Teaching Albums Complete

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Teaching Albums Complete
Sep 252013

FutharkAlbumCover3We have now completed and launched the two digital teaching albums which were promised as Kickstarter stretch goals. These albums take the songs apart and present each voice and combination of voices individually, so you can hear them alone, making it easier to understand and, especially, to learn these complex pieces. You can stream the music online for free, but each $5 album also comes with downloadable PDFs of the sheet music, lyrics sheets, a MIDI file for computer playback, and a PDF of notes by the composer discussing the piece and its sources.

The Futhark Song Teaching Collection contains a whopping 32 tracks combining the different subsections of the harmony in all different combinations.  This makes it easier to understand the modal harmony, and the explanatory notes discuss not only the origins and meaning of the runes, but give a lay introduction to modal music and discuss how modal elements are used in this and other songs in the Sundown collection.  I heartily encourage you to listen to Longer in Stories than Stone again after reading the discussion of how its modal harmonics work.

The My Brother, My Enemy Teaching Collection features one track with Odin’s voice dominant and Loki’s soft, and one with Loki’s voice dominant and Odin’s soft so you can follow each character individually, as well as the combined final recording (the same version that is on the Sundown album).  Its notes discuss the historical sources, some of the nuances and references in the lyrics, and talk about how Loki and fire are connected, in the myths, and in the Sundown cycle.

Check out these streaming samples:


Longer in Stories than Stone – Final Cut Shared Streaming

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Longer in Stories than Stone – Final Cut Shared Streaming
Sep 162013

To thank the community for Sassafrass’s Pegasus award nominations, we are temporarily sharing the fresh-off-the-digital-presses final cut of the Sundown finale chorus “Longer in Stories than Stone.”  It is available streaming only, and will remain online until the end of October, in celebration of the Ohio Valley Filk Festival (host of the Pegasus Awards.) This is the finished final track, of which a clip appears on the Sundown: Preview album, and the whole thing will be on the finished Sundown: Whispers of Ragnarok CD. This gives a real taste of the better quality recording we have been working so hard on, to make the finished CD a real step above our past releases. (Thank you again Kickstarter backers!)  Enjoy, and remember to also scroll down to see the streaming video from Balticon!

The cover illustration, featuring portraits of group members Ruth, Lila, Emily, Lauren and Matt, comes from “The Chronicle” a card inspired by Sassafrass (and by this song in particular), which appears in the “New Tarot,” a project authored by Warren Tusk and illustrated by Leslie Minnis.  A “sequel” to the classic Tarot, the New Tarot is a 78-card Tarot-structured oracle deck about exploring the world and achieving your dreams.  Learn more about the New Tarot at: www.kickstarter.com/projects/361457705/the-new-tarot

Peasus Nominations; Worldcon, Fencon, House Filk

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Peasus Nominations; Worldcon, Fencon, House Filk
Sep 082013

Sassafrass is delighted to announce that we have again been nominated for the Pegasus Awards for Excellence in Filking.  This year Sassafrass has again been nominated for Best Performer, and our composer, Ada Palmer, has, for the first time, been nominated for best Composer/Songwriter.

In celebration of the nomination, and to give people a better sample of the full on-stage performance experience of Sundown, we are temporarily releasing this preview of “Longer in Stories than Stone” from the Balticon debut performance.  This video uses the footage from our professional video cameras, and is close to a final cut, but still awaiting some final post-production fixes to details like color tinting and digital zoom.  We hope you all enjoy this sample of the performance, and the taste it gives of what we can look forward to when the DVD is finally finished:

The Pegasus awards are an exciting time, when new, exciting creations from around the filk community are gathered and shared.  We enourage all our friends to visit the Pegasus website to hear samples of all the other great songs, composers and performers who have also been nominated.

In addition, our recent performance at Worldcon was a great success.  It meant an enormous amount to us to be able to bring Sundown to the unique audience which Worldcon attracts, and to share it with so many friends, old and new.  Looking down from the stage and seeing the rapt and often tearful faces of friends was an overwhelming experience for us as we performed.  We remain extremely grateful to the backers of our Kickstarter, without whose support we could never have brought the group to Worldcon.

We are also happy to announce two upcoming TX performances:

Concert at Fencon (Dallas), Saturday October 5th, preliminarily scheduled for 6 PM.  Only two Sassafrass members will be present, Lauren and Ada, so we will concentrate on duet pieces and some of our rarely-performed two-part adaptations of more complex works.
House Filk on Thursday October 10th, in College Station TX, hosted by Lauren and Ada and featuring Heather Dale and S.J. Tucker!  We are delighted to be hosting these wonderful guest performers for our first TX area House Filk, and are talking with Heather about plans to experiment with some harmonies together.  If you are interested in attending the event, please e-mail us or RSVP on our Facebook event page.