Anne Carley
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Anne Carley

Charlottesville, Virginia, United States | INDIE

Charlottesville, Virginia, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Adult Contemporary


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Natural Law (EP Chenille Records)
Behind the Wheel (CD Chenille Records)
Portfolio (CD Chenille Records)



Anne Carley 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.

As musical director of the Carley Consort, her father built fascinating 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. Combining this background with her own discoveries of vocal jazz and radio pop, Anne began writing in the pop, acoustic and jazz idioms as a young adult. She moved to New York City and made a life for herself there, surrounded by music and art in her work and at play.

Conservatory training at Brooklyn College (City University of New York) piqued her curiosity about the Classical and Romantic Western musical traditions. Contra and swing dancing, 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, 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 (Chenille Records remixed in 2002), and for the first time performed her own songs in public. [Edgar Medina producer, bass; Shadow Myers, drums; Rich Morpurgo, guitar, engineer; Bill Maledis, keyboards. Remixed with Robert L Smith, NYC.]

Available Light, a sketchbook of 24 songs recorded at home in New York, followed in 2000, as did a life-changing songwriting intensive at Omega led by Rosanne Cash. After moving to Charlottesville, VA in 2005, she also studied songwriting and performance with Paul Reisler and Julie Portman.

Anne's Portfolio album (Chenille Records 2009) 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 studio work on MIDI arrangements, instrumental and backup vocals with live recordings engineered and edited at Jeff Romano's studio - illustrates some of the possibilities. She wants to collaborate with other writers, arrangers and go-getters; moviemakers, promoters and impresarios; singers, players and inventors.