Peia is an American born song collector, writer and multi-instrumentalist. Like water from a deep well, she draws inspiration from her ancestral roots of Celtic and Old World European folk music. With the voice of a lark, Peia dances nimbly from Child Ballads and 17th C. Gaelic laments, to Waulking Songs, and Bulgarian mountain calls. She has travelled extensively over the past 12 years to uncover melodies wrinkled and wise with time, laboring to honor their language and stories, while bringing a piece of herself to each song she carries.
Born and raised in rural Connecticut, Peia studied singing at the New England Conservatory in Boston where she quickly realized that she did not fit into the classical Western tradition that many of her instructors encouraged her to pursue. While her skill for opera was there, her passion was not and she began exploring alternative vocal outlets.
Though Peia continued to satisfy her opera professors, she immersed herself in extracurricular classes like klezmer, Turkish, and Indian music. She was enamored with the diversity in sound offered by the music of various cultures and began delving deeper into their history.
Peia ventured out west in 2007 finding a home in Oregon where she plunged into a world of discovery through travel, slowly harnessing the power of her instrument. “It’s been a long and slow process learning how to use my voice,” she explains, “finding my way to traditional folk music and songwriting.”
She eventually became enamored with the oral traditions of ancient cultures who shared their stories with future generations through song. In addition to writing her own music, she would also curate some of these cultural ballads which she would seamlessly blend into an album. The combination of her modern compositions mixed with the ritualistic songs of ancient cultures produces a transcendent sound that reveals the roots of humanity.
“I’ve been deeply inspired by the many musicians across the ages who have used their artistic platform to give voice to the people,” Peia reflects. “It’s an incredibly delicate and blessed gift to be able to weave history with the living voice of our times.”
The way in which I myself came across Peia’s music makes her music even more special to me. I was recently at Rythmia Life Advancement Centre in Costa Rica where I spent a week drinking plant medicine. It turned out to be the one of the most special weeks of my entire life. I left feeling truly healed and a big part of the healing process was the amazing music I was exposed to. On one of the magical nights before we were about to enter into a plant medicine ceremony Peia stood in the middle of a very large circle made up of everyone attending the retreat that week, we all held hands and closed our eyes whilst she sang this simply beautiful song that brought many of us to tears. The song is called ‘Machi’ and is the inspiration behind this article.
Peia explains that “‘Machi’ is a song celebrating the healing power and medicine of Woman, the Moon and the Earth Herself. A Machi is a medicine woman and sometimes also refers to a medicine man.
Peia “Machi” from Four Great Winds
The level of integrity and passion Peia has as an artist is second to none and she is truly an inspiration to me and I am honoured to be able to call her my friend.
Many thanks to Peia and the gifts of love and healing she gives to us all. Please visit her website and support her important work.
Peia is about to embark on her biggest summer tour yet, covering a massive amount of ground, visiting new lands, as well as returning to the beloved places and communities who have supported her music from the very beginning.
As a little bonus below is the a video of the Facebook Live I took at the end of my stay at Rythmia.
Christo Pellani play the drums and sings alongside her. Christo who is now my dear friend uses the profound effects of drumming to create healing and transformation in people. You can find out more about him and his amazing work here.
I hope that you are in love with her music as much as I am.
You can follow Peia on Instagram here
And if you are interested in experiencing plant medicine and having one of the most amazing journeys of your life please click the link below:
Please click HERE to find out more information and book yourself in for the most magical week of your life.
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