Anne Carley wants to collaborate with other writers, arrangers and go-getters; moviemakers, promoters and impresarios; singers, players and inventors.
Anne has been writing and playing music since childhood. Growing up in Indianapolis, Indiana, she began performing as part of a family ensemble, the Carley Consort, singing and playing early European music and eclectic traditional musics from around the world.
Her father built compelling programs combining genres, instrumentation, time periods and styles. Her mother brought her up in the Orff approach to music education, which encourages originality and improvisation. With this background, combined with her own discoveries of vocal jazz and radio pop, Anne began writing in the acoustic and jazz idioms as a young adult.
Conservatory training at Brooklyn College (City University of New York) piqued her curiosity about the Classical and Romantic Western musical traditions. Contradancing, shapenote singing, writing and performing a capella arrangements of Motown classics, and singing in the chorus of Brahms’ German Requiem added to the mix. So did the Beatles’ Rubber Soul, Lambert Hendricks and Ross’ The Hottest New Group in Jazz, Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions, John Hiatt’s Hanging out at the Observatory, Joni Mitchell’s Blue, Elvis Costello’s My Aim Is True, Talking Heads’ Remain in Light.
So did teaching at the University of Denver’s Orff Certification courses for three summers. Anne played and taught Renaissance and Baroque recorder music. She sang Bill Obrecht’s music for Beth Lapides’ tour de force, Go-Go, at The Kitchen (Soho). She rehearsed with a long succession of bands that never quite got to that first public performance.
Sporadic performing as a singer of jazz standards and swing tunes, many years of living and listening in New York City, voice lessons with Guen Omeron, Bea Rippey, Jean Hakes and Kim Scanlon, and songwriting instruction from Bob Franke and Charlie Murphy all led Anne to record Natural Law, a five-song EP, in Seattle in 1992. [Mike Phelan producer, guitar, dobro; Michael Shrieve, drums; Cary Black, bass; Barney McClure, piano; Daniel Protheroe, engineer, Sage Arts Studio.]
Two years later, she released her first full-length studio project of ten original songs, Behind the Wheel (remixed in 2002) [Edgar Medina producer, bass; Shadow Myers, drums; Rich Morpurgo, guitar, engineer; Bill Maledis, keyboards. Remixed with Robert L Smith, NYC.]. After this CD came out, she performed her own songs, at now-defunct East Village bar, Downtown Beirut, and the Used Books Cafe in Soho.
Available Light, a sketchbook of 24 songs recorded at home in New York, followed in 2000. Writing and arranging music came to the forefront, eclipsing her interest in working as a performing musician. She continued songwriting studies with Rosanne Cash at Omega, and with Paul Reisler in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
Anne’s day jobs have included arts management, writing and editing for print and online publication, and practicing intellectual property law. She moved to Virginia with her husband in 2005. Nowadays she works with authors to develop their nonfiction books at her company, Chenille Books.
Anne’s Portfolio album marks a turning point for her. Inspired by a 2008 residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, she has been exploring outside and among the standard genres. Working toward more composing and arranging for other performers and purposes, she views Portfolio as a bridge to her creative future.
The making of Portfolio – which integrated Anne’s own studio work (the keyboard, cello, trumpet and vocal arrangements, MIDI instrumentals and backup vocals) with live recordings engineered at Jeff Romano’s studio, where they edited and mixed – illustrates some of the possibilities. She looks forward to what’s next.