Honoring Gaia Through Song

I've always loved music, probably because I grew up in a family where everyone sang. Both my parents enjoyed singing. More importantly, they knew how to keep us from getting rowdy when we traveled in the car. They would break into song, and we would follow suit. Usually in three-part harmony.

By the mid-1980s I discovered that I was a minstrel for the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Singing Her praises sets me free, as the lyrics to one of my chants asserts. When I'm inspired, Gaia flows through me in song. My recordings are thank offerings to the goddesses who have sparked my creativity. I hope they inspire you as well.

Performing live energizes me. My most exciting performance was for an audience of 1,500 people at the Spokane Opera House during the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1996. But smaller concerts, since they are more intimate, offer their own satisfactions. Opening for Libana, one of my favorite singing groups, felt like a perfect fit, and adding my voice to a lecture by Starhawk gratified me deeply. Singing is my lifeblood. Whether it's spontaneous improvisation or songs I've composed, music lifts my soul.

God respects me when I work, but He loves me when I sing.
--Rabindranath Tagore



Chants for the Queen of Heaven

An exquisite chant tape with songs from a multitude of cultures, lovely harmonies, an assortment unavailable on other tapes!
-- NPR's Margot Adler, author, Heretic Heart


...a wonderful and varied collection of multicultural and original chants, performed with spirit and conviction, and arranged using a many-colored palette of instrumental and vocal textures.
-- Susan Robbins for the Libana Women's Chorus


Inspired by goddesses from around the world, Chants for the Queen of Heaven reflects the richness and variety of many woman-honoring traditions.

Its music speaks directly to the heart, ranging from a celebratory Renaissance procession (with English horn, flute, cello and a variety of percussion) to meditative Eastern incantations accompanied by Tibetan bell; from the driving polyrhythms of an Afro-Cuban chant to the tranquil Shakuhachi flute of a Japanese song; from Nancy's simple, but haunting modal melodies to the complex harmonies of many of her arrangements; from the bubbling passion of "Volcano Woman," a chant to Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess, to the contemplative sounds of "Kwan Zeon Bosai," dedicated to the Korean goddess of compassion.


Music Samples

Amaterasu


Amaterasu (Lo-Fi) [197kb]    Amaterasu (Hi-Fi)

Rise Up and Call Her Name



Rise Up and Call Her Name (Lo-Fi) [148kb] Rise Up and Call Her Name (Hi-Fi)

Yemaya



Yemaya (Lo-Fi) [328kb] Yemaya (Hi-Fi)



Review of "Chants for the Queen of Heaven" in Feminist Voices




Singing the Promise - A Live CD (or cassette)

Singing the Promise, a live recording of earth-centered music, gathers four diverse recording artists on one CD: Carole Eagleheart, Khrysso, Mary Grigolia and Nancy Vedder-Shults. Each musician brings a different perspective to their songs: Khrysso, his background in folklore; Mary, her open-hearted ministry; Carole, her teaching in the Seneca Wolf Clan; and Nancy, her love of ritual and story.

The music on this CD is celebratory, moving, and spirited, running the gamut from simple chant to powerful hymns in honor of the earth. Nancy's songs, never recorded before, include: Hymn to the Earth, Changing Woman, Spirits, My Help is In the Mountain and Green God.


Music Samples

Changing Woman



Changing Woman (Lo-Fi) [263kb] Changing Woman (Hi-Fi)

Spirits



Spirits (Lo-Fi) [409kb] Spirits (Hi-Fi)

My Help Is In The Mountain



My Help is In the Mountain (Lo-Fi) [524kb] My Help is In the Mountain (Hi-Fi)




Order Information

To order CDs ($15 plus $2 postage and handling) contact Nancy Vedder-Shults at nancyv-s@tds.net.