The first year of the pandemic was a deeply creative time for Vermont based fiddler and singer Lissa Schneckenburger. When everything shut down (including her touring schedule) there was so much struggle and tragedy world wide along with so much difficulty at home, that writing music became an essential outlet. Schneckenburger explains, “I had to write music to process my experience of living through such a difficult time, it was my life line”. The result was what Schneckenburger jokingly calls “overflowing bucketfuls of music” and enough new material for several albums. The first in the queue, Falling Forward, is a collection of Schneckenburger’s original fiddle tunes and two traditional New England songs, scheduled for release on March 3rd.
“I have a modest home studio, and do a lot of remote recording and engineering myself” Schneckenburger explains, “but after the isolation of living through a global pandemic, I knew that recording in person was the only way to bring this new music to life”. Falling Forward was recorded in Springfield MA with some of the most influential musicians in traditional music today, including producer/ fiddler Katie McNally, pianist Rachel Aucoin, bass player Mali Obomsawin, cellist Natalie Haas, and accordion player Karen Tweed. “These women are my heroes” Schneckenburger gushes, “they are leaders in the acoustic music world, and it was such an honor to record with them.” The tunes range in tone from that of a riotous fiddle party where you imagine floor boards thumping, bow hair flying, and instruments and dancers in every corner, to more somber and introspective. It is music for both meditation and release, all of which feels appropriate in processing our collective experience as a society over the last few years.
Over the last several decades Schneckenburger has made music that showcased everything from traditional New England dance tunes, to original songs inspired by her experience as a foster and adoptive parent. Falling Forward has blended her love of traditional music with her love of writing, in her first fiddle forward album in over a decade.