New music from a New York-to-Ann Arbor transplant
Singer-songwriter and pianist Anne Heaton has captured audience imaginations for over 15 years with her songs that are, by turns, "tender, barbed and spiritual" (Washington Post). She's been featured by the New York Times Popcast, played numerous times on NPR and shared the stage with artists such as Jewel, Sarah McLachlan and jazz drummer Max Roach. The New York Times music podcast called her music "absolutely gorgeous" and with "To the Light," her seventh studio album, due out this November, Heaton is surrendering to her love of collaboration more than ever before.
"Pema Chodron refers to a Hopi Prophecy that says we no longer live in the time of the lone wolf," Heaton explains, "and instead advises that we look and see who is around us. To me, this means that it's more important than ever to create and live collaboratively. On this record, I wanted to stay connected to my music community across the country even though I was rooted to a place as the primary caregiver to my two daughters, now 8 and 6-years old. As each song was written, I thought of a musician-friend who might help me bring it fully to life. Then I reached out to that person. In this way, I was able to co-produce these songs with some amazingly talented friends including Alex Wong (Vienna Teng, Delta Rae), Mona Tavakoli (Jason Mraz, Raining Jane), Liam Davis (Justin Roberts) and Greg "Stryke" Chin who created my first ever electronic track!"
Other songwriters who contributed to the album include Natalia Zukerman, Shannon McNally, Beth Wood, Mai Bloomfield, Steve Dawson, Chaska Potter, Duke Levine, Frank Marotta, Jr., Meg Hutchinson, Jennifer Kimball, Erin Zindle and Laura Donohue. Even Heaton's own daughters contributed by coming up with the initial ideas for the "Celebration Song" and the "Donut Song!"
"You never know what'll show up when you sit down to write songs or what exactly the sound will be when you head into the studio to record, but what I believe has come through sonically on this record is music that's rooted, danceable and more 'in the body,' while lyrically what has emerged is an invitation for us to connect to our essential joy and sense of celebration even when we are going through challenges, personally, in our communities or globally."