Word from Amber Archive
February 8, 2019
A BIG thank you to Stubby’s House of Christmas for reviewing my “Be the Peace” album. Check it out here: http://www.stubbyschristmas.com/home/dont-you-forget-about-these
I recently wrapped up a song collaboration with artist Diana Madaras and filmmaker Sandra Levine in honor of the Madaras Gallery 20th Anniversary Celebration. Diana awoke to her calling later in life – a story with which I resonate becoming a musician after having a nursing career. It was interesting to lyrically weave in the theme of following one's call with the imagery of Diana's paintings. The song serves as a soundscape to a video produced by Sandra Levine that features Diana's vibrant artwork. You can check out the “Poetry of Light” song and video below (or in the next column depending on your browser).
I’m currently writing for my new singer/songwriter album that we’ll record this fall. I’ve got new material and am digging into my “unfinished songs” archive to give life to the “old” in a “new” way.
Isn’t that what life is? A constant re-invention of all the pieces of the past into each new day? ‘Tis a beautiful journey. I’ll keep you posted.
I am beyond grateful for the community of support that I’ve had in the last 15 years of pursuing my musical dreams.
Thank you for visiting my website.
Wishing you peace as we continue to spin into 2019.
December 17, 2018
Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has been supporting my latest creation "Be the Peace"! We had a sold-out CD Release celebration, and I've had a record number of CD sales. I am beyond grateful, and honestly, amazed. When I knew that I wanted to make a Christmas album, I thought, "hmmm...how am I ever going to pay off a project like that when I only sell it once a year?" Well, you all proved my worries wrong, and my Mom right (she's the one that's been asking me to do a holiday album for years!). Thank you for buying my CDs, downloading, streaming online and helping me to make future recordings. And thank you to the stellar musicians who recorded this project with me. Such an intriguing array of sounds you brought to this music.
If you'd like to order a CD, I've got a holiday special going on. You can order CDs through my website and type in HOLIDAY for the Discount Code to get 25% off your order. You can also find this newest album digitally on iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Premium Music, Spotify and CDBaby.
Thank you for visiting my website. It's an honor to communicate (and sing to you) from afar. May we raise each other up.
Wishing you peace this holiday season,
November 22, 2018
I'm excited to release my first holiday album called "Be the Peace". You're welcome to order CDs HERE. You can also find it digitally on iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Premium Music, Spotify and CDBaby. I never anticipated doing a holiday/Christmas album until the last few years when my mom has been asking for one. This year, I decided, "Yes, I'm gonna do it!" As it would turn out, my mom was onto something -- I had SO MUCH fun recording these songs with my fabulous musician friends in the studio.
A BIG THANK YOU to all these folks for helping me make this creation: Steven Lee Tracy (production, percussion), Jay Trapp (bass), Ralph Gilmore (drums), Danny Krieger (electric guitar), Sabra Faulk (harmony vocals, guitar), Alex Flores (sax), Seth Murzyn (viola), Casey Hadland (vibraphone), Nick Coventry (violin, viola), Michael G. Ronstadt (cello), Joe Ferguson (ukulele, mandolin, guitar), and Celeste Goguen Tracy (harmony vocals).
I have a CD release celebration and holiday concert on November 28th, 7p at Desert Hills Lutheran Church in Green Valley, AZ. Click here for info & tickets: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3738481. It’ll be a super fun show with the crew of musicians who contributed their musical genius to this new album. We'll play songs off the album, as well as a fun selection of other holiday songs that will feature everyone. For those who attend, you can get the new album for a discounted special of $10!
Wishing you peace,
October 15, 2018
Hello out there!
Happy autumn to those in the northern hemisphere and spring to those south of the equator. It’s one of my favorite times of year here in the desert as temps cool and life settles down for the winter. And...’tis the perfect time to make a holiday album!
I just finished recording 10 tracks for my new ”Be the Peace” holiday album that will be released on November 28th. I’d love for you to join me at my CD release celebration and holiday concert at Desert Hills Lutheran Church in Green Valley, AZ. Click here for info & tickets: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3738481. It’s going to be a super fun show with many of the musicians that contributed their musical genius to this new album.
Speaking of fun, I did an interview last week with Kathy & Aspen from KXCI 91.3 Broad Perspectives show. I enjoyed chatting about my past adventures being a nurse in the Dominican Republic, Oregon and Alaska, and about my current musical adventures.
Thank you for visiting my website! If you’d like to keep track of the Amber-happenings, feel free to sign up on my mail list and follow my Facebook Page.
Wishing you peace,
September 6, 2018
Thank you to all who made my musical adventure through the Midwest a success last month.
I'm back in the Sonoran desert and just finished a full schedule of shows and am working on writing for two song commissions and a holiday album. More to come about this soon.
It's because of all of you that I can continue to create music and live from my heart. Thank you for making it possible.
July 12, 2018
Hello out there!
I am BEYOND excited to release the Take It Higher video for the Multanen Legacy Scholarship Fund. What a journey of personal growth it's been for me as I learned about their mission and the Finnish value of SISU for this song/video project.
May we all dig deep within our hearts amidst the trials and tribulations of life, tap into our inner "SISU" to stay the course, "be the love we came here to be" and "Take It Higher."
With love and light,
June 8, 2018
Greetings out there!
It's been a full month of projects for me. I'm writing for a new song commission, creating a music video, scoring One Flame (thank you to My Wedding Songs for including this song on your Best Unity Candle Songs), preparing for a new studio project, and wrapping up the plans for a short midwest tour later this summer.
It is blissful (and busy :-) to live the creative life. Thank you for being part of it.
April 22, 2018
One of the greatest gifts of my music career is merging minds and creative energies with people and organizations who strive to make this world a better place.
I'm excited to announce the release of "Take It Higher", the song I wrote for the Multanen Legacy Scholarship Fund. This organization helps people who have endured hardship, trauma and struggle rebuild their lives through education. They are founded upon the Finnish concept of "sisu" - a value that means forging on despite the odds, keeping hope alive no matter how dire the circumstance, and tapping into the power of the human spirit to do what honors the greatest good - ultimately, to prevail in the best way possible. Often this prevailing, surpasses our perceived limitations.
If you'd like to support the scholarship fund, you are welcome to purchase a download through my music page. The song is also available on iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify. You can read the lyrics and notes about all who helped create this song here.
Thank you for following my music and being part of making this world a more compassionate place to be.
March 29, 2018
As we spin around the sun, happy Spring to those in the northern hemisphere, and happy Fall to those in the southern hemisphere.
I was super honored to be part of Tucson Wildlife Center’s annual benefit last month, performing live the song I wrote in honor of their work - https://youtu.be/HYk_1Be1pjg“Unexpected Grace”- accompanied by Seth Murzyn on viola. What an astounding experience of community uniting to make our world a more compassionate, healing place. We raised enough money for the center to hire a full-time veterinarian. The staff and volunteers do amazing work rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing southern Arizona’s injured/orphaned wildlife, all the while promoting education, habitat protection and peaceful, conscientious human coexistence with wildlife. Their work is truly a labor of love.
In the meantime, I have a lot of projects underway. I’ll be releasing a new single soon, I’m writing for a new album, planning a Midwest tour for late summer, and out ‘n about in southern Arizona playing shows on patios, stages, in restaurants, churches and mountains.
Wishing you a blessed journey filled with light. Thank you for following my music and being part of this co-creation.
February 16, 2018
Greetings out there!
I can't believe we are nearing two months into this new year. My mom says the older we get, the faster time goes. The optimist in me likes to think that the "older" (or more evolved) I become, the more aware I am of the "timelessness" of time - that it's an illusion. As Einstein wrote, "the dividing line between past, present, and future is an illusion." It often feels that way.
Speaking of “timelessness”, I am excited to perform my song “Unexpected Grace” at the Tucson Wildlife Center’s annual benefit on February 25th. It seems like just yesterday when I wrote that song (five years ago) for film maker Marcus De Leon. He produced a short film series documenting the amazing rescue, rehabilitation and release efforts of Tucson Wildlife Center. Scroll down to check out the film and song or click on this link: https://youtu.be/HYk_1Be1pjg
Wishing you timeless peace as we continue our ever-evolving journey together.
December 28, 2017
It's been quite a month of celebration in my house from Hanukkah to Winter Solstice to Christmas. For me, there is something sacred about this time of year - the long nights, short days, gathering of people, and lighting of candles.
When I am present to the quiet and dark, I feel a sense of creativity "quicken" within me - as if my soul is readying for the new year and new life to emerge. Winter - the trees and plants shedding the old and lying in the "barren in-between" - allows me to do the same as I await the re-emergence of Spring.
On Christmas day, I went into the quiet and dark and put images together to my "Light to the World" song. Check out the new lyric video below.
As the Earth continues to tilt and spin around the Sun, I wish you a blessed return of light in the north, and a sacred waning of light in the south.
With peace and love,
December 20, 2017
Welcome to my new website.
It is ever-evolving as am I.
Feel free to listen to my songs on the music page or drop me a comment on my contact page. I'd love to hear from you (and for you to hear from me...in lyric and melody ;-).
Thank you for checking in on my virtual world and music. What a journey we are on connecting through satellites, space and time...
Wishing you peace amidst the ever-evolving world we live in.
With love and light,
July 18, 2017
Monsoon season has arrived in the desert. Almost daily we are graced with passionate displays of clouds, thunder, lightening and storms. I am in awe of Mother Nature’s power and the resilience of plant and animal life here in the desert, and I'm so grateful for the rain.
I’ve been in the studio working on my latest song commission Take It Higher for the Multanen Legacy Scholarship Fund. The foundation provides funding for students in financial need who have a commitment to serving others and who live the Finnish concept of SISU. SISU is described as tenacity and perseverance amidst difficult circumstance, and is often translated as endurance, resilience, persistence, and bravery. It is digging deep within oneself when faced with a challenge, and finding the will and empowerment from within to take the next step and be fully present to life, turning obstacles into passageways.
As I’ve been writing Take It Higher and learning about this concept of SISU over the past year, it feels like I’ve been “taking” my own life “higher.” SISU has deeply inspired me to more fully engage with life – both the ups and downs, to confront challenges with courage, hope, love, an open mind, and to stay the course one step at a time. Eventually the opportunity greets me – for amidst every barrier is an unexpected break that leads into light and often into a life that is beyond my expectations. As Canadian poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen once wrote, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
I feel so blessed to pursue my passion and have work that challenges me to become a more evolved being and “take” my life “higher” while I write songs along the way. Thank you, Multanen Legacy Scholarship Fund, for this opportunity, and thank you to all of you out there who journey on with me in the music as we “take it higher”.
May 4, 2017
One year ago, I had the privilege of working on a Mother’s Day Tribute project honoring maternal figures who no longer walk in the physical with us. The project was inspired by a song commission - to write a song in honor of a friend whose mom had transitioned. As I worked on the song, I felt such a strong connection to my friend’s mother whom I had hardly known when she was here in the physical.
I often think that music has the potential to transcend the veils of existence.
After I completed the song commission, I asked if I could bring “Your Love Is” to the public as a Mother’s Day Tribute to all those whose mothers/maternal figures no longer walk in the physical. I am so honored to have created this song and video, originally inspired by Diann Schreiber and Judith (Babcoke) Huskey, and then completed with the community of people who opened their hearts and submitted photos of their loved ones to put into this video: https://youtu.be/x8opEO1tfbE
Thank you to all who are part of my music. It is an honor to make song and healing art with you.
Much love and light,
November 22, 2016
Greetings out there, and thank you for visiting my website!
I’m excited to have my song “Light to the World” featured in the holiday compilation CHRISTMAS FROM THE HEART album recently released by Heart Dance Records! The music features over a dozen award-winning musicians throughout the state of Arizona. Check out the sounds here: https://youtu.be/Yh0n6Fk-ctU
You can also listen and purchase it on iTunes and Amazon. Ten percent of the proceed benefit the Music as Therapy organization.
It has been a full, exciting year of music and growth. I am profoundly grateful for this long, winding musical journey filled with many moments of unexpected grace.
Blessings to you during this solstice and holiday season. Thank you for being part of my journey!
With gratitude, love & light,
March 24, 2016
Spring is in full bloom in the Sonoran Desert!
A few years ago, I awoke one spring morning with the lyrics to “Morning Has Broken” running through my head - only I was singing it to a different melody. Upon researching the song, I discovered that the lyrics were written by the English children’s author Eleanor Farjeon in 1928, and they were set to an old Gaelic melody from the 1600’s.
I love the words of this song. It is a song of awakening to the dawn of life. It is a song of gratitude and praise for the new beginnings and “re-creations” that are available to us in every moment. It reminds me that I am blessed with every breath I take, and that I am part of this infinite spin in the mystery of life.
That morning, I sat down at my piano to see where the new melody would take me. Here is what happened… https://youtu.be/OqGsf2TLIVU
“Morning Has Broken” – words © 1928 by Eleanor Farjeon, by permission of Harold Ober Associates Incorporated. Music and additional words © 2015 by Amber Norgaard.
This song is on my latest album POSSIBILITY. You can download the album here on iTunes and/or purchase CD here on CDBaby.
Thank you to all who support and believe in my music. We are in this together, and I am grateful.
Wishing you a blessed spring (in the Northern Hemisphere) and a blessed fall (in the Southern Hemisphere)…
With gratitude, love & light,
December 22, 2015
Today is winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. Five years ago, I wrote Light to the World. It continues to be one of my favorite songs to perform in the winter. I sing it when I need to remember that no matter the unrest out there, I have a choice about my inner state of being. At any time, I can choose peace – and in my choosing this, I extend love to my fellow humankind. When we remember the love that we are and the love from which come from, our communion lights up the world.
“We wander through the valley and the hills on this dark, dark winter’s night. I reach for your hand and walk beside you, my lantern grows bright. And the star in the heavens beckons us to Light Divine where there is no fear, no separation, no suffering, only One.” – lyrics from Light to the World.
Blessings to you as the Earth continues to shift. ‘Tis always a sacred season of light.
September 22, 2015
Hello out there!
The sun has started its annual descent here in the northern hemisphere. Autumn is in the air, and I’m excited to plant my winter garden - one of the benefits of living in the desert.
I’m very excited about how POSSIBILITY has come to life. It is such a blessing to extend my passion into the world. My infinite gratitude to Steven Lee Tracy at Saint Cecilia Studios for his fabulous production work, and to the musicians who contributed their time, energy and amazing talent to the songs: Doug Floyd (electric guitar), Jay Trapp (bass), Ralph Gilmore (drums), Michael G. Ronstadt (cello), Nick Coventry (violin, viola), Joe Ferguson (acoustic guitar, vocals), Sabra Faulk (vocals), and the stellar choir crew - Heather Stricker, Katherine Byrnes, Todd Thompson, and Janée Westmoreland.
Take a listen to the tracks here: www.cdbaby.com/cd/ambernorgaard4.
Thank you for following my journey.
July 7, 2015
Greetings out there!
I’m nearly finished with the studio work for my new album “Possibility.” I am SO EXCITED about bringing this project into the world! It is turning out beautiful and much bigger than I imagined. The official release is August 26th. If you’d like to take part in helping me bring it into the world, I invite you to pre-order and/or take advantage of sponsoring a song. Any pre-orders will be mailed to you as soon as I get the CD in my hands (the first week of August). More information and orders accepted ON MY BLOG.
Natural Awakenings magazine recently featured my music and story in their publication: “Amber Norgaard: Tucson’s Folk Rock Goddess”. Please feel free to check it out. A big thank you to Suzie Agrillo for the fabulous interview and article.
Thank you for dropping by and being part of my journey.
With love and light,
April 8, 2015
The desert has begun to heat up, my herbs are tall (and delicious!), and my roses are in full bloom.
We’ve started the pre-production work on my new album. It is called “Possibility” and will be released in August 2015. I’ll keep you posted! I am beyond excited about bringing this new music into the world!
In December, the Tubac Villager published “AMBER NORGAARD GETS GRUNGY FOR EAGLES”, an article written by Judy Jennings. If you’d like to read it, we have it on my NEWS PAGE. Thank you to Judy Jennings and the Tubac Villager for sharing about my story and work in the world!
Wishing you a season filled with new life and abundant possibilities…
January 3, 2015
Happy New Year!
I have spent the last few weeks in the Pacific Northwest. Temperatures are well below freezing and snow covers the ground. I love the stillness and quiet of winter – the short days and the dark nights with bright stars, stirring my soul with hope.
I pass under the bridge, and I see people who live in makeshift sleeping bags and blankets strewn about in a tent-like fashion. I wonder how they do it in this chilling weather. I hand them food and extend a prayer...in hope that my actions may lessen the suffering of the human condition.
The words and melody from my "Light to the World" song flow through me...
"And the star in the heavens
Reminds me of light divine,
Where there is no fear,
I yearn to do my part in lighting up the world. As I play my songs amidst the unrest, I encounter so many amazing people out there who inspire my light to shine brighter. I am beyond blessed and grateful for this community.
If you are inspired to, please download a free MP3 of my song "Light to the World" HERE. You can read the song lyrics and my story behind writing it in my latest newsletter.
May you find comfort in the silence, peace in the stillness, and healing in the dark times. May your light shine brilliantly upon this new year of infinite possibilities.
October 30, 2014
As 2014 winds down, I am filled with gratitude as I reflect upon the last decade of my music career. It has been ten years since I departed my nursing career in Alaska and moved south to pursue my musical passion. I had a partially recorded Soul In Motionalbum in hand – originating in Alaska, to be completed in Arizona. Now, four albums and hundreds of thousands of miles later, my “soul” continues to be “in motion” upon this blessed, winding road of life. If you are in southern Arizona, please join me and the full band for a special concert commemorating the last decade of my musical journey on Friday, November 14th, 7:30p at the Sea of Glass Center for the Arts (330 E. 7th St, Tucson, AZ). Tickets are $10 in advance (purchase online HERE) and $15 at the door.
It is truly a gift to share my music within the world. Thank you for being part of the reason that I am able to do this.
As our souls continue to be in motion upon this winding road together, I wish you a blessed season of letting go and settling into the stillness (that is…if you are in the northern hemisphere; and happy spring if you are on the southern side!).
Much peace and light,
September 16, 2014
Greetings out there!
I just returned from the Midwest where the monarch butterflies have started their migration. As I walked slowly on board my flight from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Phoenix, Arizona, one of those whimsical creatures fluttered alongside me outside the onboard ramp glass. I smiled, thinking how profound it is that such a beautiful, fragile creature can ride the wind over 2,000 miles of terrain and weather elements. What deep grace and surrender this must take.
This year marks the first decade since I left a full-time nursing career, moved 5,000 miles south, to embark upon my passion of music as a healing art. In these last 10 years, I have been carried through the terrain and elements by a community of people who believe in the power of music to change and heal the world.
From the depths of my soul, thank you for allowing my being into your hearts. In this sacred place, together, we are One, much greater than the sum of our individual parts…communing in a language that transcends barriers and judgments, and facilitates our release into a deeper sense of being with one another.
I look forward to releasing my 5th full-length album “Possibility” in 2015.
Wishing you peace and light upon the journey,
May 5, 2014
It is my great honor to announce the release of my song Raise Me Up on iTunes as well as the music video. For more information about this song, its release and everyone involved in the creation, check out my latest newsletter. It truly takes a village, and I am deeply grateful.
I am headed north for much of the month and will be doing some public shows in South Dakota as well as Iowa. Please check my show schedule for more information.
Much love and light,
March 14, 2014
Hello out there!
Spring has fully emerged in Tucson…I’m lovin’ the scent of desert flowers wafting through the air, the warm days and cool nights, and watching my basil and rose bushes grow into vibrant life.
I’ve got a fun show coming up on March 23rd in Green Valley, AZ. A couple of my wonderful Tucson musician friends and two fabulous Texas-based touring musicians are joining me. I would love if you could join us…more about that show and purchasing tickets HERE.
A big thank you to all who contributed to the “Together We Rise” film project. The song that my band created for it turned out extremely well, and I am excited to share it with you all soon.
Plans are in progress for two tours to the Midwest in May and late summer, and then a tour to the Pacific Northwest in the fall. Keep up to date with my gig schedule HERE.
Thank you SO MUCH for visiting my website. To all of you who have been a part of my musical journey over these last years, thank you for helping bring the music into this world. Because of you, I am living my dream. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.
Wishing you abundant peace, love, light and new growth in this spring season…
December 27, 2013
Greetings and happy holidays!
As December winds down, I reflect upon this past year. One of the highlights was writing the song RAISE ME UP for Equine Voices Rescue & Sanctuary and working with filmmaker Marcus De Leon and his crew, as well as the staff at the sanctuary on Equine Voices: The Movie.
I am very honored that my band’s music is used as the underscore for the film and am humbled by the powerful music video that is a part of this project. It was a spiritually profound experience for me to sing amongst the horses out at the sanctuary. You can read more about that experience in my BLOG. The film will be released in February 2014.
We will have a special preview screening in Tucson of this short film at my concert with Ronstadt Generations at the Unity Spiritual Center of Peace on Friday, January 3rd (doors open at 7p, and show at 7:30p). I’m really looking forward to the evening…I love sharing the stage with Ronstadt Generations, and Michael G. Ronstadt contributed his phenomenal cello playing to both the song and film score. If you are in Southern Arizona, I’d love if you could join us for an intimate evening of music, stories and the film preview! You can purchase an advanced reservation HERE, or pay at the door ($15).
I am humbled and grateful to be living my heart’s passion and be supported by such a wonderful community…thank you.
In the midst of this winter, may you find peace in the stillness and celebrate the return of light.
September 6, 2013
Spring has turned into summer and summer into almost-fall. Here in the desert, it’s harvest time…squash, cucumbers, corn, melons and herbs. I’m lovin’ the scent of fall-in-my-kitchen!
Musically, what a year it has been! Summer was packed with miles and shows. In July, we shot the video for my song “Raise Me Up” that I wrote for Equine Voices - what a powerful experience! I’m very excited about the release of the song and videos. I will keep you posted on the screening dates and locations. Feel free to sign up for my mailing list if you want the latest information.
I’m taking September to re-ground and write. If you’re in Southern AZ, a show to catch is on September 28th at Harlow Gardens in Tucson. It will feature my trio performance with Sabra Faulk and Heather “lil’ mama” Hardy. The gardens are beautiful, and I’m excited to play music with these amazing musicians amidst a stunning backdrop! There will be an hour of mingling, appetizers and beverages, and the concert starts at 7pm. Tickets are $25 and include the food, beverages and show. You can purchase them at the gardens, or online HERE. For more information, please visit my SHOWS page.
Thank you for being a part of my musical journey!
Wishing you much love, peace and light,
March 20, 2013
As I was loading the gear into my car this afternoon for tonight’s rehearsal, I could smell the desert flowers wafting through the air, and thought, “Wow, what a delicious Sonoran Desert springtime scent…” ‘Tis the season of rebirth and renewal here. I’m lovin’ the warmer temps and my morning hikes.
Speaking of rebirth and renewal, the writing for my new album is coming along well! I just finished a new song called “Raise Me Up” for Equine Voices Rescue & Sanctuary, a horse sanctuary south of Tucson dedicated to rescuing Premarin mares and their foals, as well as horses that have been abused. My band and I will be debuting this new song on the March 21st episode of KGUN9’s The Morning Blend, and then performing it at the Equine Voices 9th Annual Fundraiser on March 30th. You can find more info about this on my SHOWS page.
I’ve got some exciting news! The full-length video for my Unexpected Grace song has been released :)!! A BIG THANK YOU to Marcus De Leon and the Tucson Wildlife Center for inviting me to write for their cause. Please check out the video.
Wishing you a happy season of creation and re-emergence!
Much love and light,
February 11, 2013
Many say it’s the “month of love.” However, I believe every moment is an occasion to choose love and life. As Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D. commented, “We need to teach the next generation of children from day one that they are responsible for their lives. Mankind’s greatest gift, also its greatest curse, is that we have free choice. We can make our choices built from love or from fear.”
The new-year has been full of love and life for me.
Kicking off 2013, I had a fabulous concert with the Ronstadt Generations. It’s the first time I had line-dancers in the church sanctuary. Thank you to all who dared to dance to “it’s all a lesson in lovin’ and growin’ in the season…” (lyrics from my Iowa farm song, officially known as Listen to the Wind). Here are some pictures from our show.
In mid-January, I had the privilege of sharing music and stories at the University of Arizona Medical Center--Diamond Children's. It is so gratifying for me to be in the healing setting and share my “nurse-being” and “music-being” with patients and families. Before becoming a full-time musician, I worked as a registered nurse. It is a gift to witness how music can reach beyond the physical to the spirit – and bring to life the light that is always there even amidst illness. Here are some pictures from that afternoon of sacred exchange.
I am blessed to be living my passion. Thank you for being part of my story.
“It is very important that you only do what you love to do. You may be poor, you may go hungry, you may lose your car, you may have to move into a shabby place to live, but you will totally live. And at the end of your days you will bless your life because you have done what you came here to do.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Much love and light,
December 27, 2012
I am writing on a cloudy, “cold” day in Tucson…a high in the 50’s and low in the 30’s…much different than the “winter days” I experienced while living in Iowa and Alaska ;). Solstice has come and gone, the Earth is still spinning with us on it, and we are regaining a little daylight everyday. I am taking this time of “darkness” to go into creative space and emerge with new song material. I am excited about the many “possibilities” of the coming year!
Earlier this month, I joined Tucson Wildlife Center for an interview with Arizona Illustrated. They featured my song “Unexpected Grace.” You can watch our interview here:
On January 6th, I’ve got a special concert with the Ronstadt Generations at Desert Hills Lutheran Church in Green Valley, AZ at 7 p.m. We will team up for an intimate evening of music and stories. I am always amazed at what happens when we come together in song. I am honored to perform with musicians for whom I have utmost respect and with an audience that is so supportive and compassionate. The creation of music and the moments that we share together only exist because of the energy that each one of us brings to the experience. I am blessed and grateful to be a part of this journey. If you can, please join us.
Tickets: $12 in advance / $15 at the door / available at the church or online here:
As we progress into a new year, I hold space and energy for more peace and harmony as we continue to “spin,” grow and co-exist together on our little blue planet.
Wishing you all much love, light and joy during this holiday season!
November 7, 2012
Hello out there!
It has been quite a journey these last few months, and I think it’s going to be a record year for my car mileage! I’ve been to and fro the Midwest, Texas and all over southern Arizona. This month I return to Denver, NW Iowa, Manitoba (Canada) and Missouri. I will be back in Arizona at the end of the month.
I’m VERY excited about a collaboration project that I’ve been doing with Tucson Wildlife Center and film-maker Marcus De Leon . I wrote Unexpected Grace for Marcus to use in the Wildlife Center’s film series. A “teaser” (preview) of the video has just been released. The full-length version will be out in December. You can watch the teaser here:
I’ve got a couple more videos to pass along. My guitarist Doug Floyd, percussionist Will Clipman and I performed on KGUN9’s Tucson Morning Blend in August. I was also a guest on the show with Equine Voices Rescue and Sanctuary in October.
I am extremely blessed to share my passion and connect with organizations such as Tucson Wildlife Center and Equine Voices Rescue and Sanctuary. I believe we are here to be good stewards of our planet, its inhabitants and all that extends beyond. It is inspiring to work with people who have followed their hearts’ desire to live compassionately.
Thank you for being on this journey with me. As the winter solstice draws near, I wish you a season filled with warmth, grace and gratitude.
July 12, 2012
Hello from the desert!
Wow…it is TOASTY here, and from what I hear, a lot of other place too. I am wrapping up my last shows in southern Arizona before hitting the road next week for a 3500 mile trek to Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Colorado. Check out my shows page to see where I will be!
A couple exciting things on the home-front:
I’m a finalist in the Tucson Area Music Awards (TAMMIES) for “best folk” category. If you would like to vote, I would be honored to have your support. You can vote here.
I’ll be appearing on KGUN9’s The Morning Blend in Tucson on Tuesday, August 14th, at 11 a.m. PST. You can also watch the show online after it airs.
In between travels, I’m working on new music. My intention is to put out my fifth full-length album in 2013.
Wherever you are in the world, thank you for following my story and my music. Your presence feeds my soul.
May 28, 2012
Greetings out there!
It’s Memorial Day “weekend”…a time of reflection as I pay tribute to those who have passed - honoring the gifts that they leave us with, finding re-birth in the time that we have here - now – together, and holding faith in the strength and spirit of humanity healing and uniting in peace.
My journey this last month has been filled with “firsts.” It started off with my performance as a finalist in the Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Competition. Then I was honored to play an opening set for Michael McDonald’s show at the Fox Tucson Theatre. It was my debut performance on the Fox stage. I was very impressed with the staff and sound. We had a great show. Check out pictures of the evening here. Thank you to all who were part of these events!
I’m getting ready to hit the road for my Midwest tours. Check out more about my tour schedule on my shows page.
Thank YOU for continuing on this journey with me!
April 6, 2012
This is one of my favorite times of year - transitioning from the darkness to the light, planting herbs and flowers, and witnessing the forces of creation emerge. March was a busy month with lots of gigs and songwriting. I’ve had some “record breaking” days this year in my sales and show income. Thank you to all of you who support and believe in my music. It’s because of you that I am fulfilling my passion.
I am honored to be a finalist in the Tucson Folk Festival Songwriter Competition. I will be performing live during the competition on Saturday, May 5th, from 12-2 pm at the Tucson Museum of Art. The two songs that were chosen as finalists are from my Unexpected Grace album released in January 2012.
I’ve got a mix of different shows coming up in the southern AZ region during April and May, and then will hit the road in June. Check my shows page for more details, and stay connected with me through facebook and my mailing list.
Wishing you peace and happy return of light,
February 22, 2012
Hello out there!
I feel like time is accelerating...but maybe it's just my age or the fact that I've had a VERY BUSY new year ;). It's hard to believe it is almost the end of the second month of 2012!
My year has kicked off to a great start. In January, I had a wonderful CD Release show for my new acoustic album Unexpected Grace at the Desert Hills Lutheran Church in Green Valley, Arizona. I felt very blessed to have ALL the musicians in concert with me who had performed on this album - Michael G. Ronstadt (cello), Taylor Jenkins (harmony vocals) and Joe Ferguson (acoustic guitar and vocals). We had a great turn-out, and I had a record evening of album sales. Thank you, thank you, thank you to EVERYONE who was part of this evening - all who attended, as well as everyone who helped make it a success - the musicians, my friends/fans who promoted it, the staff at Desert Hills, Jonas Hunter (sound engineer), Troy Justesen (sound / video engineer) and Total Lighting Support.
We have begun working on my summer tour schedule. I am excited to return to the Midwest in just a few months. If you would like to find out more about my muse-ical ongoings, please feel free to sign up for my monthly newsletter. Read more about the inspiration of the song "Unexpected Grace" in January's newsletter. Also, stay regularly connected with me through FACEBOOK!
Wishing you much peace, love and light to you on the journey!
December 30, 2011
The year is winding down. As I reflect upon it and look forward to the next one, I feel very fortunate to be doing my passion as my living. It has been quite a journey. When I left my full-time nursing career in ‘04, I didn’t know how the path would unfold, but it has, and seven years later, I am fulfilling my dream and making music “full-time.”
This December, I wrapped up a new acoustic album that features a song I wrote called “Light to the World”. Will Clipman (my percussionist) and I played this song last January at a vigil outside of Gabrielle Giffords office as the Tucson community came together to bring back light amidst the very dark events that occurred as a result of the January 8th shootings. I am proud of my community – how we have transcended tragedy through the spirit of unity and hope. On January 7th, the greater Tucson community will be holding events throughout the region called “BEYOND”. The purpose is to “commemorate, celebrate and commit” to BEING a community and building a stronger and healthier society.
I am honored to be involved in this celebration. I will be sharing my music at the event held in Sahuarita called BEYOND SAHUARITA AT ANAMAX PARK. Click on the link for more details. Thank you to all of you who unite with me in hope and commit to the limitless possibility of making our world a better place to live. YOU inspire my light to shine brighter.
With much love and light,
September 8, 2011
Hello, hello, hello!
I'm happy to be back in the desert! The summer was full of thousands of miles of musical adventures from Iowa to Canada to Missouri. I've got shows lined up in September and October in Southern AZ, Phoenix and Springfield, MO. Please check out my gig schedule for more info.
While being "mostly" grounded in the desert for the next two months, I'm working on recording my demo for my 2012 album. I'm also working on recording an acoustic "spiritual" album that will be released later this Fall.
A big thank you to my supporters here in Southern Arizona for your votes - I'm honored to be "runner-up" in the Folk Performance Awards categories in this year's Tucson Area Music Awards. I am VERY GRATEFUL to be on this journey with you.
From the depths of my soul, thank you. I feel very fortunate to be living my passion.
July 22, 2011
I'm on the road right now in the Midwest. I had a fun show last night at Main Street market in Spencer, Iowa. I love being back in my "homeland" during the summer...I am taking a week off to travel and visit with family. I have shows in NW Iowa starting on 7/31 and will tour down through Missouri the second week of August. Please check my show schedule for more info.
I am extremely honored to be nominated in the final round for the 2011 Tucson Area Music Awards. Both myself and my guitarist, Doug Floyd, have been nominated. For the folks in Southern AZ, we would love your support. You can vote online here: Tucson TAMMIES 2011 Final Round until August 3rd. I've been nominated for "Best Folk Artist." And Doug is nominated for "Best Guitarist." Thank you for joining me on this musical venture!
Wishing you light and peace,
March 11, 2011
Wow… this year is zooming by for me! I’ve been doing a lot of songwriting and am excited to begin arranging the new tunes with the band this week. Here is a sneak peek of one of the new songs called “Light to the World” that we performed at Beowulf Alley Theatre on January 30th.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to be on tour in New Mexico and Arizona with the Canadian-based Girl Conferences - a series of conferences empowering and educating teenage girls about issues of violence against women. Sharing my music and stories with the girls was very rewarding. This is my third year with the conference series, and I’m happy to see it expand. I’m also working with Linda King’s Fix the Hurtorganization, recording vocals for a couple songs in conjunction with their theatrical production Domestic Violence…the Musical?
I’ll be on tour throughout the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest this summer through the fall. Those dates will be announced soon, so please check my SHOWS schedule. I’d LOVE to see you out ‘n about.
Wishing you peace, light and abundant love,
August 31, 2010
It has been a whirlwind couple of months since the release of the new CD. I'm still amazed it was only a year ago that I began asking for fan support to fund it's journey from song notes into a solid, eleven track album. The reception for Long Way Home has been great. The album is beautiful--beyond anything that I could have created on my own. I feel extremely grateful to be living my passion.
Speaking of passion - hot off the press is an up-close-and-personal article by Jan Henrikson in the Tucson Green Times. It depicts my journey as a nurse coming into a career as a singer/songwriter. It also tells about the day I sang one of the most important songs of my life- August 31st, 2009. One year ago today "Long Way Home" came full circle. Click here to read the story Amber Chords of Light >
Thank you for being part of this journey and believing in the music.
In peace, love and light,
"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places."
- Ernest Hemmingway
July 9, 2010
Word From Amber
When I departed my nursing career in 2004, one of my goals was to use songwriting to inspire healing. My roots are in the Midwest, and I spent time in the rural areas of Latin America and Alaska. No matter what culture we came from or what language we spoke, when the drum sounded and melodies played we were in communication together. Feelings were evoked and stories were relayed going beyond words, dissolving our pasts and connecting us in the present. Music really is a universal language.
This summer, my song "Hell Town " is four years old. I wrote it after reading a statistic that stated one-third of the homeless population had served in the armed forces. It really hit home for me. I spent six years working as a nurse in rural Alaska and became very aware of the impact post-traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD ) has on society. Among the Alaska Native population extremely high rates of suicide, substance abuse and violence exist. Now as a songwriter, nurse and musician, I feel driven to raise awareness about the human condition in order to spread compassion, hope and healing. From that will come respect for each other and our planet. Our survival is dependent upon casting aside judgements and working together to fix the broken parts.
In love and light,
Read Amber's July 4th Newsletter "It Starts at Home" >
Watch Amber's TV Appearance on KGUN 9's Morning Blend >
JUNE 17, 2010
Check out Amber on The Morning Blend !
JUNE 3, 2010
Wow! It’s here. Last August when my team and I decided to ask for fan support to finance the new album I have to admit, I was skeptical. Over the next ten months I received more than $6,000 in contributions and continue to be amazed by the support, financial and otherwise, from the community. It feels great to be an independent musician living my dream and I couldn't do it without you. In the past two days I’ve mailed out over 120 CDs to people who were part of this process. I can't thank all of you enough!
It’s been four years since I put out a full-length album. Indeed, I do feel like this album is a coming home. I feel like I’ve “grown up” musically since switching careers from nurse to musician in 2004. The integration of those parts are reflected in this album in several ways, but most importantly I've become intentional with songwriting. I wrote “One Flame” for my cousin’s wedding. “Listen to the Wind” emerged as a tribute song for my supporters in rural Iowa. “Day I Dared” was based on the concept of taking risks and living one’s true passion. And the title track was written for my grandmother who believed in music and shared the powerful effect it has during the vulnerable moments of life transition.
"The title cut offers glimpses into Norgaard's roots on the Iowa prairie, fusing present and past through a homecoming for a final goodbye. Here and on most of the rest of the album, the emotions are heartfelt, delivered with a quiet passion and authenticity."
-Jim Lipson, Tucson Weekly
I would like to acknowledge the phenomenal musicians who are part of my band and shared their talent on the album:
Doug Floyd | electric guitarist: Long-time bandmate, brilliant guitarist. Doug’s been with me since my “green-days” on the first album. He helped with arrangement of songs. He also sat with me from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. for the four day mix-down while working full-time and being a Dad and Husband.
Jay Trapp | bassist: Another long-time bandmate, bassist extraordinaire who has been with me since the Rising album. Jay spent endless hours contributing as an engineering genius on the Rising album; and on this latest project his gift for the perfect placement of groove, low-end texture and creativity for my songs is portrayed.
Will Clipman | drummer & percussionist: A well-known figure in the musical world both locally and nationally, I was very nervous to ask Will to “hold the rhythmic heartbeat” for me in 2007. Well, it was true synergy. And since, Will has been sharing his stage with me. I am excited that we’ve finally made a full-length album together.
Michael G. Ronstadt | cellist: I’ve loved Michael’s cello-playing since he contributed to the Rising album in 2006. The addition of his strings on 10 of the 11 tracks was the ideal combination.
For adding their unique sounds to Long Way Home I'd like to thank:
Duncan Stitt | co-producer, keyboardist, and recording engineer at A Writer’s Room in Tucson, AZ.
Craig Schumacher | harmonica player and mixing engineer at Wavelab Studio in Tucson, AZ.
My gratitude also goes out to KGUN9 Morning Blend, KXCI 91.3 FM, Access Tucson TV,Tucson Lifestyle Magazine, the Arizona Daily Star and Tucson Weekly for supporting local, indie music.
Finally, I'd like to thank ginabaileyland.com for rockin' the CD package design, promo items, and website.
In light and peace,
April 14, 2010
Greetings from Iowa!
I’m traipsing through my old stomping grounds in the Midwest right now. Last week my friend and fellow musician Andrew Begay joined me in presenting to area schools on “Taking Care of Our Earth and People Through Music.” Andrew is a Native American Flutist and skilled flute-maker. We had an incredible experience with the students and faculty. I would like to thank the Spencer Community School Foundation for hosting the event in support of the arts and cross-cultural education in northwestern Iowa. We finished out the week performing at Arts on Grand with a wonderful audience and I feel honored to return to this area to share my craft.
The big news is that the album Long Way Home is almost here! We’ve finished the recording and mix-down. It’s currently in California awaiting mastering which is the final step before manufacturing. The tracks will be smoothed out, clarity and depth will be added and the volume levels will be brought up to par. As I anticipate hearing these final touches I think about how this project was truly a full-circle creation. My fans, friends and family funded Long Way Home and I wouldn't have gone this direction without music supporters in Tucson prodding me to think outside the box. For that I am thankful. I'm also grateful to the two studios in Tucson, A Writer's Room and Wavelab, who helped create a professional album. The band and I are very proud of what we made together. They have been an integral part of this album and our performance was pure synergy. My long-time bandmate Doug Floyd contributed some tasty electric guitar brilliance while Jay Trapp laid down a smooth low-end groove on bass. Will Clipman added both texture and drive on drums and percussion, and Michael G. Ronstadt brought in his exceptional cello-playing style on 10 of the 11 tracks. Indeed, I am extremely fortunate to be surrounded by such talent.
For those of you who pre-ordered or donated to Long Way Home your CD's will be mailed out the first week of June. For everyone else the album will be on sale at my live performances starting June 5 as well as through my website.
In May and June I have several radio and tv performances to promote the new album. You can catch some of those on our amazing world wide web if you are not in Tucson. Check out my show listings for details.
Thank you for supporting independent music.
Saturday / June 5th / 7:30 pm
Sheraton Fire + Spice Restaurant
5151 E Grant Road
The full, five-piece band will be playing. Come enjoy good music, great food and an ambient Sonoran Desert summer evening under the stars.
February 12, 2010
Greetings, everyone, and happy February! I'm very excited about the new album Long Way Home. The release date is set for May 2010, and starting this month I'm sharing some sneak peeks and song previews in my monthly newsletter. If you're interested in being part of the action and you're not already on my mail list, you're welcome to scroll down to the bottom of this page and subscribe.
The band and I have been working hard in the studio on the new tracks...and I'm loving the sound! We laid down Will Clipman's final drum tracks this past weekend, and I'm in the studio this week with Doug Floyd working on finalizing the electric guitar parts. Jay Trapp will finish his bass tracks next week, and I hope to catch a few more cello parts from Michael G. Ronstadt when he tours through Tucson in early March. We'll mix-down the album in mid-March to send it for mastering and replication so it can emerge into the world.
Long Way Home is in production because of the support of fans, friends and family. I am extremely honored and grateful for the time, talent and financial resources everyone has shared. We have raised over $6,000 to make this album and are close to reaching the $8000 goal. If you’d like to pre-order the CD or contribute to its making find out more in the NEWS section.
My spring schedule is filling up. I have many shows in Southern Arizona throughout the next couple months while I finish the album. In March, we'll have a debut performance as a five-piece band at the Orpheum in Flagstaff, AZ. I’m also planning a Midwest tour in April so stay tuned to my SHOWS page for details.
I hope to cross paths with you in 2010...
Wishing you peace and light,
January 1, 2010
Happy New Year, Everyone! Another winter solstice celebrated—the sunlight re-emerging, and a spectacular blue moon welcoming us into the new year…
Speaking of new, my album Long Way Home will make its way into the world in 2010. I feel extremely fortunate to have people who believe in independent music contributing their time, talent and resources to this project. We’ve raised over $6K for musician and studio costs and I can't thank you enough for your continued support. We could not be doing what we’re doing without you. You can find more info about the album and donations on my NEWS page.
Last month I was in the studio with Michael G. Ronstadt. He did an incredible job laying down cello and acoustic guitar tracks for my ballads. We’re wrapping up pre-production work on the full band songs and will return to the studio to lay down those tracks early this year. I’m thrilled to once again have Doug “Hurricane” Floyd (electric guitarist-Rising) and Jay Trapp (bassist-Rising) joining me with Will Clipman holding down the heartbeat on drums.
I have many exciting gigs coming up including a monthly full-band show at the TucsonSheraton Fire + Spice Restaurant. In March we’ll make a debut performance as a five-piece band at The Orpheum in Flagstaff, AZ and I’ll be touring through the Midwest in April. Stay tuned to my SHOWS page for details.
Wishing you a wonderful new year and invigorating return of light… Amber
November 15, 2009
Click here to view a clip from Amber's show at the Sheraton Fire + Spice Restaurant in Tucson this past weekend. Jonathon Prince, a social "Athlivist", is running across North America in support of the RUN.INSPIRE.CHANGE. campaign in which all proceeds benefit the charities: Water.org, Habitat for Humanity, Remote Area Medical, Bread for the World, The Girl EFfect and Global Green. The Sheraton in Tucson sponsored Jonathon and his team's stay on Saturday evening. Thank you to his team and campaign for featuring Amber's show in their video journal. Go to hopeordie.org to find out more about Jonathon's journey.
Read Tucson Lifestyle Magazine’s article on Amber and her upcoming album release Long Way Home on the NEWS page.
October 9, 2009
Amber's Old Town Center for the Arts performance reviewed. Read it on Sedona Talk Radio or on the NEWS page.
October 1, 2009
Fall is setting in on the desert. I love this time of year with the cooling temps, harvest abounding, pumpkins, corn mazes, festivals, crickets and the daylight fading to darkness. The buzzing of the summer season is starting to subside. It creates an ideal ambience to go inside, reflect, and nestle into candlelit darkness while holding still in gratitude for the abundant blessings of the season.
Speaking of creating light in darkness and giving thanks - we’re going to have a new CD! Since August over $3400 has been raised for my upcoming album Long Way Home. I’ve started the pre-production work on it. The Band and I will begin recording in November in anticipation of a Spring 2010 release. It’s because of you and the community of support that I’ve received as an independent musician that makes this possible. Thank You. To learn more about how you can be involved check out my NEWS page.
Wishing you an abundance of peace, light and love… Amber
September 1, 2009
Greetings, everyone! Welcome to my new website. I have some exciting things on the horizon including a new CD. Bringing an album to life as an independent artist takes an incredible amount of resources. I'm currently doing music full-time and do not have the means I had when I worked as a nurse to make an album. My goal is to raise funding by October 1st so the band and I can go into the studio and "get 'er done" as they say on the farm. (Ok, sometimes the Midwest farm-child sneaks out in me). You can find out more in the NEWS section about donating, my budget goals, and the gifts you will receive in return for your support. Thank you to all of you who have helped bring my music into the world. Many of you have donated your time, resources and energy. You've promoted my shows, helped with booking, touring and recording while opening your houses, spare bedrooms, couches and hearts. Thank you for coming to my shows and purchasing my music. It truly takes a village to pave the way for an independent musician. I wish you all abundant blessings.