Owain Phyfe at Cerridwen's Yule Concert (Dec. 2001)
by Nimieiux
(Ed. by Victor R. Volkman)

For all those who didn't make it to Silver Spring, MD Saturday night, Dec 1, the nine muses of ancient Greece were celebrated in a masque presentation by Owain Phyfe and friends. The masque was narrated by Owain's wife, Lady Paula. (According to Phyfe, a masque is a concert/theatrical presentation with a consistent theme popular during the Renaissance and late Medieval times.)

Some 300 people packed Cerridwin's Coffeehouse and showed standing ovation appreciation for the music. Highlights of the evening included several songs not yet recorded by Phyfe and company. Among them, "If I Were a Blackbird," also a new song in Ukranian and another in Welsh.

A beautiful visual counterpart to Phyfe's music was provided by guest dancer, Anne ("Zimra") Delekta, who has been performing with Phyfe at several festivals this year. She from hails from Columbus, Ohio has been studying the Middle East since 1988, including its dances, culture, and art forms. Her favorite areas of interest are women's dances and rituals and henna body art. She teaches locally as well as at events such as Convocation and Sirius Rising, and also through the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Local musicians taking part were Diana McFadden on cello, Jim Brewster on mandolin, Dave Landis on flutes and Diana Sunday on percussion. Diana McFadden a classically-trained cellist, has nevertheless for years been exploring both other instruments and other musical styles. The influences of rock, blues, jazz, medieval, Eastern, Indian, and other assorted traditional musics may all be glimpsed within the unique and highly personal synthesis of her work. She is known for her work in the worldbeat band Kiva and most recently Green Crown.

Jim Brewster plays a diverse palette of musical colors, selected and mixed from a wide range of cultures and styles. Whether blowing hot jazz licks on the pennywhistle, picking out sarod-inspired Eastern melodies on the 5-string banjo, or laying down a funky rock rhythm on the djembe, Jim strives always to create something new from the musical riches that have been handed down through the ages. He plays with Green Crown, Rhythm Alive!, and the Bardic Bardo Brothers.

Diana Sunday is also a vocalist, percussionist, and guitar player with Green Crown. Both Diana Sunday and Dave Landis are listed as official Nightwatch Recording artists and thus we may expect them to be contributing to the upcoming Owain Phyfe 2002 album (untitled).

It was a wonderful, high energy night filled with beautiful music.....and beautiful people.


What was particularly poignant for me was Owain's acknowledgement of the passing of the actor (Bill Huttel) who portrayed King Henry VIII for 13 seasons at the Maryland Renaissance Festival (and Ontario and Florida) just before he sang his final song, "Health to the Company."

Truly a wonderful and magical evening...

Vyxen MacDobhran, the Yuletide Wench