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Q&A with Sede

Sede

Sede is a Pagan musician that is known and loved in the south for his beautiful music, charm, and good humor. Arkansas Pagans caught up with him for a Q&A session to help you get to know this festival-hopper before you see him play next. Hear his music and find out more at http://sede.webs.com/

 

AR Pagans: How long have you been playing music?

Sede: I really don't even remember how long ago that was really. One of my earliest memories was pounding away at my grandmother's piano and singing church songs. At about the same time I remember noticing how to make simple chords. I didn't know that they were called "chords" at that point but I sure enjoyed the way they sounded and that I knew how to make them.

 

AR Pagans: Why Pagan music? Why not jazz or funk or gospel?

Sede: Well, I am about as Scorpio as they come really...I love God/dess, Righteousness, Sex, and Music, in that order more or less. And in what other musical genre can you get away with singing songs about Odin, Jesus, Horus, and Athena all in the same song to express a single thought about Christ Consciousness? Seriously? There is none other. I love Neo-Paganism for the freedom of expression that it promotes and provides.

 

AR Pagans: How did you get started as Pagan musician?

Sede: Ha! ...I had been performing and writing since my teens but had gotten side lined with graduate school for a bit. But a friend had just graduated with her bachelor’s degree and came to me asking for advice about what I might think she should do for her career field. She was as brilliant a soul as I had ever met so I asked her where she thought she would be happiest. Her thoughtful answer was music. So I advised that she might consider playing to nationally established special interest groups like the pagans, GLBT groups...and the like.

She liked the idea and just dove on in. So after maybe as much as a year of watching her have more fun than I could have imagined, I decided that I should give it a shot. And so here we are.

 

AR Pagans: What has your proudest moment as a musician been?

Sede: This is sappy but every time I write a song that brings tears to my eyes or leaves me laughing for days, that is my new proudest moment.

 

AR Pagans: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Sede: Two places for the most part...

Sacred songs seem to come straight from the other side more than not. I seriously will get into this other worldly vibe where it seems like I'm more transcribing than writing. But funny songs seem to come from things that piss me off. Like I said, I'm a Scorpio and nothing pisses me off more than hateful people. So music gives me an outlet to work out my anger and turn it into something funny and therapeutic.

 

AR Pagans: Which musicians influenced your style?

Sede: I adored Steven Tyler before Steven Tyler was cool. That man has a soul of mastery like none other. And David Gilmore can take three fret positions and bend them into an entire solo piece. Otherwise I would have to say that it is a toss-up between hair metal and southern blues, as bizarre as that sounds.

 

AR Pagans: Who would your dream collaboration be with?

Sede: Good Lord...too many. I love variety so I guess my dream collaboration would be a collective collaboration with every amazing musician that I have ever heard.

 

AR Pagans: Which of your songs is your favorite?

Sede: Which child is your favorite? That's not a simple question....

But the ones I tend to want to sing most often these days would be "How to Fly", "Fade Again" and the as-to-yet-be-recorded "Silvalina Dragon".

 

AR Pagans: Are there any of your songs you feel people misinterpret?

Sede: Nah...I think it's almost impossible to misinterpret any art piece. That's what art is, it makes you think. If one song make three different people think three different things...that's, kind of, what it's there for.

 

AR Pagans: What was your “dark night of the soul” as a musician? What kept you playing?

Sede: I'll be delicate in saying this...but I just got out of that dark night very recently. Terrible thoughts became par for the course. I slept very little and stayed angry and depressed for weeks on end. Not good... But I'm feeling SO much better now. And the importance of the love that my friends and fans gave me during that time and as I recovered from that place in my life cannot be measured my any means.

The people who have loved me and supported me throughout my career have made my musical career happen; there is really no way to over emphasize their importance to me.

 

AR Pagans: What has your experience been with playing at Pagan gatherings?

Sede: Oh...vastly better than any other venue that I know of. People are generally friendly, staff are always helpful, and the environment is typically wholesome. It's not that I wouldn't do other venues but Neo-Pagan venues are by far the best that I have found.

 

AR Pagans: How can people go about hiring you for events? What are your rates?

Sede: Visit sede.webs.com for all sorts of good info. And my rates at present are generally transportation costs and a hundred bucks or so. Neo-Pagan groups aren't usually rolling in the cash so I try not to un-necessarily burden them. That's why I feature free digital downloads on my website, they're not as high a quality recording as a CD would be but that way if someone doesn't have cash for a CD they don't have to go without.

 

AR Pagans: Have you ever written music on request/hire?

Sede: A few times. I did a song and a donation drive CD for Pyrth Annun in Salem, AR and a few jingles for different companies.

 

AR Pagans: Are you working on any new songs right now?

Sede: Always. I'll write 100 songs or more for every one that I ever perform or record. Some never even get written down. But the ones that stick with me are the ones that I suspect might stick with listeners.

 

AR Pagans: What do you like to do when you aren’t playing music?

Sede: Any artsy, crafty, science-y, or permacultural pursuit really, Painting, gardening, designing, and implementing seem to take up the parts of my day that aren't devoted to music.

 

AR Pagans: If a fan was going to cast a spell to summon you, what three things should they use to get your attention?

Sede: Ha!! Good question! Well what usually keeps me around is friendly faces, kind hearts, and soulful conversation...but pizza and gas money will get me there in a pinch.

Review: A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches ReviewSometimes, you just can’t find that awesome book that fulfills your need for witchy fun, fantasy, romance and a dash of deadly adventure. The Harry Potter series ended (well, at least for the moment, but there are more coming in the future) and now the books you grew up with and read dozens of times need a friend on the bookshelf. Let me tell you about the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness and its first book, A Discovery of Witches. These have been some of my favorite books in recent years and have found a happy home on my bookshelf with other amazing stories of magic, love and bravery.

Allow me to introduce to the female protagonist of this story: Diana Bishop. She is a historian studying at Oxford’s Bodleian Library when her life is turned upside down by the discovery of an ancient tome on alchemy known as Ashmore 782. Despite being descended from a long line of prestigious witches, Diana has chosen to do things the traditional way for humans, opting out of any magical shortcuts save for a few spells here and there. Not that she was ever very good at magic anyway; most of her spells backfired or came out wrong. She is a strong-willed, intelligent woman who knows what she wants and is willing to work to get it. Which makes the male protagonist all the more insufferable to her.

Matthew Clairmont is a self-assured, perhaps slightly cocky geneticist at Oxford that has taken a keen interest in Diana. She is utterly put off by his charms and his insistence that he’s simply protecting her from things she may not yet be aware of. She politely, and often impolitely, tells him to take a hike. Ohh, and did I mention he’s a vampire? A vampire that is centuries old and thankfully is not interested in roaming high schools for a mate or glittering like a Lisa Frank sticker book in sun. No, Matthew Clairmont is a man who sets his mind to something and sees it through.

However, when it becomes apparent to Diana that she might suffer the same fate as her parents, tragically killed when she was just seven years old, she begins to have a change of heart and at least tries to forge a working friendship with this handsome rogue who has taken up the mantle of her protection, whether she likes it or not. Creatures of all kinds are after Ashmore 782, and Diana seems to be the only one who has seen it in a long, long time.

Overall the book is a nail-biting adventure full of realistic portrayals of people and their relationships despite the fact that some of them drink blood to stay alive and others soar through the skies on magical powers alone. There is no “perfect” character who never makes poor choices or the wrong move. The villains are thoroughly hated without being shallow, mustache-twirling caricatures. No Mary Sue people allowed within these pages.

I think that’s what I enjoyed most about the book: everyone seemed like real people with genuine reactions to things (most of the time). There was no awkwardly ham-fisted scenes of romance or passion where they didn’t belong, nor foolish bouts of stupid bravery that weren’t scolded. You raced through the adventure with them, and I found myself unable to put the book down once I got started. It’s definitely a book for people who grew up with loving fantasy adventures that made sense and kept you on the edge of your seat the whole ride.

This book gets my stamp of approval and 4 out of 5 cauldrons!

 

4 out of 5 Cauldrons