Sassafrass: choral folks songs about space and Icelandic mythos


Second the emothion; Sassafrass does some WONDERFUL stuff.

I was a nontrivial donor to the kickstarter for Sundown, and having been at the first live performance of the complete show I feel I more than got my money’s worth.

Re buying the music: Well, there’s the “buy” link on the widget in the original post, along with a preorder link for Sundown. Their own page has info for the other albums to date.

My jaw dropped (literally) the first time I saw/heard Ada Palmer & friends singing the Odin/Loki feud.

If you like Ada’s lieder, you should see her novels.

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I missed their performance at Worldcon, but heard about it immediately after from Patrick at his next panel, and got to their discussion panel later in the con. And yeah, wow, this stuff is of the same astounding quality as her other work.

BTW, if you’re looking for more songs along the lines of Somebody Will, it’s a good example of what’s often referred to as “filk” – the folk music of the science fiction and fantasy fandom communities. For more information about filk and where to look for it, I’ll refer you to – ask two filkers and you’ll get at least three definitions and a few thousand examples.

I’ve been a friend of Ada and the Sassafrass group since its college days, and they only get better with time. So glad to see them getting some love and exposure here on BoingBoing. They’re an incredibly hard-working group and deserve it.

As a Norse scholar My Brother My Enemy gave me shivers down the spine, even if I don’t entirely agree with their interpretation of the sources. But hey, that’s poetic license, eh?

I’ll certainly buy the album.

They did go back to a lot of primary sources when working on Sundown – there was an excellent session after the Balticon performance wherein they discussed what drove some of the interpretations, including resolving conflicting reports, and noting that at least one of the early sequences appears to be a previous attempt to reconcile conflicts and missing information. (For example, they noted that the mis-association of Loki with fire has a long history and is dramatically irresistible even if you know it’s the result of conflating Loki with Logi.)

The album notes will probably discuss at least some of that.

BTW, Sassafrass aren’t the only folks doing choral arrangements of filk songs.

In the UK, the N’Early Music Consort has been performing fully arranged filk for a goodly number of years.

Ed Stauff has written choral arrangements for a number of filk songs. A collection of his simpler arrangements in the style of The Sacred Harp exists under the name The Scarèd Harp.

And so on. These are just a few highlights from the tip of the iceberg, of course.

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