Thursday, December 10, 2015

Music by Charles Wolf, Ponderings: Motions. Charles Wolf Studio © 2015

Starting Off on the “Left” Foot

At the beginning of the year, my wife I completed a big move from Texas to North Carolina. No jobs, a one year rental contract signed, and little money to our names, we packed our small 500 sq. ft. home, our two cats, Oliver and Ian, and began a long trek to the Triangle region (a 3 day trip). When we arrived, I began rebuilding my piano studio, attempting to make connections to local teachers and musicians, finding very little success. It was frankly a little depressing. I was fresh out of working on my Master’s degree (2 years of hard work), left with the feeling of “now what”? I discovered that I was not keen to continue my original plan of becoming a college professor and to get a doctorate, at least not right away—check out my very first blog post: MyJourney to an Artistic Life Post to learn more about my reasoning.

Up to that point, I had been teaching piano lessons and decided that I was already doing what I wanted to do all along. I decided to continue teaching and to continue my artistic life. My wife and I moved here, and I got to work build a studio from scratch with no contacts… slow, grinding process, but worth it. After of year of hard work, it is starting to take off (savoring the little successes in life).

Ponderings: Motions

But today, I wanted to share with you some music that I composed during this time. I was performing as many gigs as I could as a professional pianist to help bring in a little income, my wife got another job in banking, and we began making ends meet. I decided to write a 30min solo piano album, featuring all original piano music by me. In less than a month I wrote, recorded, audio-mastered, and produce this album by myself. I was able to sell some CDs at my performances, which brought in a little additional income.

This particular track is titled “Motions,” a simple minimalistic work that captures some of the feelings that I was experiencing at the beginning of the year: uncertainty, time moving ever forward without me, never feeling like I could stop, feeling guilty for not working harder, regret, fear of failure, idealistic dreams, hopes for success… I channeled these emotions into this album’s music. So this piece is a personal one, a very simple, perhaps childish work according to composition standards held today at the university level, but I think that really embodies how I felt—a kid again, not knowing what to do, if I had made the right decision, or was doing the right thing…  you get the idea. 



Ponderings: Motions, Charles Wolf Studio © 2015. All Rights Reserved. Composer and Pianist: Charles Wolf. Video created by Charles Wolf.

In the end, I realized that I couldn’t meet my professors' high career expectations for me and be happy. I had to make a choice, do I what I love: teaching piano lessons, painting, composing music, performing as a professional musician, (being creative and artistic in my life), or do what they wanted for me: a career filled with teaching classes, attending conferences, and publishing books that will be read by only a few likeminded people. It wasn’t for me, and I think that I knew that deep down. 

—Charles

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