Dancing With Hecate


The new release from Music for the Goddess

Dancing With Hecate cover art Dancing With Hecate, the second CD from Music for the Goddess, has been a journey of discovery for singer/songwriter Wendy Sheridan. "When I
started working on the second album, in early 2001, I had a completely
different concept and direction for it. It was going to be much more
political and much heavier. But then, my mother called me and told me
she had just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and everything
changed."

"Music took a back seat for a couple of years, as I helped her as best I could, living 5 hours away from her. We spent all our free time visiting with her and helping around the house. After her death on the
Winter Solstice in 2003, our work wasn't finished, either. We had to get
the house we grew up in ready to sell on my dad's behalf. And go
through 45 years worth of accumulated stuff. I learned a lot about both
my parents during this time, and I also learned a lot about getting rid
of clutter."


There are 10 tracks on the album. Wendy talks about them:

Badger Dance

Wow. This was something I started almost 20 years ago, when I was just starting to get serious about music as an adult. I used to keep the tape recorder running when I was just fooling around on the
synthesizer, and the marimba riff over the chord structure on this track
was the seed that I had created way back when. The current version
evolved during one of the long nights in 2003, when my husband was out
playing a bar gig, and our kid was sleeping in bed; when I had a block
of 6 or so hours to myself in the studio. I didn't want to clutter it up
with words, so I just kept the vocal part to vowel sounds. I call this
number "Enya goes to the disco".

Click to hear a sample of Badger dance

Dancing With Hecate

This song pretty much sums up my life over the past few years. Hecate is a deity that I really hadn't had much interaction with on a
conscious level .Of course, I had heard of her during my studies of
Greek mythology;
mostly in conjunction with the story of Jason and Medea. She's not
given a particularly
good rap in that story, by the way. But dealing with all the chaos in
our personal
lives, and the outer chaos and uncertainty in the world at large, I
was feeling
drawn to her. As I studied about her, I realized that I had been
moving in her
sphere of influence for quite some time. The art to "dancing" with
Hecate is to see the good as well as the bad, to recognize the
crossroads when
you come to them and to choose the correct path.

Lyrics    Sample mp3



Lord of the Dance

Of course, I'm talking about the Male aspect of Deity in general, and not Michael Flateley. Lord of the Dance explicitly refers to Shiva (as that is one of his names, Nataraj, I believe, means "Lord
of the Dance"). And the "dance" meaning the physical incarnation of our
current lives. The lyrics actually refer to a magickal experience I had
when I attended my first Starwood Festival in 2000, where I was
introduced to the three aspects of masculine Deity that corresponded to
the three aspects of feminine Deity. I decided to call these the Squire
or Knight (or Warrior), corresponding to the Maiden; the Father,
corresponding to the Mother; and the Sage, the masculine counterpart to
the Crone. At some point, I suppose I'll write a more formal essay about
this, but for now, the song will have to suffice.


Production notes: Rob Lame plays guitar and also co-produced this track. Lyrics    Listen to the entire track at Myspace.com



The Ram and The Lamb

This is my Ostara song, and I wrote it shortly after producing Goddess Mandala, so it didn't make it onto the first album. However, we added it to the live set almost immediately, because it
could be played as a jig. When Jeff Kalmar was in the band, he would
play the fiddle on this tune, and we added "Morrison's Jig" (a
traditional Irish jig) to the set, and it was always well received by
the audiences wherever we played. The album version is slower than how
we used to play it live, and is more in keeping with the tempo of my
original composition. The chorus by itself has been used as an Ostara
ritual chant, and that's what it was intended for, actually.

Production notes: Wendy plays the cello, bass and keyboards on this track. Lyrics mp3 Sample



Keep You in My Heart

I wrote these lyrics shortly after my mother told me she wasn't continuing on her chemotherapy and that her oncologist gave her six more months to live. I was uncomfortable about showing the lyrics to
her, and I never did. I regret that now. I don't remember if I sent the
lyrics to Rob before or after she died, asking him if he was up for
writing some music for this song. His mother passed away over a decade
before, and I remember how it affected him, and that he would grok what I
was trying to accomplish with this song. Our working title was "Song
for Mom" I think it maybe took him 2 days to come up with the music for
it. Maybe less. It took us a little while longer to get together and
record the "songwriter version" . I
know it was available for my mother's memorial service in May of 2004.
When I wrote the lyrics, I had parts that were applicable to a woman and
parts that were applicable to a man. .
This song took the longest to record of all the entire album. As you
can tell by comparing the "songwriter version" to the final version, we
pulled out all the stops in terms of production. The voice at the end
of the song is that of my mother. It was her voicemail message, and the
last recording we have of her voice. It's a little ironic that she left
such a message, especially considering her atheist leanings. I regret
that she never got a chance to hear it.


Production notes: Rob Lame plays guitar and bass on this song. Wendy plays cello and keyboards. Produced by Rob Lame and Wendy Sheridan. Lyrics     MP3 Sample

Full Moon Rising

This is the first Pagan song that I ever wrote, so it's going back 15 or 20 years in the catalog. It's not a terribly profound song, but it's fun. It's about going out under the Full Moon and
practicing "fertility rites" (nudge, nudge).

Production notes: Wendy plays 6 and 12-string acoustic guitars. Lyrics MP3 Sample



Tuesday's Lament

This song came to me quickly, but it was extremely painful to write. The lyrics were written after my friend Margaret died of a
heart attack
in (I think) 2000, and the words just sat around, waiting. The music
was composed
on September 23, 2001, after visiting the still-smoldering remains of
the World
Trade Center in New York City, less than three weeks after the
destruction on
Tuesday, September 11 , 2001. It took another year or so for me to
realize the
poem I wrote for Margaret fit the melody I wrote for Tuesday's Lament,
and I
combined the two. I had some input from Daveed Korup in the summer of
'03 that helped me with the rhythm tracks. I didn't realize that I had
written a swing bass line and that one musical term helped me to refine
the drums and turn it into the blues/jazz song that it wanted to be. The
coincidences during the recording and mixing of this song are
interesting, and just happened that way - they weren't planned: I
recorded the final tracks during the immediate aftermath of hurricane
Katrina, and finished mixing the song on 9/11/2005. One thing you may
notice if you listen very carefully: in the third verse, you may hear an
airplane in the vocal track. That's because there WAS an airplane
flying over the house when I was recording it. I didn't hear it when I
was recording, because I had headphones on, and was singing; only later,
during the mixing phase, did I hear the plane. I thought I'd leave it
in, especially considering the subject for the song. And the airport is
Newark Airport, too, the same place the planes originated on 9/11.

Production notes: Wendy plays bass and cello. Lyrics MP3 Sample


Uruk

I wrote "Uruk" to be the chant we use to create sacred space and transport participants back in time to the city of Uruk at the beginning of the "Shapatu of Ishtar" - the ritual drama performed by
Hands of Change Coven . Our director, and coven sister,
L'Espiranse, suggested to me a couple of years ago, that the chant would
make a good round. As I was recording this, I experimented, and, indeed
L'Espirance was right. This recording came together very quickly - it
was the easiest song of the entire album for me to record. I think I got
all the basic tracks and arrangements down in about 4 hours, and then
just required some clean up on another day. I had been playing the
melody on the cedar flute for about a year, while waiting for software
to download or install, mostly, so when I picked it up and started
playing, I was able to record the flute part in one take. The spoken
words are from Betty Meador's Inanna: Lady of Largest Heart This song is also at the Bardic Circle at the Witches' Voice


Production notes: Wendy plays cedar flute. Lyrics



The Ishtar Pomp

This is another song from the "Shapatu of Ishtar" drama, and it's the chant to accompany Ishtar into Uruk. When I listen to this, I see a hot and dusty marketplace in an ancient city, with crowds of
women and men on the sides of a great procession: Men beating huge
drums, dancers, elephants, and Ishtar, being carried on a large
palanquin. Accompanying me in the Ishtar Chorus are my family, Rich
and Ariel Sheridan, and coven sisters, Donna "Belladonna" Juszva,
Christine "Cassandra" Catalano, and Anne "Gazelle" Portine
.


Production notes: Wendy plays bass. Lyrics MP3 Sample




Song for Joe

When my coven brother, Joe D. passed away, also from cancer, I was asked to perform the song at his funeral. I sang the "man" version there, and it was the most difficult
performance of my life. It's difficult to sing when you're crying, and I
was fighting back tears throughout the whole song. My audience didn't
have that prohibition, and it was also a new experience to facilitate
cathartic grieving.


Production notes: Rob Lame plays guitar and bass on this song. Wendy plays cello and keyboards. Produced by Rob Lame and Wendy Sheridan. Lyrics mp3 sample


General production notes: The recording was done in Wendy's home studio, using Acid Pro 5 as the recording and mixing platform, and loop libraries from Sony, including loops from Rudy Szarzo, Steve Tibbetts, and BetaMonkey. Mastering
and reproduction was done by DiscMakers








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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.

 

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.

 

Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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