I was born in Paris, France, and emigrated with my family to this country as a young child, growing up with my sister in Shaker Heights, Ohio. My father played the piano, filling our home with strains of Beethoven and Mozart that I loved deeply. At age nine, I received a transistor radio as a birthday present from my parents, and kept it tuned to a classical music station. My older sister would borrow the radio, tune it to a pop station, and then give it back to me that way, which irritated me to no end. But one day, instead of grumbling and tuning it back to the classical station, I left it tuned to Top 40. And voila, my love of songs was born. First came Peter, Paul, and Mary, then The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, and Judy Collins. Oh yes, one mustn't forget Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
At age 16, I bought myself a guitar and taught myself to play. I knew then what I wanted to do with my life, and that was to become a singer-songwriter. However, I took a bit of a detour, though, by studying classical music at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I immersed myself in piano, violin, and composition, earning a Bachelor's degree with Honors in Music, and completing forgetting about songwriting.
Over the years, fortunately, I found my way back to that, and have written many songs in the last 25 years, as well as piano solos, and violin duets. In realizing that my music was a reflection of both my life and the lessons that I have learned, I decided to write a book about both: "Singing My Way Home: My Journey Through Fear" will include lyrics to some of my songs, as well as a CD of some of my music and will be available hopefully later this year. Two more books are planned: "Singing My Way Home: More Songs and Stories", and "Barton's Body and Beauty Basics" which will be a written version of the workshops that I currently teach.
At present time, I reside in South Bend, Indiana with my husband, cats, one dog, and 2 rabbits. Oh yes, I met my husband, David, in college, when he was my music professor! He just retired in June of 2010 after teaching music for 34 years at Indiana University, South Bend.
In addition to my activities as a singer-songwriter, composer,and author, I also have a private studio, teaching lessons on a one-on-one basis to my students in piano, voice, violin, and guitar. I also am an ordained minister and practice a number of healing modalities, offering private sessions and workshops. For more information on those, see Healing Modalities".
I am a seasoned performer both as a musician, and also as a dancer. In terms of the former, I've given concerts of my original music for over 20 years. In terms of the latter, I have been a member of my husband's group, "Plato and the Western Tradition: a Post-Modern Improvisational Ensemble, since 1988, improvising as a dancer, vocalist, and story-teller.
In addition to performing, I started the weekly Open Mike at Fiddler's Hearth in South Bend, and coordinated it for a year.
My husband and I are both gardening enthusiasts, and have the luxury of a double-lot that we have landscaped extensively over the years, and continue to do so. For pictures of the garden and the living sculptures therein, i.e., our cats, and dog, go to Garden and Pet Photos.
Other accomplishments include being a cast member of "Medea", a Robert Wilson production, in 1981, performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. My fellow chorus-members and I were on-stage for nearly all of the 4 hour production, singing contemporary music in Ancient Greek.
I also spear-headed 2 local efforts, one to save approximately 65 Oak trees from being cut-down to expand the parking lot at the local Zoo, and the other, to bring public awareness to the planned renovation of the Church of Loretto on the campus of Saint Mary's College, near Notre Dame. My group successfully convinced the South Bend Parks Department to rethink their plans, and all but one tree were saved. In terms of the Church, I organized a nation-wide letter-writing campaign to alumni, organized a protest mass and finally met with the President of the Saint Mary's College, who granted us a small victory. Because of our efforts, one of the stained glass windows still remain in the church. See Songs and their stories for more details, under Church of Loretto. Future projects include starting an Arts Ethics Academy for local underprivileged children, and an 11 Breaths Community to effect positive social change through the use of the 11 Breaths. For more information, see my page on the 11 Breaths.
©2011, Evie Barton