Displaying all posts for Helen Fields

Praise to the Moon

by December 5, 2015 » Add the first comment.
Image for Praise to the Moon

One of the most beautiful moments in this year’s Christmas Revels is a song to the moon, “The Traveller’s Prayer.” It’s by John Renbourn, an English songwriter who died last March at the age of 70. The moon is a wonder. It travels around us slowly, making one circuit Read more »

Share

The Sounds of an English Spring

by November 30, 2015 » Add the first comment.
Image for The Sounds of an English Spring

version of this post appeared on The Last Word on Nothing. The English robin and the North American robin share a name, but ours is a large, sturdy bird, while the British one is a sweet, fat little bird with a little less red and a pretty dab Read more »

Share

Up Flies the Lark

by » Add the first comment.
Image for Up Flies the Lark

A version of this post appeared on The Last Word on Nothing. I walked along the edge of a cliff. To my right, a hundred-foot drop to the waters of the English Channel. A strong wind blew off the water and over the cliff. To my left were Read more »

Share

Revels and the Natural World

by » Add the first comment.
Image for Revels and the Natural World

In one of Washington Revels’ most-performed songs, “Country Life,” we sing: “I like to rise when the sun she rises, early in the morning/I like to hear them small birds singing, merrily upon their laylums.” A laylum is probably a bit of fallow land—it doesn’t matter; it’s a place Read more »

Share

Over Hedges and Stiles

by November 17, 2015 » Add the first comment.
Image for Over Hedges and Stiles

“We have traveled many miles, over hedges and stiles.” That’s a line from “Please to See the King,” a song in this year’s Christmas Revels. I’ve been singing in the Christmas Revels chorus since 2004. Being involved with Revels has changed a lot about my world. It has brought me Read more »

Share

Maypoles and… frog’s eggs?

by April 9, 2015 » Add the first comment.
Image for Maypoles and… frog’s eggs?

This was a cold winter in Washington. The new climate reality, for now at least, seems to be cold air masses that get stuck over the region, dumping down snow and ice and bringing cold winds—nothing that would impress your average Canadian or Bostonian, but cold for us mid-Atlantic types. Read more »

Share

Greek and Bulgarian Salon Concerts

by November 20, 2013 » Add the first comment.
Image for Greek and Bulgarian Salon Concerts

Twice over the last week the performance space at Washington Revels was filled with dance and exciting music. Friday night, the music was Greek; last night, it was music from Bulgaria. The salon concerts are a chance for tradition-bearers in this year’s Christmas Revels to share a bit more of Read more »

Share

It’s Just So Many Words….

by November 14, 2013 » Add the first comment.
Image for It’s Just So Many Words….

In December, I’ll be standing on stage singing songs in Greek, Turkish, and Bulgarian like I’ve known them all my life. Today, November 14, I’m staring down a really large pile of words in languages I don’t speak. My memorization system has many parts. Some shorter pieces just stick in Read more »

Share

Blessed by the Survachka

by October 31, 2013 » Add the first comment.
Image for Blessed by the Survachka

Last week Assen Assenov, a leader in the Washington-area Bulgarian community, and his wife Simona Assenova stopped by rehearsal for the Christmas Revels. First they taught our Wednesday Night Work Party volunteers how to make a survachka, a stick that Bulgarian children use to bless their elders on New Year’s Read more »

Share

Eleven-Sixteen? What?

by October 2, 2013 » Add the first comment.
Image for Eleven-Sixteen? What?

Overheard in rehearsal: “Eleven-sixteen? Whaaaat?” One of the challenges for this year’s Christmas Revels chorus is singing in unusual time signatures. If you don’t know what a time signature is, let me take a moment to enlighten. A piece of music written in the standard way has a couple of Read more »

Share
Pages:12345»