Music is life. That’s what it says on my zither blog “Strum Pluck and Drone” anyway. And for me, music has always been there. From early piano lessons, through school choir, band, and choir again, to my first discovery of folk music circles at Science Fiction conventions, music has brought me some of the greatest joys of my life. Now, in 2016 I am excited to be returning to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, this time as a member of The Leprechaun Pirates.
What is a Zither you ask? A zither a musical string instrument, most commonly found in northern Europe, alpine Europe and East Asian cultures, including China. The term is also used more broadly, to describe the entire family of stringed instruments in which the strings do not extend beyond the sounding box or board. The zithers I play are the Autoharp, mountain dulcimer, and the Finnish folk kantele (pronounced KON-te-la). My autoharp has 37 strings, my mountain dulcimer has 3 strings and my kanteles have 5 or 10 strings.
How can I keep from singing. In the fall of 2012, I joined an amazing group of women so I can sing more songs. They are The Idisi.
We are a gathering of spiritually-minded Womyn who “Desire to Inspire” and promote sisterhood via the elements of SONICS. We shape our individual voices into instruments of healing. We seek to create a choral experience by which our members can raise their voices in song and chant to express the full potential of the Human Voice. We strive to sing the songs that have been sung by womyn of all cultures, belief systems-past, present and future… and those that have been forgotten. It is our intent to challenge and move our audiences (and ourselves) with the healing power of Sound and co-create with our audience a space for healing.
CD’s are available featuring our specialty: chanty-WHOO-ha. We also love to sing sacred songs of the divine feminine from around the world. Current songs include rarely heard languages such as Votic and Old Norse.
Though as of May 2013 I am no longer singing with the group, once an Idisi, always an Idisi, and I am better for the experience.