Ask Isadora
Frequently asked questions – a work in progress...

Send your burning questions to:!

NOTE: Some questions are exactly as they were worded from fans,
others are representative composites.

Q: Where have you been, Lady Isadora? Why did you disappear from the Pagan music scene for so many years?

A: It’s 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 wasn’t 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. I’ve appreciated each and every one of those, even when I couldn’t reply.

Q: I’ve worn out my copies of your tapes, but I can’t find your albums on CD. When will they be available?

A: I’m always amazed when people write or tell me that they’ve 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 didn’t appear. What happened?

A: This is one mystery that I’ve been very eager and anxious to solve for years! It’s 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 don’t recall) that he shouldn’t 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 I’d 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 hadn’t 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 she’s reading this: I’ve 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 wouldn’t 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. I’ve known Selena Fox for many years, though we haven’t been in touch for quite awhile, and I do love and respect her and her work. But of course it’s 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 year’s PSG!

Q: Why aren’t you on a major label like Loreena McKennitt? You're a critically-acclaimed singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and you’ve been recording longer than she has! We love Loreena too, but we’d like to see somebody with your talent who’s completely “out” as a Witch get more famous in the mass market music scene!

A: Loreena’s music is truly lovely, and I was pleased to have been sent a review copy of one of her CDs, but I’m not so sure she is a Witch, or even necessarily a Pagan – maybe I’ve missed something, but I've never seen her actually identify herself as such. She’s 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 I’ve tended to think of her as a Pagan-friendly New Age eclectic. I’ll 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 I’ve 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 let’s just say I won’t 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, that’s currently floating around? We can’t believe you’re not on it!

A: Considering the rather sweeping title (broomstick pun intended, LOL), I can’t believe a lot of key Pagan musicians aren’t on it! I don’t own a copy, but I’ve seen the list of songs and artists. There’s 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 who’s 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 Hera’s 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? They’ve 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 CD’s obvious misnomer more attention than it deserves. Hey, I’m an Aquarius – I get to overanalyze stuff! ;-) Even so, I don’t 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 don’t see how we could fit everyone deserving on just one CD, so it’ll either have to be a double, or we’ll have to release a third called EVEN MORE Best of Pagan Song! :-)

Isadora, the inveterate tea drinker, at a favorite coffeehouse.

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