Circle of Sparks
Eda Maxym Songwriter, Vocalist Profile So I started life out in New York and after a particularly hot summer spent in front of my fan listening to lovers' spats outside my window living above what used to be the St. Marks Bar and Grill, I traded the intensity of Manhattan for the expansiveness of the New Mexican desert as I drove my college degree West and landed a job as a waitress. New Mexico blew me wide open and the little apartment I was renting had a sleeping alcove surrounded by windows where I fell asleep every night watching the most remarkable night sky. "There are so many lights in this world, they can block out the moon and the stories of stars...and so many roads in this world, so many planes and buses and cars...oh, rich knowledge of the land, oh, rich knowledge of the land...." A few years later, nothing like a major heartbreak to set the wheels going, this time as far West as I could go in my little car, to San Francisco...it was the rainiest fall in years, with houses sliding down hills...I hunkered down in my hidden away funky old flat with my new neighbor, the very eccentric poet Robert Anthony. I started what would turn out to be a most interesting adventure in San Francisco with friends and artists of all kinds, camping with redwoods and collecting stones on nude beaches, getting the gardening bug big time, working as a carpenter and set painter, playing in a band and writing music and performing in a dark comedy cabaret group, Hyena Cabaret. Threading through all my experiences was my passion, almost obsession, for music from around the world, and I spent all my spare money and time hanging out in my local and not so local record stores. I discovered Oum Kalthoum, Fado music, and of course, lots and lots of African Music...old Americana, classic Operas, Cuban, you name it, I was listening to it all and making mix tapes for my friends all night long. I did a few shows as a guest radio programmer, did some other gigs here and there all around the Bay Area. I traveled to West Africa where I danced on New Year's Eve with thousands of people in a stadium in Dakar to the music of Youssou N'Dour, one of the highest musical experiences of my life. Then I drove with my two other traveling companions across the Malian desert in a broken down Peugeot where there was no road listening to cassette tapes given by dear new Malian friends, going into trance at a drumming Ceremony in the middle of I don't even know where...In Bamako I won a beauty or dance contest, I can't remember, and was given a tube of African face cream as the prize, which I still keep intact. I think it was at the old train station turned concert venue in Bamako, dancing with someone who will forever remain nameless...I traveled to Russia, Europe, South America and the quietest place on Earth, so profoundly silent and beautiful, Antarctica. In the nineties in San Francisco I recorded and toured with the bands Beasts of Paradise and Trance Mission, had my daughter Stella Karuna a few months after a favorite gig experience in Bisbee Arizona, then toured around Europe when she was a few months old and continued traveling on and off in Europe in a little caravan with my family, playing festivals, smuggling a Mongolian nanny with us into Austria, visiting the remarkable Damanhur, where Stephen played a concert with a tree that was wired for sound (yes, that's right...long story!) on the way from Switzerland to a gig in the South of France...so many traveler's tales...like so many travelers I know well or have met briefly along the way...Sometimes I love nothing more than to be on the road and sometimes I just want to be picking tomatoes from my garden. It's always a challenge to try to strike that balance between the two. I've collaborated with many musicians, made over a dozen recordings with various bands and projects, and have played so many different kinds of venues, from vast open air Festivals with many thousands of people, to gigs where more people were in my band than people who showed up to hear us play. I have learned so much from all of those experiences, whether they have been exhilarating or deeply disappointing. And I'll never forget that crazy guy in Warsaw, the mad Lithuanian who went to find us food in the wee hours after a show.... For the last ten years I have been doing Ceremony with two very remarkable traditional Medicine people from the Huichol tribe, or Wirrarika, as they preferred to be called. The work I have done with them has been very deep and without the healing that I have experienced in those gatherings I would be a very different person than I am now, and not as likely to have been able to follow my path in the way that I am able to do at this time. I will always be very grateful to them for allowing me to experience real unconditional love, a rare reality in the culture I grew up in. Now I find myself working with a new band, a gathering of musicians I call the Imagination Club. I've just released my second recording with that band, Circle of Sparks. My life seems to be about trying to find a balance between all the things that pull me in so many directions. Family, gardening, schedules and commitments, school happenings, walking the dog, retreat time, meetings with the Muse, and on and on...throughout it all I remain committed to learning and discovering more about my own design and where it will take me. So far it has been a very intriguing journey, sometimes extremely challenging and sometimes truly magnificent, and I look forward to going many more places as yet to be discovered....