Check-in

Just a quick note to check in…

There are many things happening, some big, some small. Pesky “real life” keeps imposing itself on my creative goals, but while this is hampering my production-schedule for the second CD (a full post on that soon, I promise!), it is also fueling the song-writing fires, which is a reasonable trade.

I am traveling “out of Kingdom” much more frequently, so don’t be surprised to find Emer nic Aidan around a campfire in the East Kingdom or Aethelmarc! I’ve been greatly enjoying getting to know bardic friends new and old, comparing bardic “culture”, and being inspired by the fabulous work people are creating and performing. Here’s to more in the year to come!

I’m having a devil of a time trying to insert a PayPal button to this site. For whatever reason, WordPress.com just doesn’t like the code… (Any techies got any tips?) In the meantime, however, I do have a PayPal method for email-ordering, so if anyone was hoping to purchase a CD copy of “Waves On The Shore” online, at least there’s something! And always remember that my music — both “Waves On The Shore” and other tracks — can be purchased as digital downloads via iBards.org.

So there you have it.  Lots of creating: never enough time for it all, but I’m happy the muse is here!

iBards.org Unveiled!

My friend Heather Dale has just unveiled the wonderful new online music home for all “bardic” artists, www.iBards.org!

This site gathers recordings from “bardic” artists, performers of song, story, and poetry inspired by the ancient traditions and reinvented for modern audiences. As iBards.org says, “Here you will discover some modern-day bardic artists who are creating or perpetuating works that reinforce the ideals of the Roman era, Dark Ages, Medieval era, and Renaissance.” So whether you’re in the market for Celtic-myth inspired songs, Viking-era stories, Medieval poems or Renaissance hammered dulcimer music, iBards.org has it all!

Most all of my music is available for preview and purchase here. Please visit iBards: Home> SONG> Emily Holbert Kellam (Emer nic Aidan) to listen to preview tracks from “Waves on the Shore”, or download your own copy! Other recording projects I’ve been a part of can be found at the Ealdormere Bardic College page and Hector of the Black Height‘s page (you can see my Discography for a complete list of tracks I’ve been on).

I’m so excited for this new online venue. Check it out! And if you think your own recorded work (music, spoken word, or instrumental) is “bardic”, or if you know someone whose work would be a good fit, please see the How to Join iBards page to join in and expand the site.

CD Review: Celtic MP3s

Waves on the Shore is featured in a review over at preeminent Celtic music blog Celtic MP3s Music Magazine, “The Home of Indie Celtic Music”. Many thanks to Gail Rybak for her enthusiastic review and enjoyable email correspondence.

“With an extraordinary voice, and equally extraordinary lyrics, Emily Kellam has made one of the best albums that I’ve heard in a long time. Her love of Celtic mythology, and her involvement in The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) have led her to write songs that draw from those two sources. … [Within] this great breadth of influences there is something to appeal to all.”

Read the full review here!

>> http://celticmp3s.com/2011/07/review-waves-on-the-shore-by-emily-kellam/

Podcasted!

I really should “google myself” more often… I’ve just discovered some happy news about my music:

The title track “Waves on the Shore” was recently featured on the
Renaissance Festival Podcast!

“For Your Honour” was also featured on the Pub Songs Podcast!

I’ve been a subscriber to these podcast (and to Marc Gunn’s other notable podcasts, especially the Irish and Celtic Music Podcast) for several years. They’re an amazing repository of independent musician; the Pub Songs show featuring wonderful bands, and the Renaissance Festival show highlighting the fabulous musicians, minstrels, singers and songwriters who play at Ren Faires and SCA events. Podcasts are a favourite entertainment media for myself: I love to put on a podcast, whether to listen and relax at home, take myself away for a bit at work, or to play in the car on the way to an event to get myself in the spirit!

If you aren’t already familiar with them, podcasts are like independently produced radio shows that you can download to listen to over and over again. It’s a fabulous way to find new music, as so many indie musicians and songwriters allow their music to be “pod safe” (that is, free to be included in podcast shows, which is different than free mp3 downloads). Podcasts are also produced with talk shows, how-to instructions, audiobooks, and even videocasts!

Why not download the Renaissance Festival Podcast’s Episode #153 to hear “Waves on the Shore” or the Pub Song’s Podcast Episode #72 to hear “For Your Honour” and the other amazing artist sthat get featured in these shows? Or subscribe to the podcast via Itunes or your favourite “podcatcher” to hear more music like this more often! And if you do, please consider sending an email or comment to the podcasters that you appreciate hearing my music there, to request more to be played, and to thank them for providing such wonderful show.

Know of another Celtic music / Ren Faire / SCA podcast you think would like to feature music from Waves on the Shore? Please send me a message and link!

CD Review: The Pagan Wheel

Waves on the Shore has its first web-review, over at music blog The Pagan Wheel. Many thanks to both Dave M. and to Shelly R. for the “electronic introduction”.

What is heard is Emily’s strong confident voice singing tales of battle or love, and love lost, as only one experienced in Bardic tradition can. To stand within a circle of peers and audience alike without accompaniment to sing a capella verses and tales one has written oneself is a true test of Bardic worth.

Read the full review here!
>> http://thepaganwheel.com/?p=3158

Pennsic War

What an amazing Pennsic War! More than 2 weeks out of the modern world, camping with friends new and old, days full of relaxation and nights full of campfires and songs… I had a great time!

On top of being just a fantastic vacation/event, it was truly awesome for my CD promotion/distribution. On Saturday, August 1st my encampment threw a huge CD release party & bardic circle. I think it exceeded everyone’s expectations!! (I had originally suggested a CD release circle because, in my foolishness, I though it would be more low-key that way.) The headcount was at nearly 150 people at one point in the evening, and I’m estimating more than 250 stopped by throughout the night — wow! My friend Justinian ended up acting as MC for the circle, lining up performances from singes, storytellers, and poets from around the Known World all night long. There were some real luminaries of the bardic arts attending that night, as well as people who stood to sing for the first time ever!

Perhaps the most surprising was that the party was covered in an article in the Pennsic Independent!! This was the first of 2 newspaper appearances for myself & “Waves on the Shore”. The second was a review that came out a few days later. I felt very flattered, as I was mentioned both in the context of WotS and also as a songwriter for the tracks on Heather Dale‘s “Green Knight”.*

All that “free advertising” in the paper certainly made great help to my CD sales! “Waves on Shore” was carried this year at two merchant booths, both Master Efenwealt Whystle‘s Camelot Treasures and Master John ap Wynn’s booth. At Camelot treasures I sold more than 1/4 my total initial run of CDs!! On the Wednesday of War Week I was a part of the “Marian of Heatherdale and Friends” concert, which was a tonne of fun and got my name out a bit more. I also made lots of one-on-one sales, from the generous folks in camp to kind bards around fires.

So now I’ve returned to the modern world, many CDs lighter and truly inspired to write new songs! My goals for the next few weeks (apart from tackling the post-Pennsic laundry mountain) include finguring out how many CDs to press in a 2nd run (eep!), how to get my music out further (podcasts, SCA/Bardic magazine reviews, etc. — suggestions welcome!) and getting online sales (disks & digital) up and running. What a grand adventure this is!!


*I’ll work to see if I can get the text for the article & review up on the site somewhere soon.

They’re Here!!

They’re her! They’re here!!

I picked up my CDs today! (All 100 of them, goodness!). I’m really pleased with how they came out: both the insert and the CD face look great, really professional and clean. The shrink-wrapping is another nice touch. Thanks, Sliverbirch!

Now that I have the box of disks this project feels truly “actualized”. It’s made me realize how much work goes into these things!

It’s also made me think about all the work ahead of me: if I’ve got them, I should sell them! All in good time though. Now I’ve got copies to give to friends, and Pennsic sales can wait for a week. For now, its enough that they’re here!!

Track List

I received and email today asking what songs would actually be on the album. I suppose that would be good information to give to people, wouldn’t it? It got me thinking I should perhaps put out the track list here, too!

Waves on the Shore track list:

1) The Bard
2) Come & Be Welcome
3) Foot to Ground
4) Soldier Boy
5) The Poachers’ Song
6) Roll On Up the Hill
7) Warharvest
8) Mourning Dove
9) For Your Honour
10) Arise Young Wolf
11) Northern Virtues
12) Dusk to Dawn/Mead & Wine
13) The Washer at the Ford
14) Waves on the Shore

I think I’ll also put up my lyrics on this site, too. As a “bardic-folk” songwriter, I love hearing other people singing songs I’ve created around their own campfires. I’ll either make a “Lyrics” page, or perhaps devote a blog post to each piece and write a bit about the song’s background as well as the lyrics.

Otherwise, the wait continues. Any day now, Silverbirch should be calling and the disks will be finished!

Beware the Bards

United Breaks Guitars: If you haven’t seen this video yet, you really should.

The full story can be found here. It’s a really prime example of how dangerous it can be to piss off bards. ancient or modern!

“…I realized then that as a songwriter and traveling musician I wasn’t without options. In my final reply to Ms. Irlweg I told her that I would be writing three songs about United Airlines and my experience in the whole matter. I would then make videos for these songs and offer them for free download online, inviting viewers to vote on their favourite United song. My goal: to get one million hits in one year.”

The art of “shame-poetry” is surely not dead, nor ineffective, even today. If you go to YouTube, you can also find several video responses, one from the artist himself. In this, you can also see how the bard has a responsibility to “own” the works s/he has produces, and the effects they might have upon others. (Poor Ms. Irlweg!)

To the Presses!

I just spoke to Jordan at Silverbirch again, and it seems like I’ve got everything I need to get this manufacturing started! The audio master is at hand and sounding great, the graphics are amazing and ready to be emailed over, and I’ve decided what format I’ll be going with as well. All that’s left to do is to go drop off the disk, sign the forms, and pay up!

I almost can’t believe it’s all coming together. This is terribly exciting!!

When I have a spare moment, I’ll write about this past weekend. Business cards printed, War of the Trilliums went great, and I even pre-sold a few CDs!