After 30 years in marketing for companies like Apple, Los Altos resident Mary Gospe knew there had to be “life after tech.” So she left the corporate world two years ago and embarked on an encore career as a singer-songwriter.
The result is a new album, “Time to Soar,” released in November, that already has one critic across the pond dubbing it “one of the albums of the year.” She proves a captivating vocalist and songwriter, unflinchingly upbeat – even when inspired by Syrian women refugees on the catchy “We Are One.”
Gospe, 56, may have started a new genre with what one critic dubbed “new-age rock,” an amalgamation of classic pop rock and new-age sensibilities revealed in life-affirming lyrics.
Residents won’t have to travel far to witness Gospe’s talents. She has been performing with fellow singer-songwriter Corrie Dunn under the name Song Garden at friend Carol Garsten’s Nature Gallery at 296 State St. during First Friday events in downtown Los Altos. She plans to be there again 6-8 p.m. Friday when First Friday activities are combined with the Los Altos Village Association-sponsored Valentine’s Stroll.
Gospe’s musical journey began in childhood. Her father was a musician and multi-instrumentalist.
“I grew up with my parents listening to the Big Bands, and my brothers were listening toThe Who and the Doors,” she recalled.
She took up clarinet before picking up guitar. She wrote her first song at 16. But music took a backseat as she pursued an MBA and a career in marketing.
Music kept calling and remained pervasive in her life. Gospe is still part of a musical family – her husband plays piano and her son Zach is a musician and songwriter (the Town Crier profiled him in 2013). She also took up alto saxophone and drums, and attended songwriting classes at Foothill College.
“I’ve always had a desire to write my own music,” Gospe said.
So two years ago, burned out in her marketing career and having paid her final college tuition bill, Gospe poured herself into music full time. She began performing at various social events and, through Garsten, hooked up with Dunn. Then in summer 2018, she met award-winning music producer Vito Gregoli. They hit it off musically. Gregoli worked with Gospe on nine of the 12 songs on “Time to Soar.”
A regular practitioner of meditation, Gospe finds a constant source of inspiration in universal spirituality. The song titles say it all: “Time to Soar,” “I Choose Love,” “Free to Be Me,” “Unity” and “Live from Your Heart.”
“These songs are affirmations to myself of how I want to proactively create my life experiences,” she said in a statement. “I hope to inspire others with my lyrics and my story, that at any age you can pursue your big dreams. Believe in yourself, let go of the fear of being judged and share the gifts you’ve been given.”
Gospe’s music is available on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music, as well as her website, marygospe.com.