What is success? A definition could be "good fortune." In the music industry, one could summise that success is equated with a hit record and/or, simply, a hit song. But for Anna Wolfe, hits are not the bottom line.
"Music is Spirit and it makes me feel sick and angry these days when all people think is worthwhile about music is a hit song or being a mega star. It seems most people think anyone who doesn't reach these heights is a failure. That means they didn't 'make it.' 'Make it' to where? To the moon? What about making it back home to themselves?! What ever happened to the joy of simply learning to be a better musician?"
One listen to Wolfe's newest CD, My Treasure, and the proof is self-evident. Anna Wolfe loves making music, and, as her bio aptly put it, "Anna Wolfe is unforgetable." Furthermore, hits are not the ultimate goal for her. "There are a lot of people here who are obsessed with getting a hit song," explains Wolfe. "I have been pursuing my own writing and performing, which is safely out of the main stream."
TGB recently spoke to this charismatic singer/songwriter about her most recent release. We delved into the various relationships and friendships that are dearest to her. Finally, Ms. Wolfe breaks down the music and lyrics on My Treasure.
Tell us about your relationship with Wendy Waldman. What do you think Wendy saw in you?
Well, here is a quote: "Anna Wolfe is a gifted poet and singer whose work has tremendous courage and insight. Her songs are completely fresh and unique. She is without a doubt one of the most original artists I have met in many years." WW
Wendy and I grew to be good friends through the production of My Treasure. Our experience working together was wonderful and supportive. Her studio is in her home in California and it is very cozy and comfortable. We used to knit while listening back to tracks. This helped relax my mind so I could hear the music without anxiety warping my ears. Wendy taught me how to crochet. I think Wendy is a very old world, old soul. I could see her living in a stone cabin by the sea with her weaving and her spinning. I think maybe we came from the same village in Heaven and she is my sister. We tended our sheep together and wore peasant clothes.
With regards to "My Treasure," what are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the string arrangements. Wendy, a composer named Seth Osborn and I, arranged the strings together. I have yet to be able to master writing down the notes to music. Seth did that part. I played what I heard in my head on the piano and he wrote the parts on the staff. Wendy helped with her ideas as well. Seth added some of his complexities. But it was the first time I was able to get the classical arrangements out of my head and on to paper. And the best part was, Wendy had a quartet come out from the LA Symphony and they recorded the tracks. I couldn't be more pleased with how the strings turned out. I must say, I am very proud of the strings on this record.
Your lyrics have a sense of spirituality to them. Is that am important of your life?
Everything is some form of Spirit. Music is the vibration of Spirit that can move through you completely and has the power to heal or harm. I always want my music to come from a place of Spirit. The Spirit in all reality. I try to write only from my heart, so that about covers it, as the heart is the doorway to God. Through my heart, God plays me as an instrument. I am trying my best to fulfill my purpose on this planet, which I believe is to be a healing musician. But I hope an atheist could listen to my songs and still enjoy them and receive benefit.
Who was "Close Call" written for? Please explain that story, if you will.
"Close Call" was written for a friend of mine who was in two near fatal car wrecks as a result of driving under the influence. Occasionally, I will ask the audience during my show if anyone has an idea for a song. One night I asked this question. This friend, who happened to be in the audience, came up to me afterwards and told me to write a song about the feeling of waking up in a hospital bed for the second time after another car crash. That's how the song came to be.
I sense there are some stories from childhood weaved into the lyrics of this album. Correct?
Yep. I am a product of my childhood and of my struggles to get through it. My past gave me the invaluable box of paints I get to use today. Now I can paint as richly and deeply as I want, because I've got materials rooted in rich soil.
What went into your decision to move to Nashville?
Anywhere I go, I follow my heart. I was pulled to Albuquerque. Then after 7 wonderful years, I felt pulled to Virginia, then pulled to Nashville. All of these places have felt right at the time, and there has been a reason for me to live there. But my husband and I just bought our first house here in Nashville, so, I feel like I'm finally putting my roots down.
You write about wanting to be a mother. Describe that feeling. You also spoke of a psychic's prediction. Do you think the prediction will come true?
I do long to be a mother. But I really don't think that now is the time. Unless God has a big surprise for me and Philip! I would be ecstatic but it would mean a lot of change.
I doubt the psychic's prediction will come true. But I've already got some twins names picked out just in case. It is fun to think of names for twins! Ever tried it? Like Amos and Andy or Bert and Ernie!
You credit your husband with "Overall Support." How much has he meant to your success?
Good grief! What a question! I can't say. It's just too deep and too much to express. But to the bottom of the ocean runs my gratitude for him and all he has done for me.
What brings you the most satisfaction: writing a song or hearing the completed version for the first time?
The process of writing the song and singing it for the first time as I write it. This brings me so much joy.
Tell us what the next few months has in store?
The next few months I plan on staying at home except for this trip out to Albuquerque and a trip out to Seattle for the RockRGirl Convention. I'm going to get to listen to one of my all time favorite artists, Patti Smith, speak and perform at the conference. I have some performances here in Nashville. I imagine I'll be unpacking the rest of the boxes from moving and hanging up some artwork on the walls. As usual, I'll be playing frisbee with my dog Artemis. I am also working on being much more disciplined in many areas of my life, such as, rehearsing and working in my office. And of course, the holidays are fast approaching. Christmas being my favorite!
Anna Wolfe: www.annawolfe.com