Lili McGovern dreams not only in color but in sounds--movie scores and symphonies to be exact. 'I experience movie-like dreams complete with soundtracks while I'm sleeping. I realized I better do something to hone that dream state into a more tangible form'. With singing her first love and the composition already in place, Lili embraced songwriting. 'I've been singing for as long as I can remember, and the songwriting, at first surprising, came naturally. Every heartache, joy, and lesson can be expressed and captured through the medium of music and shared. That's the part I get excited about--the underlying connections that hold us all together and make life so interesting.' An early foundation for a musical career was laid at the concerts and symphonies she enjoyed with her dad, while studying classical piano beginning around age 6. 'It was a very special time for my dad & I as music was and continues to be something we both love.' Lili's mom was a musical magnet for more modern tunes. 'She introduced me to most of my early songwriting idols like Judy Collins, Elton John, and Cat Stevens. I spent hours in front of the stereo singing to record jackets. I continued to sing in choirs and choruses throughout high school and college until I moved to Alaska in 1993.' It wasn't until after she started raising a family of her own that Lili realized how much she missed singing. 'When I moved to Alaska, I put music on the backburner, wanting to explore all that Alaska had to offer and celebrate my marriage. After a few years of enjoying Alaska and having a baby, I realized that something was still missing from my life and that was my music.' In 1999, she decided to enlist the expertise of vocal coach, Peggy Monaghan to realize her lifelong dream of becoming a 'folksinger'. 'I always wanted to be a rock star but after attending a Catie Curtis folk concert, what I really wanted was to be a folksinger. I loved the intimacy and shared joy of the folk concerts.' At her first vocal lesson, Lili noticed a poster for the Alaska Public Radio Network 'Song of the Year' Contest. 'I wrote my first song in 2 weeks on the piano-I hadn't started playing guitar yet. My mic was duct-taped to the vacuum cleaner! I didn't win the contest, but I finally found a way to channel my talent, efficiency and creativity into 3-minute vignettes. I was hooked. Of course, I had to start playing the guitar. The guitar freed up my creativity, it's very conducive to songwriting--I'd finally found my instrument.' In June of 2002, Lili attended her third Alaska Midnight Sun Songwriter's Camp, held annually in Palmer, Alaska. In four days, her life & songwriting was transformed through the workshops she attended hosted by the late Dave Carter. 'Dave Carter was a phenomenal individual. I think of him as a 'living buddha'. He was able to capture the essence of an emotion in his songs where I felt like he was singing about my inner world. He was like that in person, too, very compassionate and always learning. His teaching and workshops affirmed that I wasn't the only one dreaming music and that it's a valid way to write songs. Sometimes, as in his case, the results are exceptional.' Her new CD, 'a bare calliope', entitled after a shamanic journey with Dave Carter (Calliope referring to the musical instrument and her muse,'Calliope-the fair-voiced one'), features her version of the Dave Carter song, 'The Mountain' that Joan Baez performed for the Dalai Lama. 'I was devastated by Dave's death which happened a short time after his visit to Alaska. I ended up traveling to New York for a memorial at the Falconridge Folk Festival and upon my return produced and hosted a Dave Carter Memorial Tribute Concert here in Anchorage so that others could celebrate his life and come to know his music. It was a wonderful success and very healing. I had to include a Dave Carter song on my CD and 'The Mountain' seemed the most appropriate one at this time.' Lili continues to perform Dave Carter songs as she travels throughout Alaska to promote her new CD, 'a bare calliope'. 'Dave's death was a reminder for me to get things done now. From my Buddhist philosophy I already have a sense of living with no regrets, but nothing brings that concept to life more than a friend's death. I'm determined to carry on his legacy of writing songs that are simple yet profound and come from the very essence of life.' 'A bare calliope' showcases 13 original songs plus 'The Mountain' and boasts of legenday steel-guitarist Stu Schulman as arranger, producer,and engineer, as well as guest musicians, Shawn Zuke, Will Johnson, Sonny Derin, Kaz Johnson, Randy Stevens and Heather Adrian. It was mastered at Aishow Mastering, Boulder, Colorado by Matt Sandoski. For interviews and booking, please contact Lili through One-Eyed Turtle Production at (907)694-3289 or Arctic Siren Records (907)245-7311. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org website: lilimcgovern.com.
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