Kaia CD Release Party this Saturday!

February 5, 2012

Kaia will be hosting our CD release party on Saturday, February 11th, 8pm, at the Unitarian Universalist church at 2120 North Fee Lane.

We will be performing our trademark mix of world music from the raucous to the sublime in celebration of the release of our first studio recording, Freedom Land.

Tickets are $12 / $8 twelve and under, on sale at the door or at the BCT box office. Doors open at 7:30 pm. Special pricing on all Kaia CDs and merchandise (you can get our previous CDs for ridiculously cheap prices for one night only!). For more, see www.KaiaSing.com or www.facebook.com/KaiaSing.

I’m a little nervous about the show because the HT neglected to publish our press release today. We will be the featured artist for this week’s BEAD newsletter at least, but I still worry about reach.

Amy and I appeared on Carolyn VandeWeile’s Womenspace on WFHB last Thursday, where she played seven tracks off the album and kindly plugged the show like crazy. We’re just not sure how much exposure the show got. Apart from Amy’s dad, we haven’t gotten any feedback.

We will be featured on WFIU’s Artworks on Tuesday night. Amy and I had a 45-minute long fascinating conversation with Yaël Ksander which she has somehow cut down to seven minutes of interview and song. I’m looking forward to hearing what she’s come up with.

I’ve been lobbying TallSteve hard to get on the Afternoon Mix on WFHB on Thursday, but have only gotten radio silence so far. It would really help to get some prime time exposure and it would be fun to do a ticket giveaway. Plus I think he’d be a great interviewer.

Work has been slow lately, which has given me plenty of time to obsess over show details. I would be lost without Post-It notes. I have lists for everything.

Today we’re having over 4 hours of rehearsal, part of it in the UU space, so it will be grueling but rewarding. This is our last chance to spruce things up before the show. I’m a little concerned about how much time it will take us to set up and strike the night of the show and hope the Kaiasistahs will be game for getting all the work done.

See? I’m obsessing. And I thought of something a few paragraphs ago that I need to add to my to-do list and now I’ve forgotten it. Brilliant!

Mom and Dad and hopefully my two sisters and their kids are coming down for the show. I want to be able to go out afterwards and then meet on Sunday for brunch, but it’s unclear if they’ll be able to stay. I’d really like it to be a big occasion. Those come so rarely for me and I really enjoy them.

In the meantime, I’m polishing up my pointy Goth boots and running Gazapkhuli and I Will every day to try to get ready! Woyaya!

Céilidh line-ups

January 11, 2009







Céilidh 1996

Salaam:  Middle Eastern music

Vida:  Balkan and African music

Rhythm Quest:  world percussion

Windfall Dancers:  modern dance

Last Minute Productions:  audio theatre

Society for Creative Anachronism:  medieval dance
Bloomington Feminist Chorus:  world music

Wolodymyr Smishkewych:  early music

Bloomington Storytellers’ Guild members

Andrea Leed : hammer dulcimer

Katherine Wiley:  Scottish fiddling

Steve Volan:  interpretive poetry

Amandla Ugetsi:  African music

Nan Brooks:  storytelling

Alain Barker:  balafon and open jam guide

Jolet [Joe Lee]:  clowning

Cairril Adaire, Denise Travers, Hanna McDeavitt:  folk music 


Céilidh 1998
Vida:  Balkan and African music

Rhythm Quest:  world percussion

Windfall Dancers:  modern dance

Malcolm Dalglish & family:  hammer dulcimer & storytelling

Bloomington Feminist Chorus:  world music

Caravan Serai:  flamenco and belly dancing

Bloomington Storytellers’ Guild members

Angela Berzins, Janice Bagwell, Cairril Adaire, Rebecca Keith, Gerry Bayne:  world songs

No Boxes Workshop:  jazz

Tony Brewer:  spoken word

Chris Smith:  Celtic music

Tonia Matthew:  poetry

Alain Barker:  balafon and open jam guide

Terra:  world songs

The Ceilidhs

January 11, 2009






Ask anyone in the know about the céilidhs we held in 1996 and 1998 and they get a dreamy look in their eyes. 

The céilidhs are hard to categorize. They were based on “authentic” céilidhs I’d attended in Scotland. Our version was like a mini-Lotus, only focused entirely on local talent. The explanation we gave was “world music, poetry, dance, and storytelling.”

My role was organizer, producer, marketer, creative director, vocalist, and more. I participated in the collective planning/producing brain with the outstanding Daniel McDeavitt and Denise Travers. I believe Hanna McDeavitt helped produce the ’98 one.

The 1996 edition was focused on audience participation, so we saw a lot of artists breaking the fourth wall. Many of our acts performed in the audience space rather than onstage. 

In 1998, artists focused more on collaborating with each other, so we ended up with the Trifecta Of Bliss: Vida, Rhythm Quest, and Windfall Dancers all performing together.

All of the artists were outstanding. Planned to last about 3 hours, both céilidhs went overtime but the audience never left. After 4 hours in ’96 and 5 hours in ’97, people still hung out afterwards to soak in the bliss. Alain Barker ended both céilidhs by leading everybody in a group jam with instruments he brought and shared among the crowd.

Somewhere in the CATS vault is a recording of the 1998 céilidh. If you want a real treat, ring them at 812-349-3111 and request that they play it. After more than 10 years, it still holds up!

These “events” were sacred for me and remain dear to my heart. I will always feel bonded to Denise and Daniel for co-manifesting a night to remember.

The line-ups for 1996 and 1998

Vahine Taihara

November 30, 2008

SSAA. Mahoi (Polynesian) song transcribed from a field recording. Has a chant-like quality. Difficult to learn but very fun to sing, especially when imitating the “yowling cat” sounds of the field recording. Short solos and one wailing descant above the chanting, rhythmically interesting 4-part chorus. See KaiaSing.com for more info on the piece.


November 23, 2008

October 2004-present. A cappella vocal ensemble of 7-9 women singing world music, jazz, originals, and anything else we feel like. Repertoire ranges from the raucous to the sublime. I founded the group in 2004 and remain its Anxious Facilitator. Based in Bloomington, Indiana. See Kaia’s website for way more info and buy buy buy our merchandise!

Roots & Sass (limited edition)

November 23, 2008

2007. A collection of pieces from Kaia’s spring ’07 show, Roots & Sass. The recording quality is not as good as we or the sound engineers would like, so we made this a limited edition and sell it in person only. We’ll be including some of the tracks from this on our next CD, Get Down, Rise Up!

First Nations Lament

November 22, 2008

Five-part piece; alto-mezzo range. Tune based on Zuni lullabye. Lyrics Navajo. Very slow, dissonant, hypnotic piece that builds to a chilling climax. An examination of my own ancestors’ relationships with the aboriginal inhabitants of this land (U.S.). The song accuses Europeans of being cut off from the Whole, laments the Trail of Tears, and ends with a repeating refrain translated as “War returned with her coming.”