Anima specializes in music of the Baroque and late Renaissance for voice, violin, and harp-based continuo. The group features soprano Beth Anne Hatton, Baroque violinist Vita Wallace, viola da gambist and lirone player Motomi Igarashi, and harpist Christa Patton. As individuals, these artists have performed and recorded with period instrument ensembles throughout the eastern US as well as internationally.
Anima’s concerts have been presented by the Historical Huguenot Society in New Paltz, New York, the American Foundation of Savoy Orders, Zürcher Gallery, King Manor, Gotham Early Music Scene, and the Stone, a New York City club, among others. In 2016, the group toured Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee with both concerts and educational programs.
In broadcast media, they were featured on Ebru TV’s “Rhythm and Roots” series in 2010, on “Niji Iro Gene,” a Japanese news and entertainment TV program in October 2009, and on Robert Aubry Davis’s syndicated radio program “Millennium of Music,” which is carried by public radio stations as well as by XM radio in 2007.
Anima has worked together since 2005, bringing the music and culture of the 17th Century into focus for today’s listeners. Their deep-rooted collaboration has enabled them to explore the mysteries of the music, and make it come alive in intimate and engaging concerts, blending music and poetry with exemplary musicianship. Anima makes virtuosity approachable – playful, highly expressive and provocative.
Vita Wallace is known as a powerful, sensitive, and versatile musician. She has performed with her brother Ishmael since childhood as the Orfeo Duo. Their recordings include the complete Schumann and Beethoven sonatas on period instruments, and for 15 years they have created poetic time-traveling programs and commissioned composers in Morningside Heights and West Harlem as directors of What a Neighborhood! Vita is also a member of the period-instrument ensembles Anima, ARTEK, and the Dryden Ensemble, and leads the Accordoleles on the accordion. Recently, she expanded her cultivation of harmony by starting a farm specializing in hazelnuts and sour cherries.
Christa Patton, historical harpist and early wind specialist, has performed throughout the Americas, Europe, and Japan with many of today’s premier early music ensembles including Piffaro the Renaissance Band, Boston Camerata, The King’s Noyse, Folger Consort, Newberry Consort, Apollo’s Fire, Parthenia and ARTEK. As a Baroque harpist specializing in 17th century opera, Christa has performed with New York City Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, and Tafelmusik. She has served on the faculty of Rutgers University and the Graduate Center at CUNY. She is also musical director of the Baroque Opera Workshop at Queens College, specializing in the works of early 17th century composers. She can be heard playing historical harps and a multitude of other instruments on recordings including Istampitta [Lyrachord], Chacona [Dorian], Nobile Donna [ATMA], Los Ministriles in the New World, and Back before Bach [Navona].
Motomi Igarashi enjoys a rich and varied career on viola da gamba, double bass, violone and lirone. A native of Japan, Motomi holds a Bachelor of Music degree in double bass from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. She pursued her graduate studies at the Juilliard School where she studied double bass with Eugene Levinson, with additional studies with with Franco Petracchi and Duncan McTier. After graduating from Juilliard, she went to France to study viola da gamba, spending several years in intensive study with Marianne Muller, Wieland Kuijken, and Paolo Pandolfo and more recently studied lirone with Erin Headley. Since her return from Europe she has been in high demand on the viola da gamba, violone, baroque double bass and lirone, performing and recording with various groups including The American Classical Orchestra, Anima, ARTEK, BostonBaroque, Concert Royal, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and REBEL. Versatile in the pop and jazz realms, Motomi is featured on the Nathalie Merchant album “Leave your Sleep” and has collaborated with the jazz pianist, Kevin Hays. In Germany her performance as guest violist da gamba with the Migration Jazz Trio was broadcast on German National Radio.
Beth Anne Hatton has performed in opera and oratorio, singing music by composers from Satie to Strauss and from Mozart to Bach. Opera News praised her “voice of gleaming lucidity and tender emotion.” In addition to Anima, she has performed with period instrument ensembles including NYS Baroque, Concert Royal, and the New York Baroque Dance Company. She is a founding member of Opera Feroce, a collaborative opera company in miniature. She has collaborated with composers of new works, and can be heard on “Photographs” a recording of compositions by Eric Qin [Tzadik]. Stepping across genres, she has performed A Love Supreme in John Coltrane tribute concerts with a jazz quintet, singing Coltrane’s words to the notes of his solo in Psalm.