Heather Anne Ross's debut CD, "Walkin' Till You Fly," is available at All That Jazz and Lyon's Corner Drug in Steamboat Springs, at Spiro's Tradin Post in Oak Creek, and online www.cdbaby.com. Listen to excerpts from the CD at here.
Heather Anne Ross describes her first CD, "Walkin' Till You Fly," as the challenge of her life.
Written, performed and recorded by the South Routt resident, "Walkin'" is a calming collection of 11 instrumental songs Ross spent about a year creating. They're the product of more than 20 years spent as a music educator and performer, of the time Ross spent with Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp or the Mountain Madrigal Singers or as JellyBean the clown.
"I don't know how to condense a lifetime of loving music and using it in every aspect of my life," Ross said, trying to recall all the ways she's shared her zeal for music in 25 years of living in the Yampa Valley.
From 1984 to 2005, Ross created and led community music programs in Routt County, spending time teaching music and movement in preschools and bringing soothing songs to the Doak Walker Care Center. From 1992 to 2000, she used her degree in vocal music from Stephens College in her performances as JellyBean the clown.
In that time, Ross said she never really gave herself permission to create. "Walkin'" is an evolution from performing short, fun songs to writing full instrumental compositions - a chance for Ross to share her music on a "more adult level," she said.
On the album, Ross plays classical guitar, keyboard and flute. The tracks are a mix of personal healing and celebration, and they fall into a sonic category Ross said is a little bit Claude Debussy, a little bit Yanni and a little bit Loreena McKennitt.
"For me, it was sitting down and putting together a lifetime - it's dedicated to a lifetime of joy and love for the creation of music," she said.
Ross's favorite track on the CD is titled "A Soft Place to Fall," which was the last song she wrote for the project.
"I would say it's my favorite because I reach into a tenderness and a feeling that I have with my life that everyone needs a soft place to fall. And with how the world's going right now, it was just a relief," she said.
Ross recorded the CD in four sessions at Allen Audio studio in Craig. Originally meant as a personal healing process and a lesson in self-expression, "Walkin'" wasn't conceived as a commercial project, Ross said. But as the CD developed, Ross saw something more in it. The record is available locally at All That Jazz and Lyon's Corner Drug in Steamboat Springs, at Spiro's Tradin Post in Oak Creek, and online at www.cdbaby.com.