Gaia (Gaea) 'guy-uh': 1) The Greek Earth Goddess and Mother of the Titans 2) The autopoietic superorganism that is the living biosphere
consort:'kan-soert: 1) one who shares a common lot 2) a ship accompanying another
3) spouse / lover 4) to make harmony
5) a group of singers or instrumentalists performing together
Gaia Consort sounds like a movie sound track for the gathering of the tribes. Add 1000 drums and percussion, some intelligent lyrics about evolution, sensuality, engaging the natural world, and then throw in a string trio. Imagine Ian Anderson dropping acid with Peter Gabriel and doing a mash-up between So and Thick as a Brick.
Christopher Bingham and Sue Tinney got themselves booked into Nudestock 97 and announced the new name, played some of the new stuff, and the crowd was on it’s feet when they finished playing. In 1999 and 2001 the Consort released Gaia Circles and Secret Voices to critical acclaim in all the major Pagan magazines and a fair number of “mainstream” music journals as well.
Their next CD, Evolve, was released in April 2004 and it continues Bingham’s musical and philosphical explorations within the framework of an expanding Gaian Culture. Friends and fans donated over $17,000 by “adopting” songs to help Gaia Consort record the disc. Evolve is as much a product of a supportive community as it an individual vision.
Backing Bingham and Tinney are some of the Pacific Northwest’s finest musicians. Gaia Consort’s current line up includes Larry Golding violin, Sunnie Reed viola, Dan Ochipinti drums, TJ Morris on hand percussion, Jay Kenney, keyboards, Betsy Tinney, cello, and Dan Mohler on bass.
Gaia Consort has never been about making it big in the music “industry.” Eschewing the usual venues of clubs and coffee houses, Gaia Consort has managed to quietly build an audience that fills rooms, playing house concerts and self-produced shows in halls around the Pacific Northwest. They’ve built enough of a following to have been invited to play a variety of festivals and events, including headlining the long running Heartland Pagan Festival (2000) in Kansas, and Canada’s Wic Can Fest (2002) outside Toronto. Their January concert celebrating “Evolve” filled the 400 seat Meydenbauer Center.
Christopher Bingham’s crystal clear tenor used to get compared to David Crosby but lately it's been Bare Naked Ladies and Dave Matthews. And watch out for his guitar work – think Bruce Cockburn meets Ian Anderson, fluid from one rhythm to the next.
Bingham left his hometown of St. Louis to study jazz at The Evergreen State College in Olympia in 1979, fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and stayed. Before starting Gaia Consort he released Always the Sirens (cassette, 1987) The Burning (1993) and Angel and the Hanged Man (1995) Several cuts on all CDs have received airplay on a number of college and commercial radio stations across the US and in Europe.
Sue Tinney's voice is like a lover's soft lips nibbling your earlobe while telling you the bed is on fire and what are you going to do about it? She has a special gift for picking out the perfect harmony line. She’s been singing alto parts all her life and it shows. She’s also co-produced four of Bingham’s Suddenly Naked releases. Growing up literally in the Olympic National park, (Kalaloch and the Hoh river valley) the spirit of the rainforest is imbued in all her work.
Gaia Consort Blog