(under videos, 2019 wildflower! Arts & music festival)
due to covid 19 concerns, all shows on my schedule will be postponed until further notice. Please, for the sake of all, stay safe, stay healthy, stay home, and stay informed.
music by anna may:
songs of memory and escapism.
alt tragic americana snapshots, invocations for peace and judgment bending, with
bleeding heart stream of consciousness poems.
Anna has so far released three albums, and is currently working on her fourth album, entitled, kites.
Anna's first EP from 2015, Hey Houdini, her 2017 release, I'm Still Thinking of You, her 2019 release, Flimsy Diatribe (original title, premature sunburn), along with several other singles, & singles from her upcoming album, are all available at annamay.bandcamp.com, cd baby, & at most digital destinations for music. samples of music are here, at annamaymusic.com. all music, recorded by steve rizzo at stable sound studios.
Anna has been musically enhancing lives in connecticut and elsewhere since 2011, with a teaching style that honors creative flexibility & personal musical freedom, as well as the importance of technique & cultural awareness.
we improvise, we learn from others, and we do a little bit of everything that has potential to bring us satisfaction, as in our lives.
as part of my lessons, i seek to create a fluid, positive, wholly affirming & non judgmental space in which students feel allowed to expand and explore, and where they can feel willing to transcend their previously thought Limits.
contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in music lessons, or if you are interested in music for wedding services.
at the age of twenty six, anna may is an established songwriter, multi instrumentalist, teacher, and traveler based in connecticut.
She has studied piano since the age of six, and is currently the resident organist at grassy hill congregational church in lyme, connecticut. anna carries with her an eclectic and original musical style that has been fed by many experiential sources, and by her education background as an unschooler and autodidact.
Feeling dissatisfied with the monotony of her traditional schooling experience, at age fifteen, anna began to cultivate a life of intentional unschooling, intentional creativity, & radically independent study after skipping two grades in middle school, & leaving traditional high school early in favor of travel and studies with independent mentors.
Anna's desire to choose unschooling was driven by a deep sentiment of having felt under stimulated & without challenge or focus in the context of public schooling, coming to discovery that autodidacticism requires a great deal of discipline, self motivation, and invention. She was lucky to find similarly minded people on the course of her educational journey.
During school years, Anna's life was filled with competitive travel basketball & softball, where she pitched her teams to many victories. Competitive sports were offset by softer forms such as poetry, creative writing, studies in percussion, piano lessons, and by creative dance classes & performances with favorite mentors, and with Creative Dance Continuum.
This all contributed to the development of a deep love for free expression & a desire to maintain a global consciousness about all that Anna would undertake.
After a writing & social justice immersion program in Durango, Colorado in 2011, independent west coast travels with family in 2012 & 2013, a southern United States music tour, and a Spanish and tango immersion in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2014 with Unschool Adventures, Anna decided to take a break from music performance & writing, and joined the circus in 2015, where she immersed herself in trapeze, aerial silks, lyra, hoop dance, and West african dance, spreading the medicines of circus arts and music with members of her community, in Connecticut, New york, and to Standing Rock Reservation in Cannonball, North Dakota for the purpose of enlivening the spirits of water protectors at the protest camp. While with the circus, Anna was given space to enhance her communication and teaching skills through the arts of movement and performance.
In 2013, Anna worked as a mentor at east tenneessee unschooled camp in johnson city, tennessee, with a group of extremely gifted teenagers, and learned so much about herself from them. at camp, she facilitated dance workshops that explored acrobatic and creative movement, expressive choreography, and various forms of dance, including modern dance and flow arts. Developing and cultivating the innate creative instinct often proves to be the best way to approach problem solving with equanimity and invention.
Anna ultimately returned to music as her focus. Music is her meditation for navigating heartache, and for navigating life .. it is my primary coping mechanism. It is wistful, transient, sweet, open, melancholic, & feels like the most honest form, unveiling us, as people. music causes us, in so many ways to feel closer to seeing ourselves, and others; we are, a bit more vulnerable, and a bit freer, at the same time, because of the music that we create or absorb.
Her music has been enriched by the many inspiring individuals who have crossed her path, & by her travels in and out of the country, during which she was taught the importance of confronting what is difficult, and taught that the arts of dance, music, festival, freedom, and living in deep connection & relationship to others has the capacity to heal our traumas, and simultaneously, heal the many fissures, existing in our planet . Anna feels grateful to have been brought up in a loving environment, surrounded by musicians and by teachers, and expresses gratitude to her parents and to her grandmother for giving her a life replete with abundance and inspiration.
In addition to releasing a short album of songs in 2015, Anna self published her first novel of observational human sketches in 2011 at the age of eighteen, and is currently perfecting a children’s book, as well as a new album of songs made from fresh experiences.
Anna conveys, mostly, meditations and memories, along with jazz standards, and original music with an emphasis on spiritual expansion and fissures in human relationships, always seeking to offer musical meditations on universal peace, and the cultivation of authentic & permanent states of joy, and enhanced connection. Anna's music is streaked with tones of jazz, implanted in her after a brief life in new orleans as a musician and youth development mentor for elementary school students. Influenced by travels to south america, europe, and extensive travels within the united states, anna has cultivated a sound that is uniquely her own .. a sound that she is always hoping to expand, with the aid of new experiences & new friendships.
Music teaches us about who we are .. and that it is only ever about giving, loving, and sharing.
Anna considers herself lucky to have found a loving audience that is supportive of her musical growth.
She has performed music at venues across the country, including at mid city music lounge in los angeles, california, broadway comedy club in new york, new york, bar redux in new orleans, louisiana, crying wolf in nashville, the 2019 wildflower arts & music festival, the boston arts festival, connecticut's sailfest, the Glastonbury harvest festival in connecticut, etc. She has also opened for award winning singer & songwriter, jann klose.
A lifelong dancer, writer, teacher, experience-r and communicator who seeks, primarily, to weave wisdom into music, Anna is grateful for the many special mentors who have offered their gifts to her, who have shared their inspiring and empowering energies, and who have imparted to her the supreme importance of artistic freedom.
Along the way, Anna has enhanced her dance studies with Argentine tango, salsa, swing, and with other ballroom styles. She keeps busy with modeling work at lyme academy of fine arts in lyme, connecticut, piano teaching, offering counseling & support to at risk youth, and to victims of domestic violence & abuse.
Anna is passionate about lending her voice to eating disorder recovery causes whenever she can, & also enjoys acting as a writing tutor. she facilitates therapeutic dance workshops when she can and is most passionate about the powerfully medicinal qualities of dance combined with music; a stimulating practice of full self expression that anna has consciously immersed herself in. Anna seeks to perform with an intent of spreading joy and awareness. she is perpetually deepening her studies of yoga, meditation, religion, & spirituality, and is deep in the process of publishing her children's book, the adventures of delbert spitnificus; a story about an ordinary man who wishes to become extraordinary.
We are only here, for right now .. that is all that we know, right now, to experience & interpret the radiantly shifting, human experience. - that which is unique to us, and at once, common to others. we are all here to capture some of the moments, and some of the lessons, and to enjoy the process of growth.
May we love ourselves, and love the lives that we create. may we fuel ourselves and others perfectly; dance often, & guard our goodness with the whole hearted and precious energy that we each posses. may we continue to expand into new spiritual dimensions, in absolute unity, while we are here. We are perfect as we are.
May we remain impassioned & fully engaged in all that we do.
May we do what feeds us, and cultivate something that feels divine in our lives.
May we meditate, and sunbathe, and share freely in our many freedoms :)
Rebirth is inevitable.
Music might be the best vehicle to drive the rebirthing process ..
Tour de promethean and premature sunburn -
fresh songs & fresh vibes after a year of simultaneous giving and suffering.
a collective movement regarding what it is to remain in states of beauty, authenticity and originality as we endure processes which could cause us to reshape entirely ..
how do we remain rebelliously creative, innovative and free as we navigate life’s surprises?
how can we hold onto our innate creativity in the midst of oppression?
may we seek to confront and relinquish suffering, and move towards wholehearted freedom and bliss .. ever deepening.
may we never remain in states of pain or rejection that cause power & inspiration to dissipate.
we are beautiful.
may we always remain thoughtfully open to possibility.
East Lyme folk artist Anna May is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, dancer and author. Her upcoming EP “Premature Sunburn” is an eclectic collection of highly original, insightful and soothing songs. Her music is mythical, relaxing and at times haunting. I can hear these particular tunes in a movie soundtrack as they are perfect for sceneries calling for quiet reflection, poetry, and comfort. The EP was recorded by Steve Rizzo at Stable Sounds in Portsmouth, RI and features superb production sound, bare boned with just guitar and vocals, with an emphasis on melody rather than chord structure.
Anna’s angelic vocals are reminiscent of Suzanne Vega, Dido and Florence Welch and she has an innate ability to make the listener believe what she is singing. Her courage and simultaneous vulnerability somehow soothe you.
Insightful lyrics and spiritual melodies abound on the tunes “Poet,” “We Lose,” “September” and “Acadia” while “J’Attendrai,” French for “I Will Wait,” is perhaps a metaphor for her musical success to come. My favorite track is “Where is Your Love?” where she’s added a tremolo effect on the guitar giving it a southwestern feel. As witnessed by her gig schedule, Anna’s music is highly in demand at live performance venues. I highly recommend checking out this new, local talent.
Sue Menhart, Soundwaves Magazine.
feature on the deli magazine blog :
Anna May highlights sincerity in new record "I'm still thinking of you"
Waterford, Connecticut’s Anna May, takes her time, she allows the full sonic embrace of her new record I’m still thinking of you to grip, to heal. “I believed” is the long track that welcomes you to a world formed by Anna’s light acoustic guitar strums, rich vocals, and heartfelt, succinct lyrics. Tracks like “Velvet and gold,” tell through upbeat folk music stories of people you may want to know, precious individuals, as precious as they are described. “Where I belong” is the type of country-style song that is as sincere in its storytelling as it is pleasant in sound. There is a soothing nature that exists in the picturesque tales Anna presents; in times of uncertainty, music, and tales are exactly what we need. Stream the title track below for a glance at the imagery the music elicits. - Rene Cobar
Anna May Creates a State of Tranquility With “Careless”
From Waterford, Connecticut, Anna May is an artist with an alternative tragic Americana style who has just released a single called “Careless.” Her goal is to create music about memory and meditation. She draws aspects from jazz and folk music to give her songs a refreshing sound. As an artist, Anna May uses her connection with audiences to spread positivity by enhancing joy and humility. She has performed at many famous venues including Boston Arts Festival and Broadway Comedy Club in Manhattan.
Anna May’s “Careless” is stripped down to the simplicity of a guitar and a voice; it is a gentle, acoustic track that spotlights her soft vocals. Anna May creates an energy of peace and serenity with “Careless.” She plays a relaxed guitar melody to accompany her voice. Anna May showcases her natural musical talent and diversity as she plucks acoustic guitar at a slow pace. Her vocals are high pitched and soft, comparable to the slower-paced Dixie Chicks songs. She shows off her vocal range with drawn-out “oohs” throughout “Careless.” Lyrically, Anna May asks a love interest not to be “too careless” with her heart. The song is relatable for many people who have struggled with trusting again after heartbreak. - BuzzMusic.
exclusive interivew with BuzzMusic :
Welcome to BuzzMusic Anna May! Your new release "Careless" has tranquil energy that spotlights your vocals. Can you elaborate on the message behind your lyrics?
Thanks so much:) Careless has felt special to me. I was fortunate to get to the studio to record careless and some other new songs in the weeks before the pandemic hit the east coast in a big way. It was very much a precursor to quarantine to spend a few days in those sessions & to emerge, into the markets and shops of Newport, Rhode Island to find an already palpably changing world. I intended for careless to be a plea for kindness and accountability, rather than something that might fall into a category of shame or blame. Songs of this nature can be attempts to recover love and can be potent illustrations of fear and trauma. As painful experiences become further internalized, we undergo an often, prolonged physiological response.
For me, a challenge of translating emotions into song, is, achieving a perfect balance of melodic satisfaction, and insight, while acknowledging one’s own perspective, and someone else’s, as well. I actually don’t remember the experience of writing it, but I remember that it was a quick process, with very few edits. Those are the luckiest moments for songwriters. This song came to me in a way that had little to do with chiseling and crafting. Some songs are crafted, and others are written from a purely emotional perspective, because, the emotions that you wrote about were so widespread and encompassing. Careless was written with hope for the outcome of a situation that sits with me as unresolved & not having the beginning that it deserved. The song reflects on the aftermath of being told, starkly, that a relationship is over, before it has had an opportunity to flourish and evolve. For whatever reason, the other person had backpedaled from that point of unison joy and connection, in favor of something else. Sentiments like these have always been a common thread throughout my music, in efforts to lend a voice to the unspoken yet definitive relationships that never saw the light of day, and for all of the many people who were not well protected or treated with sensitivity.
Writing songs can provide me with closure that I did not fully receive, and songs help me to grapple with the frustrations of loss. Writing is a powerful therapy into and past all that haunts each one of us. Lyrically, this song asks a basic question: “why weren’t you careful with me?” The word careless helped to define the sense of desolation that I experienced, and examine what it was that caused me to feel it for so long afterward, as I was forced to sift through a very mixed bag of good memories and contradictions. In songs, unlike in reality, writers have absolute freedom to divulge and fully explore the emotional impact, as a way to work through the numbness. There is no getting around anything in the context of a song, and no sugar coating, in some cases.
The emotional impact is not quite black and white, and that makes it tricky and interesting to dissect, diagnose, understand, and interpret. We might all benefit from encouraging a more empathetic and nurturing way of being, for the sake of collective survival. Right now, this song and other ones are very much resting in a vat of uncertainty from a pre-pandemic world, and I see this one specifically as a call for someone, that is hanging in space.
The song itself asks for a response that it may not receive. So much of songwriting is examining a past that is no longer existing but only in the minds and hearts of the artists who choose to make these passionate dedications for who and what found a way into their lives and left gifts with them. Songs are ways to wonder if these sweet souls who are absent, might come back. Songs can be spaces for us to step back and reflect on the importance of each interaction, that holds sacred integrity. Careless is about the people who we see with lucidity and love, but who did not quite see us; who hurt us in ways that felt or feel unimaginable, but who we forgive.
We are vulnerable to change and heartbreak, but are also, characteristically resilient. If there is a really clear lesson that I’ve learned throughout my twenties, it is that interaction is tremendously important. In a society that moves quickly, I am valuing these current times that urge us to practice care and respect in all that we do, and that urge us to uncover lost layers of ourselves.
You have performed at a variety of famous venues and even opened for the award-winning songwriter, Jann Klose. Can you tell us how these experiences have inspired you as an artist?
Totally.. all of those experiences mostly inspired humility, a sense of elevation, and a sense of validation, too .. having one’s work noticed or respected by reputable venues, and opening for gifted artists is one of the unmatched joys of performing. These kinds of experiences also inspire a striving to do more, or a desire to expand in new creative directions, based on what you’ve absorbed in the context of a new setting. I’ve been fortunate to get to play at some stellar and unique venues. These are all stepping stones along the way to cultivating a clearer artistic vision, and towards knowing what my next step might be. Learning from other artists is crucial, and can make us feel like we have permission to try something new.
I was given good advice from my aunt, that has remained with me. She encouraged me to seek collaborations with artists who might cause me to feel as if I were out of my comfort zone. Playing with people who are technically more experienced with music than you are, usually makes for a more well-rounded artist. There is naturally quite a bit of walking around on ledges involved in music-making, anyways, so, throwing yourself into a variety of situations doesn't hurt. Traveling to play music has always enriched my perspective, and inspired songs, one of my favorite places being, the mystical town of Hoopa, in Northern California. The sense of movement that is inspired by travel feels spiritual and invigorating. Sinking into new places, realizing their depth and subtlety, feeling at home in them, and lending your energy to them is a unique privilege that musicians have. Storied music venues can have great vibes, and getting to play in particular spots can be surreal and special. I really enjoyed playing in Nashville .. there is just a huge sense of, having landed in the right place, and Petaluma, California was another favorite place.
We could clearly see your musical talent with both guitar and vocals in "Careless". How does your talent with guitar benefit you as an artist? Why did you choose to make "Careless" a completely acoustic song?
Thanks for saying that! I am pretty critical of myself as a guitar player. I like to play rhythm guitar, with a few change-ups here and there. I feel humbled to have been surrounded by some really talented players, in my life. I consider myself first a piano player, but, learning guitar in my early twenties felt like the right thing for the type of music that I had been writing, giving my songs the rhythmic boost that they needed.
I am a lover of lyrical complexity more than anything, but at the same time, there is so much fun to be had with the guitar! I feel as if I am only at the tip of the iceberg, with such a limitless instrument. On Careless, guitar helped me to create a pulsating dream-scape, where the lyrics could rest comfortably, while the guitar acted as a revving engine, accentuating, and allowing the energy of the song to dip and spike where it wanted. The guitar can be super inviting & familiar for listeners, and guided me in developing rhythmic and dynamic variety, along with syncopated stops that are subtle, but that adds tremendously to the mood & layers of emotion that I sought to illuminate. An instrument is an anchor. Careless ended up being, lyrically earnest, and even literal, with an ethereal and shaded musical backdrop.
I wanted this song to begin from a typical structure, and then to meander into something that was sort of unhinged, and akin to an echo chamber of promises and questions; this is where song structure gets set free. That’s the magic part, where we part with our story and hand it over to pure emotion. I have an illustration that went along with the initial draft of careless, to highlight a movement into a new realm, metaphorically, and energetically, in the second part of the song. I am happy that the recorded version ended up dropping into some cool, rhythmic cadences, spontaneously, too. Guitar often is my security blanket, & what I can cling to if what I am singing about feels way too strikingly vulnerable. Guitar propels songs forward with a sense of movement, urgency, and fluidity, almost acting as a nucleus. The music in careless was envisioned as a driving pulse, to reflect hope, confusion, and insistence. I am actually playing an electric guitar, but it is quiet and sounds pretty acoustic! I chose for these new tracks to be mostly acoustic because Steve Rizzo at Stable Sound Studios did a particularly artful job of capturing exactly, the dream-like quality that I wished to infuse into the newer songs while keeping things stripped down. That formula keeps feeling right, and so, I’ve stuck with it.
Your main goal as an artist is to spread peace and connectivity among your fans. Can you tell us why this is important to you, and how you send this message?
The world definitely needs a deeper sense of peace, right now. There is far too much that seeks to antagonize peace. I believe that unity is very important in potentially solving some of the biggest issues that face us, personally and politically. We are without clarity if we live within a structure that feels distorted or unpleasant to us. The political atmosphere of the past few years has really, I believe, contributed to an upheaval of collective consciousness. We now somewhat unwittingly live in a social landscape that is often fed by fear and anxiety, perpetuated by such a variety of elements. This atmosphere has assisted in implanting a tone of bitterness and uncertainty in our emotional and interpersonal worlds.
I’ve felt this from my own experiences. The next phase of being after this has to be an era of great peace and healing, and transcending of pain; an ongoing process for every human. Maybe, we must relearn what it actually means to extend genuine peace and healing to one other.
When the effects of global uncertainty are so overwhelming, they begin to trickle into our personal experiences, and I see so many examples of this happening, nearly everywhere. It wasn't until I began noticing and reflecting on exactly what I was really experiencing, that I started making music in the right way. Music is a beautiful form of communication when it isn’t of an overly esoteric framework, as it often is. Music happens because people need to make it. Music reaches everyone .. anyone can create music, as long as there is something genuine to express. The most satisfied that I’ve felt artisticlly (though most artists would probably be lying if they said that they were completely satisfied) was whenever I was the most honest, and the clearest. For me, the satisfying moments of music come when you can communicate something musical to someone who has never played music, or who thought that they couldn’t. What I hope to address in making music is .. the lack of connection; the disparities; the spaces between people that needlessly divide them; I try to explore, how to possibly erase the arrays of notions and judgments that can cloud our ability to connect. How do we explore confronting and moving outside of these paradigms, to see one another? I hope to make music that acknowledges the obvious divisions, and the absences of peace. I hope that more vulnerability can bring about more global awareness and personal awareness and that eventually, something much less fractured might exist. I hope that listeners will feel urged to close gaps, that have been placed by society, race, sexual orientation etc. in listening to music that brings us deeply close to people and their stories. Songs help us to connect with people that we miss; those that we feel separated from. We all have stories to fill up the song space, dream space, or inner world, constructed with hope, regret, or memory. Songs are pure connection, and the more that we share them, the more we all can heal, I believe.
Get A Little “Careless” With Anna May
With times being as uncertain and uneasy as ever before we could all use a little something that will soothe our souls and help make us feel whole again. Anna May is an alt-tragic Americana artist who has made it a goal in her life to weave wisdom and peace into her music, and a new single from her has come just in the nick-of-time.
Positivity, meditation, and connection are key themes throughout Anna’s music as well as her life. Every song brings to light new hope through the darkness. Using her naturally soothing and effervescent voice and her raw lyrical content, Anna uses her music to heal.
“Careless” is the latest soul-soothing piece from Anna May. Released in early-March, this single acts as an open-letter to future lovers. “Don’t be too careless with my heart.” True to Anna’s writing style, “Careless” feels like a stream of consciousness as she processes her thoughts and feelings on what could be.
“Careless” allows Anna to tackle complicated emotions and thoughts without judgment and with grace and beauty. Gentle guitar strums compliment the delicate state of May’s voice as she works through her inner fears and thoughts on emotional intimacy. Every word and note is meant to leave you feeling, thinking, and growing.
Fans of Ingrid Michaelson, Birdy, and A Fine Frenzy will find themselves swooning over the talent Anna May possesses. “Careless” is out now on BandCamp and Spotify!
"it is not the end of the physical body that should worry us. rather our concern must be to live while we're alive
- to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are"
.. elisabeth kubler - ross.