ALL OVER THE MAP

Women’s tales from Portuguese, Sephardic, Celtic, and American ballads intertwined with Persian, Balkans, and other global music traditions. 

Cristi Catt, voice, 

Nikola Radan, flutes

with guests: 

Beau Bledsoe, guitar  

Mahshid Iraniparast, santur

Blue Thread brings together Portuguese, Sephardic, Celtic and American song traditions in this program of Medieval Cantigas de Amigo, Renaissance Villancicos, Romances and Folk Ballads. For many years, Catt and Radan have been conversing and collaborating on the ways in which music connects people as it travels. Catt specializes in medieval music and has built numerous performance and recording projects around Galician-Portuguese Cantigas de Amigo and folk songs. Nikola Radan has long been fascinated by Sephardic ballad traditions that have traveled from Spain to diverse points around the globe. Together with their special guests, they trace ballads that have traveled from Portugal to India to Greece to the Ozarks and beyond. 


A beloved Portuguese romance and folk song, Bela Infanta is also a world traveler. It is a perfect pairing with the Cantigas de Amigo. In the cantigas, a woman waits by the sea for her lover to return. Bela Infanta opens with a young woman waiting by the sea and her lover returns in disguise. He tests her loyalty and in most versions, they are reunited. Blue Thread presents a new telling of this tale weaving together Portuguese, Sephardic, and Ozark ballads. They also include the popular ballad, Cruel Sister, and their version shows traces of its travel from China to Scandanavia, Ireland, Iceland to the US.  It’s safe to say that Blue Thread is the first to mix vielle and guzheng in this ballad. Join Blue Thread for a musical journey of global storytelling full of love, longing, suspense, betrayal, and in some cases, murder.

PROGRAM includes: 

 

  • Medieval Cantigas de Amigo

  • Cruel Sister and Lord Banyan ballads

  • American, Occitan, Portuguese, Sephardic, and folk songs

  • Persian, Balkans and other global music traditions

"Blue Thread revealed a vibrant and playful music that transported us to the rich and varied musical experience of medieval time without abandoning the present.”  Evora News (Portugal)