Here is an interview about my musical background and the album “Satellite,” published in Dec. 2012 International Musician Magazine.
Anna Dagmar: Blending Styles
By Kayla Turo
One of the greatest benefits for musicians today, is the high respect the population has for eclectic music. Now more than ever, musicians can happily dip into all of the genres that they love, in order to please listeners across the nation. Singer/songwriter, Anna Dagmar of Local 300 (Lowell, Massachusetts), has pleasantly landed herself in the midst of jazz and American folk music. Dagmar, who started as a student of jazz piano, let the integration of music cultures throughout her travels mold her into the musician that she is today. “Having a background in jazz has meant that my composing consists of a lot of rich and interesting harmonies,” explains the 34 year-old Dagmar. “I like the chords to move in unpredictable and refreshing ways. At the same time I like songs; I like melodies that you can remember, that are catchy and are fun to sing. So I’ve always bordered that line between something that is artistically interesting and something that is more accessible to a wider audience.”
These two genres have benefited Dagmar who focuses on the chord conjunctions and intricate harmonies that have symbolized jazz music, while also utilizing the creative and focused storytelling method that popularizes folk music. This utilization has led to the growing popularity in the young artist who has recently released her 4th album titled Satellite, in which she demonstrates this combination of jazz and folk music.
“My lyric inspiration often comes from personal relationships. Sometimes if I meet someone that really makes an impression on me (even if I don’t fully know them) I might imagine a story that surrounds them. So there will be a certain amount of exaggeration in my lyrics that’s not necessarily based on fact,” Dagmar laughs brightly. “It really is an expression that comes out of a need to express. When I write lyrics it is because I have feelings that I want to let out into the world.” The title song of her album tells the story of her parents, using the metaphors of the Garden of Eden, followed by the Big Bang Theory, and ultimately the metaphor of herself as a “satellite” which, being at a great distance, is able to see the world from a wider viewpoint. These metaphors are contributed to her parents from whom Dagmar attributes her broad views of science and spirituality.
Dagmar was raised by her parents in St. Albans, England before moving to the United States at the age of six. She took up classical piano at seven years-old and gleaned her talent from two instructors, one specializing in classical music and the other in jazz. Dagmar was deeply affiliated with all of her high school’s musical performances and organizations and she joined the American Federation of Musicians while still enrolled in high school. “I had all of these experiences as a younger person, and it was almost like professional training. My parents were very supportive of that as an idea and their thinking was even though it is a challenge to create a life as an artist, if you work hard and you learn the most that you can and you keep pursuing it and stay organized and responsible, you’re going to find a way to do this,” Dagmar says. After high school, Dagmar pursued a dual degree in Classical Music and Music Education from Eastman College in Rochester, New York.
Today, Dagmar is a freelance musician in New York City, performing at least 50 concerts a year across the country, composing, recording, and accompanying, all while teaching piano to 20 private students. Over the past year, Dagmar was awarded a finalist position in two lyric writing contests, including the Rocky Mountain Folk Festival lyric contest in Lyons, Colorado. Dagmar will continue to compose her original music, record albums, and tour across the country, performing her personal blend of music.