The three women who call themselves the Three Altos are Amy Bernstein, rabbi of Temple Israel in Duluth, Minnesota; Paula Pedersen who is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota/Duluth; and Sara Thomsen, a singer/songwriter with four CDs, Arise, Fertile Ground, By Breath, and Everything Changes. They have been performing together since 2004. Their voices blend together gracefully. For this CD, they have chosen material that emphasizes the spiritual connections which link us to others and to the world of Spirit. The Three Altos believe that "the clearest reflection of the Sacred is the rich and textured diversity that makes each human being and every speck of space dust unique."
Four selections are devotional gems and bear repeated listenings: "Arise" adapted from the Song of Songs; "Ashrei" based on Psalm 84:5; "Shehechiyanu," a traditional Jewish blessing; and "The 23rd Psalm" with words adapted and music by Bobby McFerrin. In each of these, there is an ethereal quality to the music that is soothing and meditative.
These singers with different backgrounds have clearly bonded as women, and this unity in diversity shines through the music, especially in "One Voice," "Three Women," and the rousing "A Woman's Place." The first is a melodic ballad by Ruth Moody which celebrates "Singing together in harmony,/Surrendering to the mystery." The second by Carrie Newcomer celebrates the special gifts of women, and the third by Sara Thomsen goes even further in its delineation of the many contributions of women who see their home as "the whole wide world."