Almost a month since I posted on the blog! I’ve had my head deep in recording mode – recording the last few songs, laying down the parts from the guest musicians, then mixing, and mastering, the new CD. I’ll post separately about that another time, but first let’s catch up on what’s been happening in the life of Damh since last time.
We had an amazing time in Prague and Vienna. The day after the concert in Prague we were shown around the city by members of the PF International group. Prague is so beautiful – it’s almost sensory overload! Everywhere there are stunning buildings, then you turn a corner and there are even more! Their snacks are good too! I tried a rolled pastry thingy that was simply divine! We went to Prague castle, saw the astrological clock strike noon, saw where Mozart did his first performance of Don Giovani, and tasted the delights of Czech cuisine. But we only had one afternoon, and then it was farewell and off to Vienna!
I had played a concert in Vienna last year and had had such a great time. We’d made some good friends and I was looking forward to seeing them again, along with the lovely Siggy (who was responsible for me getting my first harp!). We were driven to Vienna which gave us more opportunity to see the surrounding countryside, and we arrived there about 10pm, going straight to Siggy’s where she had prepared some wonderful soup. Yum.
I have been to Vienna about 3 times now and I’m beginning to feel quite at home there. The concert was in a different venue – a great little place that not only hosts music, but also art exhibitions. I set up my stuff and tuned up as people arrived. The two men who run it had prepared some great food for people coming to the show too. Just like last year we had an amazing evening together, and the celebrations continued onwards into the morning.
My first Pagan camp was The Broomstick Rally which was held annually in Sussex and run by the then PF regional co-ordinators, Rob and Fran. It was a real party, part bikers’ rally, part Pagan spiritual camp, but one that never really took itself too seriously. There were games like Pentacle Rounders, Tree of Life hoopla, and the infamous Toss the Cross, plus a live band and fireside eisteddfod. One of the people who came to the Broomstick Rally then moved to Austria, and started one there too. So thus it was that many years later I found myself at The Broomstick Rally once more! The venue was an amazing Austrian Palace out in the country. The grounds were stunning, had their own little temple space, and surrounding woodland, and a wonderful covered fire pit circle. It was weird to be at a Pagan camp where I hadn’t been booked to play as a performer, but it was also lovely to just relax and be. Wherever Siggy goes you will find harpers and other musicians, and this was no exception. Plus the PFI people from the Czech Republic were there too, so it was great to see them again. We chilled, played music, read, listened to talks, did workshops, and then as night fell, got wild around the camp fire, and man do the Czechs and Austrians know how to party!!
What is great is that this now seems to be becoming an annual tradition, and we have already been invited back again next year. They are all such amazing people, I can’t wait!