10/28/21: People Passing Through album debuts at #4 in the OWMR Top 100 Albums Chart
10/12/21: Interview with The Song Gardeners and Chrissie Sheppard, One World Music Radio
10/5/21 - People Passing Through Album and Warrior of Light in the NAMC for Sept. 2021
Why do we need music? Looking at the September 2021 New Age music chart, the answers come easy: we need it to be inspired, to dream, to heal, to bring us together – and, my favorite, to create memories. On the list is also one other key feature of music; to preserve culture. River Songs’ Music Of The Wounaan is released to bring awareness to the Wounaan Tribe’s indigenous way of life.
This month Keith Richie is no. 1 with the single Epica. His upcoming album, bearing the same name, will be released on October 15. The Song Gardeners have TWO titles on the list; their brand new album People Passing Through and the single Warrior of Light. If you need a positivity boost, look no further! Also, check out my recent interview with the people behind this band: Mary Gospe and Corrie Dunn.
Wayne Bethanis is down to no. 3 this month (after being no. 1 in June and August), but there is no doubt that Measures of Light has become one of 2021’s most popular New Age music releases. Remember also to check out David J. Peña’s new album Winds of Change.
In other news; the New Age Stars Radio stream will move to a new server in mid-November. The stream is ad-free and is available to audiences worldwide, thanks to SOCAN-licensing. With that ends 14 years at Live365.com (which, sadly, is only available in the US, Canada, and the UK). Now people everywhere can enjoy the channel!
New Age Music Chart (NAMC)
Name // Release // Score // Months in Chart
1. Keith Richie – Epica (10) (1)
2. The Song Gardeners – People Passing Through (9.8) (1)
3. Wayne Bethanis – Measures of Light (9.6) (4)
4. Holland Phillips – Eleven After Midnight (9.5) (1)
5. The Song Gardeners – Warrior of Light (9.3) (2)
10/1/21: Interview with The Song Gardeners - New Age Music Guide
Interview with The Song Gardeners
By BT Fasmer – October 1, 2021
On the release day of their debut album People Passing Through, we bring you an interview with Corrie Dunn and Mary Gospe of The Song Gardeners. Here we learn how the band came to be, how they work with music and their plans for 2022!
BT Fasmer: How did you meet – and what inspired you to form the band?
Mary Gospe: We met 20 years ago when our sons attended kindergarten together and quickly became friends with a shared passion for music and organic gardening. Several years ago, we took songwriting classes together at our local junior college. In 2019, I was in a cover band and we needed a substitute keyboard player. I called Corrie and she played keys and sang at a few of our gigs. We realized how special it was when we harmonized together. Shortly thereafter, I was invited to perform solo for 3 hours at a local venue and asked Corrie to join me. We had so much fun that we decided to form our own band, with a focus on performing our original material.
BT: Looking back to August 2019 when the band was formed, I guess it is safe to say that your timing was great? Due to the pandemic, the need for positive and uplifting music has been growing ever since.
Corrie Dunn: The pandemic brought an overwhelming amount of fear, anxiety, and judgment into the world. The lockdown provided time for us to create positive and uplifting songs with the intention to remind people that we are all unique, we are not alone, and we all have something to add to the world. Our songs honor diversity and respect for each other even when we disagree, with the hope of living together peacefully and making the world a better place.
BT: Tell us about the process behind your music. How do you divide the work?
Mary: We are both songwriters and many of our songs were written solely by one of us. In those cases we provide a rough demo of the song to our producer, David Scheibner, who creates or augments the beat and adds in additional instruments and loops to craft our chill, groove vibe.
David co-wrote “Harmony of Contrast” with me, providing musical chords and elements to support my lyric and melody. Reveal is the first song in which all three of us were co-writers. In that case, David provided the beat (in the style of Enigma) and we toplined. I had been working on the concept of Reveal (a song about women’s empowerment) and had some rough lyrics. Corrie took my notes, wrote a chant and finalized the lyric. We had the chant translated into Farsi and Spanish to expand on the global message.
BT: Many have labeled your music New Age pop. How did you “find” your sound – and how has the audience responded to it?
Corrie: Mary had already established herself as an inspirational singer-songwriter with the release of her debut album, “Time to Soar,” in 2019. Her songs are filled with positive messages of love, freedom, unity and oneness. She invited me to sing backing vocals on the album and while we were in Los Angeles recording with producer David Vito Gregoli, we had the pleasure of hearing Donna De Lory perform at a small venue in Topanga Canyon. That inspired me to write my first chant song, “Sabbe Satta Sukhi Hontu” (which is a Buddhist chant meaning May All Beings Be Well). Mary followed along shortly thereafter with “Love Flows,” her blessing for humanity.
We wanted our music to be in the style of contemporary pop and David created this atmospheric, chill, groove vibe that we fell in love with. We married that with our positive, empowering messages and our sound was born.
We’ve had fans tell us that our music is healing and that it has really helped them through times of grief and dealing with the stress of the pandemic. Hearing that makes us very happy that our music can affect people in a positive way.
BT: Your song “Reveal” is about women’s rights and gender equality. As a father of young women myself, I found the song both inspiring and hopeful. Is this a topic you want to explore more?
Corrie: Yes, women’s rights and gender equality are issues we bring to the forefront in our song “Reveal”. There are parts of the world where women do not have the same freedom and rights as men. We hope the messages in our music encourage people to shift from fear, judgment, and control into a place of love, unity, respect, and peace.
BT: Since The Song Gardeners were formed, there has been a lot of political instability and civil unrest, both in the US and internationally. But even in this climate, you are not afraid to voice your opinions. How have people responded to that?
Mary: The people who are drawn to our music resonate with our messages of love, peace, freedom and personal empowerment. That’s why the New Age audience has been such a good fit for us.
With my song, “Warrior of Light,” I do call out the global news narrative of fear, control and manipulation. I feel it’s important to be aware of what’s going on in the world, while focusing on what you want to create and to do so with joy, courage and peace. The bridge of the song focuses on this message:
Stand up – reclaim your sovereignty,
Stand up – for what you believe,
Stand up – create a new story,
Stand up – peacefully, peacefully.
BT: You have managed to cultivate both a local and a global audience. What is your advice to artists who want to follow your example?
Corrie: We are fortunate in that we have found a niche for ourselves, helping to create this new genre of music we call New Age Pop. Our advice is to be true to yourself, be your authentic self and have fun exploring your own unique musical style and messages if you are writing lyrics.
BT: Now when “People Passing Through” is out; Will you focus on promoting the album, or will you start making new music right away?
Mary: Both really. We will continue promoting the album and performing. We look forward to putting together a tour in 2022. We will be writing and recording new songs. So look for more singles to be released in 2022.
BT: Anything else you want to say to your fans?
Corrie: We are honored to be living our dream – crafting and performing songs we love with empowering, positive messages. Thank you to our fans for supporting us, listening to our songs and sharing our music and music videos with others. We love and appreciate every one of you.
BT: Thank you so much Corrie and Mary for taking the time to answer these questions. On behalf of all your fans; thank you so much for the music – you are amazing!!
For more information and music samples, visit thesonggardeners.com
9/22/21: "Winners named in Arts Los Altos Instagram contest" - Los Altos Town Crier
Photo credit: Corinne Landphere
Local residents and musicians Mary Gospe and Corrie Dunn submitted the winning entry in Arts Los Altos’ Instagram Photo Contest with a picture of the duo posing in front of “200 Main St. [an inventory of time & place],” a mural presented by Arts Los Altos at the corner of Main and Third streets in downtown Los Altos.
The nonprofit Arts Los Altos brings public art to private spaces.
Gospe and Dunn, known as The Song Gardeners, will release their debut album, “People Passing Through,” Oct. 1 and found that the mural was the perfect backdrop for their album’s cover art. Los Altos resident and artist, Corinne Landphere, served as the band’s artistic director and photographer.
The runner-up, Elya Okhlopva, showcased two kids and a dog planning a wonder-filled adventure from the mural’s doorway into the wide-open hills of Los Altos. Other notable entries included a playful family photo of Portland, Ore., residents Eliza Coblentz, Mike Kendrick and their daughter Rennie Kendrick, who is starting graduate studies at Stanford University this fall, who snapped the shot during a visit with their Los Altos friends Laura Roberts and Bob Jones.
The mural’s artist, Martha Sakellariou, designed the life-size work to encourage viewer interaction and posting on social media to share unique ideas of “making yourself at home” in Los Altos.
Arts Los Altos encourages residents to share photos on Instagram. Tag @artslosaltos and use the hashtag #artslosaltos.
For more information, visit artslosaltos.org.
8/1/21: "Harmony of Contrast" reaches #4 on the OWMR Singles Chart for July 2021
7/1/21: "Harmony of Contrast" debuts at #4 on the New Age Music Chart for June 2021
“Harmony of Contrast” written by Mary Gospe and David Scheibner, and recorded by The Song Gardeners, debuts at #4 on the June 2021 New Age Music Chart.
5/3/21 - "Reveal" Debuts at #1 on New Age Music Chart
Spring is here and with it comes a premium selection of fresh New Age music! On the below list is a total of eight new releases, so there is plenty to choose from. The Song Gardeners have won the hearts of many fans over the last year – and “Reveal” this month’s number 1.
4/5/21 - 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.
3/31/21 - "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.
3/8/21 - "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.
2/23/21 - "Warrior of Light" climbs to #16 on One World Music Radio chart - Feb. 2021
2/5/21: "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.
10/1/20: "Love Flows" Reaches #5 on OWMR Singles Chart
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.