Carol Van Alstine

My earliest musical influences were the classical music of cartoons, top-40 radio, Broadway musicals, and John Philip Sousa. But at an early age, The Beatles stunned me (see “Four Common Men Create The Weather” on Under Shattered Skies). I picked up the tennis racket and sang along, sometimes adding my own harmony, and feeling like the “fifth Beatle,” in this wonderful band of brothers. I studied classical and folk guitar and voice, sang in choral and madrigal groups throughout high school and college, then set off as a solo performer, entertaining at resorts and in national parks. In my continual search for dissonance and unusual harmony, for over a decade I sang with several Renaissance chamber choirs which performed music primarily from the 13th-17th centuries.But I have always enjoyed, too, the world of words. Earning a B.A. in English, I specialized in writing poetry, then pursued graduate studies in creative writing. All it took was a few wild dreams, and I began combining my love of words with my love of music. My songs are often inspired by images from dreams, word play, and musical or lyrical phrases that take me to unexpected places. My favorite songs, of any genre, have always been those that I don’t quite know what they’re about ….or those that are about more than they’re about.


I always write with other voices in mind. When they join in, that’s when the fun begins.