A number of years ago, Margaret and Kristoph of the music group Broceliande got a bunch of us together to make a tape of songs from the first three Westria books (THE WANDERSONG). Last year, they asked if I wanted to do one of the songs from the four Jewel books as well. This afternoon we had a session so that I could listen to the current form of the songs they are singing for the CD, and record some myself.

We had started by having me tape the songs, so they knew where to start, followed by a frustrating session in which I tried to explain which chords I wanted. I am not accustomed to not having the vocabulary to explain exactly what I mean (at least in English), but I have never learned the names of the chords. I just know what they ought to sound like. But we did manage to communicate.

I had initially been reluctant to sing on this CD at all, since my voice had developed an annoying break in the middle register. Previously, I had taken the dependability of my voice for granted, and it was a shock to lose it, but I assumed it was an unavoidable effect of aging. But just lately I’ve noticed an improvement. Maybe those problems were a result of the body’s rearrangements after menopause, or maybe I’ve been working with Odin too long. Whatever the reason, I now seem to have a very nice tenor (also it helps that they have a very good microphone).

So I have a voice again, and will sing three of the songs. We will be getting a small chorus together for some of the others. Margaret’s lyric soprano is exquisite on some of my early songs that I could scarcely manage 20 years ago (I have an unfortunate tendency to write music with a rather challenging vocal range), and Kristoph’s version of “Bird of my Heart” will make you cry. When they finish polishing everything up, this CD is going to be Real Music, even better than the first one.

This is worth making a real effort to present well, and figure out some way to market. An outfit called Shortstacks does limited runs of CDs, and their website gives templates for the graphics. The goal is to have both THE WANDERSONG and JEWEL SONGS available by Consonance, next spring.

What a wonderful, unexpected gift.