Ann Licater

  • MuzicNotez: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you Ann, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.
     
    What motivated you to start creating music? What age did you begin?

    • Ann Licater: I began playing the silver flute at age 9, but in terms of creating my own original music, that came much later in my life after I discovered the Native American flute. I was in the middle of my graduate studies in Spirituality at Naropa University when I happened to attend a powwow on the Stanford University campus and purchased my first Native American wood flute. I quickly discovered that with these types of flutes it was so natural for me to improvise and create music–music that seemed to come from somewhere inside of me or through me. My first album “Following the Call” is all improvised wood and clay solo flute music. My later albums (“Invitation from Within,” “Doorway to a Dream” and “Beyond the Waves”) begin with a flute melody and then I layer in different instruments around that melody.
  • MuzicNotez: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
    • Ann Licater: All the great improvisational players like Keith Jarrett, Paul Horn. My dad loved jazz and had an extensive collection of LP’s recorded by all these great musicians. Music filled our house. My dad would take us to see many of these artists in live performance as well. Their ability to express themselves so freely is something I admire and try to emulate to this day. I also grew up listening to Tim Weisberg and Ian Anderson, two performers who made the flute “cool.” The music I create is uniquely mine in that it’s a hybrid of my traditional, classical flute training and improvisation.
  • MuzicNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
    • Ann Licater: I love that my music can be used as a tool for meditation and personal discovery. If my music can help someone relax, feel good, or open their intuition to gathering insights because they’ve let their mind rest, then I feel I’ve done something special. I’m really using my gifts and talents to help others discover their own talents and gifts. Ultimately, I have no idea how my music will be received but when I hear feedback that it was inspiring, I’m happy.
  • MuzicNotez: What’s the greatest concert you’ve ever been to or performed?
    • Ann Licater: The best concert I ever attended was Santana in the late nineties at an outdoor venue in the San Francisco Bay Area. I love Santana’s music. It’s complex, spiritual, rhythmic and deeply moving to me. The greatest concert I’ve performed at is the World Flute Fest in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie hall in 2008. It was a very special night after months of rehearsals. I played bass flute in a classical, flute choir and then performed solos on Native American flute. Being in that beautiful, historic venue and standing on that stage with my Native American flute in hand was magical.
  • MuzicNotez: What motivated you to train and perform in the Native-American flute style?
    • Ann Licater: I’ve played traditional silver flute all my life so it was an extension of those skills and relatively easy for me to learn to play and compose on Native American flutes. What struck me was how the simple act of breathing into a piece of hollowed-out wood sometimes from a centuries-old fallen tree evoked this incredibly pure sound. It was meditative for me. It just spoke to me. I love improvisational playing as I mentioned earlier so this seemed like a perfect instrument for me to do that. I had an opportunity to study with R. Carlos Nakai who offered a workshop called “Renaissance of the Native American Flute” which was held at this beautiful Yoga retreat center in Montana. From there, I began recording the songs I was creating and have just recently completed my fourth CD release which also incorporated silver and alto flute. I perform regularly at the Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles where I play improvisationally as the musical meditation portion of the services there.
  • MuzicNotez: You worked with a team of GRAMMY-winning and -nominated and artists and producers to create your latest album ‘Beyond The Waves’, what was that process like?
    • Ann Licater: It was fun and exciting. We worked on instrumental layering over my flute melodies which are either improvised or composed prior to me entering the studio. For me, the process is a lot like sculpting clay. I’m very happy with the result. I spend a lot of time making sure the final sound is perfect. I love the process of tracking, mixing and mastering. I love being a producer as much as an artist and composer. Wearing a lot of hats fits my personality and working with such great artists is always humbling. “Beyond the Waves” is my third time working with Peter Phippen as my co-producer and artist, and the second time working with co-producer, artist and engineer Ivar Lunde. I’m delighted that I had the opportunity and wisdom to have brought in music legends like Dan Ferguson and Scarlet Rivera as well. All four of them have the word “GRAMMY” listed somewhere in their bios. Vocalist Arnae Batson does as well (Echoes in the Mist-Track #9). And Arielle was amazing to work with-she has this light-filled vocal (Beyond the Waves- Track#4 and Halcyon Morning- Track #2) that brings such beautiful energy to my music. I was able to convey the essence of my musical intention through the addition of some beautiful layered vocals.
  • MuzicNotez: How do you want people to feel when they listen to ‘Beyond The Waves’?
    • Ann Licater: I would love to know they’ve been calmed, maybe even “transported” to another time and place. I expressly designed the album to be a “traveling meditation” allowing the listener to explore their inner selves. If the music has provided them with an opportunity to take a journey, I would feel I have accomplished my intention.
  • MuzicNotez: What else are you working on? What can we expect to see and hear from you in the future?
    • Ann Licater: I’m really busy promoting “Beyond the Waves” right now. Being an Indie artist, producer and record label owner, I have a lot on my plate. As I mentioned earlier, I play at Agape International Spiritual Center in L.A. once a month (live stream @ www.Agapelive.com ). And I have plans to create more “Flute for the Soul Workshops” where I play my various flutes and people can bring a journal to record their insights and experiences specific to where the music is taking them. In terms of recordings, my next album may have me returning to my roots with a focus on solo flute. As with all my CDs, I’m happy to wait for the feeling of what that will be as I only go into the studio when I’m inspired to create an entire body of work-an album. That’s a natural cycle for me. I also feel like I might have a holiday or winter-themed album in me somewhere waiting to emerge.
  • MuzicNotez: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music? Any message for your fans?
    • Ann Licater: If my music has been or can be a part of helping someone access their intuition, meditate more freely or even inspire their own creativity, I’m delighted. I especially appreciate and am grateful for the fans who have sought my music out and shared it with friends, families and communities. I often imagine that someone is listening while they’re hiking or driving in the countryside, through the mountains, along a road in a forest or by the ocean and I’ve been “invited” along to provide the soundtrack for their journey that day. That makes me smile.

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