Meet Anna Robinson, Musician

Photo by Henry Roy Photography

Meet Anna Robinson, Musician
Artist Profile

When and how did your music journey begin?

My musical journey began when I was very young. I grew up in a musical family and was always around folk music and instruments. My dad was a church musician for a while and he writes music and plays multiple instruments. All of us kids got the music gene to different degrees. When we get together with relatives we have big family jams.

What instruments do you play and why?

I started out on piano at age seven. We had one in the house and I would tinker with it on my own until my parents decided lessons would be a good idea. The piano is a great and almost necessary instrument if you’re interested in music composition, which I was. I took lessons through most of my childhood. In high school, I added guitar which is when I started songwriting. A guitar is easier to haul around than a piano! Since then I’ve added Irish tin whistle and mandolin to my regulars. In college, I was fortunate enough to try out and take lessons in many different instruments as a way to understand them better for composition. I’d have to say that so far I think my favorite is the mandolin because I love the sound and it’s a great crossover instrument for blending genres. I probably end up playing guitar more, though, because it’s easier for songwriting.

How did you start writing music?

Melodies and words would just come to me. I’m constantly humming random tunes that just pop up in my head. My parents say that as a kid they knew how I was feeling based on the tone of my piano playing. Apparently, I played out my emotions. Around high school is when I really started seriously putting lyrics to my random melodies, which isn’t surprising as that’s when we start to really try to understand the world around us. There were a lot of emotions to play and write.

What inspires your lyrics?

My lyrics are inspired by this crazy journey I’ve been on. I’ve moved many times and have had a lot of different experiences. I think writing songs has been a way of making sense of it all. It’s no secret that many of my songs are about traveling and journeying and that’s what comes most naturally to me. Sometimes my lyrics are a conversation I wish I could have with someone but am too afraid.

I also try to pay close attention to what’s going on in the world and sometimes that inspires me to write. Traditionally folk music has been a way to mark moments and events in time. I also see it as a community-oriented genre, so I try to keep those things in mind when writing. I like to write songs that are easy for people to join in on and have a unifying effect. It’s not always easy, but it’s very satisfying when it works out.

What is your favorite piece?

If I don’t rise today
Send me on, send me on
If I don’t rise today
Send me on, send me on
If I don’t greet the morning sun
with a heart like a beating drum
If I don’t rise today
Send me on, send me on

If I don’t act today
Send me on, send me on
If I don’t act today
Send me on, send me on
If I don’t take the hammer and nail
If I don’t speak when I can tell
If I don’t act today
Send me on, send me on

If I don’t sign today
Send me on, send me on
If I don’t sign today
Send me on, send me on
If I don’t pay the renter’s fee
and leave this world in peace
If I don’t sign today
Send me on, send me on

What tips or advice do you have for other aspiring musicians?

Just know it’s never too late. Music will never go out of style. If you want to be a musician, be a musician! Nothing is standing in your way. Spoons can be an instrument. Your voice is an instrument. Just start making noise.

As for writing, if you really want to get good, I’d say listen to artists that are not mainstream. They’ll challenge your way of thinking and phrasing that Top 40 songs will never do. You’ll be able to find your own style instead of just jumping in the water with the rest of the mainstream.

What musicians or writers have inspired you?

Alison Krauss, Alanis Morissette, Aoife O’Donovan, and Dorothy have consistently influenced my writing. Also Eddie Vedder and Jose Gonzales soundtracks. For composition, I look to the greats - Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Alan Menken, James Horner, Danny Elfman, etc.

Where we can see you perform or hear your music?

https://annarobinsonmusic.com

https://www.youtube.com/AnnaRobinsonMusic

https://annarobinson.bandcamp.com/

https://soundcloud.com/annarobinsonmusic

Physical locations:

The Dahl Arts Center - Emerging Artists Showcase, March 31st
Lucky 13’s pub - Spearfish, April 14th and 29th

Get info for upcoming shows at these links:

https://annarobinsonmusic.com/shows/

https://www.facebook.com/pg/AnnaRobinsonMusic/events/

Henry Roy Photography

Rapid City OBGYN


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