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Paul Winter found word-of-mouth to be the most fertile path for finding new musicians. When Paul thinks of how he met Karan Casey, he has to go way back to his wedding in 1991, for which he had asked Uillean piper Jerry O’Sullivan to lead the bridal procession through the woods to the marriage site by the river. In 1996, when Paul was looking for a penny-whistle player to play on an album he was producing with Pete Seeger, Jerry referred him to Joanie Madden. Meeting Joanie was like finding the gate-keeper. She unlocked the door for them to the whole community of Irish musicians. As Oscar Castro-Neves was Brazil’s ambassador of music to North America, so has Joanie been for the music and musicians of Ireland.

On Joanie’s recommendation, the Consort invited Karan to come from Dublin to be part of their Summer Solstice Celebration. The words to “Golden Apples of the Sun” are by William Butler Yeats, from his poem “The Song of Wandering Aengus.” The allusions to “the golden apples of the sun” and “the silver apples of the moon” most likely refer to the musical branch, a traditional accessory of the Celtic poet. Representing part of the mythical world tree, made from the wood of one of the sacred trees, such as hazel or apple, and decorated with bells that were symbolic of the apples of the otherworld, the branch was said to produce sounds of enchantment and healing, and to affect a change of consciousness in all who heard it. Master poets bore a branch with golden bells; lesser poets, 16 Disc I 4 4 Disc I 17 one with silver. Entering a gathering, the poet waved the branch for the purpose of engaging attention and casting a spell over the listeners.


from Everybody Under the Sun: Voices of Solstice (The Singers), released December 6, 2019
Karan Casey / voice
Paul Halley / organ
Paul Winter / soprano sax


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Paul Winter Litchfield

Paul Winter is a seven-time Grammy-winning saxophonist, whose sextet was the first jazz group to perform at the White House in 1962. His second group, the Paul Winter Consort, interweaves sounds from the natural world with classical and ethnic traditions, and the spontaneous spirit of jazz. Their annual Winter Solstice Celebrations and Earth Mass are among the most popular events in New York. ... more

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