Windborne is a group of vocal chameleons, juxtaposing their clever settings of traditional and original American music with traditional vocal music from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. They have extensively studied the traditional polyphony of Corsica, Bulgaria, and the Republic of Georgia, learning not only to sing the songs, but to improvise on them within the traditional styles. They switch effortlessly between drastically different styles of singing within the same concert, all the while delighting the audience with their vocal energy and carefully crafted arrangements.Windborne is Lauren Breunig, Will Thomas Rowan, and Lynn Mahoney Rowan, joined this year by long-time friend and fellow Renewal Chorus singer Jeremy Carter-Gordon.
The members of Windborne began singing together as teenagers after attending Village Harmony singing camps together. As teens, they sought out folk music in their New England communities, and grew up singing with Tony Barrand, the Amidons, and Suzannah Park. Enamored with the world folk traditions they encountered through Village Harmony, they have continued to pursue music as performers and teachers. They have travelled to Corsica and studied with singer and music scholar Jean-Etienne Langianni. They have also studied with Georgian singers Ketevan Mindorashvili and Shergil Pirtskhelani, members of Zedashe, and renowned Georgian ethnomusicologist Malkhaz Erkvanidze.
Also included in their repertoire are Will's original compositions, rooted deeply in the traditions of ballad and shape-note singing, as well as compositions by Windborne's friends and mentors around New England such as Don Jamison, Stephen Spitzer, and Neely Bruce.
Windborne presents a concert of vocal music, mostly a capella with occasional accompaniment by banjo and chonguri, a four-stringed Georgian instrument. Their vocal agility and power won them first place in Young Tradition Vermont's 2010 Showcase Competition, and they have since appeared at the Flurry Festival and the Shelburne Harvest Festival. They were accepted into the American Music Abroad class of 2013-2014 and toured Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Angola in early 2014, acting as cultural ambassadors through music. The singers have a vibrant energy and a strong connection. They educate as they perform, telling stories about the music and explaining the characteristics and stylistic elements of the traditions in which they sing.
Lynn and Will Rowan recorded their first CD as Windborne Duo in 2008 with Lauren as a guest singer. It was reviewed by Mary DesRosiers, folk musicoligist, for the Monadnock Folklore Society. She writes: "The purity of their voices, strength of their material, and attention to detail in their arrangements, combine to create an unusual, but very inspiring recording." Windborne Trio's CD "With Wand'ring Feet" was released in January 2011.