"When fans write to me, it means so very much that I decided I would start a Fan Mail page to share some of the incredible words that have come to me over the years. These people have taken the time to thank me, but their words are gifts to me as well. The person's first name and/or state are all that appears to preserve privacy in a world that grows more volatile every day. If after reading this, you are inspired to write something, please know that I will periodically review and up-date this page to include the wonderful comments and stories that continue to arrive."
I hope this e-mail finds you and, finds you well. I would like to ask a favor of you and, that favor is, to take just a few moments of your time to read this. Ann, I would like to start by saying; I have never known peace in music the way I have found peace in yours. With regrets for sounding like a "groupie" here, I have every cd of yours and I must say, every song gets better and better with every listen. On to my story. My beautiful wife and I live on Lake Sinclair in Georgia. I happened to be listening one Sunday morning to a satellite television music station called, Moodscapes. It was then that I heard your music for the first time. Sitting there thinking of my wife, looking out of the sliding glass doors at the millions of diamonds dancing on the water from the mornings sunlight. They were playing your "Twilight" I was absolutely amazed. After the song was over, I sat for a little while longer, finished my coffee and, headed over to the computer to research you. Until my dying day it will be one of the best decisions I've ever made. I've always wondered, if I could see or, describe my wife's beauty in music, what would that description be and, the answer is very simply,,, your music and, specifically, the song "Twilight". I truly wish I had the time to explain her whole life to you, throughout the length of that song. It would amaze you. Well, Your music has filled our tiny little lake house nonstop ever since.
There is another song that now means the world to both of us and, that song is "Ashes". Recently; we were blessed with a beautiful little boy, Vincent Jr. Unfortunately, we couldn't take him longer than 16-1/2 weeks. You see, Vincent Jr was an, ectopic pregnancy and, where he was located within, left us with a less than 10% chance for birth so, we had to make the decision to send little Vincent on up ahead to heaven to wait for us. Before we did that, we sat him down, placed my headphones on my wife's tummy and let him hear the most beautiful thing we could choose. Your song, "Ashes" (I'm at work typing this and I can't stop crying) I guess what I'm trying to do here Ann is both tell you how much I appreciate what you've given to us musically and, thank you for making the only two things in this world that will ever mean ANYTHING AT ALL to me even more special. I hope you can open the picture. It is one of Vincent Jr's 4-d sonogram pictures. Well Ann Sweeten, I hope I didn't bore you. I thank you for taking the time to read this. I thank you for filling our home with the most beautiful music we have ever heard. I thank you for your talents and, for being the kind of person you are.
Hello Ms. Sweeten,
Thank you for all the wonderful music you have produced. I've been a fan of yours ever since I first heard Sapphire Days and have always picked up your albums the day I see that a new one is in stores.
Your music has been many things to me over the years: relaxing, meditative, helping me with creative endeavors, and most recently, inspirational. I was listening to your music last year and had a thought from out of the blue that I could learn myself to play such a beautiful instrument as the one I was hearing.
I have been taking piano lessons for a year now. And, while I have a long way to go, I have you and your wonderful music to thank for inspiring me to set out upon this path.
Just wanted to send you an email to tell you that your music has both gotten me through some hard times, as well as inspired me to better myself. From the bottom of my heart, thank you ever so much.
Gratefully and respectfully,
I am writing to you with great appreciation for sharing your musical talent and want you to know what a difference it has made.
My father has suffered with a very bad case of shingles in his eye for 8 months. The doctors found shingles inside his eyeball, on the lens of the eye and on the skin surrounding his eye. It is one of the worst cases doctors have seen. It continues to be a huge trial for him as he endures great nerve pain on his face and inside his head. To say that he has had many sleepless nights is an understatement. During the first few months when it was particularly bad, he would listen to a satellite television station which played "new age" music. He learned that if he lay very still in a meditative state without moving that he could somewhat quiet the nerves. As he listened in many dark nights to the music he began to recognize a favorite song that would play. It was "Adrift". He began to anticipate it playing because it gave him great peace as he endured and found peace with God during this difficult period. In that song my Dad felt God's compassion for him and felt a new strength of love and the ability to forge ahead.
I have attached a letter which my Dad wrote to each of his 6 children. With this letter he included your CD "Grey Sky and Bittersweet" so that his children could listen to your music and hear your interpretation of the difficulties and joys of life. May God continue to bless you as you share your incredible talent with many like my Dad.
I am a Tim Janis listener and some years ago while in Borders going through the New Age section I stumbled upon one of Ann's CD's and fell in love with her music. She is now my favorite artist. Adore the Christmas album.
Good afternoon Ann...
I wanted to let you know how much my guest and I enjoyed your artistry at the Fairfield Community Arts Center last evening. As I was listening, I often caught myself with eyes closed while taking in the brushstrokes from your keyboard. It brought to mind a long forgotten word--timbre. You are, indeed, a consummate pianist and composer, and you are a lovely lady with a warm, personable presence. Thank you, again, for a wonderful evening!
With very best regards,
I listen to three Instrumental music programs (stations) on XM-Sirius Satellite TV on Dish Network, Channel 977 (Aura) in particular. Every now and then I hear someone's music that makes me stop whatever I am doing and just focus on the music. Ann Sweeten's music has that effect on me. It captivates me and evokes pleasurable emotion. I often wonder what is in the heart and mind of an instrumentalist as they compose and play their beautiful pieces. They have a gift from God that is intended to touch other people.
Dear Ann Sweeten,
Attached please find a photo of my front porch where Ann Sweeten gives a concert almost daily. I will soon retire from The Nature Conservancy. I live on a small farm with a yellow Lab, Rat Terrier, two horses and lots of hummingbirds.
Just had to let you know how much we enjoy your great talent. I tell my friends that your music makes me want to hug a butterfly.
While sitting at my desk this morning, working away while listening in the background to Sirius all I needed to hear were a few notes and I stopped what I was doing...closed my eyes and said to myself "this has to be Ann Sweeten".. of course it was..Is it just me? or do all of your millions of fans recognize instantly the remarkable emotion you seem to be able to infuse into all of the pieces you play??? I guess we all do huh? How could one not?
And I thought I got all the syrupy yet ever sincere accolades and compliments email out of the way the very first (and only time ) I emailed you months ago. I just want to say, again, how much I appreciate your talent and to say thanks.. I am touched every single time I hear your work.
Your music touches my spirit. When I listen to Music Choice Channel[SoundScapes] I know without looking when anything comes on by you. You are truly a Genius on the piano. Thank You for Blessing me through your music.
I trust this letter finds you healthy and happy... and that it is a great encouragement to you.
I thank God for you... and for keeping you...
I have heard a couple of pieces of your music now on the Galaxy Spa Channel from your Grey Sky And Bittersweet album. Just hearing those melodies gives me great inspiration. They are very evocative. As I listen, I sense the ageless beauty of your spirit... Your music truly adds to the celebration of life. You are very gifted and I am blessed to hear such arrangements. Your music is the choir of many angels... nurturing to the soul and soothing to the spirit. You enrich my life in so many ways. It's impossible to love your music too much.
Dear Ms. Sweeten,
Have been listening to Sirius radio for several years and have learned to recognize your music and wait for it to be played. No one has the touch on piano keys as you and your unique style is very easy for me to recognize. I find it to be the most relaxing and extraordinary style ever experienced. I want to thank you for giving me many hours of true pleasure in listening to you play.
I offer my compliments and respect to you for your talent and hope to be able to enjoy your music for the rest of my life. Your music has affected me in a manner I never imagined. I am listening to you as I write this tonight.
Thank you and I wish you many, many years of continued success so I may enjoy your talent for a very long time.
John from Alabama
Words cannot describe how beautiful your music is to me. Maybe you're an angel from heaven living amongst us. Truly your music is inspired of God. Thank you for giving me such a wonderful gift.
I heard your piece "Ashes" on "Spa" today on my way home. I buried my old hunting dog "Hoss" recently and your beautiful song brought me to tears. He has a piece of my heart w/ him. For fools like me that allow an old setter dog to occupy a place where others think only another human should or could...that's okay w/ me, and your sweet song and the knowledge that I too will be ashes like him inspire me to give of my heart no matter the cost in tears and loss. Thank you.
Hi Ann - I am so glad you are recording a new album - I can't wait to hear it. I have a few of your albums already, and plan on getting your earlier ones that I don't have yet. My favorite album of yours is A Place In The Sun - For me, that album contains the most beautiful music I've ever heard. In fact I am listening to it right now as I'm typing this note! (I'm at work on my lunch hour.)
Your music is so touching and moving, and when I read the liner notes with the explanation of why you wrote certain songs, it brings tears to my eyes. Your music is definitely a cut above all the others, e.g., I sometimes put the TV in the living room on Soundscapes and walk out of the room, but when one of your songs come on, I recognize it as "your sound." I can tell it's one of yours even though I'm unable to see the artist's name. When I walk back into the living room to check, I'm right 100% of the time! Your sound is so distinctive/special to me.
I am so happy you share this beautiful gift that God has given you with everyone! Please never stop recording new albums!
Take care and good luck with In the Wake.
Hello Ms. Sweeten,
I had to write you.
I am a 66 year old male who has twice retired from the Law Enforcement field. This morning I had the very first pleasure of listening to any of your music and the piece "Grains Of Sand". When I got back to the house, I looked your music up and read various articles while again listening to the same piece.
I then read the piece on the "Orange Band Sparrow". I always considered myself a hardened person due to my previous employment and all that I had seen. I am and will always be touched by the first impression of your music this day and the article on the "Orange Band Sparrow". I sit here writing this with beauty in my heart and tears falling with the impression of both. I will remember my first encounter with "Ann Sweeten" always.
Wishing you all the wellness in life and the happiness and joy in your heart. As I gaze from my deck each day and look to the beauty all around me, the beauty of "Grains Of Sand" will fill my mind and heart.
Frank from Arkansas
Okay I admit it. I have NEVER done this before (written to an artist/performer/musician).. but something has compelled me to do so- so here I am..
Your ability to impart the most miraculous human essence into the way you play is impossible for me to ignore. Sure, when I hear some instrumental piece I can often identify the artist.. but it's because of the ability to recall work that they have done in the past that makes it similar or familiar or characteristic of their style or sound. It's almost 'clinical' or quantitative.
But whenever I hear a piece of yours, something entirely different happens. I'd say magical but that's too much of a cliche, too predictable, too pedestrian of a description. You have an ability to imbue your work, YOUR music with an essence, a feeling, a spirit that communicates light years beyond the notes, the composition. I am instantly sucked into the emotion of your work, your talent, your passion from the first note. There is never any doubt it's you. Words do not convey the connection of your style, your touch and the composition takes on a story, an imagery, starts a conversation in my own mind that often takes me far from where I am. Even to places that I know I will never be.. Simply put, your creations, your playing..call it what you will, are distinctively intoxicating, ethereal, majestic, radiant.. all at the same time.. and not just singularly, but in all the music of yours I have had the pleasure of listening to ( I know dangling participle).
And guess what, what I have just written doesn't really, can't really describe how much I love your work.. but I've tried my best...
Looking forward to enjoying your music for the rest of my life.
I've had Grey Sky and Bittersweet, A Place in the Sun, and Reflections in my CD collection and on my Ipod for perhaps two years. I listen to Ann Sweeten's music at work frequently, and decided two days ago to learn more about her as an artist. I visited the webpage with her being recognized as a Steinway Artist, and then clicked on the "About Ann" tab, read about the huge challenges in her life and also about the genesis of ORANGE BAND RECORDS, and just got completely overwhelmed. So today I purchased three more of her CDs and will acquire the rest of her albums this year. I'm also spreading the word to people who don't know what a remarkable woman and what a huge talent Ms Sweeten is. I'm just in awe!
I'm sure you get large sums of fan mail and basically this is just another fan letter -but- I don't believe in coincidence or good or bad luck. I feel there is a reason and purpose for everything - It's just in realizing why. Anyway one Saturday afternoon I was in the kitchen making chocolate chip cookies for our 5 grandkids and heard a beautiful song on Soundscapes and walked into the TV room to see what it was that I was listening to that made me think of my Mother so deeply. The TV screen showed "A Place In the Sun", song titled "The Last Day of April" by Ann Sweeten. I thought it was beautiful but I had never heard it before and then staring at the screen a little longer- realized my Mother died the last day of April, 2008. Later I mentioned this to my wife and just a few weeks ago my pastor (who is a wonderfully talented pianist). This past Christmas Eve my pastor remembered me with a copy of "A Place In the Sun" - after playing it several times I pulled out the CD cover and read your words - I was a little startled to read my other favorite song is "A Pillow In the Sky" which you wrote for your dog Jessie who died JAN. 11, 2003 - the day my Dad died. Anyway - that's my short story that I wanted to share with you and yes I am a fan - your work and talent is wonderful. Best Wishes to you in the New Year,
My husband and I met you today at your performance at St. Francis (I was the one in the wheelchair). We were just awed by your music and your story and I wanted to simply thank you.
I have a friend, Margot Larson, who is writing a book tentatively titled Against The Odds, and she is looking for seven cancer survivors who have exceptional stories to share. I am going to recommend she contact you, in the event that you might be interested.
I also simply love your poem, Halfway Home, that is printed inside your Passage CD. With your permission, I’d like to include it in the services that I’m planning now for my eventual funeral (I’m in hospice, although I do plan on creating my own miracle and walking out of here in full health!)
Many thanks again. You are a true inspiration!
Liz from Connecticut
"I discovered your music on Sirius satellite radio a few months ago and I want to tell you how much I enjoy listening to your beautiful songs. Even though there are no words, your music has a lyrical quality, almost as if the notes are sung or spoken rather than played, and I've never heard another pianist that I can say that about. Your tender music is perfect for listening to while I work, read, rest, or hike and I find myself smiling when one of your songs is played on the radio. Thank you for sharing your gift with me and with the world."
"I wanted to thank you for your lovely music. It touches my heart. I wonder if there is something about it that strikes a note of familiarity or melancholy somewhere within me? I lost a baby daughter in 1996 whom I very much miss. Perhaps I'm reminded of her when I hear your unique melodies and use of chords. My favorites seem to be:
Grains of Sand
The First Noel
A Winter's Reverie
Anyway, I'm curious to know if you have plans for a new album in the future? I look forward to it if so."
" I just wanted to say that from what I've heard, your music has such a way of stirring emotions within me. I heard a piece from " A Place in the Sun" on the Soundscapes channel, which is on my television music channels, the other night. I realized right away that it was special, and came right in and looked you up on the Internet. Anyway, your music seems to stir emotion in me, and I'm not sure where it's coming from. It seems to take me to places of beauty that mean a great deal to me.
Thank you for the beautiful music… "
Jo Gayle from Texas
"I first heard your melodious music at work when I listen to Pandora Radio. My, oh my, what a gift God has blessed you with! Your music is so comforting, captivating, soothing and peaceful. In a world so full of conflict, you are a wonderful oasis as I listen. I work at an Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic, and your music is a soothing balm for me. I will be purchasing all of your music and pass it along to others as gifts.
Your concern for our environment is one more reason for me to appreciate you. Your web site that shares the Orange Band Records is so sad and disheartening, especially since I enjoy all of wildlife. I too stand for the innocent and always will. God has given us such beauty in this earth He created and we must preserve as much as we can, while we can.
Thank you once again for your beautiful, caring heart and spirit....our world needs so many more people like you. I have never met you, but I send you love from my heart.."
Frances from Pennsylvania
"I was listening to your CD Reflections at work and these words came to me. Just thought I would share them with you, Thanks for the Inspiration.Timeless
grasping my inner ear
calming my senses
bringing on breaths complete and deep
the frantic beast lies still while near sleep approaches as if a soft sunset
and though the distance of creation and now are vast
captivated by ivory notes that rise and fall and enter into me filling me like breath
healing me as if light from above
calming me as imaginary waterfall cascade over me
calling me back
calling me to let go
What we create
what we share through our gifts
what we return to a universe so generous
I surrender returning one gift for another
One passion for another
and when the final note is reached
I wait patiently for the next musical passage
to lead me into surrendering
to lead me into the moment
Inspired by Ann Sweeten’s Reflections"
Richard from Hawaii
"I heard your music on the Comcast "Soundscapes" channel. I listen to it while reading. While most of the music is relaxing, a lot of it seems generic to me. I heard "Dawn on Red Mountain" and was blown away. I immediately looked you up and purchased the CD. I am listening to it as I write this. Ann, it is a beautiful compilation and you truly have a wonderful gift. I look forward to buying all of your works. Thank you."
" I heard Ann Sweeten’s music yesterday for the first time on SKY.FM’s Solo Piano Channel (the track “November Firelight”) for which I have a Premium Subscription. I liked the music very much and searched for more information on the Internet. Then I heard the samples from the album and decided to order it. I think these are beautiful tracks and she has captured Autumn’s mood... "
I first heard your music a few months ago. I liked it so much I immediately purchased 3 of your CDs. It's hard for me to explain how deeply your music affects me. Your feelings and emotions are so clearly communicated in your compositions and performances. You and your piano speak as one.
Thank you for adding so much joy to my life."
Mark from New York
" Love her music and gift. Totally gets me high! I was actually playing two of her LP’s back to back on my Napster while my guests were here in November for Thanksgiving dinner and they inquired heavily about the music coming from our study. Thank Ms. Sweeten for me please. There are no words unfortunately to describe her powerful sounds and the accompanying artists that make it all possible for many of us to lend an ear to the indescribable beauty that exudes from the music. Ah music, the world would be a very sad place indeed without our gifted artists of blessed music.
Linda from Texas
"I have recently discovered your work on last.fm and today went to your website for the first time.
Your website was immediately very meaningful to me because my closest friend, who is also a lover of music and animals and the most positive person I have ever known, is currently in her second round of chemotherapy. I'm sending her A Place in the Sun via iTunes store.
I just wanted to say thank you for both the glorious music and your webpage about your survival and your wonderful dogs. (I hugged my two a little closer after I read about yours.)
I hope your life is as constantly blessed as you've blessed that of others.
Here's something I wrote for some fellow music-lovers about your work:
As a lover of “New Age” piano music since the early days of that genre, I have recently discovered Ann Sweeten and found that there are indeed more great things in heaven and earth than I had dreamed of. While I was recently working 12 to 18 hours a day with last.fm in the background on another computer, I had to keep stopping to write down the track name so that I could buy it later. When I finally took a break, I realized every one of those tracks had been written and performed by Ann Sweeten.
To say her work is inspired and inspiring hardly begins to describe it, and the cliché diminishes the uniqueness of her genius. Her writing on her website indicates her inspiration from her love for life, and that comes through in the songs. And she inspires me to love my world, because, as I listen, I remember and I cherish all those I have loved and who have loved me.
Like great poetry, then, her music speaks on more than one level. You can listen and focus only on the music, and find yourself thinking, “I know where it’s going next,” and then be surprised when it doesn’t—it goes somewhere completely unexpected and wonderful. Or you can listen and hear your own life and loves in there. Whichever you do, I hope you’re like me and finally do believe there is a music of the spheres. She’s that good."
Gail from Texas
"I heard The Last Day of April on Medicom SoundScapes channel. Then I went online and listened to the clips of a lot of your albums. I read about your fight with cancer and losing your dog, the dark time you went through. I found in listening to the songs on A Place in the Sun that something so special comes through and ministers to my heart. I guess sometimes we have to suffer to release something that blesses others. I just wanted to thank you for doing that for me.
Bill from Iowa
" I just wanted to let you know that I just recently discovered your music, and felt compelled to write to let you know how deeply moving your work has been for me. This discovery occured while listening to XM radio's Audio Visions. I am a writer / translator, and often listen to this station while working. Well, all of a sudden I'm stopped in my tracks like something just went straight to my heart and soul, and I looked up at the receiver and saw your name. I went "wow!!" There was just so much emotional depth, so emotionally raw, yet so delicate and refined. This happened again another couple of times over the next several days. I said to myself "Okay, I've gotta look more deeply into this!"
As I began researching your music, I was particularly moved by your notes about your "Place in the Sun" album. First of all, I hope your health is good. I could relate to many of your insights, particularly about time, and why does it have to go by so quickly. I am a proud father of two, my son is 18 and my daughter is 15, and I just feel like the last several years were a blur. All those vacations at the beach that I though would go on forever.. Childhood memories.... It seems you reach a point in life when you realize life is very short.
Anyway, I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that your music, and it appears your outlook on things as well, have been tremendously inspiring to me. I am a musician myself, and I have never, ever taken the time to write a note like this. Please accept this note as a sincere "thank you" for sharing your gift.
I have just ordered " A Place in the Sun" from your website, and will certainly be ordering much more of your work in the future."
Allan from Quebec
" Recently, I heard your Echoes from one of your albums, e.g. " A Place in the Sun."
Your music and titles are brilliant and revealing a holistic talent….forever, forever, and forever like "moments of sunlight fading in the green grass of long ago golden summers."
John from Illinois
" Your pensive music allows me to feel sorry for myself at the end of a hard day, clear my head, and then be uplifted… Your music has taken me on many trips into, of all places, myself. You are indeed a talented treasure. I am sending this letter as an expression of gratitude. "
Rolf from New York
" I just wanted to tell you that I have listened to your CD’s and they touched me deeply. My husband suffered from a rare form of cancer for 6 years and as I listened to your music, the happy memories and his wonderful being became present. Thank you for your wonderful gift of music. "
" I just wanted to tell you how much your music – especially Last Day of April – has meant to us. My wife spent the last 3 months caring for her Mother and Step-Father, both hospitalized. She put Last Day of April on repeat on her MP3 player and left it playing all night, every night for 3 months. She credits you with her sanity and health."
Jack from Florida
" Thank you for you, for composing “ A Place in the Sun”. So full of pathos, so full of beauty – that your body heals with your spirit."
Betty from Michigan