- PILAR PHAN
The Healing Sounds of Åna Tri and Their Debut Album “On a Tree”
In their elements, twin sisters Kat and Kris Burce of Åna Tri reconnect with their roots through music and agriculture, singing Tagalog words and calling to action on environmental and social justice issues with their debut album, “On a Tree.”
“I tell people we were both singing in the womb together,” Kris said.
Born and raised on the island of Guam and rooted in the Philippines, the singing duo of ethereal harmonies fuses tribal, world, and folk music, much of which is influenced by their work as land stewards at Three Sisters Gardens in West Sacramento, where they teach youth about food sovereignty and how to grow organic fruits and vegetables for their communities.
Åna and Tri are nicknames for Kris and Kat, respectfully. The letter Å is borrowed from the Chamorro (the indigenous language of Guam) alphabet, paying respect to the island and its people.
“We like the wordplay and the way it flows when you put it together. It sounds like you’re ‘on a tree,’” Kat said.
For Kris, the name is reminiscent of their childhood.
“It brings me back to when we were kids, just hanging upside down or climbing on a tree,” Kris said. “It also represents us and our relationship with each other. We’re very playful even in our 30’s.”
Having lost both their parents at the age of 9, Kris and Kat used art to channel grief early on.
“I would write poetry and songs as a release to channel all that confusion and pain into something beautiful,” Kris said.
As Kris immersed herself in writing music and poetry, Kat turned to the visual arts. Sketching and sculpting became her form of healing. Fast forward to adulthood, they began creating enchanting and empowering tunes inspired by their personal experiences.
Åna Tri released their first single and music video, “Cast Your Stone,” on November 30, 2022. The track is one of seven songs on their debut album that shares stories of hope and transformation.
“’Cast your stone if your hands are clean’ basically means you can’t judge me if you’re not perfect yourself. This song is for anybody who’s ever been judged or anybody who’s had people try to bring them down,” Kris said. “Despite people trying to break you and spread rumors about you, be true to yourself. That’s the only way you’ll truly be happy.”
“Sage” is Kat’s favorite song from the album.
“’Cleanse my soul, and I will cleanse the world.’ It’s simple yet powerful as the album’s opening intentions,” Kat said. “The work starts from within in order to be better for others around you.”