City Where She Sleeps...
Recognized as an emerging singer-songwriter on the national scene, Cat Terrones has pursued contemporary music and her own songwriting in various formats throughout her career (blues, jazz, celtic-world) and currently as a recording artist and folk singer/songwriter. For Cat, identifying as a folk musician is her true home, honoring all the nourishing influences, carrying the traditions forward, and allowing multiple influences to inhabit a single orbit. Cat's music seamlessly blends contemporary Americana, Folk, and Celtic-American styles with World and Jazz influences.
Cat has been recognized in songwriting contests such as the LEAF New Song contest, and the iconic Kerville New Folk competition, sharing with the folk community and performing at Folk Festivals and showcase venues. Community has played a big part in Cat's journey with music. Songs from her upcoming collaboration album 'Sun & Dark' with collaborator Ben Shannon (guitars/vocals), and producer/engineer, Dave Hidek (percussion) can be heard here on Soundcloud .The songs rose from the nurturing community and material generated Cat's first few years attending Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, sharing in great upheaval and tragedy (100 year flood of 2013) meeting her collaborator (Shannon 2012) at that same festival, and 4 years later performing their co-writes as part of Shannon's main stage set. One particular song 'Give Back Rain' they co-wrote in August of 2013 a month before the flood, sitting in a coffee shop and talking about waters, sea level rise, climate and upheaval, and personal and collective sacrifice. A release date for the album 'Sun & Dark' is on the horizon.
Catherine's current release, Forget Me Not (2014, EP), is available on Bandcamp. Forget Me Not and California Daughter, two tracks off her EP, garnered her the songwriting honor of becoming a Kerrville New Folk Finalist in 2014.
"Celtic music influences me naturally, very heavily. I grew up as a young kid and into my early twenties, around a very active Welsh music community. Music, and particularly vocal music, harmony singing, is a very consistent part of life and connection to culture, a connection to 'home'... for these Welsh folks transplanted in Los Angeles. I had no idea at the time I was getting an education in vocal harmony singing, in exquisite melodic shapes, how to pronounce words in Welsh (could come in handy if cast in a Lord of the Rings movie!) and in Celtic culture. From 8-18 years of age I was basically soaking it all in. I just really liked that 'church' consisted of A LOT of singing. I loved tea and welsh cakes afterward. It took me getting into my 20's to realize what a unique, influential, and serendipitous experience that was for me. And then my mothers influence of American folk music, literature, and art. Without my mom I probably wouldn't be a musician because she insisted I learn an instrument, and that taught me a great deal. I was a very shy singer when I was young. I'd never agreed to sing a solo until I was 17, in high school, encouraged by my friends in jazz band and drama to audition for singing parts. I was always surrounded by lots of good artistic nourishment. After college I sang the blues for a few years, wrote my own tunes. It was fun, but I wanted to write more original music, so I followed my own path for many years, experimented.
I graduated from Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB, with an emphasis in Voice. Honestly, I thought I was going to do a double bass major, but I got into the vocal program and was so happy. It was what I dreamed of, even thought I didn't have formal vocal training. I studied voice on scholarship in the classical performance program. Classical music, although a wonderful influence, was not my first love, and once I had a diploma in hand I went back to using my formal music to sing and write in popular styles.
One thing that has stuck with me, come through very strongly in my writing, that I attribute to Celtic folk music, is the natural assumption that land or nature is a character of influence in a story. There is always the connection to Land. That tends to come through heavily in my songs. I'm a daughter of the Americas and there is that quality of the land in my consciousness of 'home', in my sense of story, and certainly from my characters perspectives. I always feel like I can learn something from the land, from the spirit or metaphorical sense, or the practical lessons it may offer. I'm not always writing from my character as a girl born and raised in a beach town in Los Angeles. Sometimes I have to dig through the layers and come at it from a different angle, or just become someone else all together. But I always want to connect to the land, and hear what she has to say. I come from a long line of women artists; actresses, musicians, painters, writers (some professional, some not), and I feel that I get strength from just knowing that lineage is a part of me. I love writing, and songwriting. There's a shapeshifting quality that I love about telling stories from different perspectives. As a singer-songwriter I get to write all these mini monologues, or mini-plays and perform them. It feel very intrinsic to who I am as a creative person."