You may remember that towards the end of last year we held a competition for anyone buying the Mari Lywd Enamel Pin where the winners would get to attend our Winter Solstice party. A few lucky individuals attended our event in the darkest hours of December, somewhere in Wales, where we sang ancient songs in an atmospheric cave lit only by firelight.
As promised, we are going to share some of the footage taken from that evening for you now.
We first met Florian through a mutual friend Florence who was being tattooed at Sacred Knot. On his first visit, he joined us all in a smaller version of the solstice party in our favourite cave... On that occasion, he did not have his instrument and so joined in with us on violin instead. His musical skills where amazing as usual, and when we were planning the Winter Solstice gathering, we knew he would be the perfect addition.
He normally plays the Nyckelharpa which is a truly beautiful instrument with the French folk band Les Compagnons du Gras Jambon
The title of this song "Orjalaul" means Slave Song in Estonian and is a traditional song that has been passed down. The lyrics when translated into English mean:
"Oh poor me slave child
During the day I plough a large plot of land,
During the night, I thresh the grain for the estate
Wherever I sit, there I start to cry,
Oh poor me slave child Oh poor me slave child
Black seawater is for me to drink
And the wide sky for me to eat
Oh poor me slave child"
Sigurboði is an Icelandic skald and musician who we were fortunate enough to have playing for us in the cave. He has previously worked with the likes of Danheim and Heldom and we first saw him play and talk at the Museum of Witchcraft and Sorcery in Holmavik, Iceland.
About the song, he tells us: "In Nordic culture, there are four dwarves, Norðri, Suðri, Austri and Vestri (“North,” “South,” “East,” and “West”) who hold up the four corners of the sky. The awesome Sigurboði Grétarsson performed a song which asks for their protection and for them to 'look upon' us in the coming year".
These are the only two videos with half decent sound quality for now, but there will be plenty more to come including some recordings from Sean Parry... unfortunately his performance in the cave was too loud for the cameras!!
We did get this picture though... courtesy of Jamie Massie
Written by Duncan Reed