Happy Birthday to Mary Fahl (former lead singer of October Project)

 

36544819_10156473616063245_7460119839646941184_n

Photo courtesy of her official Facebook page.

Though life is a battle of wits and constant threat to all types of stability (financial, health and emotional), it is always great to have a beautiful sounding singer in our midst.

Fahl came to prominence as the lead vocalist of New York-based band October Project (who were compared to the likes of Jefferson Airplane, Renaissance, Concrete Blonde and Clannad) in the 90s. The band broke up an she pursued a solo career singing in films like Gods & Generals and The Guys. She continued to tour and release albums. Her song ‘Exiles’  was featured an audio book by Anne Rice(who is a huge fan of hers) called Wolves of Midwinter. I also read that book  and love it! A TV series based on The Vampire Chronicles is currently on the works and there is a talk about her being involved in the soundtrack.

Mary Fahl: A Complex Vocal History and Style

A colossal voice that manages to soar to the heavens, releases a new EP plus talks of an upcoming album!

When October Project hit the mainstream(due partly to being signed to a major label), people were stunned by the voice of the lead singer Mary Fahl. What is it? At that time, listeners thought she sounded like Enya’s sister Moya Brennan(of Clannad) or Annie Lennox. There’s that dark beauty behind the supple voice. Back then, I was still exploring various musical genres and I was not aware of singers like Sandy Denny or Annie Haslam for reference(she’s a huge fan of them). Thanks to Fahl I was able to explore them gradually.

I think what’s amazing about her singing is what she does to such a big voice. It can sound light and airy especially the upper register. But it can also be dark and commanding when she is singing in her lower and comfortable range-the fuller contralto part. With an amazing band to back her up, her singing touched the imagination of many.

Fast forward two decades later, Fahl is on her own. But it is in her solo career that she’s able to experiment so much with the voice. You got to give her high-five for releasing two EPs, Three full-length albums and a live record. Her songs are also in three compilations, two among them are movie soundtracks. There is a full-length album in the talks. But in order for that to come into fruition (with great production along with her band) she has to raise funds. And that’s why Four Songs came into being. According to her website www.maryfahl.com :

FOUR SONGS is a collection of Italian arias beautifully produced by John Lissauer. This limited edition, signed and personalized EP is a fundraiser to help me complete the full album. Each purchase enters you into a drawing to receive a free copy of the fully produced album. * Order 5 copies or more and receive a free Mary Fahl T-shirt. Order 10 copies or more and receive 2 complimentary tickets to a Mary Fahl show near you.

Looking back, I think Mary Fahl is meant to happen. There will always be people like me who will gravitate towards such voice. There is nothing like it. It is hard to describe but her singing touches something in me that’s both mystical and emotional. Perhaps it is because of my unique way of looking at the world that I find her unique art inspiring. Perhaps it is that sensitivity of the soul that longs for something that is like heaven, if heaven is indeed real.

Read my review of Mary Fahl : LIVE AT THE MAUCH CHUNK OPERA HOUSE (Double CD)

mary_photo_036

Mary Fahl. Photo courtesy of http://maryfahl.com/photos/

Hi friends,

Some of you might already be aware that I am expanding my blogging to other sites. I wrote a review of this amazing album by Mary Fah called Mary Fahl : LIVE AT THE MAUCH CHUNK OPERA HOUSE (Double CD). You can read the full details at Expats Post: http://expatspost.com/entertainment/music/mary-fahl-live-at-the-mauch-chunk-opera-house-double-cd/

As you will read further that I have been captivated by her unique artistry for years!

From the Archive: October Project Live At The TLA 1996 (FULL CONCERT)

 

Whoever tornadoman14 is, he left us with a timeless gem that I was not able to see the first time it came out. I am talking about the full concert of the October Project way back in 1996 after they released their sophomore album Falling Further In. Yes I read the magazine reviews but information was very slow in the 90s.  Finally here it is. And as usual I am captivated by the gorgeous voice of Mary Fahl. She is promoting her single Exiles. It’s a theme from the audio book of Anne Rice called The Wolves of Mid Winter.

Mary Fahl (lead vocals), Marina Belica (vocals, keyboards), David Sabatino (vocals, guitars), and husband-and-wife Emil Adler (vocals, keyboards, melodies) and Julie Flanders (lyrics). Urbano Sanchez (percussion)

Mary Fahl (lead vocals), Marina Belica (vocals, keyboards), David Sabatino (vocals, guitars), and husband-and-wife Emil Adler (vocals, keyboards, melodies) and Julie Flanders (lyrics). Urbano Sanchez (percussion)

Mary Fahl Sings Exiles: The Wolves of Midwinter( from The Wolves of Midwinter by Anne Rice )

I’ve been a big Anne Rice fan since I was in my teens. And through the years I’ve read whatever she put out there. There is no denying that in every book she makes, the characters are always the focal point. Yes the stories are wonderful but to add to that, there is this great humanity she always puts in her characters. You might say it’s ironic considering the stories always involve blood, violence and occasional taking of life. But such is life after all. The shadows always define the light and there is always sense of redemption in all her stories.

I remember  that at the same time, I discovered this wonderful music from a band based in New York called October Project. At that period I was listening to many Irish musicians and you can say it became an exclusive experience for me. And this American band took me out of my little basket and made me pay attention. It’s the rich drama that is found in every track of their albums that I really took to heart. Yes it’s a transporting kind of music. And the center of it all is  the rich heavenly contralto voice of Mary Fahl. It’s a voice like no other. Some call it ‘the kiss of a vampire’  because  at that time Interview with the Vampire became  a big hit. In fact, the band was  inspired by the book that they wrote a song Take Me As I Am:

Take me as I am

Someone you don’t know

Even in the dark You may not be sure

Take me while you can

I can see you standing in

the smoky entrance

Giving up your good intentions

I can imagine the song to be an appropriate theme for Lestat and Louis. Anne Rice love it but the song never made it to the movie version of the book. Fast forward to the present. Anne wrote a sequel to The Wolf Gift, a story about were wolves and there’s this scene where the main character Reuben hears the October Project song “Take Me As I Am'” playing where there’s no presence of any music player, thus understanding that the song could be part of the ‘haunting’ itself. And what da surprise! Mary wrote and performed a song for the audio book version. That song is called Exiles: The Wolves of Midwinter.

Exiles: The Wolves of Midwinter has that trademark of Mary Fahl’s soaring full-bodied voice that is like no other. And she sums up all the reasons why I love blogging about music. She’s a priestess of music and for me music is a communion of souls. When something is powerful to touch the soul and takes you to the depths of your guts up the height of your spiritual ecstasy, then it has done its purpose. As what she sings in the chorus: We belong to eternity!

http://maryfahl.com/

Mary Fahl(former lead singer of October Project)