Sound Celebration

SOUND CELEBRATION encompasses so much, from our circles around the fire where we join our voices together to share medicine songs and story, to collective dance journeys under the light of the stars guided by an incredible DJ.  As our beloved Sound Mama of 4 years, Brette Howard shares: Sound is ceremony, and music is healing”. Together we celebrate the ways that sound and song connect us all to each other, to the earth, and to ourselves.

 

At the Gathering you can find many classes offered that celebrate the healing power of sound, such as singing classes, drumming workshops, dance, and more. On Friday night each year we gather for our fireside Song Circle, a special experience where all are invited to join voices together and share songs new and old.  We also come together on Saturday for our  Sound Celebration,  a night of musical performances to honor and uplift our talented song carries in our community.  Then, on Sunday Night we come together to dance it all out with a DJ performance as the sun sets and the stars light the night.

 

All of these offerings are in celebration of the collective understanding of the power in sound. Since the beginning of humanity, sound and song have been guiding and healing forces in our world, and we are honored to hold that power in reverence and celebration here at Spirit Weavers.

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Our 2023 Performers - Sun Session

Alela Diane, Sun session

Known for her “immaculately beautiful indie-folk songs” (Paste Magazine), Portland singer- song writer Alela Diane recorded her cathartic and ethereal sixth studio album, Looking Glass, during a time of personal transition.

Diane, who has been a full-time musician for fifteen years and has toured extensively in Europe and North America, recorded Looking Glass during the same weeks that she and her family were selling the Portland house she bought at the age of 26, with the money from her first royalties contract. Diane’s family had now outgrown the house, but the leaving was bittersweet for her. While living there, she’d been married, divorced, and married again, and become the mother of two children.

The emotional and logistical chaos of that moment in her life—along with pandemic-related childcare struggles—meant that finishing this record required a profound new level of discipline, with Diane logging practice sessions at 6am each morning. (One of Diane’s other recurring themes are the joys and strains of motherhood, especially for an artist.) The result is an album that represents a new artistic achievement for Diane. Looking Glass is the first of her records to be produced by the celebrated Tucker Martine (Neko Case, My Morning Jacket, The Decembrists). The album was arranged by her longtime friend and fellow musician Heather Woods Broderick. Notable guest musicians include Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket), Scott Avett (The Avett Brothers), Eli Moore (Lake), Mikaela Davis, Luke Ydsitie (Blind Pilot), and Ryan Fracesconi (Joanna Newsom).

Shortly after recording Looking Glass, Diane and her family moved into a sprawling 1892 Victorian home, a dollhouse-like fixer-upper set on a surprisingly hidden wooded lot in the middle of Southeast Portland. (Think white scalloped roof lines, an airy light-filled attic with an attached tower—perfect for playing guitar—but also various unpleasant surprises: a leaky roof and ancient mouse skeletons hiding in the corners of kitchen cabinets.) Restoring the house has been a labor of love for Diane and her husband, and partly a way of gifting her daughters, ages 5 and 8, some of the magic she recalls from her own childhood home. (She and her husband have installed an outdoor clawfoot bathtub on the property, an eccentricity she recalls fondly from her own childhood yard.)

Always alert to the layers of meaning in everyday spaces and moments, Diane has described the feeling of living in this old, creaky house as one of “deep settling in.” In keeping with Diane’s love of all things antiquarian, the title of her album, like the house, also has a 19th century provenance. The original definition of “looking glass,” she noted, is “mirror,” but after Lewis Carroll published the novel Through the Looking Glass in 1871, the term took on a second meaning: “the opposite of what is normal or expected.”

“In the context of the album,” said Diane, “The Looking Glass refers to both meanings. It is a portal to past and future, and a reflection on all that lies between.”

Roberta Lea, Sun Session

With a voice like cinnamon and a pen like butter, Roberta Lea is a rising artist, ready to give the world a taste of what she’s made of. Fellow artists have called her Hampton Roads’ best kept secret. It’s as though she’s a family recipe, kept hidden until now. 

Fellow musicians have described her sound as “country-neo-pop”. As a millennial, it’s often quite difficult to pin her down to one particular genre. Her influences range from 80s RnB legends like Roberta Flack, Anita Baker and Sade, to pop 90s girl-power players like Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow, Shania Twain and everything in between. 

“One of my biggest references as an artist right now is Tina Turner” Lea says. “Although she’s always been a dominating presence in pop-culture as the the Queen of Rock n’ Roll, recently I’ve rediscovered her through the lens of country music.”

Lea finds comfort in Tina’s raspy vocals as she explores the uniqueness of her own voice. She’s been described vocally as a Tina Turner/Macy Gray grit, lyrically clever like George Strait, incorporates some Pop-fun like Shania Twain and at times delivers her slower, more sentimental material like Norah Jones.

Pursuing music at 35 may seem like it’s a late start for some, but for Roberta Lea, it’s ideal. She’s been slowly marinating and soaking in LIFE. Now that she’s ready to do music, she has a buffet of songs that are sure to appease any listener’s pallet. 

Just ask the Black Opry. Her single “Sweet Baby Ray” hit the spot in the hearts of fellow artists and music lovers alike and drove her to record her very first country project “Just A Taste”. Now, she’s been nominated for 6 music awards including Song of the Year and Best E.P.! “Just A Taste” showcases the different flavors of country she infuses in her songwriting. She goes from classic country, to country soul, country rock, pop country and country folk. As a songwriter, she has no limits when it comes to expressing herself through song and telling a good story.

As a Virginian, Roberta Lea follows a long list of iconic artists and hitmakers. From classics like Ella Fitzgerald and Patsy Cline, to icons like Pharrel, Timberland, and Missy Elliot, legends like The Dave Matthews Band and Pat Benatar, to modern day rising stars like Old Dominion and Morgan Wade. As a songwriter and an artist, she’s in great company and confident that she’s next. 

Mother Marrow, Sun Session

Bewitching and poignant, Mother Marrow’s music captures the voices of the elements, dryads, nymphs and the creatures that dwell underground. A musical journey into the depths…these tunes have teeth and tenderness.

Mother Marrow started out as Charity Cimarron’s solo project, Rusalka, and has matured into a 4-piece indie folk expression. Devin Crow joined the picture in 2017, and has been full time band partner and banjo player extraordinaire ever since. Emmalee Hunnicutt (of Mountain Bitters) plays expressive, emotional cello, and Matt Shepard (Coconut Cake) has recently joined on drums. 

Mother Marrow is elemental, powerful, modern folk music with haunting vocal harmonies, folk-style finger picking on guitar and banjo, swooping cello, and driving drums, with lyrics that can call up tears, or send shivers down your spine. 

The songs of Mother Marrow are written from Charity’s deep love of the natural world, striving towards beauty and truth, and an understanding of the painful, and magical process of transformation. 

These songs each hold a moment of personal story, and an eternal unfolding of all the stories simultaneously. There is a deep spiritual thread running through this music, and a sense of expression that draws you in, so that it becomes your own experience. Cathartic, healing, and as deeply moving as it is beautiful.

Our 2023 Performers - Moon Session

Ayla Nereo, Moon Session

Ayla Nereo is a singer, composer, producer, dancer, and visual-poetry creator from the mountains of eastern California. Grown in forests and rivers, she is a bridger of the timeless and modern, weaving poetry and sound into a magical and emotional world of sonic beauty.

With a particular joy for bridging musical styles, Ayla’s songs seem a genre unto their own, as she moves between vocal looping, produced beats, live drumming, orchestral string arrangements, Celtic melodies, disco rhythms, electronic soundscapes, and even dashes of hip-hop wordplay. Lyrical meditations and riddles of language dance into wondrous tapestries of sound and story, from electronic folk ballads to celtic melodies and elvin loop-pedal mantras.

Having an uncanny ability to crack open the heart, Ayla’s songs are an ode to the wonder of being human, inviting us deeper into the exquisite and innately psychedelic dream of this moment.

“One of the most poignant voices currently floating about… Ayla Nero is an otherworldly artist who shares the fruits of her soul” — The Huffington Post

“[Ayla’s] relationship with the earth is imprinted in her music… expansive and intriguing.” — Billboard

Calling us to listen deeper, her songs are elegant masterpieces of lucid storytelling, with lyrics ringing as anthems for planetary healing, human potential, beauty, and compassion.

Though you’d never know it by witnessing her perform, Ayla grew up with an intense fear of singing. In her final year of college, songs began pouring through her, and it was only through the constant urging of those around her that she began to slowly share her music. Propelled by the songs themselves, Ayla’s journey of meeting those fears and singing through them has grown her into the powerful performer she is today, touching an ever-widening global audience with the inspiring magic of her songs.

Ayla released her 6th solo album, By The Light of the Dark Moon, in 2019 via Jumpsuit Records and is preparing to release her 7th solo album, the first in a 4-part sonic saga, in early 2023.

Lizzie No, Moon Session

With the release of her debut album, ‘Hard Won,’ in March 2017, singer-songwriter, harpist, and guitarist Lizzie No established herself as one of the most exciting new voices in indie folk music. Billboard Magazine called the album “simultaneously understated and fervent.” She followed up the album with the release of “Sundown,” a benefit track for Black Lives Matter.

Building on the songwriting prowess displayed in her critically acclaimed debut album, Lizzie No is unsparing in the stories she tells on her second album, ‘Vanity,’ released August 2, 2019. The nine songs on ‘Vanity’ are epic tales of ego, featuring narrative shifts within vividly crafted characters. No embodies characters ranging from a handsome egoist in “Narcissus” (which Rolling Stone called a “crisp alt-rock gem”) to a broke songwriter waiting for her big break in “Pity Party,” to a bitter and isolated rocker on “Loyalty” who rants that the crowd has left him behind. Inventive arrangements written in collaboration with co-producer Nick Rapley elevate the record to shimmering heights, alternating between swaggering grooves and intimate clarity.

Lizzie has toured with Iron & Wine, Adia Victoria, Ron Pope, Son Little, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, and has showcased at festivals like Newport Folk Fest, Americanafest, South by Southwest, and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. Classical arrangements of her songs have been performed at the Louisville Orchestra’s Festival of American Music and the Downtown Chamber Series. She is also a winner of the American Songwriter Magazine Lyrics Contest.

In June of 2021, Lizzie joined Basic Folk as a guest host, appearing monthly on the podcast. Since her debut, she has interviewed Valerie June, Dar Williams, Brent Cobb, Amythytst Kiah, Molly Tuttle, Kishi Bashi, SG Goodman and many more.

Lizzie’s third full-length album is due out in fall 2023.

Haley Hendricks, Moon Session

It takes a mix of skill and luck to tend a garden well, but it’s impossible without a certain amount of kindness tended. While the cyclical nature of gardening seems inherent, in some ways, Heynderickx is just beginning. Her debut album, named I Need to Start a Garden out of a search for calm through these waves of uncertainty and upheaval, is out now via Mama Bird Recording Co.

For the empathetic singer/songwriter, the reasons for seeking such acceptance and understanding stem from a life of paradoxes. Heynderickx grew up in a religious household in Oregon, closely identifying with her Filipino roots, but also straddling multiple cultural identities. Now residing in Portland, her faith is not overt, but her introspection and continued struggle for self-actualization are easily accessible and relatable.

Likewise, the tracks on I Need to Start a Garden reflect these seemingly disparate elements. Through soft acoustic guitar picking and deftly accented trombone sighs, Heynderickx’s music immediately recalls folk music of the ‘60s and ‘70s mixed with a love of jazz radio. But Heynderickx’s singing—her vocals that range from sultry to operatic—belie a tenacity in her soul.

It’s a balance then, between exposing and protecting herself on I Need to Start a Garden. Heynderickx vacillates between powerlessness (opener “No Face”) and empowerment (lead single “Oom Sha La La”). But her generosity of spirit remains the constant throughout the whole album.

You can hear that exceptional care in “Jo”, as she whispers, “You tended your garden like heaven and hell / and you built the birds houses to see if it helped at all.” Aware of the birds, the garden, and anyone listening acutely, Heynderickx’s music serves as an invitation for all to join her. Because the beauty of a garden is that, while it’s often started for deeply personal reasons, its bounty is best consumed and shared with others.

I Need to Start a Garden was produced, engineered and mixed by Zak Kimball at Nomah Studios in Portland, Oregon. Haley Heynderickx co-produced the album. It was mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk at Stereophonic Mastering in Portland. The record features Lily Breshears (Bass, Keys, Backing Vocals), Denzel Mendoza (Trombone, Backing Vocals), Phillip Rogers (Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals) and Tim Sweeney (Upright Bass).

Meet Our Sound Team

DJ Moon Session: Nathalie Kelley

Nathalie Kelley is an actress of Indigenous Quechua descent, most recently starring in the hit series Dynasty and The Baker and the Beauty. With a background in Social Science and Policy, Nathalie strives to use her gifts as a storyteller to tell stories that educate and inspire. She is a graduate of Kiss The Ground’s Soil Advocacy program, and on the board of the Fungí Foundation. She is passionate about using her IG platform of 1.6 million followers to highlight the threats against Indigenous communities around the world while elevating Indigenous wisdom and technologies as means of coming back into harmony with our ecosystem. Her life mission is to give a voice to the voiceless: namely the soil, the water, the fungí, the forest and to dedicate her life to preserving bio and Myco-diversity on the planet.