Caressing the Unnameable
This song is the first one we ever collaborated on. Melanie had composed the melody on hammered dulcimer, and we just naturally felt our way into the harmonic spaces of the song as the guitar arrangement emerged. It’s a song that breathes itself, which demanded that we record it together, live, in order to truly capture the subtlety of its fluid movement, adding cello and violin after we had recorded our instruments. Whenever we play this song together we feel as if we’re touching a space so fine it’s beyond words to describe, caressing the unnameable.

Neanna Sundra
This song began, as it does in the recording, with a simple hammered dulcimer pattern, a distinctive rhythm and feel that the vocals naturally wanted to sing to. As the melody and lyrics emerged, it took on a tribal feel, and bass arrangements were explored with the help of Melanie’s friend, Ben Cziller. “As soon as he played a couple of bass lines, I broke out into a huge smile and said ‘that’s it!’ It’s amazing how a song just clicks in all of a sudden.” We then composed the rest of the arrangement, capping it off with balaphon, which Marshall played, to complete the feel that we were going for.

The lyrics are calling the women, young and old, and they translate this way:

Calling the women to gather together
Calling women of all ages
Calling the women to gather together
Come from Near and Far
Calling the women to build the Fire
Dance in the Circle and tell the old stories
We carry the lineage inside of us
Bringing the news of the Ancients here
Celebrate this Life!
The Earth and Sky
And our Place in it
Celebrate this Life!
We, the Weavers of Life

The Spoken Word in the middle of the song was an idea that Marshall and I developed for the song, to offer the song and the listener a translation of the essence of the song and an invitation:

Come all the women unto this place
See the future before us
Our face is searching for the answer
Our Answer
We are the Answer
Find it
It is here Inside
Taste it
And Share it
This is a call to the women

Traditional Sephardic Romance. Medieval Spain, Judeo-Spanish, Composer Anonymous

Much of the music composed by the Sephardim in medieval Spain was not notated, being passed on orally. It is an honor to continue this lineage of a passionate and vibrant music and people that was created, often anonymously, during a time of peaceful integration between the Islamic and Jewish cultures until the expulsion and exile of the Jews in 1492. “I have loved medieval music for years, particularly that of Spain,” Melanie says. “We recorded this piece before I traveled to the South of Spain last year, where this music originated, in Andalucia. I found the Judeo-Spanish music to be quite obscure, even the local musicians often not knowing how to find it, the gypsies no longer in their caves or performing the more popular flamenco for the tourists. My soul felt such a recognition with the place, and I feel even more grateful to participate in this music, as other musicians are also doing in our time. Other recordings can be found of these romances, each one distinctly unique. I am happy that this lineage is being carried on, both classically and through the eclectic compilations of world music such as this album.

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