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Interview with CELIA FARRAN

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Interview

Hi Celia, thanks for taking the time to visit with me today.  First let me say that I adore your music and so many of your songs move me in ways that I simple can’t explain and for even more reasons they really touch my soul.  I am thrilled to be introducing you to our readers this month as our featured artist in our Music Review section making its debut in this Samhain issue.   So if you’re ready lets get started.

PaganPages (PP): I know you just completed a show in Milwaukee, WI, which I understand was fantastic.  Are you from the area as I hear you frequent the city quiet often?

Celia: Yes, I am from the area.  I was born in Hartland, WI and raised in Big Bend, WI which is very close to Milwaukee.  I try to get back as often as I can.

PP: When did you know you wanted to be a singer/songwriter? And then get involved in performance arts as well.  I understand you were in the Off-Broadway premiere of Connor Macpherson’s “Rum and Vodka.”

Celia: Hmmmmm….I knew from an early age that I wanted to be on the stage.  I think I got bit by the performance bug when I “starred” in the Kindergarten Christmas show as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  From then on I was in every show I could find my way into from the Girl Scout Play to The Grade School Musical to Community Theatre.  I chose a BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Michigan and then headed to NYC to try my luck on the BIG stage.  I didn’t truly begin my singer/songwriter career until  after I left New York although I recorded a solo album of 13 original songs when I was 16 years old.  Don’t even try to find it.  I burned all the copies 🙂

PP: Where do you get your inspiration from?

Celia: Hmmmmm I get my inspiration from any given thing in any given moment.  If I only followed every impulse I would be prolific with a capitol P!  My influences have been Irish Folk Music, Musical Theatre, The Muppets, Buggs Bunny, Shakespeare, Gilda Radner, and who hasn’t been influenced by “The Wizard of Oz”!

PP: You have 5 cds on the market and each one making greater headlines than the other.  I felt your Breathe cd was correctly titled as it left me as  the listener with the relaxation and the ability to breathe again after 9/11/01.  Being a survivor of 9/11/01 I suffered from severe panic attacks and each time I listen to that particular cd I find myself in a different world, relaxed, calm and at peace.     Now you have released Alabaster, Red and Blue at a time when the USA is a time of heavy debate over a Presidential election, in disarray against each other regarding their race, religion,  and just plain tolerance for each other.  Your timing seems impeccable with each release.   The 2 songs in this cd Symbol and Alabaster, Red and Blue should make every person stand up and take notice of what is going on today and ask why did that have to happen and what is being done to stop it.   Do you start out planning your cds this way or is this just my way of thinking it”perfect timing”?

Celia: I am so glad to hear that my recordings have found you at the right times.  I have not really planned out many of my recordings so far.  The only one that feels that it was focused in the way of timing is “The Bard of Armagh:  A Tribute to Tommy Makem“.  When I heard that Tommy had passed on I wanted to record this tribute.  I completed it in 10 days.

PP: How was Trestle Foote Fairy born? And does she have any other family members?

Celia: Trestle started out as a disembodied voice.  Her name was inspired by a conversation with my Sister on a car ride.  You can read the story of how it happened on Trestle’s Myspace page: www.myspace.com/thetrestlefootefaerie
I had great fun with Trestle leaving voice mail messages for folks.  She came to life for the
first time in Jan of 2003 when she debuted “How Could I Live Without My Cellphone”.   No other family members for Trestle.  She is one of a kind.

PP: Perhaps soon she will do an interview with me for our PaganPages readers I know she has a lot to say and also has her own cd  as well.

PP: Tell me about your immediately family?  Is there that special someone in your life?  What about furry kids and where you make your home now?

Celia: I am the youngest of 4.  My eldest brother Marty passed over a few years ago.  He was a fantastic banjo player or as he would say it “A Purveyer of Banjosity”.  My Brother Brian lives in Milwaukee and is also a musician with the guitar as his main instrument.  He played all the guitar on “Fire in the Head“.  My Sister Annalise lives in Turkey and is an architect.  Yes, I have a special someone.  His name is Chris and we live together in Santa Fe, NM.  We are currently traveling.  I am responding from China.  No furry friends in my life.  My last pet was an African Spur Thigh Tortoise named Liam.  He now lives in the Phoenix area at an alternative school.

PP: I understand you have just finished touring would you like to tell me about that, I know you visited the Washington State and Wisconsin were there other states on your list as well?

Celia: Yes, on that tour I visited Oregon, Washington and Salt Lake City, UT.   The tour after that was a very quick weekend flight to Milwaukee.  All very fulfilling and enjoyable!

PP: I am sure our readers would like to know how long does it take for you to create your songs?  Are most of your songs your own creations?

Celia: Most of what I perform is original.  It is very rare that I do a “cover tune”.  Each song is different so it is really hard to answer how long it takes to create a song.  Some songs come quickly.  Some I am still working on since High School…or rather they have been shelved until something strikes me to finish them:)

PP: Growing up was there one thing you did that you would not want anyone to know about.  That one funny thing that maybe you tried while playacting?  I only ask because I have seen your act and performances and I can only imagine you as a child and what some of the things you must have pulled while a little girl and your parents still tell that one story that makes you want to crawl under the coffee table?  With your fabulous personality and talents you surely were not the normal every day child to have in the household.   What
would your parents tell us about you if I could ask them what you were like as a young girl?

Celia: Um….okay….After a bath I loved nothing more than dancing naked on the furniture.  I thought nothing of it until for my 5th birthday cake my mother made a little frosting figure that was supposed to be me dancing naked.  Some comments from the adults made me realize that this was taboo…so I never did it again.  Hmmmm me thinks I should make a night of it and heal that old wound.  I feel a bath coming on 🙂

PP: It is so nice at that age to be so innocent and carefree.  I remember being in Hawaii (Oahu North Shore) where they had the nude beach and being able to swin in the ocean nude when I was 21 and thinking of how free I was.  Maybe I need to find an ocean again LOL

PP: I read an email from one of your fans, Lori, of a show you did in Milwaukee, WI at Linneman’s Bar.  In this email she had to let the rest of us know what we sadly missed out on.  With Lori’s permission I want to share part of the email with our PP readers and would also like to get  your reaction for their love for you:

“In all the years I have known Celia, in all the concerts I have heard her perform, all of which were outstanding, tonight’s concert was THE BEST I have ever attended. The best! It’s 2:00 am, I just got
home. Celia played until midnight. Yup started at 8:00, ended at midnight, 4 Hours!!! 4 Unbelievable Hours of sounds coming from this woman that I would not have thought possible from a human voice. it. I’m speechless!!! Celia literally had people sitting there with their mouths open is disbelief. One of her fellow performers may have said it best when she, while dancing to the music and with a huge smile on her face grabbed my shoulders and shook me while shouting a long excited explitive that could only be interpreted as a show of appreciation for what she was hearing. Everyone was smiling and loving the music, everyone moving to the sounds. The bar owner wasn’t even mad that he wasn’t making any money, he was busy listening to the music.”

[Copies from an email received for Lori from the thecreativesymphonyofcelia yahoo group with permission from the author.]

When you read a statement such as Lori’s what was your reaction?

Celia: I smile.  You know that inside smile when your Dharma is being truly seen by those you share it with.  Very satisfying.

PP: Besides concerts in cafes, festivals, Pagan Pride Days where else do you perform and when is your next performance schedule?

Celia: All over.  Wherever folks gather I have played.  My next engagements are in Arizona in October and November.  I always love my shows there and I am truly looking forward to them.

PP: What are some of your favorite things in life?

Celia: Music, Sex and Cookies.

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PP: A women after my own heart  YEA!!!!  If I get a chance to get to AZ in Oct or Nov I will bring the Cookies!!

PP : Do you a list of things you want to accomplish in life and if so what is left on this list to cross off?

Celia: I would like to attain Enlightenment……Dammit!

PP: Is there anything you want to tell our readers about yourself, that I have not touched on?

Celia: I have never smoked a cigarette, shot a gun, or vomited from drinking too much. I HAVE walked on Fire, worked as a Nanny on a Trip Thru Europe, and accidentally opened up for Melanie (folksinger from the 70’s) when she was late getting to the show.  My father (not a Dr.) delivered me and my birth notice said “Spontaneous Birth”.   It’s been like that ever since.

PP: I know your on your way to China can you tell us a little about your trip?  Is this a pleasure trip  or touring opportunity?

Celia: Not performing.  In fact, they made me sign a piece of paper that made me promise that I wouldn’t…talk about getting your wings clipped!  But I hope to bring The Trestle Foote Faerie out a few
times and grab some video:)

PP: Celia, I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to talk to me.   You’re a firecracker; and the energy you put into your work is felt the minute your voice is heard in the air.  Thank you for coming into my life and thank you for coming into the lives of our PaganPages Readers.

Celia: Thanks Faith.   Its been a pleasure spending time with you also.

Links:

Celia Cds
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/celiafarran4

MySpace Links
http://www.myspace.com/celiaonline
http://www.myspace.com/thetrestlefootefaerie
http://www.myspace.com/atributetotommymakem

Celia on YouTube
http://uk.youtube.com/profile?user=CeliaOnlinedotcom