B i o g r a p h y
Jennifer St. Clair is an award winning composer and performer who resides in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.
Here is a brief interview:
How did you begin performing/composing?
I began piano lessons at age seven and shortly thereafter, performances at church, school talent shows, Music Federation Club contests and local civic organizations followed. My college degree was a B.A. in Piano Performance from Elon University in North Carolina, but I never stepped into the realm of original composition until 1992.
A business associate, Joseph, shared some lyrics he had written and insisted I compose music for them. "Excuse me", I replied. "I only play other people's music!!!!"
"You are a musician! You can do it!!!" he exclaimed. So, the next night... the most exciting journey of my life began when I dared explore the world of composition. Would I have taken the leap on my own down the road had this dear man not encouraged me???? Who is to say?
Joseph is no longer with us on this Earthly plane, but he is remembered daily for the gift he gave me. Just goes to show how important what we say to another person can be in this process of 'Humans Be-Coming.'
What musician or composers have inspired you the most?
The influence of classical training definitely weaves throughout all my music. As a young child, Chopin's happy notes delighted me most. The brilliant J. S. Bach was considered arduous study to my carefree spirit of playfulness. Only when attempting his Toccata in C Minor on my Senior recital, did I truly appreciate the sheer genius of this master. Seventeen pages of contrapuntal intricacies demanded unrelenting concentration on his message in manuscript! However, the composer who brought me most pleasure year after year, even to this day, would be Mozart.
Despite his rather rambunctious personality, his truer self displayed intimate connection with the Divine via his music. One would declare he played for Angel Choirs!!!! The 20th and 21st Centuries have their 'Greats' as well. Musicals entertained and thrilled my imagination as a child.
Rodgers and Hammerstein have provided hours of pleasure for the little girl who created Broadway stage, red curtains and all, in the confines of her living room!!! Still admire and respect their timeless melodies today. Of course John Williams and Andrew LLoyd Webber receive accolades of the highest calibre regarding contemporaries today. And yes... this adult child adores animated film scores also. Alan Menke's music for "Beauty and the Beast" ranks as one of my favorites. Watched it 5 times! Hopeless romantic I am!!!
How do you want your music to influence your listeners?
We live in such a noisy society, both externally and internally. If we are not engaged in conversation with others, then some form of digital entertainment, rest assured, is playing out loud or through ear phones! It amazes me to pass people on a beautiful walking trail here in these Blue Ridge mountains only to discover they are NOT listening to nature sounds…rather…they are listening to a digital piece of equipment clipped on their pants with ear phones intact, blocking out the soothing birdsong…the cricket and frog symphony traveling through the air!
It is my hope and prayer that my music somehow allows listeners to calm down, relax, breathe deeply….and simply Be in the flow of the melodies I play and sing. If for just a few minutes my listeners can achieve this state of Being, then my prayer has been answered. And I feel certain, when enough people engage in moments of calm during their hectic life styles each day, there is a ray of hope that peace can at long last become a reality in our World at large. Afterall, a few of us can in fact change the collective consciousness of the masses! Try it! Let’s put this to the test!!!!
What are your plans for the future?
Currently, a new album is half finished. You can understand my surprise when the first song of this collection came to me while still in the process of producing “Come to the Water”….released in August of 2013. That’s the way creativity seems to work! Yes, just when you least expect that new melody or lyric…voila!
These new piano solos are dear to my heart, especially once I realized the purpose of “A Time to Remember”. A special dedication will occur when it is released. So, stay tuned for more information.
Also, a global project has been in the works for several years now. Plans are underway to officially select the location where this message can best be received by the entire World! It has been a tedious process, both realizing the ‘time’ and choosing the ‘place’ where it begins spinning!
The little girl who wanted to be a ballerina is also pondering the idea of a contemporary ballet. Might as well fulfill that childhood dream in some way….and no…I shall not be one of the dancers!!!!