The Pegasus Awards

 

Sassafrass

 

Pegasus Nominations

Year Category
Sample
2013 Best Performer

mp3

2012 Best Performer

 

2010 Best Performer

 

Sassafrass is an a cappella group specializing in science fiction, fantasy and mythology-themed music and complex close harmony.

Our most recent project is "Sundown: Whispers of Ragnarok," a song cycle of Norse Mythology narrating the history of the universe according to the Vikings, from the creation myth through Ragnarok. The twelve songs of the cycle fit together to form a two hour stage play, in which each group members performs the part of a different Norse god or historical figure. Some of the pieces are duets, while others have six or more parts singing in harmony, often with eerie modal melodies and multiple sets of competing lyrics to communicate the rival worldviews of gods, monsters and humans. The play, which we perform in period Viking costumes, debuted at Balticon 2013 (the convention where Sassafrass's con performances began) and a second performance at Worldcon San Antonio this August was made possible by the generous backers of a Kickstarter campaign. A CD and DVD of the song cycle are in production.

The sample song "Longer in Stories than Stone" is the finale to "Sundown: Whispers of Ragnarok" in which sections of the other songs are woven together into a tribute to the importance of storytelling and historical memory in Viking culture. You can hear the rest of the song, and watch a video of the Balticon stage performance, at www.sassafrassmusic.com.

Sassafrass members live scattered around the country, but we are best known in Boston and other East Coast venues. Sassafrass began at Bryn Mawr College, and also has strong ties to Harvard University. We have produced four physical CDs and six online albums, and the Sundown album is still in production.

Sassafrass focuses on designing songs that will help singers grow and improve, ourselves and others. Anyone who has sung 'Ooh' behind the lyrics of a pop song for six minutes knows the frustration this can cause. Sassafrass's founders felt that singing should be as much about learning and giving each singer a chance to mature and improve as a musician as about the sound. Sassafrass resolved to only perform songs where each singer's part is at some point challenging, and important throughout to the harmony, melody and lyrics. By ensuring that all parts are important to the structure of the music, Sassafrass songs are designed to make the singer a better musician and to teach techniques for blending, harmonizing and improvising, improving both the individual singer and the sound of the group.

You can hear many songs, including the rest of Longer in Stories than Stone, and see a video of the the live stage performance at Balticon, on the Sassafrass website: www.sassafrassmusic.com.

The current active members of Sassafrass are:

Lila Garrott
Matt Granoff
Kara Hurvitz
Emily Lewis
Ada Palmer
Lauren Schiller
Ruth Wejksnora
Alexa Weingarden
Alexandria Wilkie
Tili Sokolov

Special performer for the play: Alessandro Laporta


 

The active members of Sassafrass for 2012 were:
Lila Garrott
Matt Granoff
Beecher Greenman
Irina Greenman
Kara Hurvitz
Emily Lewis
Ada Palmer
Lauren Schiller
Julia Suggs
Ronnii Taylor
Ruth Wejksnora
Alexa Weingarden
Alexandria Wilkie
Tili Sokolov
Zara Yost


Representative Work for the 2013 Pegasus. Note- this is NOT a song nominated for the 2013 Pegasus Awards.

Longer in Stories than Stone

Copyright © by Ada Palmer- All rights Reserved
Used by Permission


(Answer me, answer me, answer me, answer me...) 
Answer me, answer me, somebody answer me, 
Still need the secrets the Allfather gave you,
		Baldur: I know what father gave to you.
		Odin: Everything we made has a start and end,
				so it is for kings, so it is for men 
Mystery, mystery, teach us our history.
		Odin: So the nations rise, so the nations fall 
				Ice and fire born, ice and fire
Lost all again to the dark (to the dark, to the dark, to the dark)
		Odin & Loki: Ice & fire rage, ice & fire rise, ice & fire fall
Of the grave.

Histories fall to the dark of the grave
		Hel: Answer me, answer me, somebody answer me
		Loki: Answer me, answer me, someone, 
As the centuries march and the memories fade
		Hel: Please! Somebody answer
		Loki: Answer me, answer me, someone. 
Of the fields, and the halls, and the calls of the men,
		Hel: Me! Someone remember!
		Loki: Men know, beasts know
And the races that rose and were slaughtered again
		Hel: Remember! Someone remember!
		Loki: Stones know, seas know 
As the winter storms bury our forefathers' halls,
		Hel: Someone remember me! Somebody,
		Loki: Stars know, skies know
And their honored names vanish from crumbling walls
		Hel: Please! Somebody answer!
		Loki: You know, I know.
But the questions and answers and secrets and truths
		Hel: I know secrets
Last longer in stories, last longer in stories than stone.
(Answer me, answer me, answer me, answer me...)

Odin & Loki:
	Answer me, answer me. I know you'll answer me. 
	I am the glimmer that pierces the night of your
		Seeress & Baldur: Ice and fire light, ice and fire light... 
		Snorri: Answer I know. I am here, I will show.
		Hel: Brother, my enemy, brother, my enemy...
Joined by Baldur & Hel:
	Mystery, mystery. Reach through your history:
	We are there waiting with answers and stories and light.
		Seeress: Ice and fire light, ice and fire light...
		Snorri: Brother, my enemy, brother, my enemy... 
Seeress & Snorri: Answer me please.

All:
And together now we will sing through the ages
The secrets of life that the Allfather gave.
As centuries crumble the whispers of ancients
Last longer in stories, last longer in stories than stone. 
(Answer me, answer me, answer me, answer me...)

Odin & Loki:
	Laugh with me, curse with me, touch all the Earth with me, 
	Learn from my cunning and join in my games.
		Seeress & Snorri: Light, ice and fire light, ice and fire...
		Baldur & Hel: Brother, my enemy, brother, my enemy... 
Joined by Baldur & Hel:
	The lonely gods made you with planning and purpose
	To live through our battles and always remember our names.
		Seeress & Snorri: Light, ice and fire light, ice and fire...

(Answer me, answer me, answer me, answer me...) 
(Hearthfire, Hearthfire...)
Hearthfire, Hearthfire keeps us warm in night's dark and
		Hearthfire, Hearthfire friend (keeps us warm in night's dark), 
Hoenir gave us the will to move, and
		Hearthfire, Hearthfire, foe (keeps us warm in night's dark),
Odin gave us the life spark that makes the spirit last past dark 
		Hearthfire, Hearthfire keeps us warm in night's dark
The three together the gift of life.
		The brothers together the givers of life

And Lodur gave the life spark that keeps us warm in night's dark and 
		Hearthfire, Hearthfire, friend in the dark fire,
			Loki: Little one, my little one, lick free through the timbers 
Hoenir gave us the will to move, and
		Hearthfire, Hearthfire, nurturing spark fire,
			Loki: And feast on the children of jailkeeper man
Odin gave us the life spark that makes the spirit last past dark 
		Hearthfire, Hearthfire, desperate art fire,
			Loki: Your parent roamed free, burning forests to embers; 
The brothers together the givers of life.
		Recapture that birthright whenever you can!
			Loki: Capture that birthright whenever you can!

But a dawn will come when Sootyred answers			Seeress: But a dawn will come
And all bonds break, and the monsters arise,				     When all bonds break
And Heimdall watchman will hear the hounds howl, 			 And howl the hounds
And his Gjallarhorn will cry!								 And horn will cry!...
And if our brave days must end in the battle				     ...Cry!
And silence fall where the warriors lie,					     (Silent)
Still every age will always remember						     I will always remember
Who taught you so long to survive.				    Who taught you so long to survive.

So here's to Valhalla, home of the best
		Loki & Hel: So hear, Hearthfire, Hearthfire
Who love battle and feasting-sport better than rest,
		Loki & Hel: Feast, Hearthfire, Hearthfire,
And who waken each morning prepared for the test
		Loki & Hel: Wake, Hearthfire, Hearthfire,
When the golden cock crows from Valhalla. 
		Loki: Claim Valhalla. But a
		Hel: Answer me, answer me. 
So here, come, taste of the revels so
		Loki & Hel: Dawn will come for Hearthfire, Hearthfire, 
Near, found just on the far side of fear.
		Loki & Hel: Goldencomb will crow for the Aesir
Rise, and lend us your spear
		Loki & Hel: And Sootyred will waken the monsters
When the golden cock rallies Valhalla.
		Loki & Hel: And Hearthfire, Hearthfire rise!

Odin & Loki:
	Worship me, worship me. Think you don't worship me? 
	I am what makes you, and feed as I grow in your
		Seeress & Snorri: Light, ice and fire light, ice and fire...
		Baldur & Hel: Memory, memory... 
Joined by Baldur & Hel:
	Memory, memory. Death is no end for we
	Always exist while we live in the stories you know.
		Seeress & Snorri: Light, ice and fire light, ice and fire...

All:
Answer me, answer me, somebody answer me. 
Still need the secrets the Allfather gave you.
		Hel: Please! Somebody answer me! 
Mystery, mystery, teach us our history,
		Hel: Someone remember!
Carry it safe from the dark (from the dark, from the dark, from the dark...)
		Hel: Someone remember! Someone remember!

For together now we will sing through the ages 
The secrets of life that the Allfather gave.
As centuries crumble the whispers of ancients 
Last longer in stories, last longer in stories,
So carry our stories, so carry our stories back... 
		Seeress & Snorri: Answer me...
		Odin & Loki: ...answer me, answer me... 
		Baldur & Hel: Remember...
		Seeress & Snorri: ... carry them...
All:
Home. 
      

 

 
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