4/5/2021 - The Song Gardeners featured in the Palo Alto Weekly
Local roots and global dreams: The Song Gardeners grow their sound
Los Altos band releases new single April 8
by Karla Kane / Palo Alto Weekly
Los Altos band The Song Gardeners (Mary Gospe, left, and Corrie Dunn) perform original music with an empowering message. Courtesy The Song Gardeners.
It’s been a difficult year for artists, but for a pair of Los Altos songwriters, singers and multi-instrumentalists, it’s also been a fruitful time to watch their music blossom. The Song Gardeners (Mary Gospe and Corrie Dunn) have been hard at work writing, recording and releasing original songs with empowering messages, in a genre they call New Age pop.
“It is our intent to bring peace, beauty and harmony into the world through our music,” Dunn said. “Songwriting is our therapeutic creative outlet.”
The band (which also previously included Mountain View musician Chris Day), has released a number of well-received singles and plans to release an album in the coming months, with producer and fellow Los Alton David Scheibner at the helm. With titles including “Love Flows,” “Warrior of Light” and “Love is the Magic of Change,” their songs offer uplifting and affirming lyrics set to chill grooves and danceable beats, with vocal harmonies and more of a contemporary-pop sensibility than one might usually associate with the “New Age” tag. It’s a natural association for Gospe, though, who teaches meditation, among other spiritual pursuits, while also having roots in rock, folk and jazz.
“We’ve really found an audience in the New Age genre,” Gospe said, noting that both The Song Gardeners and her solo songs have found success on New Age radio charts, critical acclaim from international listeners, and even earned several honors.
The jazz-harmony infused “Love Is the Magic of Change,” written by Dunn, recently won the “Oneness” award from One World Music radio station, for the song “that best represents the hope for global harmony, peace and a oneness of heart, regardless of colour, creed, age, religion, gender or sexuality.”
Their sixth single, “Reveal,” is out April 8 on all streaming platforms. With a world-beat flavor, a chant sung by Gospe in Farsi, Spanish and English, and lead vocals by Dunn, the song “is an invitation for women across the globe to break free of outdated patriarchal, religious and cultural norms that keep them silenced and hinder their choices and freedom of expression,” according to a press release by the band.
Gospe and Dunn both grew up in music-loving families. They met 20 years ago, when their sons were in kindergarten and have been friends ever since, with a mutual love of organic gardening (hence the band name). They played together in the Los Altos cover band Cool Fire, then formed The Song Gardeners to nurture their original material.
Dunn has long been involved with music professionally; she holds a degree in music from UCLA and works in the Los Altos School District, teaching choir, orchestra and band to local elementary school students. She also plays violin in the Palo Alto Philharmonic and has taken bluegrass fiddle lessons with local legend Jack Tuttle. While she’s composed songs since her youth, sharing them with the public is a fairly new endeavor.
Gospe earned an MBA and worked in high-tech marketing and consulting for years, with music on the back burner, although she, too, dabbled in songwriting, taking a class at Foothill College multiple times, “until I maxed out,” she said with a laugh. In 2018 she decided to take a short sabbatical to follow her heart’s true delight. A fortuitous introduction to producer David Vito Gregoli led to the recording and release of an album of original music, “Time to Soar,” in 2019 and before she knew it, “My six-month sabbatical turned into a forever sabbatical,” she said, transitioning to an “encore career” as an independent musician.
“I always dreamed of being in a band or doing something with music but I don’t know if I ever thought it would take off,” she said. “I’m kind of living my dream right now.”
Obviously, the year of pandemic restrictions have put a damper on Gospe and Dunn getting together to play, record and perform, but they’ve kept up with their collaborations from a (short) distance.
“We all are really close together physically but we each record our own parts at home and then send tracks to the producer,” Gospe said. “I’d say the biggest challenge in home recording is the leaf blowers!”
When writing, Gospe said she often starts with the lyrics.
“I’ve had a few songs drop in while I was meditating,” she said. For the song “I Choose Love,” the words struck suddenly mid-meditation as a sort of divine download: ”In this moment I get to choose. No one else is standing in my shoes. It’s up to me how I want to be'” she recalled. “That was really cool. Those are like gifts, when that happens.”
The band marked its return to live, in-person performance with a gig as part of downtown Los Altos’ First Fridays event on April 2.
“With technology, we can still create and share our music; we’ve even had some online performances. But nothing beats live music, both for the performers and for the audience,” Dunn noted.
Ultimately, Gospe said she’d love to tour both locally and internationally, especially to Europe, where the band has received some nice airplay and attention. But in the meantime, it’s all about continuing to develop their songs and keep the positive vibrations humming.
“We feel really good about the messages we’re putting out,” Gospe said. “The songs are healing. I think we’ve found a niche for ourselves.”
More information is available at thesonggardeners.com.
3/31/2021 - "Love Is the Magic of Change" Wins "Oneness" Award
Corrie Dunn’s song, “Love Is the Magic of Change,” was the winner of the One World Music Radio Oneness Award, recognizing a single piece of music that best represents the hope for global harmony, peace and a oneness of heart regardless of colour, creed, age, religion, gender or sexuality.
3/8/2021 - "Love Flows" Nominated for 2020 Best Vocal Single
“Love Flows,” written by Mary Gospe and recorded by The Song Gardeners, was nominated today for a 2020 Best Vocal Single award by One World Music Radio.
2/24/2021 - The Song Gardeners featured in the Los Altos Town Crier
2/23/2021 - "Warrior of Light" climbs to #16 on One World Music Radio chart - Feb. 2021
2/5/2021: "Warrior of Light" reaches #1 on New Age Music Guide's January Chart
Written by BT Fasmer. A new year and new possibilities! I think a wind of hope – and probably a few new year’s resolutions too – are reflected in the New Age Music Chart for January 2021. The Song Gardeners’ “Warrior of Light”, this month’s no. 1, sums up the atmosphere perfectly.
1/13/21: The Song Gardeners at #9 on 2020’s Top 10 New Age Music Headlines - New Age Music Guide
By BT Fasmer, January 13, 2021
2020 is a year that many would like to forget as soon as possible. But before moving on, let’s take a look at the biggest New Age music headlines of this different and strange year!
But one thing is “same procedure as last year”, Covid19 or no Covid19; Enya is dominating the 2020 list as she did in 2019 – and most year before that But looking at the biggest news story of 2020, Enya might not be the most famous New Age music artist on the planet anymore. That is now The Dalai Lama!
[Coming in at #9:]
In June, New Age Music Guide had the pleasure of introducing a new band called The Song Gardeners. It features Corrie Dunn, Mary Gospe and Chris Day. On June 18th, they debuted with two original songs, “Love Flows” and “Sabbe Satta Sukhi Hontu” (May All Beings Be Well).
Take my word for it; you don’t have to listen long before The Song Gardeners plant a seed of hope, peace, and love in your heart. Their blessing for humanity is a welcome gift in this conflict-ridden age.
12/21/20: "Love Flows" #4 on One World Music Radio's Top 30 Tracks of 2020
By Steve Sheppard:
2020 has probably been one of the hardest years for us collectively to endure, thank goodness for music the panacea to cure most ills, most musicians have been ultra-creative this year during the many and ongoing lockdowns due to the global pandemic, ones likely to stretch well into 2021 too, but this has given a plethora of opportunities for artists, even me, to create new music, whilst we sit at home and stare at the freedom of clouds, and the rise of nature.
I have had time therefore, to create a top 30 of tracks officially for One World Music Radio, ones that have been heard on the station during the year and now are to be recognised as the media outlets top 30 listing, so let’s get this underway…
#4: The Song Gardeners with “Love Flows”, one of many splendid singles from the new age band, but one that seemed to resonate the most with the station. It was a timely release, when we all needed to see the love flow as well, but the creative genius of this band leaves me to think that 2021 could potentially be huge for them.
9/30/20: Mary Gospe's "We Are One" earns 2nd Place in One World Music Radio's "Oneness" Award
The Oneness Award is open to any of the genres we cover, for a single piece of music that best represents the hope for global harmony, peace and a oneness of heart, regardless of colour, creed, age, religion, gender of sexuality.
The judging panel will consist of OWMR presenters, who have not submitted a track for inclusion in the award.
Here are the results for 2020:
- 1st Place – Ronald van Deurzen for his track Hopeful Bliss
- 2nd Place – Mary Gospe for her single We Are One
- 3rd Place – Annie Locke for her single Anthem For a Better World
8/7/20: Mary Gospe's "Love Flows" and "I Choose Love" are finalists in the 2020 Peace Song Awards
August 7, 2020: The Peace Song Awards announced the finalists for the 2020 competition today. “Love Flows,” written by Mary Gospe and recorded by The Song Gardeners with producer, David Scheibner, is one of five finalists in the New Age category.
“With its global reach and inspiring mission, the Peace Song Awards (PSA) are thought to be the first to hold an annual worldwide search for the most spiritually-inspiring songs, spoken word poetry, sound-healing and music videos promoting messages of peace.” The winners will be announce on September 21, 2020 to coincide with the United Nations’ International Day of Peace.
For more information, visit https://peacesongawards.org/finalists/
7/1/20: "Love Flows" - #2 on New Age Music Chart – June 2020
By BT Fasmer, July 1, 2020
“Love Flows” written by Mary Gospe and recorded by The Song Gardeners, is number 2 on New Age Music Guide’s June 2020 Chart.