Archive for December, 2011

Christmas Playlists for YOU

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Happy Season everyone!

I’m out on Toronto Island with my family for the week. One of our family’s Christmas traditions is making hand-dipped beeswax candles that we give to our friends and neighbours as gifts. My mom has been organizing this for as long as I can remember. We cover the dining room table with newspaper and heat up 4 different colours of beeswax on the stove. We make long, tapered candles. They are dipped in pairs, and then hung to dry and harden underneath the stairs (see above!!). We listen to some of our favourite folk records like Nowell Sing We Clear by John Roberts and Tony Barrand, and Frost and Fire by the Watersons. There’s this really rich smell in the air – a mixture of beeswax, the Christmas tree, and the curry and mole sauces my dad makes. It’s the best place to be this time of year!

This year both myself and kith&kin, the vocal group I have with my mom and sister, were included on holiday compilations put together by some great blogs. You can listen to Sound Vat’s playlist “If Jesus had been born in Canada, he would have needed more than swaddling clothes” here, and British blog The Line of Best Fit’s third annual Ho Ho Ho Canada comp here.

Some beautiful music to propel you into 2012!

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Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

This is my family…..

Well it’s three of us anyway. kith&kin is the vocal trio I sing in with my sister Martha, and our mom Kathleen. My dad Alec is our biggest fan, and when we’re lucky he lends a penny-whistle solo to our songs! Music has always been a big part of the holidays for my family, but for the last 3 years kith&kin has put on a big holiday show. So, for me, performing with them has become integral to this time of year. I look forward to this show all year – all the beautiful music that is made, and all of the great people it brings together. This year, our Holiday Wassail is on December 15th at Toronto’s Music Gallery, and it’s sure to be amazing! (Details right here.) Tickets are now available at Soundscapes (572 College) and Rotate This (801 Queen West), or from kith&kin members. You can also listen to our album Yet Will I be Merry: Carols and Songs of the Season in the music section of this site.

kith&kin have just finished a weekend of performing. These two performances – in Prince Edward County and Ottawa – were our first-ever out of town shows! We had so much fun traveling as a family and bringing our songs to new audiences. One highlight was singing at dusk in the big old barn owned by our friends at By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery. The show in Ottawa – which was a split bill featuring both kith&kin and myself (as myself, Ivy Mairi) – was so wonderful! It was an intimate concert in a house next to the Rideau River. My bandmates swear they heard geese honking outside during our set! We made a bunch of new friends in Ottawa and this is all due to the endless generosity of our friend Phil Nicholson, who organized the whole thing start to finish. Thank you Phil!

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