The Wedding Singers

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Jun 292012

This wedding was a fun chance to look back on Sassafrass's own happy wedding memories, like here, when Irina & Beecher are heading off in the Starship Limo!

In early May, we were honored to be invited to perform at the wedding of Mark Roth and Barbara Locklin. This was a joint venture between different Sassafrass branches, with Emily, Kara, Lila, Ruth, and Sandry driving down from Boston to join Beecher and Irina in Virginia. Our performance was a surprise gift from the bride to the groom (we snuck in posing as distant cousins), and it was wonderful to be part of her making him so very happy.

The wedding itself was lovely– the ceremony was performed by a pair of musicians from the Chicago area who wrote and performed a song just for the happy couple. The company was good, the food was excellent, the groom wore a morning coat and top hat, the fire dancers were amazing, and the cake (which I believe Mark baked himself) was based on the amazing Apollo 8 earthrise photo.

We performed four songs, requested by the couple. Kara and Sandry performed “Where I Come From,” and it was really special to watch the wedding couple gaze at each other and tear up happily at all the right places. All the women joined together on “Caravan” and on “Somebody Will,” split evenly between the two parts, with Beecher bringing in the audience on the final chorus. We also kicked off a small song circle just before we had to leave, using “Hearthfire,” in honor of the fire dancers who had performed earlier in the evening. We did a bit of an experiment, with Irina singing the melody most of the time, Kara playing the stranger/Odin and taking on the melody during those parts, and Emily doing the same for the son. It worked well, and we’ll definitely repeat it during some future performances.

Altogether, we were delighted to be able to be part of such an important moment in Mark and Barbara’s lives, and we hope that their whole life together will be as sweet and as musical as its beginning!

2012 Pegasus Awards nominating ballot is live!

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Jun 192012
Lauren, Matt, and Alexa at OVFF 2011

Lauren, Matt, and Alexa at OVFF 2011

Hello everyone! The nominating ballot for the 2012 Pegasus Awards is up and available. These awards recognize excellence in filking, from composing to performing to individual songs, selected by members of the filk community. Sassafrass is honored to be represented in three categories this year on the brainstorming poll, where filkers can go to get ideas for who/what to nominate: Ada Palmer for Best Writer/Composer, Sassafrass as a group for Best Performer, and both Somebody Will and Sundown for Best Filk Song.

The only qualification necessary to nominate or vote is to consider yourself a member of the filk community – whether you’ve performed in filk concerts, participated in filk circles, written filk songs, or simply think of yourself as a filker, you’re eligible! Please consider nominating us or whichever songs, performers, and writers you think represent the best in filk! The brainstorming poll is not a be-all, end-all, either: if you think another song by us or another performer/composer/song not listed on the poll is worthy of a Pegasus, you can put them down on the nominating ballot.

The nominating ballot will be open until 12:01am on July 30th. After that, nominees will be announced and voting can begin! Voting ends at OVFF, where all nominated songs will be performed in a special concert. For more information about the Pegasus Awards or OVFF, check out this site.

Sassafrass at PiCon 2012!

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Jun 112012

Sassafrass will be performing at PiCon this year!  Come out and join us August 17-19 in Enfield, CT! 

At this point, we are not quite sure what our set-list includes, but watch this space for updates!  We are hoping that the entire Boston chapter of Sassafrass, and possibly a few of our comrades from other chapters will be able to attend.

Anyway, save the date and we’ll keep you updated.  It promises to be an enjoyable time for all.  We hope to see you there!


Sundown Story Cycle Play to Debut at Balticon 2013

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Jun 102012

Big news!  Sassafrass will be the Featured Filkers and our composer, Ada Palmer, the Musical Guest of Honor at Balticon 2013, the Maryland Regional Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, Memorial Day Weekend May 24-27.

This will be more than just another concert, however.  At Balticon we will perform on stage, for the first time, Sundown: Whispers of Ragnarok, a Norse Mythology story song-cycle, staged as a play with costumes and characters.  Here our completed set of Norse myth songs will be woven together into a narrative, tracing the rise and fall of the Norse cosmos, and focused on the death of Baldur and the strife between Odin and Loki which leads to Ragnarok.  The play will be narrated and the stories presented by cast members representing the two major authors of our surviving Icelandic myth primary sources: Snorri Sturlson, author of the Prose Edda, and the Seeress who narrates the Völuspá or Seeress’s Prophecy, one of the core sections of the anonymous Poetic Edda.

Sassafrass is especially excited to debut our finished project at Balticon, since it was the enthusiasm and encouragement of the Balticon community which encouraged Sassafrass to start performing again when the group had effectively ceased to exist for a few years.  We are delighted for this opportunity to give back to the community which helped us get this far.

One goal of the kickstarter will be to fund more authentic Viking costumes for the play. Also, hopefully someday we will manage a group photo with the whole group together.

We aim to release the finished Sundown: Whispers of Ragnarok CD at the same time, over Memorial Day weekend 2013.  Because the music is so complicated and its mythological references sometimes subtle, we want the CD to have a thorough lyrics booklet, with the complete lyrics for all the parts in all the songs along with notes explaining the mythology.  Because this will make the CD an expensive project, we are planning to use Kickstarter to raise money to help us cover costs for this and the play production.  We aim to launch the Kickstarter in Fall 2012, and will be very grateful for support from our friends to help us make this project a success.  If you want to be notified about the kickstarter, please subscribe to our updates here, or like us on Facebook.