Or, how I discovered the music of Celia.
Let me set the stage for you. This was the first time that I was ever able to attend Atlanta Pagan Pride without being there as a representative for any sort of group. I wasn’t camped out at a table, I wasn’t tied to just one position. I was free in what I wanted to do with my day. I arrived around 2pm just in time to see Emerald Rose play, and while I enjoy them very much the truth is I see them play all the time. When you consider the limited amount of original Pagan music available, when you have a local band like Emerald Rose, you do tend to see them play a lot. It is great, but occasionally I think I would love to hear something else.
There is also the stereotype that there is a lack of quality in a lot of original Pagan music. So, when a musician I had never heard of was scheduled to take the stage at 4pm I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well, I submit that this artist absolutely smashes that stereotype and if you are looking for quality Pagan music you should check her out. Her name is Celia.
We had already taken seats while she was setting up her equipment. My partner, who is also a musician, was admiring her set up. She had a Roland GR-55, or something very much like it. I noticed it because he has something similar called a Pod but he explained the difference between the two machines. She had it set up in a really cool way where she had access to all the pedals at knobs while she played. She also had a little PA system that he was admiring. All of this was set up with a little mixing board on a stand. When she began to play she explained that she uses a technique called looping. She isn’t the first artist I’ve seen who uses this technology in concert, but I was impressed with the creative way she used it. She recorded parts in real time allowing the sound to build as the song progressed and then, when the song was done she just erased it off the board and moved on. She described it like a sand mandala that would just be swept away.
I really enjoyed her show. I also enjoyed the song where she brought Arthur Hinds from Emerald Rose on stage to sing and drum with her. Since this was the first time I had heard any of her music before, I was really moved by what she presented at Atlanta Pagan Pride. I even became a little misty eyed during her performance of her song Symbol.
I am really glad I had the chance to attend Atlanta Pagan Pride this year without any predetermined commitments. It gave me an opportunity to see Celia for the first time.