Using the vehicle of her expressive, award-winning Celtic harp playing and her
silken vocals, Julia Lane now gives new voice to an ancient tradition. Creating
original songs reminiscent of the traditional music of her Celtic ancestors, she
captures the essential beauty of coastal Maine, her native state. Through the
time-honored art of meaningful songwriting, Julia Lane expresses in her words
and music our fundamental connection with wind and wave, sea and sky. Her songs
are an authentic expression of an intimate experience with the elemental.Ms. Lane
feels the connection between the northeastern American continent and the Celtic
lands to be very strong. " The most obvious link of course is that of the
immigrants who settled here in the last twocenturies. I feel it goes deeper than
that. Many of the landscapes are strikingly similar. People naturally resonate
with their physical surroundings, and the spirituality of the ancient inhabitants
of both areas have common themes- a reverence for our relationship with Nature
and her cycles." Much of the traditional Celtic music reflects that reverence
as do Lane's original compositions.
Julia Lane has loved, sung, researched and created folk music since childhood.
Fascinated by the stories embodied in the folk songs she heard, she learned
to sing the evocative melodies, making up her own songs for her own entertainment.
As an adolescent, she studied music theory and took guitar lessons from a lutenist
specializing in Elizabethan songs. In researching the sources of the music,
the wealth of lore and history recorded in musical form rekindled her interest
in the music of her childhood. She became active in madrigal and Renaissance
music groups as well as performing as a soloist and providing music for a children's
theater group. In addition , she was inspired by the literary works of J.R.R.
Tolkien and his sources. She composed her first melody for one of his 'songs'
when she was fifteen and has since completed ten more. After graduating from
Phillips Exeter Academy in 1974, her interest in English and Scottish folk music
and lore led her to study in Oxford, England.
She is a self-taught player of the "clarsach" or Celtic folk harp
which she began in 1989. As a result of her classic guitar training, she plays
in the ancient method using her fingernails which gives a bright , clean sound.
Her unique style has won three international competitions. Judge/harpist Kim
Robertson praised her "innovative arrangements and energetic performance"
and harpist Dennis Doyle declared "she really captured the spirit of the
music". Julia Lane is also an exceptional vocalist, "one the Maine
coast's foremost voices", whose voice has been called "lovely, vibrant",
"reminiscent of Jean Redpath" , and compared favorably with Loreena
McKennitt, Triona ni Dhonaill, and Judy Collins.
Julia Lane's family has lived in Maine for 300 years and the heritage and history
of her Maine ancestors has also proved a source of inspiration. Several songs
specifically depict local stories and characters as well as expressing the timeless
beauty of the area. She currently is bringing together her two major fields
of interest by researching Scottish music which has come to Maine, particularly
from the Galloway region of Scotland. Together with partner, FredGosbee, she
is composing an extended work to be called "The Galloway Suite", celebrating
the connections between the two areas. They have been invited to perform it,
as well as the Scottish/ Maine songs they have collected, with a community musical
group in Scotland as part of a celebration for the new millenium in October
Julia Lane's recordings include both original and traditional music/lyrics,
and all arrangements are original. Since 1985, she has recorded five albums
with the group Castlebay, two with partner Fred Gosbee, two solo, and has appeared
as a guest on recordings on both sides of the Atlantic.
In the past ten years, she has toured the Eastern U.S., Ireland, England and
Scotland playing at festivals, folk clubs, and arts centers, as well as on radio
and television. Julia has training in early childhood education and children's
theatre and has taught history and social studies through folk music in both
formal and informal settings. She is raising three children and is an avid gardener.