My Approach

Learning, experiencing, and teaching music has always been an important aspect of life in my family. The rule was that the person practicing music gets priority over everyone else—if the noise bothers you, go someplace else. When our public school music funding got cut, my mom kicked off a nonprofit to raise funds and we all pitched in to run fundraising events so our community could keep its music programs running. I'm really grateful to my parents for creating an environment that supported artists.

I've never considered myself a professional musician. I read in a great book (Your Brain On Music) that in many cultures, there's no distinction between "real" singers and average people—everyone sings and everyone dances because that is part of participating in life. I really like that point of view and have always tried to cultivate a sense of acceptance and freedom when I make music or dance.

I know I am very lucky to have been supported in learning music, and as my practice develops I would like to offer that same support to other artists—and especially those who don't yet consider themselves artists.

 

My Songs

You can stream my tracks pretty much wherever, but my site's the best place to download them. 

It's "pay what you want" pricing for two reasons: 

#1: It feels good. I grew up going to roadside farm stands where you pay for your corn by putting a few bucks into a an "honesty box". A world that operates on a premise of trust is my kind of place. 

#2: I want my music to be accessible worldwide, and since there is a huge range in daily standard wage throughout the world, I think it makes sense for people to set their price. Music is important; I don't want money to limit the music you can enjoy. Pay what it's worth for you.

Beautiful Big Blue

Sarah Tolle

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Beautiful Big Blue

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My second release—an upbeat, electronic dance song about being on planet Earth.

In order to make this song, I bought a used banjo about two months ago and learned to play it well enough to record some basic strumming (thank you, YouTube banjo players). I had never really practiced a string instrument before.

A lot of the song's structure is built around what I could actually play with my beginner fingers on the banjo. The constraint worked, though—it forced me to keep the song simple and encouraged me to play with other elements like exploring funky ways of vocalizing the words.

When I sent the demo to the producer I work with, he sent back an incredible EDM-feeling track that kept the original country feel but added a ton of energy. When I went into his studio to record the final vocals, I noticed he'd gone out and rented a used banjo (missing a string, I might add) of his own.

This song will forever remind me of the time I first fell in love with the banjo, once the most popular instrument in the U.S. Now, I take my banjo Julia almost everywhere. I'm bringing banjo back into the mainstream!

In the end, we made something that sounds like a country song that wandered into an EDM music festival.

I love it, and I hope you do, too.

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Young & In Love

Sarah Tolle

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Young & In Love

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This is the first song I've ever released!

I actually didn't plan on singing the main vocals—I sent it to the producer (Ovidiu Bistriceanu, who is amazing) thinking that we could hire a "real singer" to do it. But he said I could do it. So I did! This song was a great process of discovery for me, from learning how to record on my home equipment and then learning about aspects of production like working from a demo track and recording vocal doubles, and a lot more.

I feel very grateful to Ovi for working with me and sending his vote of confidence on this song.

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