"Sara Thomsen has created a recording that is subtly captivating and seductive in its fragility. “Everything Changes” is a personal record that magnetically pulls you in.
Some artists write big, bold anthems that can overwhelm a listener. This record quietly beckons.
Enter this world to find a woman daring to go into those vulnerable, dark places that we all like to keep hidden. Thomsen does it with courage, eloquence and dignity, while translating the contents of her soul into musical form...
"...Thomsen’s heart has weathered upheaval and come out bigger and fuller. In “Everything Changes” she has produced a self-portrait that is radiant with elegance, grace and honesty. It weaves its way into your soul."
--John Ziegler, Duluth News Tribune
Spanish for everything changes, “Todo Cambia” is the title track and only cover song on a CD of otherwise Thomsen originals. During travels in Mexico, Central and South America, Thomsen became familiar with Argentine singer Mercedes Sosa’s popular version of this song written by Chilean Julio Numhauser. “To me this song is hope distilled,” says Thomsen. “It has carried me through the upheaval of difficult personal change and, on a social and political level, it gives me comfort and courage in the face of dismal and disheartening world affairs. Things will move. Everything changes.”
Other highlights include “A Woman’s Place,” commissioned for Women’s Month at the College of St. Benedict (St. Joseph, Minnesota), which tackles an expansive subject with shimmering lyrics and latin rhythms that beg for dancing feet. “I Remember These” is a poignant collection of childhood memories and tribute to Sara’s lefse making and poetry writing grandmother who nurtured Sara’s first creative love of drawing and painting. A quote by Indian author and activist Arundhati Roy—“Not only is another world possible, she is on her way”—in part inspired “All Across The Land.”
Piano, bass, drums, dobro, banjo, lead guitar, trumpet, flute, violin, cello, and harmony vocals accompany Sara’s clear voice and acoustic guitar, adding flavor and pizzazz to an exquisite musical mix.
Produced by Thomsen and co-produced and engineered by Eric Swanson at Sacred Heart Music Studio in Duluth, Minnesota, Everything Changes is Sara’s fourth solo album. Sara's earlier releases include By Breath (2003), Fertile Ground (1999), Three Altos/Camaradas (2005) and Arise (1995).
MORE ABOUT SARA
Sara Thomsen is a singer-songwriter with a soulful voice, poetic lyrics, and haunting melodies. Her music comes from the heart, and that's where it takes you. With a voice richer than the best mid-west soil, her songs carry you inward and outward—in, to the particulars of your own life, and out into the shared humanity of us all.
Compared by fans to Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell, important musical influences include these legends as well as troubadours of song Pete Seeger, Bernice Johnson Reagon and Mercedes Sosa. Sara has shared the stage with Dar Williams, Peter Mayer, Carrie Newcomer, Catie Curtis, Claudia Schmidt, and Ferron, artists who have also influenced her music. Her performance style is easygoing and full of humor and depth, capturing the audience’s complete engagement. Sara’s music gently enfolds and unfolds the listener.
Everything Changes (2008) is Sara’s fourth solo album. Cuts found on her earlier releases have won numerous accolades and songwriting awards. Sara won the Minnesota Folk Festival’s New Folk Songwriting Contest in 2002 for “Irene Marguerite” and “Keepin’ the Peace,” off By Breath (2003). “Is It For Freedom,” off Fertile Ground (1999), won a Top Finalist award in the national Bringing Music To Life Contest (2001), created by Noel Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul and Mary) to recognize songs of sociopolitical concern. Published in Sing Out! Magazine (Summer '03) and aired frequently on Democracy Now! radio news program, the song’s impact on listeners has expanded Sara’s audience nationally and internationally.
In the tradition of Pete Seeger, Holly Near, and Woody Guthrie, Sara is a weaver of song and community singing. At concerts, conferences, classrooms, workshops, retreats, jails, places of prayer, and lines of protest, to be with Sara is to want to sing. Increasing wonder and awareness, deepening spiritual connection, and widening social engagement through song is at the heart of her work. Sara's ability to get people singing magically transforms gatherings into communities empowered with possibility.
In addition to her solo work, Sara produces multimedia group performances involving dance, poetry, visual art, storytelling, puppetry and music. She is the artistic director of the singing trio Three Altos, comprised of a rabbi (Amy Bernstein), a folksinger (Thomsen) and a professor (Thomsen’s partner, Paula Pedersen). Performing locally to packed audiences two to three times a year, the Three Altos’ answered their audience demand and released their debut CD, Camaradas, in 2005. Sara is the founder and artistic director of The Echoes of Peace Choir, a non-audition community choir in Duluth, Minnesota, with a repertoire of world music and membership of 75-100 voices.
Sara grew up surrounded by a family and community that loved to sing. From listening to her father sing her lullabies, to singing her first solo in junior high (Billy Joel’s “For The Longest Time”), to writing her first songs and recording Arise! (1995), Sara’s life has been infused with music. She is a staunch supporter of struggles for human dignity and ecological sustainability. Slowing down enough to see and hear the vibrant wonder of the ordinary is her work and play. All this can be felt in her music. Whether it is a song welcoming a newborn, protesting a policy, depicting night falling or describing a loved one, her music is alive and pulsing.