. Details
To quote Marya, pictured in blue below:

I believe this music, celebrating the restoration of the balancing of the waters of life, is a nourishing remedy for the times we are in. I offer this labor of love as a healing salve, a song of remembrance of an inner-alchemy... ’ Her concept emerged from a vision ... many years ago of a light sound sphere encoded with prayer and magic from another world, sent through time and lodged inside of the glaciers to sit for thousands of years... When the time would come, the thawing of the glaciers would release the sound codes of these original crystalline alchemies, awakening the sapphire prayer, and return clarity to the waters of life, supporting the thawing of the frozen heart of humanity to fully grieve, feel, and recollect the soul fragments to live integrally with the nature muses of earth. ’

🔹    🔹    🔹    🔹    🔹


Below: Faerieworlders Priscilla Hernandez (Yidneth) from Spain & Kelly Miller-Lopez (Woodland, RosaMundi), Faerieworlds co-founder from Oregon & Billy Scudder the resident Green Man


 



Be sure to catch Priscilla’s new single ‘Surrender’ and subscribe to her You Tube channel or follow her on other sites, starting here. As I type, her latest tweet is about unicorns.
Most artists in this feature are at Bandcamp and/or Patreon. Keep faeries safe at home or solitary groves: support them online. 
Priscillas imagery expresses custodianship of nature & grace.





Above with moss: Priscilla Hernandez

Below with leaves: Billy Scudder, resident Green Man of Faerieworlds



Kelly Miller-Lopez presented new songs from her solo incarnation RosaMundi at Faerieworlds Live From Home 2020. With sweet passion, she told us that the Latin for squirrels (her muses, whom she rescues and keeps as pets) is Skia Oura, which translates as ‘shadow tale’, relating to ‘fairy tale’. (Ok, so I’ve verified this: ‘Squirrel’ has been in English since the 14th century. It comes from the Greek ‘skiouros’ from ‘skia,’ meaning ‘shadow,’ and ‘oura’ meaning ‘tail.’) She sang of a boy from the trees with the forest in his eyes, and a Guardian of the Wood:



Pics above & right: Priscilla Hernandez (in Spain) watching Kelly Miller Lopez (Oregon) and me Louisa John-Krol (Australia) during Faerieworlds Live From Home 2020.
Below: Kelly Miller-Lopez piping in Woodland and singing in my set 2009 at Faerieworlds. Photos by Byron Dazey.
More about Priscillas music:
More about Kellys music:


Below: Seasons of Elfland by Woodland, 
an album on which we three united. 
Available here


So... inspired by Faerieworlds, I assembled a digital album Wisp and Sentinel. This is one of several offerings Ill be making for Faerieworlders between now and the 20-year Anniversary 2021. Its cover is this photo of me from my Faerieworlds Live From Home set, 2020. Available at Bandcamp.

Why Faerieworlds? Amidst strife and sorrow, it is worth pausing to refresh our souls. Rekindle kindred kin. Uplift our spirits. There are struggles ahead. Battles to save endangered forests, species, democracies. True faerie lore is not escapist. It’s about delving deeper - falling in love with the world. Renewing wonder. Tolkien gave us this metaphor: Ents fought for their forests, alongside Hobbits, Humans, Wizards, Dwarves and Elves, those guardians of the arts. Time to unite. Lately in our allied nations it’s been a struggle to preserve Civil Rights that minorities had only begun to enjoy, or at least glimpse. Now, kleptocratic syndicates try to split progressives into factions, in the playbook of ‘divide and conquer. Fey spirit is more about gathering, forming circles, yes, rings.

How: Full day re-streams are now at PORTL. Let Faerieworlds be your welcome portal (pun intended) to a new way of gathering fey tribes. 

A Mellow Yellow Hello:

Remember the classic ‘Mellow Yellow’, by Donovan? A pioneer of psychedelic folk-pop songwriting, he is an honorary guest of Faerieworlds Live From Home!

This spiel outlines how Donovan was friends with the Beatles, accompanied them on trance-spiritual explorations and taught them finger-picking techniques for songs like ‘Blackbird’ in The White Album.

That song has a sweet spot in my heart, for a friend in my college days taught it to me on the riverbank of her home, her hazel eyes speckled with sunlight; then decades later, a nephew learned to play it while recovering from cancer, and bravely performed it.

My own composition ‘Blackbird’ (co-written with hubby Mark Krol 1990s, after listening to Bach’s Goldberg Variations’), released by French fairy-world label Prikosnovenie circa 2001 (on Ariel), features a string quartet. Someone uploaded it here. It is also in my Faerieworlds Live set.



Donovan
has performed with Faerieworlds hosts Woodland, an honour I am proud to share. On the last day of Faerieworlds Live From Home 2020, he read poetry to us, sang with his wife Linda and held an oak sprig in his garden, sharing with us the wisdom of acorns.

Faerieworlds festivals bring imagination, art, interfaith and ecological respect to new generations. They are family-friendly. In three days at their 2009 encampment, I did not see any litter at all.


Through Faerieworlds Mythic Workshops this year, 2020, I discovered acclaimed storyteller & percussionist Aishya Sinclaire, whose book Brown Sugar Fairies I purchased from her website. I also recommend her blog.


Another reason to join the Faerieworlds community is to discover magical online vendors, who would once have spread across fields and groves in a sea of flags, stripes and rainbows.

Faerieworlds is a realm where innocence, beauty, hope, kindness, diverse spiritualities, varied instruments and zany zest for life can thrive. A world where we may still sway in the saffron of Mellow Yellow.

Thank you everyone for making it happen, especially our hosts Kelly & Emilio Miller-Lopez and Robert Gould. Special thanks to Molly Niffin and all the other fey volunteers.
Long live the Faerie Realm!
- Louisa John-Krol, 2020