Gloomy Winter's Now Awa'
The Heather Breeze/the Butterfly
The Harmony of May
The Southwind/a Rosebud By My Early Walk
The Sprig of Shillelagh/the Acorn
The Lea Rig/corn Rigs
An Italian Bouquet
All in a Garden Green
The Last Rose of Summer
Country Gardens/harvest Home
A stroll through a verdant garden can refresh the spirit and relax the mind, connecting you with the cycles of nature. Gardens embody vitality and solace; they are places of both activity and repose. This music, inspired by gardens, reflects these various moods and seasons.
Julia Lane - Celtic Harp, Voice
Fred Gosbee - Violin, Viola, Winds, Guitar, Voice
Doreen Conboy, cello (All in a Garden Green , Country Gardens / Harvest Home)
Patricia Boyle -Wight, flute (Southwind / A Rosebud by my Early Walk)
Bird songs ,peepers and crickets by L'O rchestre Naturale du Jardin
All selections Arranged and Produced by Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee
The Lea Rig and Corn Rigs recorded at Celebration Sound,Pawtucket, RI
All others recorded at Harper's Wood, Round Pond, Maine
Fred Gosbee -Recording and Mixing Engineer
Mastered at Northeastern Digital, Southboro, MA
Laurie Flannery- Mastering Engineer
Special thanks to
David Begin, Off the Wall Fiddles, Damariscotta, Maine
The Sunday River Inn, Newry, Maine
We are deeply grateful to Kristina for all her love and inspiration.
Notes on the Music
A gardener's year begins with the songs of a brook, free from ice and a whistling bird. Gloomy Winter's Now Awa' and Smiling Spring are two Scottish expressions of the awakening season. Wafting around a Celtic hillside one might hear a traditional melody like The Heather Breeze./The Butterfly is a contemporary Irish slip jig depicting a jaunty flight among the flowers. Originally a song, The Harmony of May was collected in the early 1800's by George Petrie.The lyrics have unfortunately been lost. There are, however, lovely lyrics invoking the Southwind to bless Ireland. A Rosebud by My Early Walk depicts a dewy morning stroll through a Scottish garden as perceived by a traditional musician. A tribute to the ancient oak forests (shellaly means "oak" in Gaelic) is the traditional Irish step-dance The Sprig o' Shellaly.The Acorn "sprang" into Julia's hands one day while playing. In Scotland, a plot of arable land was known as a "rig".The Lea Rig was out of the wind, perfect for romantic meetings, while the Lammas moon shone on a rendezvous in the Corn Rigs. Music in the garden was required by Renaissance aristocrats. The tunes for "An Italian Bouquet" are from a collection of anonymous 16th century Italian lute suites. All in a Garden Green, an English country dance tune, evokes an elegant garden celebration.Crickets serenade as pale petals drift from The Last Rose of Summer. 19th century Irish poet Thomas Moore penned lyrics for his wife. A beautiful Country Garden requires good humored work while Harvest Home celebrates the delights of gathering the fruits of one's labor. As the year spirals into autumn, many creatures set off on their annual Migration. This melody celebrates the Monarch butterflies that surrounded Julia as she played outside one September day. Even after the frost has nipped the leaves and the apples have fallen, the music of the garden gives one courage to face the coming winter.
Julia Lane has loved, sung, researched and created folk music since childhood. Fascinated by the stories embodied in the folk songs she heard, she learned to sing the evocative melodies, making up her own songs for her own entertainment. As an adolescent, she studied music theory and took guitar lessons from a lutenist specializing in Elizabethan songs. In researching the sources of the music, the wealth of lore and history recorded in musical form rekindled her interest in the music of her childhood. She became active in madrigal and Renaissance music groups as well as performing as a soloist and providing music for a children's theater group. In addition, she was inspired by the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien and his sources. She composed her first melody for one of his "songs"when she was fifteen and has since completed ten more. After graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1974, her interest in English and Scottish folk music and lore led her to study in Oxford, England.
She is a self-taught player of the "clarsach" or Celtic folk harp which she began in 1989. As a result of her classic guitar training, she plays in the ancient method using her fingernails which gives a bright, clean sound. Her unique style has won three international competitions. Judge/harpist Kim Robertson praised her "innovative arrangements and energetic performance" and harpist Dennis Doyle declared "she really captured the spirit of the music." Julia Lane is also an exceptional vocalist,"one the Maine coast's foremost voices," whose voice has been called "lovely, vibrant," "reminiscent of Jean Redpath," and compared favorably with Loreena McKennitt, Triona ni Dhomnhaill, and Judy Collins.
In the past fifteen years, she has toured the Eastern U.S., Ireland, England and Scotland playing at festivals, folk clubs, and arts centers, as well as on radio and television. Julia has training in early childhood education and children's theatre and has taught history and social studies through folk music in both formal and informal settings. She is currently living in coastal Maine and raising three teenage children and a garden.
Using the vehicle of her expressive, award-winning Celtic harp playing and her silken vocals, Julia Lane now gives new voice to an ancient tradition. Creating original songs reminiscent of the traditional music of her Celtic ancestors, she captures the essential beauty of coastal Maine, her native state. Through the time-honored art of meaningful songwriting, Julia Lane expresses in her words and music our fundamental connection with wind and wave, sea and sky. Her songs are an authentic expression of an intimate experience with the elemental.
Ms. Lane feels the connection between the northeastern American continent and the Celtic lands to be very strong." The most obvious link of course is that of the immigrants who settled here in the last three centuries. I feel it goes deeper than that. Many of the landscapes are strikingly similar. People naturally resonate with their physical surroundings, and the spirituality of the ancient inhabitants of both areas have common themes- a reverence for our relationship with Nature and her cycles." Much of the traditional Celtic music reflects that reverence as do Lane's original compositions. Julia Lane's family has lived in Maine for 300 years and the heritage and history of her Maine ancestors has also proved a source of inspiration.
Fred Gosbee was born and grew up in rural central Maine and has collected and performed folk music for over thirty years. His grandparents moved to Maine from New Brunswick in the 1920's and as a child he heard his older relatives singing the old woodsmen's songs and playing fiddle and accordian. He dabbled in the viola as his arms were long enough to reach. During high school, he had training in standard band instruments becoming one of the best tuba players in the state. He had experience with a wide variety of performance groups including orchestras, marching bands,and church and school choirs.When an application to join the Navy band went awry, he entered the University of Maine where he studied folklore under Sandy Ives as well as engineering. Inspired by the folk music he heard, Fred took up the banjo and guitar. His interest in woodworking led him to begin designing and building guitars and a lute.
After college, Fred Gosbee moved to the coast and became a shipfitter at Bath Ironworks. He had always been drawn to the music of sailors and seamen, and it was here that he began writing his own songs. He became involved with local theater and musical organizations. Adding to his versatility as a vocalist, he sang with madrigal groups, oratorio, musical theater, Gilbert and Sullivan and barbershop groups. Combining his theatrical experience with his knowledge of folk music, he arranged, composed, and performed incidental music for a production of "A Spoon River Anthology." The resulting sound tapestry included 56 pieces of music with songs, instrumentals and new works for voices, guitars, banjo and fiddle performed live for each show. This production led to the formation of a performing folk trio, and back to the traditional music of his childhood. He also began performing his own songs, two of which were used in the WTBS-Atlanta/Turner Broadcasting Corp. series "Portrait of America" segment about Maine.
His works have since been recorded by other artists and have garnered him invitations to international music festivals including the International Festival of the Sea in England. With Castlebay, he has recorded five albums and has toured the East coast of the US and the British Isles. He currently performs with vocalist /Celtic harpist Julia Lane singing and playing classic and 12-string guitar, 5-string viola, and woodwinds. Together, they have composed a suite for quintet of folk instruments inspired by a tour of the Scottish island of Skye. They have been commissioned by the Galloway Scotland Arts council to compose a similar suite for that region. The duo also maintains a commitment to cultural education and provides folklore and music programs for schools, museum, libraries and Elderhostels. When he is not touring, Fred Gosbee engineers and produces recordings and designs and builds Celtic harps.