Songs for Free Spirits
There is an exceptional quality in Edna's melodies and lyrics that permits the mind to morph at each and every listening. Her songs will always deliver a very personal musical experience. The intimately textured vocals, diaphanous timbre of the Martin guitars and the organic fabric of the musical arrangements exhibit Edna Garte's intense sensitivity and the universal appeal and message of her music. Her accomplished guitar playing and supporting vocals lend sincerity and credibility to the music. This record is a direct reflection of a very focused and dedicated musician and free spirit. Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! * --- Marshall Block, Reel II Reel Productions BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Edna Garte is a singer/songwriter and folk musician, with a background in classical and folk music. She studied voice at the Peabody school of music and with private instructors, and has participated in songwriting workshops led by Paul Stookey, Peter Rowan, and Robin and Linda Williams. Her involvement with music goes back to her childhood when she took piano lessons from her mother, and learned family guitar traditions from her father. In high school, she was steeped in music from a variety of folk cultures, which have remained part of her repertoire. Edna has been writing songs rooted in those traditions for over 25 years. She's recently added her father's mandolin to the instruments she plays. Edna's love of music turned professional in 1990, when she recorded SONGS OF LOVE AND WAR, a cassette-album and short-run CD, consisting of original songs and a prose-poem. The music was performed by an ensemble of Baltimore singers and instrumentalists. MARYLAND MUSICIAN MAGAZINE called the album as 'a small masterpiece'. Many of the songs focus on spiritual dimensions in human relationships. MICHIGAN FOLK NOTES described the songs as 'generally upbeat in spirit, and reminiscent of one longstanding mission of traditional music: to spread shared values within a society.' Songs from the album were played on 'Woody's Children' and the 'Oscar Brand' show, and received extensive radio airing after a cut,TV, was included in the Acoustic Rainbow Radio Sampler, Vol. 8. The CD, SONGS FOR FREE SPIRITS, an expanded remix of the Baltimore recording with new material added, has just been released by Harbor Wind Music. Part of the sales proceeds will be donated to Empty Bowls, an artists-sponsored food bank. Edna had been performing live in coffee houses, festivals, street fairs, religious congregations and community organizations. Venues have included the Baltimore Folk Music Festival; New England Folk Music Festival; Boston Folk Music Society Showcase at the National Folk Alliance Conference; TV Turn-Off Week Fair, Salem, MA; Harvest Heritage Festival, Dryden, MI; Congregation Shir Tikvah, Royal Oak, MI; the Happy Badger, Toledo, OH, and the Paint Creek Folk Music Society, Rochester Hills, MI. She also gives workshops on folk music and songwriting, for children and adults. Currently, Edna playing and singing with several other musicians, and has just helped to found the traditional/contemporary ensemble, CROSSWINDS. The other members are percussionist / story-teller / dancer, Betty Appleton, and classically-trained vocalist, Lynn McInnis. CROSSWINDS performs music of Jewish, Celtic/Gaelic, French, African, Native American and other world traditions, as well as current originals. The performers involve audiences in active participation with small percussion instruments, choruses, harmonies and dance movements. In addition to songs, programs include spoken pieces with musical accompaniment. The music is upbeat, affirming human value and meaning. Besides making music, Edna writes poetry and prose, some of which she incorporates in performances. Her college classes explore relations between the arts in varied cultures, and aim at sharing the joy of the creative process.