The Raven Project, Anna Schaad's 1998 solo debut CD, consists of her original compositions as well as joint works with multi-instrumentalist David MacVittie. The project was designed to showcase her electric viola, "Wicked Grace". Custom-built in 1996 by Steven Smith, "Wicked Grace" features a carved ebony raven's head in place of the traditional scroll. The Raven Project combines this unique instrument with bouzouki, slide guitar, saxophone, African drums and Highland bagpipes.
Showcased on the BBC's "Archie Fisher's Traveling Folk" radio show, The Raven Project was featured on an American/Celtic special broadcast on Thanksgiving, 1998, across Scotland, Ireland, and Northern England. Additionally, selections from The Raven Project have been played on Robin Rilett's "New Vistas in Music" and Dan Maher's popular Saturday program "Inland Folk" on NPR, and Fiana Ritchies' "Thistle and Shamrock".
"After receiving many requests and inquiries, and tracking strong local sales, we realized that we had a local hit on our hands. When you play Anna's music you will find the audience intrigued by and ultimately captivated by the music on The Raven Project."
-- Jon Eliot, KISM Music Director, November, 1998
"Ms. Schaad's solo fiddle on "Maria" tells of masterly technique, traditionalism and classical influence. Following, "Wah Special" yields a bit of everything that is further: bluesy electric guitar, African drumming and Schaad's electric viola. When typically disparate sounds are interlaced with care, the result is intriguing patois."
-- VICTORY MUSIC REVIEW, March, 1999
"I am a big fan of classical music and rock-n-roll. I'm either listening to Mozart or Van Halen. To me, your music combines the two. It's fabulous!"
-- Barbara Tesnow, Sturgeon Bay, WI, March, 1999
"Schaad can make her Raven-headed axe scream and wail like Jimi Hendrix' stratocaster... or produce the hypnotic otherworldly sound of a more traditional violin/viola."
-- THE BELLINGHAM HERALD (June 1998)
"The Raven Project" has proven to be a resounding regional success, winning a prized spot on Cellophane Square's NW top 10 charts (Bellingham, Seattle, Bellevue) and receiving heavy airplay on KISM 92.9FM as one of the year's most popular "Locals Only" picks.