Why Inspirational Music?
Discovering the mission: Folks ask me from time to time how I started with "Inspirational Music & Narrations." As many of us remember who lived through the 60s and 70s, it was quite popular to explore other cultures and break outside of the denominational box in being "seekers." One of the phases of my explorations involved yoga and meditation; and then there was “chanting,” something which I passed up at the time, but I did learn something from watching people who practiced the repeating of "positive affirmations."
Inasmuch as people could coax themselves into a more relaxed state with the repeating of certain “mantras” it also occurred to me that with music, as folks repeat popular songs over and over in their head, the melodies and words can greatly influence the mental, emotional, and spiritual state of a person.
Hence, I began to realize the responsibility that artists have in what they produce and share. Beyond the issue of responsibility, I also recognized a valuable opportunity. I concluded that words and music I would write could be crafted in such a way as to truly uplift and inspire; but this would mean I would have to first exercise patience and restraint and endure much growth and many trials prior to taking my work to others.
The commitment: As a budding songwriter in the 60s, I made a commitment to be very careful about what I eventually published, knowing that what I share with others could have a profound effect on their consciousness. If people were going to "repeat" words and melodies of mine, I wanted those to be encouraging or comforting in some way; and even if I did delve into the "Blues" as a songwriter, I would hopefully, not leave the listener "blue," but take them all the way to where I had found hope.
Having made this decision long ago, I knew it might be years before I would feel that it was time to share my work with the world community because I had a lot of growing up to do first; but I also believed that the Creator who gave me some talents to work with, would also open doors when the time was right.
The Price of the Promise: I have tried to stick with that promise to God and to people and continue in my resolve that I would not write, sing or record songs of mine or anyone else’s that had questionable lyrics, no matter how gorgeous the melody or how popular the tune or message, just because that content might win me votes or fame. So part of what drove me into songwriting was that it was hard to find songs with memorable melodies that did not carry a preponderance of misery and co-dependence, or enactments of revenge along with other conditions of despair; so as a practical measure, I simply had to learn how to write music myself, in order to have content I could live with in good conscience.
Of course, this narrowed down my chances of “making it” in the music business a bit, since it was expected of most “singers” to be ready to stand up to the mike and satisfy the crowds with versions of whatever society’s mood was throughout each decade. I made peace early in life with the chances I was taking; and I continued in this commitment by not signing agreements I had been offered from time to time. Some offers held great potential, but if “signing” would have shifted responsibility to others (who had only profit in mind), to make moral decisions for me about my craft, my dress, my lyrics, my financial sponsors or my associations, I walked away. In so doing I hoped to protect the work and leave a body of songs & poetry behind that would become the kind of legacy I could have peace about.
A place for history, yet a time for fulfilling the calling: I need to state here that in terms of history, I do have great respect for all musicians and writers who struggled to take their art out to the world; and it so happens that many of these "greats" did sing a very sad story, but that was their truth and they had a different mission, leaving us with amazing Gospel Blues, Motown, Jazz, Folk and so much more. There is indeed a place for documenting history in song; but there is also a place for healing, and uplifting others with music. I believe each of us should ultimately embrace the calling as it is given to us, to the best of our ability and understanding at a given time. It is also true that we can take from the strengths of artists who have departed and build on their work. For instance, for those of us who love R & B, does the Blues have to leave you blue and still be "Blues?" Maybe not.
Dreams which remain: I have no idea what God has in store for what remains of my future; and I do not know how far these songs, articles and blogs will reach with the years I have left on this planet or after. Like many singer-songwriters, I have carried a dream in my heart since being a young girl, of sharing my work with people around the world. I have had a dream that someday, someone might skate to one of my songs at the Olympics or use a song for a theme to a global humanitarian cause; I have had dreams. But when I meet my maker, I want to feel peace that those dreams were built on conviction and carried out in love; and when we love, we give. When we love, we commit to nurture and support others. When we love, we listen and we acknowledge. I don't have fans; I have friends. I am not seeking stardom; I seek service, because the greatest joy in life is to see someone smile because their hope is renewed; and the greatest hope for a life is to leave a legacy of love.
In the end, if people are going mark phases of their life’s journey with any of my work or if they are going to learn any of my lyrics, I hope they are left with feeling stronger and lighter of heart and ready to take another step in life, even if it is only a baby step toward the fulfillment of their soul's mission.
You have my promise on that. I appreciate each one of you.
God Bless & Keep you in His Grace.
Sincerely, Ann M. Wolf