The cool thing
about two people working together is you get a bigger synergy of ideas,
says Michael Millham, guitarist for Sidhe.
Synergy is in no short supply for this acoustic duo. Whether its
the result of their combined telepathic creativity, or their unique individual
styles, Sidhe effortlessly displays that the whole is greater than the
sum of their individual parts, in their music, and in their lives.
Sidhe (pronounced she) is a husband and wife acoustic duo
from Spokane, Washington. Guitarist Michael Millham and vocalist K.T.
Millham formed Sidhe in 1997 and have released two CDs: the eponymous
in 1999, and most recently, Live
at The Shop. The latter was recorded live using Mackie
mixers at The
Shop, a Spokane, Washington coffee house.
Sidhe have been using a 1202 for live shows for years. According to Michael,
it was the only logical choice they had to reproduce K.T.s pristine
voice and his own intricate guitar playing live. Its the cleanest
mixer out there, says Millham. We tried a bunch of other mixers,
and found that the Mackie had a much cleaner and open sound.
Besides the 1202s pristine sonic quality, Millham found a particularly
resourceful way to use another of the mixers unique features when
playing smaller, more intimate gigs: its extremely hot headphone output.
We split the headphone signal in two, and connect a couple of sets
of those walkman type earphone buds. The result? Instant stereo in ear
monitors! They sound great, we get a total stereo sound with all our effects,
and the cost is a whopping $34 for the whole set up!
Live at The Shop was recorded, mixed, and mastered using a
1642-VLZ PRO mixer, and
HR824 Monitors. Millham was
pleased with the results. For our first CD, we paid a named mastering
house to master the disk, he recalls. For Live at The
Shop we did it ourselves using HR824s and the 1642, and it turned
out much better than when we had the hired gun do it.
Sidhe accomplishes a rare feat; they successfully merge the sometimes
disparate worlds of classical and pop into a passionate, yet accessible
blend of sophisticated soundscapes and ethereal melodies that transport
you to a world devoid of cliché and predictability. Both Michael
and K.T. are classically trained musicians. While their music has a precision
and authority that can be attributed to their classical background, it
never lacks soul or an earnest sensibility that shows their genuine enthusiasm
for world music, jazz, folk and pop.
Sidhe plays close to 200
shows a year , traveling over most of the Western United States. They
perform their music in every venue imaginable: bars, restaurants, book
stores and house concerts. Theyre also booked continuously at college
campuses, corporate parties and their staple: coffee houses. The
coffee house scene is large nationwide and growing, says Millham.
For an alternate source of recreation, coffee houses fit the bill
because its a little bit more low key. With that low key atmosphere,
the need for low key live music has never been bigger.
Millham recently organized Coffehouse Creatures. A live concert
featuring seven fellow acoustic based acts from the Spokane Area. The
concert was held at The Met, a 700-seat theater in downtown Spokane, and
was mixed and recorded using a variety of Mackie mixers. The concert was
a huge success and helped expose music fans to the wide range of acoustic
based music that is out there, much of it at their local coffee house.
Sidhe is an inspiration to musicians who want to make a living at music
but whose music may not fit into the narrow environs of todays music
industry. With the vertical integration of the music industry, the
record labels own the radio stations that own the billboards that are
owned by the liquor companies and so on. There are very specific sounds
that are being promoted, and most of the worlds music is not that
sound, says Millham. Of course, thats fine. Commercial
music is for delivering consumers to sponsors. But there is this huge
majority of music in the world that doesnt have an outlet, and thats
where this whole coffee house music comes from. You have these venues
that are supported well by coffee drinkers, the audiences are real attentive,
and its a lot of fun too.