An Interview with Anna Dagmar
A few weeks ago, I posted a video of "Satellite," the first single from Anna Dagmar's newest album of the same title. I first saw her play at a concert on Long Island, and not only did I love the song, I thought the subject matter would make it perfect to feature on my blog. I contacted her to ask a few questions about the song and the album, and she agreed to an interview. But if you haven't heard the song yet, do that first - it's gorgeous!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from originally? How did you begin your musical career?
I was born in Wellwyn Garden City, UK. My family lived in England for twenty years, but came back to the states when I was six years old. After that we lived briefly in rural VA and then in Chelmsford, MA which is north of Boston.
I started piano lessons when I was seven years old and took to it right away. I do remember many recitals growing up, and feeling like I was really playing interesting classical music by 8th grade. In high school I had the opportunity to do a lot of accompanying and collaboration in school. This lead me to want to pursue music in college and I went off to Eastman School of Music. After Eastman I moved to New York City and started performing professionally.
How would you describe your style of music to someone who wasn't familiar with it? What instruments do you use?
Usually I describe my music as, "piano-woven folk/pop." I like to use the piano accompaniments to paint the meaning behind the words. The piano is like an orchestra, so it has infinite possibilities! I also love arranging, and sometimes I use strings and woodwinds, giving the music a cinematic quality. My bandmates are really wonderful and they come up with their own parts once they hear my new songs. In particular, Ben Wittman (drummer) and Marc Shulman (guitarist) have added their signature sounds to my recordings.
What inspires you to write music?
I'm inspired by everything around me, and by my own feelings. Sometimes I make up stories about people I see on the street. Other times, I dig deep to remember the emotions I've felt in relationships and friendships. Occasionally I am struck by something more abstract like an image. That becomes a metaphor and grows into a song. Many times I sit at the piano and wait for musical inspiration to come out of improvisation, then it leads to a song without words at first, and the words follow.
In the song "Satellite", you sing that your father was "a man of reason" who "plays with math like music and yearns for proof", while your mother "kneels below the window and speaks to God above". Is this a true autobiographical account?
Yes, this is the best way I could describe the ways my parents find beauty and meaning in the world. My father is more of a scientific and mathematical thinker. He is highly educated in math and philosophy and has a passion for reading and learning. My mother is very spiritual and has dedicated a lot of time to religious history and also to finding her own way with faith. I would say she is not evangelical, she rather experiences her spirituality in a very personal way, and it has deeply enriched her daily life and her ability to give to others.
I have taken something from each of them in terms of how to think positively and how to keep striving for higher understanding and purpose in life.
Do you have a favorite song (or songs) from your latest album? Which ones would you most recommend to someone who wanted to get acquainted with your music?
The album is well-sequenced from start to finish, so if they have time it's nice to listen through in order. But a few top tracks would be:
#7 We Were Children
#8 Can't Help Falling in Love (cover by Peretti, Creatore and Weiss)
#9 Down the Road
What's next for you after this new album?
Ha ha! Journalists love that question! I am going to write a full-length musical starting this fall with my lyricist partner from BMI Writing Workshop, Kevin Wanzor. I'll also be touring regularly throughout the northeast and will be performing as far as Colorado and California this year. Just having finished my UK CD Release tour it's been a lot of travel! But for writing projects, the main focus will be the musical, and of course the beginning of a future album. That kind of gets cooking on it's own... let's see what happens and I'll keep you posted!
The new version's battery has a shorter range and a price $4,000 lower than the previous starting price.
- Tesla's new version of the Model 3 costs $45,000 and can travel 260 miles on one charge.
- The Model 3 is the best-selling luxury car in the U.S.
- Tesla still has yet to introduce a fully self-driving car, even though it once offered the capability as an option to be installed at a future date.
We all know sleeping with your ex is a bad idea, or is it?
- In the first study of its kind, researchers have found sex with an ex didn't prevent people from getting over their relationship.
- Instead of feeling worse about their breakup after a hookup, the new singles who attempted sexual contact with their ex reported feeling better afterwards.
- The findings suggest that not every piece of relationship advice is to be taken at face value.
Want a happy, satisfying relationship? Psychologists say the best way is to learn to take a joke.
- New research looks at how partners' attitudes toward humor affects the overall quality of a relationship.
- Out of the three basic types of people, people who love to be laughed at made for better partners.
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Tiny and efficient, these biodegradable single cells show promise as a way to target hard-to-reach cancers.
- Scientists in Germany have found a potential improvement on the idea of bacteria delivering medicine.
- This kind of microtargeting could be useful in cancer treatments.
- The microswimmers are biodegradable and easy to produce.
Metin Sitti and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute in Germany recently demonstrated that tiny drugs could be attached to individual algae cells and that those algae cells could then be directed through body-like fluid by a magnetic field.
The results were recently published in Advanced Materials, and the paper as a whole offers up a striking portrait of precision and usefulness, perhaps loosely comparable in overall quality to recent work done by The Yale Quantum Institute. It begins by noting that medicine has been attached to bacteria cells before, but bacteria can multiply and end up causing more harm than good.
A potential solution to the problem seems to have been found in an algal cell: the intended object of delivery is given a different electrical charge than the algal cell, which helps attach the object to the cell. The movement of the algae was then tested in 2D and 3D. (The study calls this cell a 'microswimmer.') It would later be found that "3D mean swimming speed of the algal microswimmers increased more than twofold compared to their 2D mean swimming speed." The study continues —
More interestingly, 3D mean swimming speed of the algal microswimmers in the presence of a uniform magnetic field in the x-direction was approximately threefolds higher than their 2D mean swimming speed.
After the 2D and 3D speed of the algal was examined, it was then tested in something made to approximate human fluid, including what they call 'human tubal fluid' (think of the fallopian tubes), plasma, and blood. They then moved to test the compatibility of the microswimmer with cervical cancer cells, ovarian cancer cells, and healthy cells. They found that the microswimmer didn't follow the path of bacteria cells and create something toxic.
The next logical steps from the study include testing this inside a living organism in order to assess the safety of the procedure. Potential future research could include examining how effective this method of drug delivery could be in targeting "diseases in deep body locations," as in, the reproductive and gastrointestinal tracts.
It's hard to imagine such a number. But these images will help you try.
The Mega Millions lottery just passed $1 billion for tonight's drawing.
What does that even look like, when represented by various currencies?
It takes just 6 numbers to win. You can only, however, purchase tickets up until 10:45 ET tonight.
Our modern-day Kafka on his new novel Lake Success and the dark comedy that in 2018 pretty much writes itself
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Here's why the school you went to is less relevant than ever.
- Learning agility is the ability to learn new things quickly and be aware of the trends that are emerging in your industry. It's the most important job skill hiring managers should be looking for and job seekers should be putting forward, says Kelly Palmer.
- Want to test your learning agility? Answer this practice interview question: "What did you learn last week?"
- Hiring people based on the school they went to is less relevant than ever. Why? Palmer explains: "If I asked you, "Tell me about your health," and you told me you ran a marathon 10 years ago, does that really tell me what your health is like? Not really." It's what you can offer now and how agile you are that matters.
- Kelly Palmer is the author of The Expertise Economy.
By 2022, there may be as many as three artificial moons floating above the city of Chengdu.
- Chinese state media announced plans to put an artificial moon in orbit by 2020.
- Just like the real moon, the artificial moon will reflect sunlight onto the Earth in order to cut down on electricity consumption.
- If the mission is a success, there are plans to launch three other artificial moons in 2022.
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