My experience with music and seeing myself as an artist was never a smooth transition. Growing up, my idea of artistry was confined to incredibly rigid definitions. If you could draw, if you could paint, if you could sculpt - you were an artist. I was never any of those. In my mind, I was not an artist.
I was raised in choirs, taking lessons on the piano, creating drum arrangements to my favorite songs on plastic buckets or any sort of drum shaped object that would make a cool sound if I hit it with a good stick. Music has been a constant companion. From an early age, I discovered I had a gift with words. I have my mom to thank for that - she was an awesome english teacher. Original poetry and short story writing has always been apart of my life. Despite what now seems like obvious signs of creativity and artistry as a kid, I never saw myself as an "artist" until much later when I began creating my own music. And even in that, I have struggled to find identity as an artist.
A common tale within artist circles, and especially within music, is the story of the artist who “found” herself or himself in their art. For years I’ve wanted to find myself in music. I’ve wanted my music to be my identity. I’ve wanted to discover that my life has significance through the music I make.
But I’m not finding myself in my music. And I don’t think I ever will.
I think I’m asking music to be more than it is capable of being. I want my work to matter. I want my art to matter. If not to me, then at least to somebody else. But hidden in those desires are lies that I’ve come to believe about the power of art to satisfy the artist. I think every artist fights the Lie of Art. It’s the lie that says, if others find my art meaningful, then my art, and thus my life have meaning. It’s a lie. But I believe that lie. Writing music as Waldemar has been an odyssey for me in realizing the depths of the lies that I’ve believed about where my value is derived from.
I’m waking up to the idea that I am not my art. My art is not me.
There’s a tension inside of me. On the one hand, as I write music, a significant portion of me yearns to find a sense of “home”; an identity within my music. But there is another part of me that is constantly at war with this yearning. It’s the part of me that understands that music can never fulfill me in the ways that I want it to. The music I’m writing as Waldemar is born out of that tension.
I have always placed my identity in my sense of significance. Wherever I feel like my life matters, that is where my identity takes root. When those parts of my life thrive, my sense of worth soars. When they fail, I move from feelings of significance and fade into seasons of depression.
Waldemar has been therapy. Waldemar has been a guide. It has slowly been taking me through a process of finding out who I am; the passions of my heart, the skill of my hands, and the creativity of my mind. What should humans place their identity in? What makes a life significant? Is it what we do? Is it who we are? These are the questions I’m asking. These are the questions my music is asking.
PAST tour dates
- 6/15/17 - Eau Claire, WI | Prex Claires: We Are The Willows, Waldemar & Rachel Hanson
- 5/13/17 - Iowa City, IA | Elizabeth Moen Record Release show at Blue Moose Tap House
- 5/12/17 - Dubuque, IA | The Smokestack w/ Elizabeth Moen and River
- 4/29/17 - Winona, MN | Midwest Music Festival
- 4/28/17 - Eau Claire, WI | Pine Hollow Studio w/ Rogue Valley
- 4/13/17 - Milwaukee, WI | Company Brewing w/ Close Talker
- 4/12/17 - La Crosse, WI | The Root Note w/ Close Talker
- 4/11/17 - Madison, WI | Majestic Live Presents: Bombadil w/ Waldemar at The Frequency
- 4/08/17 - Minneapolis, MN | 7th Street Entry w/ Delicate Steve
- 3/19/17 - Des Moines, IA | Des Moines Social Club w/ Elizabeth Moen
- 3/18/17 - Fairfield, IA | The Depot w/ Elizabeth Moen
- 3/17/16 - Beloit, WI | Coughy Haus w/ Elizabeth Moen
- 3/11/17 - Eau Claire, WI | Blugold Radio Presents: Waldemar "Visions" Record Release Show *SOLD OUT*
- 3/06/17 - Davenport, IA | Moeller Nights Presents: Waldemar w/ Brooks Strausse at Baked Beer & Bread Co.
- 2/22/17 - Saint Paul, MN | First Avenue Presents: Waldemar w/ A Piano In Every Home and Ashley Groves at Turf Club
- 1/29/17 - Chicago, IL | The Hideout w/ Advance Base & Lisa/Liza
- 1/26/17 - La Crosse, WI | The Root Note w/ Matt Monsoor
- 11/06/16 - Des Moines, IA | Des Moines Social Club w/ Jack Lion & Tires
- 11/02/16 - Milwaukee, WI | The Cactus Club w/ Coyote & Spare Change Trio
- 10/28/16 - Duluth, MN | The Red Herring
- 9/24/16 - Eau Claire, WI | Haley Bonar's Impossible Dream Record Release Tour at The State Theatre
- 9/10/16 - Eau Claire, WI | The Cabin
- 6/21/16 - Eau Claire, WI | Ambient Inks & Knorth Studios Present: Advance Base, Waldemar & Two Castles|Sniffle Party
- 6/16/16 - Eau Claire, WI | Volume One Presents: Waldemar at the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series
- 1/21/16 - Cedar Falls, IA | at The Octopus w/ J.E. Sunde and special guest Emily Otis
- 1/22/16 - Chicago, IL | at The Empty Bottle w/ J.E. Sunde and special guests Advance Base & Smoker
- 1/23/16 - Milwaukee, WI | at Linneman's w/ J.E. Sunde, Ladders & Valentiger
- 1/24/16 - Minneapolis, MN | at Icehouse w/ J.E. Sunde
January 13th, 2017
Press Reviews of 'Visions EP'
"...an EP that redefines the bounds of an old genre by excavating personal histories while still insisting on moving forward."
"...many artists took Vernon’s vivid, quicksilver merger of folk harmonies and synth possibilities and ran with it.Waldemar’s Visions EP, which comes out this Friday, is one such example, but it stands heads and shoulders above many similar projects."
"The Visions EP is painting with sound"
"This 4 song set has hills & valleys, huge vistas in the choral vocal arrangements, rocky canyons in the percussion, sun-speckled forest canopy in the horns and a winding river of ambient guitar work. When singer/songwriter Gabe Larson’s voice rises and verse releases to chorus, he wants us to feel it in our chests."
"This is the biggest, most fully realized, most ready for prime time self-release I’ve heard in a while."
“Visions is a transcendental, ethereal treat, creating an atmosphere of tension and emotion. Vocals that fill rooms do the same for creating near-spiritual chills throughout, of which we’ve always found an indication of intentional and inspired design."
new music video
In addition to announcing Visions EP, Impose Magazine also debuted an exclusive premiere of the music video for the title track 'Visions'.
Check it out here:
review of the 'visions'
From Breaking and Entering:
"The song begins with sweeping, emotional vocal takes, and in a flip of a switch, goes from potential energy to kinetic. “Visions” sounds like the type of track that would place the band smack dab in the middle of the Eaux Claires lineup, and they are more than worthy of that distinction. The video features striking visuals, and accurately portrays the serenity of the song."
Check out the full article at Breaking and Entering's website below.
Listen: Visions ep
For booking and other inquiries, contact Waldemar at email@example.com
Press: Alyssa DeHayes, Riot Act Media | firstname.lastname@example.org (US)