Emily Tessmer | Using Voice to Change the World

Courtesy Joaquin Fioresi

Emily Tessmer has been playing professionally since her 20s. She began as a singer/songwriter. Along the way she found herself on a spiritual path and began exploring shamanism, Hinduism and the different aspects of the goddess. Then, she met Dave Stringer, a world-renowned kirtan and chanting singer and heard his music.

June 27 | 6:30 p.m.
Cottonwood Restaurant | Truckee

“I was very inspired seeing Dave Stringer and his rock and roll spirituality,” says Tessmer, who was working at the time at Rainbow Bridge, a metaphysical store located in the Village at Squaw. She reached out to Paradise Music and sent them her version of the Sanskrit chant, “Om Namah Shivaya.” The company loved it and the new-age label produced her first album “Sacred Chants.” Tessmer garnered some attention and accolades in the New Age community. Her chanting is magical, pure light that takes the listener into a deep space of meditative mantra.

Her second album, “Chants of Love and Light,” went in a different direction and included Native American pieces and music of the Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. It was a shift from what she had previously recorded.

“I branched out from kirtan and into a more indigenous type of feel,” she said. It was during this time she began playing festivals with a more spiritual focus, such as Pranafest and Shakti Fest.

In 2017 Tessmer had a baby. She was also the music director at Tahoe Expedition Academy.

“Everything slowed down. My energy was split between being a mother, teacher and an artist,” she said.

She emerged in 2019 with her newest project “Earthsong” that is about to be released. It brings to light the plight of the whales, trees, Native American women — all women.

“Earthsong is a call to action. An invitation,” she said. “It’s the most beautiful music I’ve ever made.”

Tessmer sent me a few samples of her new project. The first track opens with Tessmer almost whispering a song with whales. The sound of whales singing, her angelic voice caresses us into the song that asks for help and guidance for the planet and to return us to the silence. She makes an ethereal plea. The title track “Earth Song” is bold and heartfelt. It is a call to unify and unite. “One heart, one voice, no matter what they say;” Tessmer’s voice is smooth and beautiful.

She said she collaborates with a number of bandmates: “There were so many hands touching this music. My prayer is for this music to bring people together. And bring awareness and understanding.”

She is someone who wants to make a difference in the world. In her strength, she asked, “What are we doing to change the world even in a small way?”

Tessmer would love to open a grocery store in which there are no containers.

“I am so excited. I am studying journalism and digital media editing at Sierra Nevada College.”

For her senior project, she is compiling a short film that will include three to four of her songs.

Her light shines as she spoke. She is passionate about using her voice as a means and tool for service: “It’s all about being the love. That’s all we are and that’s all there really is.” | cottonwoodrestaurant.com