Musae is a women's vocal ensemble based in San Francisco. The group takes its name from the original "ladies of song," the classic nine muses of Greek mythology. Since its founding in 2004, Musae has performed diverse and accessible music throughout the Bay Area, and continues to stretch the boundaries of traditional repertoire for women's voices.
Members: Lauren Barreiro, Angela Ugolini, Hannah Juliano, Courtney Godwin, Johanna Vinson, Kari Francis
Musae: Alegria y Placer - A Musae Christmas
"Alegria y Placer" is the second finely-crafted album of San Francisco's own 15-voice women's vocal ensemble, Musae. It showcases local composer Conrad Susa's "Carols and Lullabies: Christmas in the Southwest" for women's ensemble, harp, marimba, vibraphone and guitar. "Carols and Lullabies" is all in Spanish, and it features 10 songs of the 20 on the album. Each of the ten (accompanied) songs seems lovelier than the next, songs like "Alegria," "Los Posadas," the magical "Campana Sobre Campana," and the joyous "El Noi De La Mare." The others include standards such as "Silent Night," "Away in a Manger," "All Night, All Day," "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "Deck the Hall." Other favorites are "This Endris Night," from a 15th Century English text, and a pair of lovely, wise folk songs, the lively "Vus Vet Zayn" and the gentle "Nada Te Turbe." There is quite a lot of accompaniment in the album, but the focus is on the beautiful voices. Musae is a delicious vocal smorgasbord from beginning to end, and all we have to do is treat ourselves. "Alegria y Placer" is one of the most enjoyable Christmas albums of the year!
In 2008-2009, celebrating its fifth year as one of the San Francisco Bay Area's premier women's vocal ensembles, 12-voice Musae presented its first ever Meet the Composer event, premiered works composed especially for them, hosted a grand party/fundraiser at the City Club, brought its annual December and May concerts to San Francisco, Berkeley and Tiburon, and recorded and released "five!" The ensemble describes its mission and vision as offering "a new experience of women's voices by combining musical artistry with an innovative and generous approach to performance." The 14 well-chosen cuts here begin and end with a soaring 12th Century chant by Hildegard von Bingen, "Karitas Habundat," there's Allister MacGillivray's lovely ballad "Song for the Mira," the heart-tugging Irish anthem "Danny Boy," and some wonderfully light and jazzy (and accompanied) renditions of "Mas Que Nada," "Canto de Ossanha," "Tempo de Amor" and "O Tico-Tico No Fuba." Next we have Graham Mayer's haunting, dissonant "When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be," Princess Lili'uokalani's lovely "Ahe Lau Makani," Rene Clausen's powerful "Set Me as a Seal," Brian Holmes' soaring affirmation "I Shall Keep Singing" and Ryan James Brandau's beautiful "An Irish Blessing." Musae simply touches and inspires us with their "heartfelt and adventurous music." Enjoy!
Musae: From Argentina to Appalachia
Fifteen-strong San Francisco-based women's vocal ensemble Musae takes its name from the classic nine muses of Greek mythology, the original "ladies of song." Since its founding in 2004 Musae has performed its diverse and accessible repertoire at venues throughout the Bay Area, and has gained a reputation for stretching the boundaries of traditional repertoire for women's voices. Performing largely without a conductor, Musae is a musical collective where each singer may sing a range of vocal parts. "From Argentina to Appalachia" is Musae's impressive debut album, which features music from North America, Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. There are 11 songs here, "Selections from Como Tu," the bright, rhythmic, drum-accompanied "Mahk Jhi," "Selections from Como Tu," the soaring "Bright Morning Stars," the poignant traditional gem "Queen Jane," the lively "Las Amarillas," the heartbreaking love song "Te Quiero," the spiritual "There is a Balm in Gilead," the powerful "Salmo 150," the lovely "Duerme Negrito," the gorgeous, piano accompanied "Homeward Bound," the joyous "Hark I Hear the Harps Eternal" and finishing with the short but sweet "Coda." "Argentina to Appalachia" is simply amazing and beautiful from beginning to end!