Kwannon is the ethereal/wyrd folk project of Jenne Micale, formerly of the strange folk band Belladonna Bouquet. Shoshen, Jenne's true love and an accomplished percussionist, also has joined the project, especially for live performances.
Jenne's influences range from medieval and ethereal music to opera, chant, Pagan ritual and thealogy, Victorian and Romantic poets, and the Carmina Gadelica. A classically trained singer, Jenne also uses instruments from around the world, such as the kantele, mountain dulcimer and harp, giving her music a touch of the mysterious and otherworldly.
Click here and here to read two reviews of the first Kwannon album, Clear Star.
So, who are Jenne and Shoshen?
Shoshen describes himself as "a deaf guy who thinks he's in a hiphop band," but in reality, he can get a complex and interesting rhythm out of damn near anything -- from kitchen utensils and the steering wheel to the udu and djembe. He spent his younger years in an Ithaca-area rock band. He's also a talented artist and painter, and has a Ph.D.
Jenne has been a practicing Pagan since childhood and runs a Druid group called White Cat Grove. She's a priestess of Brighid, has a Ph.D. in science fiction and sings opera in her spare time with the Opera Cabaret of Endicott. She and Shoshen met at Expressive Drumming and Chanting.
Jenne picked up singing and songwriting in girlhood, only to fall silent during those oh-so-morose adolescent years. In 1997, she had a vision while walking a labyrinth that inspired her to take up voice lessons again, and she's been singing ever since. Her years between girlhood and 1997 weren't idle on the creative front, however; during that period, she became a published poet (which, she supposes in a third-person way, counts as an accomplishment of a sort).
She's also known in some circles for her ability to sing opera with both feet behind her head.