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Kate Magdalena - HerSong Interview


Kate grew up to the sounds of music on Broadway in New York City, during the 1970's exploding singer-songwriter, folk, rock, and psychedelic music scene, featuring Crosby Stills and Nash, The Beatles, and Joni Mitchell. Kate was a child of the ‘60’s, and when she came of age, she moved from the East Coast to San Francisco on a quest to discover the meaning of her life. Kate’s journey was an unusual one in that she did many other things before turning to music as her central career focus, and traveling many paths to arrive at where she is now. Kate has an ability to move her listeners with her voice, to bring healing and joy. Her songwriting began through her poetry writing, and by setting a few poems to music, by great poets like WB Yeats and Robert Frost, and then in discovering a love of writing which came from her own heart. Kate was raised in era in which people looked to the arts and music to inspire social activism. Like Dylan’s great songs, Kate’s songs address some of the pressing issues of our own day. She sings of unity, hope, loss, and of the power of prayer in dealing with life’s many challenges. And she hopes that her own pursuit of her dream at age 62 might inspire others to follow their own cherished dreams regardless of barriers.


What is your earliest memory of music? And, how did you get started in music?

My earliest memory of music was Julie Andrews singing her crystalline vocals in the part of Maria in "The Sound of Music." I took that music, and the music of other musicals of the sixties, right into my little girl's heart. I sang and danced these musicals as a child. Later as a teen, I listened and sang along as the music of the sixties and seventies tumbled out before our delighted ears. I took up guitar, began to perform and star in high school musicals. But my mother convinced me to choose another route, and so I became a teacher, before circling back later in my life to find music as my central work. It's strange because my senior yearbook quote was this one from Graham Nash, and it has proved ever true: "But I know, all I have to do is sing, and I'll lift myself way above the ground."


What was the first song you ever wrote? What or who inspired you to start writing music?

The first song I ever wrote was called "Pied Beauty," a setting of the poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins. I began by setting some great English poets to music, like my inspiration, the Canadian singer Loreena McKennitt had done. In 2015 I began writing some original songs both lyrics and music because the climate of the times seemed to draw it out of me. I wrote about topics of concern, like weather modification, GMOs, and homelessness.


Do you play any instruments? If yes tell us about it. If not, do you work with a band or studio musicians? Do you produce your tracks or work with a producer?

Do you play any : I play the Celtic folk harp, acoustic guitar, some keys and synth, some percussion, and even some easy Indian instruments like shruti box and harmonium. I would love to have a full band behind me, recreating the studio sound where I have recorded tracks with some wonderful session musicians hired by my producer Billy Smiley in Nashville. Right now I am working with a guitarist, but we plan to bring in some other musicians as we perform more widely, at least that is the plan!


What is your favorite part about being an artist (performing, recording, writing, playing)?

I'd have to say recording, which is an incredible high for me, the closest I come to ecstasy! I also get a tremendous thrill from writing a song. And performing I cannot wait to do more of! What I love most though is touching other people through my music, so all of the above!


Do you have any advice for young women pursuing music? Please note that this information might be used on a separate inspirational section/advice column on the blog as well.

Tune in. Listen within. Seek higher inspiration from the whispers of the deeper or higher self within. Cultivate a spiritual practice from which you can draw inspiration. Be original. Write what you hear within yourself, but don't be afraid to use inspiration from others as you find it. As an older artist, I'm astonished at how so many of today's female artists copy each other's sound. Trust yourself, find your sound! Study music theory; it's my key to memorization as well as composition.


For readers who have never heard your music, can you suggest one or two songs to start with?

For readers who : Please listen to the title track from my recent album "A Larger Dance." Also to "Streets of Any Town," on BWH Music's compilation album, "Keepin' It Country". I've also recorded two really nice Christmas Carols which you can find on Spotify, "Cherry Tree Carol," and "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear."


Tell us where fans can access your music. Provide 1 or 2 links here: You can find my music on all major digital networks like Apple Music, Amazon and ITunes.


Also, on Spotify and at https://smarturl.it/LargerDance

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