A December Letter
We are deep into December.
The days are drawing shorter, the nights are long and dark, but Christmas is coming and everywhere, there is light. There are candles on the Advent wreath, lights upon the trees. The streets are illuminated. A few weeks ago we played a show in Philadelphia, and as we rattled towards the skyline of Center City a line of houses on the banks of the river were gloriously outlined in light, reflecting in the water. The children gazed in wonder and so did we.
This is the time of year for reflection. As the New Year draws near, we are reflecting upon the year that has passed, and the year that is to come.
Last winter, we celebrated not only the Western but the Chinese New Year by releasing a song called Tibetan Plateau. Casey sang this song in Chinese, with a little help from our friend Rita, who spent her year in America as a Chinese teacher living with our family. You can meet Rita and hear the Tibetan Plateau song here.
We drove across snowy mountains to play in a historic mansion in Troy, NY and across the plains to the echoing Chapel of Consolation in Chicago, IL. In the spring, we recorded and released our song Moses, which tells the story of the powerful love and self sacrifice shown by women for their children across centuries, cultures, and faith traditions. We asked you to contribute your portraits of motherhood, and we shared them in the video Moses, here.
At the end of May, we welcomed our fourth child, baby Guinevere Guadalupe. When she was just six weeks old, we set out on a summer tour. Over the course of the summer we played in DC, NC, Chicago, Iowa, and Wisconsin. We debuted a full length Wild West Show in the historic Temple Theatre in Viroqua, WI.
To celebrate this winter holiday season, we arranged and recorded an original arrangement of the Huron Carol. This is the oldest North American Christmas carol. The song was written by St. Jean de Brebeuf, a blackrobe missionary with musical roots in Breton who arrived in present day Canada in 1625. He wrote this song in the Wendat language of the Huron people. The words and music of this song reach across centuries and cultures and remain vivid and compelling today. The video for this song includes a translation of the Wendat lyrics and is available here:
As always, when we reflect upon our musical journey we are filled with wonder and gratitude for those of you who have made it possible. You have listened to our music, shared your stories with us, opened your homes. You have welcomed us with our instruments and our four children into the hearts of cities, the stillness of the forest, the magnificent sweep of mountains and driftless ridgelines. Without your generosity and support our music would not be possible, and during this holiday season we are so very grateful for you.
We believe that words are powerful, and that music is transcendent. We believe that creating art is important, and we are called to continue. Over the holidays, we will climb the stairs into our attic studio and begin recording a new, Wild West inspired, full length album. A pre-order campaign is coming soon, and we will keep you posted. We are currently working on finalizing a Mountain Tour to the Blue Ridges of the Appalachians in February, and we are working on our touring schedule for next summer, so if you’d like to see us, let us know! In the meantime, you can follow our journey on Instagram and Facebook and listen to our music on Spotify, Youtube, and itunes. You can share our music with your friends and family. Finally, you can pray for us, as we pray for you.
Let us continue to kindle light to illuminate the darkness.
Kate, Casey, Olympia, Francisco, Cordelia, and Guinevere Stapleton