Join in the creation of Peia’s third studio album ‘Beauty Thunders’ a collection of traditional and original songs.
About this project
Dear Friends, Family and Curious Newcomers,
I write you now from the blossoming of Oregon spring, brimming with joyful anticipation and mirth for the birthing of this new album, Beauty Thunders.
Since the release of Four Great Winds in 2012, I’ve been swept up in a whirlwind of tours across Europe, Australia, and the USA that have kept me busy for the past three years. The global response and support for this album and my work of song preservation has been overwhelming and deeply inspiring. I have been continually humbled by the number of people reaching out with kind words, shared stories, songs and offers of support. I feel incredibly grateful to be able to live a life supported fully by my art and passion (however precarious that is at times.) Thank you so much to each and every one of you for coming out to our concerts, singing along, supporting this music and spreading it’s message far and wide!
During my travels I have continued songwriting and digging deep into the song traditions of each new place I visit. I have been hearing your call for fresh recordings of these newly crafted gems and old found treasures and am elated to bring you Beauty Thunders in 2016
As I began to curate the songs for this album, the greater purpose and importance of song carrying became clearer, and my devotion to this work has deepened. Beauty Thunders is a labor of love; the culmination of all the work I have been doing over the past 10 years.
My goal is to complete this album while maintaining my freedom as an independent artist with a passionate drive to use music as a tool for social change, education, community engagement and upliftment. In order to accomplish this, keep out of debt and stay connected to the people and places that have grown this music from the very beginning, we are asking for your help in raising $25,000. This is the amount that is required for our basic studio time, mixing, mastering and paying the many incredible musicians who are contributing rare and stunning instrumentation to the music. I am excited to engage with YOU through this platform to support the creation of Beauty Thunders and the greater vision of song preservation in a creative and sustainable way.
In addition, your contribution will cover recycled (and local!) CD packaging, production, and the cost of getting this music out through sustainable tour planning (biodiesel whenever possible!) graphic design, promotion and an updated website. In pledging support for this project you are also contributing to song and language preservation and helping me to continue and broaden my work with indigenous empowerment and environmental rights organizations.
It has been deeply humbling to do the math and see what it actually costs to bring this music into your hands and for my voice to reach where it is most needed, but alas….. I am committed to offering art that will stand the test of time, be authentic to my voice and vision and most importantly the traditions from which these songs came.
My journey with world folksong traditions began many years ago while studying at New England Conservatory in Boston. Much to the dismay of my Opera studio professors, I found myself enthralled with the alluring beauty and mystery of Medieval chant, Bulgarian & Yiddish folksongs, Indian Rag and the delicate art of song crafting. This fascination, along with a bit of old Irish wanderlust, poised me for a journey that led me across the seas to high mountain villages and remote corners of the world to seek a lost culture.
Growing up in North America as a child of Irish, Scottish, Italian and Dutch ancestry, I have longed to know the songs, rituals and rites of my ancestors. The ways in which they honored the earth and how they celebrated the passage of the seasons and cycles of life and death. This longing carved a hungry ghost in my heart and became an insatiable wanderlust that has led me from country to country, gathering the songs of the people and the land.
It wasn’t until I finally returned to Ireland (my great grandparent’s homeland) and began to sing the old songs of my own ancestry, that I began to make sense of the work I had been doing for so many years. I finally grasped the need for us to sing the songs of our ancestors, to honor the songlines of our blood and reconnect to the wisdom of our own indigenous roots though their singing.
I believe that songs are one of the few intact remnants left that those of us from European ancestry can use to tap into our indigenous roots and reawaken the understanding that each one of us is a small part of a living and breathing whole. We live in a time where it is too easy to forget that we belong to the land that gives us life, and not the other way around. This is why I do the work of song carrying and this is what I hope to offer back in my lifetime.
The haunting Gaelic song you hear me singing at the beginning of our video is a traditional Irish lament dating back to the 1700s. It tells the story of an immigrant who has been forced to leave their homeland by poverty, hunger or perhaps the condemnation of their traditional faith, knowing they will never be able to return. They sing in love and great longing for homeland, describing in every detail the sweet voices of the birds and harps who lament their departed loved ones. The story and feeling alive in this song captivated me, and with it’s singing I found a timeless treasure which spanned across hundreds of years, reconnecting me to the story and culture of my own people.
I arrived in Ireland a wayward traveler but I left there a woman carrying ancient meandering roots with a deeper understanding of my work as reviver and keeper of ancestral songlines.
Hand in hand with my work of song carrying is a fierce passion to protect, preserve and empower the indigenous cultures that still live on today in the face great adversity and whose very way of life is under threat. We live in a tremendously precarious time and as a person of lost culture, I see the importance of nourishing and giving voice to the living roots of ancient culture who have been able to live in balance and harmony with the Earth for thousands of years. I am deeply honored to be a part of a growing movement to support our indigenous peoples and and bring awareness to their struggle. Here are a few organizations whose work I love to support:
Hope for Health Arnhem Land is working with the Yolngu people to empower and re-establish their traditional nutritional and healing modalities, increase awareness of and access to Alternative Health Care. As well as, overcome systemic barriers to health.
A major underlying mission of R.E.A.C.H. is to awaken the birth right role of Custodianship in all indigenous peoples, connecting them to source and country, recognizing ceremony and connection, standing tall and proud in heritage and honoring our ancestors, to create a better, abundant world for all. R.E.A.C.H. honors and accepts all members of indigenous and non-indigenous births, recognizing the need for unity in all human beings.
Stand Up to Oil is a growing coalition of groups opposed to new oil terminals and an increase in oil transport through the Northwest, while working to improve safety measures for oil currently traveling through the region. Read the campaign principles for Stand Up To Oil here. Members of the Stand Up To Oil campaign include: 350.org, Seattle Audubon Washington Climate Solutions, Columbia Riverkeeper, Earth Ministry and Earthjustice
Risks and challenges
To be honest, the biggest challenge of creating this album has been figuring out how to come up with the funds to create a quality recording and the subsequent necessity of creating a Kickstarter. It took several of my closest friends sitting me down and lecturing me before I would agree to a crowd funding campaign. I guess I’ve felt that I live a very privileged and blessed life, I have a roof over my head, live in a safe environment, have food in my belly and a loving community around me and for that reason have held the idea that “who was I to ask for help?” There are so many other immediate needs and worthy causes out in the world.
Through the process of creating this Kickstarter I have been continually challenged to see the value of my own work in the world and stand behind it. It was never my dream or vision to be a performer or a song gatherer… it’s just what I do, and slowly with time I am coming to see why it is needed.
I feel incredibly grateful for the all the hurdles of this process and how it has forced me to address some core beliefs within myself and rise to meet the challenge. It is an on going to journey to understand one’s work in the world (especially when the path is NOT easy) but I am more deeply committed to this work now then ever before and am ever grateful to all the friends, allies and angels who have been a part of this growth process.
To date the Album is more then 70% completed. All of the basic recording took place while I was on tour in Australia, and just a few little finishing touches are now being added on top. We will be moving into the final mixing stage in July and will be ready to print and distribute Beauty Thunders to you by SEPTEMBER!!!