"Every single track on this CD, "Bow and Cello", is deeply, deeply affecting, emotionally arousing and almost hypnotic in its effect on your heart and mind. It's like a reassuring hand touching your shoulder and urging you gently to be quiet, be still, and just "be". It's soothing and stimulating, brooding and liberating, all at the same time."
-excerpt from review by Loren Spain
Gretchen has been attached to her cello since she began playing at the age of ten. She has been fortunate to grow up and live in Seattle, with people and the natural world to inspire her. She was immersed in the world of classical music until her twenties, when she expanded her range to include playing in bands. Once she was introduced to a loop sampler, Gretchen found a new voice for her instrument. She began to improvise and compose in this context, taking her path to the recording studio.
Her first solo CD was Bow and Cello, a lovely collection of twelve personal compositions and two composed by the late Michael Cava. In 2004, during the creation of this first project, Gretchen's brother Nicolas died in a fire. In her grief, she retreated from composition. As Gretchen re-emerged from this loss, she started on a new branch of her path with the birth of her daughter. The music in Gretchen waited for its time to rise to the surface again. Through many wonderful interventions of the universe, she found her way back to the studio.
Gretchen's second album is Waves Wash Over Us. This album takes listeners on a new musical journey which expands in mood dimensions. The 8 compositions offer variety of atmosphere, yet maintain a rich coherence. Gretchen believes in beauty. Much of her music has conveyed longing, calming, reflection, and joy. Waves Wash Over Us conveys determination, whimsy, freedom, and still beauty. Each listener has a unique experience with her work, and Gretchen loves hearing about how her music interacts with each individual.
"The invention is wonderful. The textures meltingly beautiful. I love the development of ideas from the first cd to the second one."
-David Lockington, conductor
Her third album is Bridge Across Sound. This is an hour-long cd with 14 tracks that form an energetic arc. The compositions continue to build with layers of cello loops and melodies that map the heart.
Gretchen performs solo with her electric cello, in addition to her acoustic work. Her music has been featured in contexts ranging from film to dance to podcast soundtracks! Her music is also enjoyed in meditative and healing settings. She continues to play classical music as a member of Northwest Sinfonietta, the region's premier chamber orchestra. Gretchen also does studio recording work with her acoustic cello, in addition to her own continued solo composing and performing.
Gretchen loves exploring places on foot, reading for fun, and having yoga-dance parties at home with her daughter.