Marisa Anderson

Marisa Anderson is a wanderer at heart, creatively as curious as she is proficient. Her experience in a myriad playing styles and keen abilities as an improviser are perfect skills to satiate her appetite for new approaches to composing. The backbone for her music is her undeniable mastery of North American traditions of country, folk, and blues.

The solo guitar work of Marisa Anderson owes its familiar tones to her awareness of history and her mastering of her instrument, yet it is completely new. Marisa Anderson filters musical history through her own personal experiences, as a traveler in life and in music. A curious and gifted player, Anderson has spent over 35 years of playing forging her singular, instantly recognizable voice.

Her collaborative LP with Jim White ‘The Quickening‘ is out now. The 10-track LP is an improvised work guided by emotional intuition and executed by players whose mastery of their instruments is undeniable. The elegance of Jim White and Marisa Anderson’s highly attuned collaboration lays in each player’s ability to empathetically spin their collective experience into music of potent and boundless beauty.


1: Everything is relative.

2: Time is not linear.

3: Nothing is permanent.


1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
I have many inspirations…love, grief, longing, sorrow, loss, joy…

2. How and when did you get into making music?
When I was seven I tagged along to my mom’s flute lessons and learned how to play the recorder.

3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
In no particular order…
Gillian Welch – Time (The Revelator)
Various – Son Cubano NYC (Honest Jon’s Recs comp.)
Various – A Orillas Del Magdalena – Coastal Cumbias From Colombia’s Discos Fuentes (Domino Sound comp.)
Alice Coltrane – Journey in Satchidananda
Every record by Ali Farka Touré

4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Graffiti and kinderparks.

5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
My garden. It’s my favorite place to wake up and drink coffee in the sun.

6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I would make a boat trip on every major river in the world.

7. What was the last record/music you bought?
King Tubby, self-titled.

8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I would like to go back in time and play music with people who lived before the advent of recording.

9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Evolutionary Jass Band New Years Eve show (I don’t know what year) at Valentines in Portland. By the time we were done playing, every single person in the room was standing on top of the tables yelling, clapping and stomping. There was no separation between the band and the audience, all the walls had broken down.

10. How important is technology to your creative process?
It’s pretty important. Before I started recording myself I never captured anything, I would just play all day and let everything go. The process of creating my solo records has been entirely dependent on my ability to record at home.

11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have siblings, and I think they are happy for me/proud of me, but we don’t talk about it much. They both work in creative fields as well.

Photo © Jason Quigley