Historical Story Songs
The Story Wrens (formerly Wren of Iniquity) found their inspiration in the magical scene of the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Agoura, California and the resurgent folk arts and early music there. Research and authenticity were the lay of the cultural landscape. The music and songs became the tresor trové, literally the “treasure found” that would offer connection through time.
Musical director Mark Sellin started as a classically trained cellist, but also fell in love with Irish fiddle and with story songs. He also worked with numerous acting troupes of the Renaissance Pleasure Faire, writing and performing comedies and musicals with members of the Reduced Shakespeare Company, among others.
Mark brought his musical and theatrical sensibilities to the songs celebrated by the Faire genre. With fellow musicians of the scene, including the Merry Wives of Windsor and the Poxy Boggards, the Wrens and Mark curated and arranged ancient songs with an emphasis on storytelling, tight harmonies and instrumental drive.
Victoria Bottelson is a singer, songwriter and storyteller. With an impressive resume and years touring as a lead or back-up singer for artists, heathens and libertines, her story tells like a Dylan ballad from the spotlight to moonlight. Her voice is captivating, her interpretations deep and she just might make you laugh when she sings you a silly sea song. Here she is walking onto the ice and singing the National Anthem (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrrvluaBbgc)!
Shawna Selline was enchanted by the harp and began playing at age eleven. Following several years as a street musician, she traveled to Ireland to study traditional music with the famed Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann music school. At age eighteen she won the All-Ireland championship, returned to tour the U.S. twice, published a book of compositions, an instructional guide and even played on a Joan Baez album. While raising her three children, she continued Celtic and classical harp, playing for countless events, teaching and recording. For over fifteen years, Shawna has provided harp therapy for Kaiser, the VA and other institutions. In 2016, Shawna was delighted to travel to Chicago as a guest artist with the Chieftains. Shawna promotes the Irish harp tradition and with this beloved group, performs for soundtracks, concerts and fairs.
We are proud to announce: Two time Grammy Award winning percussionist Forrest Robinson brings his rhythmic savvy and enthusiasm for Renaissance fairs, history and songs of old, to the Storywrens! When his extensive touring and busy schedule allow, he joins us for our musical journeys through time!
Guest Artist, Nathaniel Sellin was brought up in the California folk scene. He was trained classically on acoustic bass and studied Jazz with Charlie Haden student, Evan Conway. Additionally, Nathaniel immersed himself in world percussion with an emphasis on folk instruments, Celtic bodhran and Balkan tapan. Storywrens have been thrilled to have his technical and artistic flair on both studio recordings as well as live performances as his schedule permits.
Guest Artist, Daniel Brummel. We met Daniel on the set of "American Princess" where he was working with the music production and composition team for the show. He is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer with a long list of credits to his name. One of his albums, "Speak Easy" delves deep into American and Celtic folk tradition and draws from honed, scholarly knowledge of the genre. His vocals have a haunting and timeless storytelling quality. We are honored and delighted to work with him.