Send your burning questions to: email@example.com!
NOTE: Some questions are exactly as they were worded from fans,
Q: Where have you been, Lady Isadora? Why did you disappear from the Pagan music scene for so many years?
A: Its a long story, but most of it can be spelled out in four letters: L-I-F-E. I had a number of family and other professional commitments to keep, and those simply had to take precedence until my daughter was grown. I just wasnt able to lead a full-fledged gigging, touring, and recording lifestyle but now, although I still have other professional pursuits as well, I can finally devote more time to sharing my music! I loved making my three albums so far, and have been thrilled to get so much love and praise for them in so many wonderful reviews, letters, and e-mails. Ive appreciated each and every one of those, even when I couldnt reply.
Q: Ive worn out my copies of your tapes, but I cant find your albums on CD. When will they be available?
A: Im always amazed when people write or tell me that theyve worn out one or more sets of my tapes! I treasure the compliment, believe me. Happily my albums are now available on CD, with new works forthcoming.
Q: We attended the Pagan Spirit Gathering in 1994 and hoped to see you perform. Your name was in the programme, and you were announced on concert night before the show ended, but you didnt appear. What happened?
A: This is one mystery that Ive been very eager and anxious to solve for years! Its good to have the opportunity to do so now on my very own website. I was only able to attend for a few days of PSG week that year, and I arrived when it was already underway. This was during a very stressful period in my life, and I really hoped just to go and do nothing but relax, perhaps do some spontaneous jamming if/when the right occasions arose. Some well-intentioned friends of mine were strongly urging me to agree to perform formally, but I was pretty burnt, and honestly felt the need to leave that somewhat open. So... I asked the people at Circle if they would announce me as a performer only if I felt up to it.
When I arrived, just a few hours before the concert start-time, I was pretty fried, so I made it very clear to the music night announcer (whose name I dont recall) that he shouldnt introduce me unless I gave the definite go-ahead. I told him I might well just go up and jam with Todd Alan and Kenny Klein and the others towards the end of the show. Unfortunately, the guy decided to be puckish (no doubt with good intentions, thinking Id be persuaded), and went ahead and announced me several times anyway, as my daughter who was in the vicinity heard and came back and informed me. I was some distance from the stage area hobnobbing with friends in a private campfire setting at the time, having decided not to appear unless I heard that a jam was materializing and I hadnt heard the announcer calling my name. Needless to say, I was pretty upset, and my daughter was also distressed.
That night and the next day, I clarified what had happened to the people I came in direct contact with, and they were all very understanding. I even ran into one woman merchant fan who had designed a T-shirt inspired by my song The Pentacle and the Rose and bless her heart, when she realized who I was, she gave it to me! (If shes reading this: Ive lost your address please get in touch with me again via e-mail link on my Contact Lady Isadora page!) Since the music night announcer and I had had a verbal agreement before the show that he wouldnt announce me without my permission, I asked Circle to publish a small blurb from me in the next issue of Circle Network News clarifying what had happened. But I never saw anything about it appear, so I let it go. No hard feelings it probably fell through the cracks. They have an enormous amount of details to see to in all their wonderful networking. Ive known Selena Fox for many years, though we havent been in touch for quite awhile, and I do love and respect her and her work. But of course its very important to me to set the record straight here. I do hope to make up for my end of the mix-up by performing at next years PSG!
Q: Why arent you on a major label like Loreena McKennitt? You're a critically-acclaimed singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and youve been recording longer than she has! We love Loreena too, but wed like to see somebody with your talent whos completely out as a Witch get more famous in the mass market music scene!
A: Loreenas music is truly lovely, and I was pleased to have been sent a review copy of one of her CDs, but Im not so sure she is a Witch, or even necessarily a Pagan maybe Ive missed something, but I've never seen her actually identify herself as such. Shes recorded well-known songs about All Souls Night and Beltane, but her album To Drive the Cold Winter Away contains mostly traditional Christmas carols. So Ive tended to think of her as a Pagan-friendly New Age eclectic. Ill be interested to see what she comes up with on her next album, though. Perhaps that will clarify what her own orientation is, if indeed it needs any clarifying. Some of my best friends are syncretists!
As for my own music, thanks for all the much-cherished praise. I pulled my titles from the market several years ago myself, not wanting to produce any more copies on tape format, though I was continuing to get orders for those. I did intend to get my work onto CD much, much sooner. One major consideration, which proved an ongoing delay, was indeed trying to decide whether finally to sign to a larger label, as Ive had various chances and have sometimes been very tempted to do, or whether to continue to expand my own Dance of Life label. A biggie for me in all this, as I described in answer to a previous question, has been that for some years I was just not able to lead a touring lifestyle, and major labels tend to require that in support of signing to them. Well, now I do plan to take my career into mainstream music soon, but lets just say I wont be forsaking my Pagan music fans or Witchy musical identity. Stay tuned for details!
Q: What do you think of that Best of Pagan Song CD, compiled and promoted by an independent Pagan music distributor, thats currently floating around? We cant believe youre not on it!
A: Considering the rather sweeping title (broomstick pun intended, LOL), I cant believe a lot of key Pagan musicians arent on it! I dont own a copy, but Ive seen the list of songs and artists. Theres truly some great stuff on there. Those musicians all deserve inclusion. The songs by Catherine Madsen and my fellow Aquarian birthday sister Gypsy are particular faves of mine, for example. But frankly, anybody whos been involved in and/or a fan of the Witch & Pagan music scene all along can tell right off that the album is by no means the comprehensive, absolutely definitive music that shaped a movement collection it apparently aims to be. My own recording career in the genre since 1981 entirely aside: Holy Heras High Heels, how can you even dream of compiling a CD called Best of Pagan Song without the divine Lisa Thiel, those beloved pioneering circle-chantmeisters Selena Fox and Jim Alan, the mistressfully mystical Shekhinah Mountainwater, the prolific and popular Kiva, the stalwart and robust Ian Corrigan, the witty and waggish Isaac Bonewits, the memorably melodic Angie Remedi, the amazing Aradia, the fiery and flamboyant Shaman, the eminently eccentric Serpentine, the elegantly poetic Jennifer Reif, the able and artful Alexian, the trancy-dancy Sharon Knight, and the strikingly moving Lunacy, to name but some? Theyve all been an integral part of the ongoing Pagan Hit Parade. So I think the use of such an unfortunate title for this otherwise wonderful collection just represents a loss of perspective on the part of the compilers. It really should have been billed as a sampler of personal faves, or an assortment of some of the best.
In sharing my forthright views in answer to this FAQ, I am possibly giving the CDs obvious misnomer more attention than it deserves. Hey, Im an Aquarius I get to overanalyze stuff! ;-) Even so, I dont think the rest of us should lose any sleep over it just band together and put out our own MORE Best of Pagan Song CD ASAP! Ooooh, that gives me such a lovely idea... except I dont see how we could fit everyone deserving on just one CD, so itll either have to be a double, or well have to release a third called EVEN MORE Best of Pagan Song! :-)
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