Anna Fritz is a cellist, singer, guitarist, and songwriter based in Portland, Oregon. Her independently released solo album, Wake, blends rich layers of cello with politically charged lyrics sung in a gentle, haunting voice.
A classically trained cellist, Anna has been breaking the traditional mold for the last eight years. Launching from her classical background, she has played, written, and sung with numerous projects in the vibrant Portland music scene. Folk musicians, indie-rock bands, and avant-garde visionaries alike have sought Anna’s creative and skillful playing for their performances and recordings.
Prior to beginning her solo career, she toured and played locally with the Portland-based folk-rock trio, Annavox. The band released one album entitled All Day Breathing.
Her move to working independently came partially from Anna’s desire to focus her songwriting on radical social change. “We are in serious trouble,” she says. “We need to take direct action now to create a more sane way of living with each other on this planet. I want to use music to help us do the work that needs to be done. Music that helps us grieve the suffering, get enraged about injustice, and that challenges us to act.” Strongly reflecting this attitude, Anna’s lyrics speak of civil war in Angola, corporate rule of our culture, the international weapons trade, environmental destruction, and many struggles for freedom.
Despite the grim realities of the issues in her songs, she also sings hopefully and urgently of new ways of living. Her music captivates the listener with the lush tone of cellos and beautiful vocal harmonies. The lyrics get under our skin, urging us to “wake now our minds” and calling us to live simpler, more compassionate lives.
Produced by Michael Hoffmann in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Wake includes guest appearances by Peter Mulvey (vocals), Alison Ippolito (piano and vocals), and a handful of outstanding Milwaukee musicians.