Three time Grammy winning producer Tom Wasinger releases a collection of acoustic guitar compositions which span his vibrant 32 year career.
“A Mended Soul” is a collection of solo instrumental guitar pieces composed and compiled over the 45 year career of three-time Grammy-winning musician/producer Tom Wasinger. The Boulder, Colorado native has had an illustrious music career from Grammys, to Billboard charting records, to an interview on NPR’s “All Things Considered”, to TV sync deals in numerous shows on HBO, ABC, CBS, NBC, and ESPN. As a musician he has toured the world from Carnegie Hall in New York, to the Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul.
In this interview spotlight, I chat with Tom about his new project, motivations, challenges and more.
Full Q&A along with links and music below.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
I first started playing the guitar at the age of seven in my home town of Oklahoma City, where in high school I played briefly in a bluegrass band with the now ubiquitously well-known Vince Gill. Shortly thereafter I moved to Colorado. In my career since, I have performed, composed, and recorded in almost every musical style you can name. I even built an ensemble of instruments from resonating stones and worked in a genre of music with only very obscure historical precedents. In the first decade of the 2000’s I won three Grammy Awards producing and collaborating with Native American artists.
In contrast, the pieces from the new album “A Mended Soul” are written for solo acoustic guitar in the more accessible styles of folk, ambient music, and jazz. The guitar was my first instrument and after all these years it is still the closest to my heart.
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to keep going?
When I first saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show in 1963 I looked at the screen and thought to myself, “That’s what I’m going to do”. Music is as much a part of my life as eating and breathing and without it I’m fairly certain I would have gone insane. What keeps me going musically speaking is continuing to push and challenge myself. For example, I’ve spent the last year learning the “Nocturne in Bb Minor” by Frederic Chopin on the piano.
How is this new release different than previous ones? Were you trying to accomplish anything specific?
This is my first release of solo guitar pieces. Until now, I had only ever written compositions like these for film, and for my own expression and pleasure. Knowing my history, my friends at Vohnic records thought this would be an auspicious time in the current musical climate to release such a recording. In a way, this music takes me back to my roots.
Name one or two challenges you face as an indie musician in this oversaturated, digital music age? How has technology helped you (since we know it does help)?
My career working professionally in the music business spans 45 years. Before the digital age listener’s access to recorded music had to come through the bottleneck of record companies and their distribution networks, fueled by radio airplay. During those times many talented musicians were left out.
With the advent of the various forms of digital distribution anyone can make their work available to the world, but the cost of this revolutionary leap forward is the fact of market saturation. I think the trade-off is worth it, since listeners have access to a wondrous variety of music from the world over at the touch of a button. Because of saturation building an audience as an artist is very challenging, but in my many years of experience it always has been. It’s now just challenging in different ways.
Where is the best place to connect with you online and discover more music?
- My website
- My Soundcloud page (where many of the different styles discussed above can be found)
- My blog
- And Vohnic Music
Anything else before we sign off?
Thanks so much for letting me pontificate at will about the world of music and my life in it!