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Pauline Frechette - 10 Questions Music Interview


The W.A M. Awards celebrate the year’s most outstanding independent artists from around the world in multiple genres and categories. "Best Song" and "Best Album" nominations were based on Artistry, Musicianship, Originality, Professionalism, Diversity, and Excellence. W.A.M. stands for "We Are the Music Makers.' Pauline Frechette's song, "Jewel Box" was the 2020 W.A.M. Award Winner for Best Instrumental song. Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it. There was never a "catalyst" for me to start writing music. I have just always created songs ever since I can remember, starting with making up little melodies as a toddler and singing them to my mother.


Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career? As a teenager I was performing with a song/dance troupe, the Showteens, on the Hanseatic - an Ocean Liner going from Germany to New York. We hit a hurricane at sea, causing the ship to sail an extra 3 days North. The waves were so big that when you were going UP the stairs you felt like you were going DOWN the stairs and vice versa. And when we tried to perform, we all went sliding across the stage falling into each other, laughing hysterically. Although the older people were terrified, we thought the storm was a lot of fun!


What has been the high point of your music path? Although I've reached a lot of "high points", I think the highest point is yet to come. Some high points include: being Neil Diamond's duet partner on his World tour performing for 22,000 people a night; Hearing my music performed by major symphonies - especially the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra for 17,000 people; Seeing my last two albums debut at #3 on the Billboard Charts; Having my musical produced at The Goodspeed Opera and at the Baruch Theater in NYC; Playing a solo concert at Thayer Hall in downtown Los Angeles; winning a W.A.M. Award.


So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like? I usually have something I want to communicate before I start and my most usual instrument to compose on is the piano. For songs, I almost always start with melody and then translate the music into lyrics. Great music is already saying something, you just have to translate it and figure out how to make the lyrics fit with the melody - almost like a puzzle - getting the cadence, metaphors and internal rhymes. If it's an instrumental, I discover the melodic lines and counterpoint as I go. It is truly a discovery whereby my creativity takes over, I am not "thinking" the music just seems to pour through me from another place and I write it down as I go as quickly as I can. Often I will sketch out varied parts that have come to me and then I have to figure out how to tie it all together so that the communication is complete. It's a whole universe unto itself, and I never really know where it's going until I arrive.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be? The Major labels have the clout and money to promote their artists and to buy radio time, but at least we are fortunate to have many internet radio stations and in-store music platforms, so we can at least reach millions of people. The problem is monetizing the music. People are so used to getting music for free, that it is almost foreign to them to actually buy the music. So we need the collection groups to actually collect our money and get it to us. BMI, ASCAP and SEASAC need to be fair and help their Indie Artists instead of only collecting and distributing to the artists who have regular radio play.


If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?


I would love to share the stage with Yo Yo Ma. He is such an incredible cellist and to play my new piano/cello suite with him would be a dream come true!


What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?


I would love to share the stage with Yo Yo Ma. He is such an incredible cellist and to play my new piano/cello suite with him would be a dream come true!


Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!


After I composed "Jewel Box", which won the W.A.M. Best Instrumental award, I wanted to expand it into a virtuosic piece for piano and orchestra. I wanted a piece that took the listener into the far reaching world of the actual constellation that is in the Southern Cross and is named "Jewel Box". It was a real challenge to keep the integrity and beauty of the original piece and yet take it to new dramatic dimensions. After many drafts, I think the final composition is quite stunning and melodic and does indeed take one on a journey. I titled it "Jewel Box Fantasy". You can hear it on: my web site, Spotify, Soundcloud, iTunes etc.

What's coming up in the future?


My husband and I are working on an album for the Grammys 2022 which will include: a full orchestral recording of "L'essence du Printemps" (the ballet that I was commissioned to compose for the New West Symphony and the Pacific Festival Ballet); my piano/cello suite "The Seasons"performed by myself and cellist, Paula Hochhalter; a string quartet "Entanglements" composed by David Campbell and performed by the Lyris Quartet; and a few other pieces. The album will be titled "The Poetry of Earth" and is scheduled for release in Feb. '21.


Tell us where fans can access your music?


Website


Spotify

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