Press Kit: Review, Bios & Photos

REVIEW: The Gay & Lesbian Review

IT SEEMS everyone’s boarding the Sappho boat these days, eager to travel with the ancient poet and tell the world who she was. One person well qualified to be Sappho’s herald and interpreter is singer, songwriter, and musician Jeri Hilderley, who pays homage to the poet with a stirring new CD, Time Traveling with Sappho. Hilderley co-produced the album with bassist Janet Mayes, who is also her life partner, and with the help of sound engineer Bruce MacPherson.” ….
“The CD is thus an amalgamation of two recordings by the same artist separated by some 35 years, and the effect is mesmerizing. As you pick up the voice of today’s Hilderley along with that of her younger self, a poignant theme emerges: the passing of time. Sappho herself wrote on this theme, writing: “my skin once soft is wrinkled now,/ my hair once black has turned to white./ … my knees/ that once danced nimbly like fawns cannot carry me.” Sappho also knew that becoming elderly imposes limits on love, as seen in the words poet Anne Carson has translated: “but if you love us/ choose a younger bed/ for I cannot bear/ to live with you when I am/ the older one.”


Jeri Hilderley (Composer/Musician/Arranger)


Credit: Diane Johnson

Jeri’s music has roots in many art forms. Though she studied piano, marimba and voice from a young age through college, her song writing and singing career only took off after a first career as sculptor and a second with her 60’s involvement in anti-war, collective theater groups. She then became active in the Women’s Music Network of the 70s performing extensively and recording (A Few Loving Women and Jeritree’s House of Many Colours) on her own Seawave Recordings label, enjoying world-wide exposure.

After teaching music and writing in New York City public schools and colleges for 20 years, she continues to compose and sing solo as well as with small ensembles that work out of her Manhattan recording studio. Her colorful and textural compositions and mixes, showing that early sculptor’s hand, also have a dramatic drive; a novel, poetry, plays and analytical writings have been published in Chicago Review and Peoples’ Theater in America and by New Victoria, Mari, 1990.

“…When you enter it is clear there is someone come, no longer a woman, not wiry warm quick flesh but a makeshift holy artifact moving on the blank face of the dark as on a river…”
–Marge Piercy, Poet “Jeriann’s Hands,” Hard Loving, Wesleyan University Press, l969

“To hear Jeri sing is like being re-born in music. She reminds us of things forgotten, and things still to yield shape … a true and living artist, soaring and disciplined, angry and healing, new and age-old. To label what she does is to confine it.”
–Padma Hejmadi, Author

“The music is avant-garde, improvisational as well as compositional…One might call it “classical,” another “jazz.” It could be either or both, but I think it defies classification…”
–Kay Gardner, Composer “Paid My Dues”

“To hear the songs of Jeri is to be carried out of oneself into some wholly new and remarkable time and place. There is no one like her, and no one now writing songs whose work stays with me the way hers does.”- Nancy Willard, poet/novelist

“Her songs are playful yet fierce and unflinching, dark yet idealistic…”
–Jerome Badanes, Author

Konstantinos Lardas, (Translator)

Konstantinos Lardas, Professor Emeritus, The City College of New York, CUNY, passionate and prolific writer, translator, beloved teacher, husband and father, was deeply inspiring to all who knew him. His book, And in him, too; in us: Poems [Generation: Ann Arbor, 1964], was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Published internationally in many journals and quarterlies, his short stories appeared in Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s. “The Broken Wings” appeared in The Best American Short Stories of 1973 [Martha Foley (ed.) Houghton Mifflin: Boston, 1973]. In The Mourning Songs of Greek Women [Garland: New York, 1992], Lardas commented, “I have tried to render these songs as poems in the English language.” He did not just translate; he transmitted the full emotional and lyrical expression to move people with the English language as he was moved by the original Greek. Selections from The Songs of Sappho: Anaplases appeared in several poetry reviews. He is archived by Pacifica Radio: Poetry in Our Time.

About Lardas’ work: “It exists in so many dimensions,…rich, slow, sluggish, languid, sensuous….”
–Austin Warren, American literary critic, author, and professor of English.

Bruce MacPherson (Sound Engineer)

Musician, composer, performer, keyboardist and Pro Tools expert is the mixing and mastering sound engineer for The SeaWaves. Bruce has worked as the Sound designer and engineer for Philip Glass and has played keyboards with Fleetwood Mac, Lesley Gore and many others.

Virginia Cahill (Graphic Designer)

Virginia Cahill began her design career in California when Apple released their first personal computer. She returned to her native NY to work in magazine and newspaper publishing as a graphic designer. She worked for many news organizations, WSJ, NYT, AP, where she honed her skills as an art director. For the last many years she’s been a freelance designer.

Janet Mayes: (Bassist & Publisher, WordSpace Publications)

Janet Mayes is the author of college textbooks on writing (Macmillan) and the science fiction novel, Beyond the Horse’s Eye, which focuses on LGBTQ adventurer-warriors in the Age of Empath (under her pen name Janet Rose). She and her colleagues are currently finishing a book on interpersonal psychotherapy. She has a M.A. in English Literature, The University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Ferkauf Graduate Center. She is the publisher and founder of WordSpace Publications–space for words by and for the 99 percent–and also manages several activist websites. Deeply rooted in political theater and music, she is the electric bassist for The SeaWaves, and loves playing with her partner Jeri Hilderley. She is a psychologist in private practice in New York City.

WordSpace Publications

Co-Producer of Time Traveling with Sappho, WordSpace Publications is an independent publishing company dedicated to “words by and for the 99 percent.” Its first publication was Beyond the Horse’s Eye; a Fantasy Out of Time by lesbian author Janet Rose.

Hi Res Photos

The SeaWaves: Left-Janet Mayes; Right-Jeri Hilderley

The SeaWaves: Left-Janet Mayes; Right-Jeri Hilderley [credit: Rain Bengis] CLICK FOR HI RES

Jeri Hilderley on Rooftop with Marimba (1978) [photo: Eric Lindbloom; collage: Lallan Schoenstein] CLICK FOR HI RES

Jeri Hilderley on Rooftop with Marimba (1978) [photo: Eric Lindbloom; collage: Lallan Schoenstein] CLICK FOR HI RES




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