Anne Trenning

Musician and composer

United States of America

Author

About

There is an organic quality to Anne Trenning’s music that derives from her love of nature and the world around us. She has a deep respect for rural lifestyles. She believes strongly in the importance of family and tradition. History is another fascination, reflected by her penchant for antiques and old homes. Her love for the past also is evident in the traditional sounds of acoustic instruments found throughout her recordings. Anne, who is an avid reader of all genres of literature, feels strongly about passing on knowledge. When not writing, recording, or performing, she teaches piano performance.

Anne grew up in the Chicago suburb of Barrington, Illinois, where she began playing the organ at age seven. She remembers “learning lots of sheet music from the Big Band and Swing eras.” When she was 12, Trenning shifted her focus to playing piano. Church and choir also shaped her earliest musical memories. Her father encouraged practicing and a love of four-part harmony by paying her a dollar for every hymn she learned to play from a Presbyterian hymnal passed down from her paternal grandmother. “My entrepreneurial spirit insured that I learned to play most of the songs in that well-worn, treasured family collection.”

Anne has always loved varied and diverse musical forms. Her early classical studies led her to appreciate Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy and Chopin. At the same time, she always loved listening to “just about anything on the radio.” A teenager in the eighties, she found herself drawn to classic rock and pop music from the previous decade, including Crosby Stills Nash and Young, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Steely Dan, The Guess Who, Elton John, The Allman Brothers, and Dan Fogelberg. Trenning attended Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina on a music scholarship, and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music and History. In college, her classical studies expanded with new favorites Mendelssohn, Scarlatti, and Ravel. Simultaneously, she was exploring country, folk, and new age music, and was especially inspired when she discovered the music of George Winston. Other artists of influence were Joni Mitchell, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bonnie Raitt, Carole King, Dolly Parton, and Emmylou Harris. Folk and Americana are newer interests by artists including Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Darrell Scott, Steve Earle, and Buddy and Julie Miller.

After college Anne moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. Her musical career took a dramatic turn when she began composing music. “I didn’t even own a piano in the immediate years following my graduation from college, but after I purchased my first home, I inherited the family piano. After years of taking lessons, I suddenly found myself sitting at the piano without a set goal for my practicing. That’s when I began experimenting and creating my own music.” As time went by Trenning made a demo tape that she shared with best-selling New Age artist David Lanz, who said he liked her style, and gave her welcome encouragement. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her family, and occasionally in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains enjoying the beauty and scenic nature this area of the country affords.

Videos

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

Music is joy, hope, pain and love all woven together in a beautiful, comforting mystery.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Only that it is often magical.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

A pastry chef

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future?

Not really as music finds a home wherever it presents itself. New listeners will always explore and discover.

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

I believe music will exceed its intrinsic importance as a therapeutic medium for all generations as time marches forward.

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

It helps but true authenticity should always be the original goal (pun intended)

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

I would offer my best and endeavor to integrate where possible into the fabric of their lives via mediums like video and promotional opportunities.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

My creative process is usually driven by the need to break away from the daily routine and find peace in playing music. While at the keyboard motifs and melodic passages will weave around and sometimes a phrase will catch. I love practicing my earlier repertoire and keeping it comfortable in my fingers. It would be hard to select a single piece as a favorite as I am sincerely delighted with anything which manifests itself into a cohesive composition. Having said this, Anna’s selection of “Fade to Blue” is certainly a favorite! This piece originated from an experiment to try and create a floating and lilting type melody which articulated a vast quantity of space without a great quantity of notes. I tend to fill up space melodically and Instead with this selection I attempted to be more sparing and reserved.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Start with a certain musical era that sounds interesting to you or by separating the overwhelming volume of selections and composers via these historical time references. It’s easier to understand why Bach and contemporaries sounded as they did when you can associate historical context alongside their outpourings. Also, support your local Symphony Orchestra as much as possible.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

Occasionally but more in the lateral sense. My affinity for a composition translates into hope that others will feel the same way about the melodic content. I definitely consider and hope for audiences to share this wonder and excitement with me.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

With the platform of releasing singles I have been able to branch out and offer pieces which wouldn’t have integrated into the compositional arc of an album. As such, one of my upcoming releases is more classically influenced and larger in terms of its scope. “MendelChopRach” is being released 10/18/2020. This selection is an almost 7 minute original composition named in homage to my favorite composers. It is gloriously bold and dynamic with the accompanying influence of all three musicians found within. Also, I am releasing a winter Holiday single of Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Auld Lang Syne.” I reimagined this beautiful melody with a ¾ meter and transformed the arrangement into a waltz. Both upcoming releases have clever and interesting videos to accompany their release. For the Dan Fogelberg piece we created an animated video which aptly provokes the sense of nostalgia which often arrives this time of the year. Wishing all of the Classic TV audience a wonderful and safe year ahead. Thank you for having me share my thoughts. My admiration and gratitude to Anna and company for the musical message and journey they are creating. It’s incredibly meaningful to find a like minded community and have the opportunity to share within. Thank you!