Kiwi grass roots musician Anna van Riel is taking her music to new heights with the release of her new studio album Whistle and Hum. The album is van Riel’s 3rd following the award-winning success of her six-track EP Einey Meiny Miney Mo and her debut album Solar Panel.
In June 2013 Anna set sail for the United States and Canada on a 3 month Sustainble House Concert Tour. The tour, which began in Vancouver B.C, followed down the West Coast of America to California, inland to Colorado, up through the heart of Wyoming and Montana and finished on Vancouver Island. B.C in late September.
The concept was to showcase Anna’s new album on the Whistle and Hum tour which took place in the living rooms of homes with an eco-conscious approach to living, and to have an captive audience that incorporated family and Anna’s love of children’s music alongside her own original works. Anna also took her husband Locky and 2 year old daughter Matilda on tour. “Having my family with me is living the dream,” she states. The album itself, an original collection of quirky cabaret, bluegrass and folk numbers, was created on a contra-trading system with Wanaka audio engineer and producer Danny Fairley (aka Civilian Sol). Having toured NZ numerous times and in keeping with her sustainable theme, Anna aims to book Fairley a NZ tour of his own upcoming album as a contra-trade for his recording talent. A focus on keeping it local has been a huge inspiration for the path the album has taken. The Whistle and Hum album now boasts the title of the first album to be fully produced, engineered, mastered and packaged in Anna’s home town of Lake Wanaka.
Having played at the world highests music festival in the Himilayas, performed the NZ national anthem for 50,000 punters at the Four Nations Grand Final and sung her original works for Prince Albert of Monaco, Anna’s favourite and most recent success is winning album of the year in her home town of Invercargill. “New Zealand has so much incredible talent”, says van Riel. “Southland seems to be oozing with it, so I felt pretty honoured to take home the cake”.
Anna van Riel was born a singer-storyteller, her career in fact started when she was just three years old, when she started making up songs and belting them out to whoever would listen! At the age of seven Anna’s parents bought her a small Casio keyboard and her passion for music flourished. When she was 14, Anna’s mother taught her three chords on the guitar, these were enough for her to write her first song. A year later she won the local talent quest!