What do you get when you combine James Taylor, John Mayer and an acoustic guitar? A unique assortment of music played and sung by Fairfield student, Tom Wohlmacher ‘17. Students will have the opportunity to see Wohlmacher perform live on Oct. 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Starbucks Cafe, located in the Fairfield University downtown bookstore.
In addition to being a member of the Glee Club on campus, Wohlmacher plays his guitar for the chapel choir, The Lord’s Chords, every Sunday at the 9 p.m. Mass. He explained that his love for music began around the age of eight.
“I have specific memories of watching my dad play his acoustic and electric guitars, and I knew that was what I wanted to get into and I think his passion for it was instilled in me. He really gave me a great background and exposure to a lot of different types of music and it really just eased my transition into taking lessons; he acted as inspiration and a teacher for me,” said Wohlmacher.
The musical tastes of Wohlmacher’s father echo through his own work regarding stylistic decisions. Growing up listening to a lot of soft rock steered Wohlmacher to be attracted to artists such as James Taylor, John Mayer, Pink Floyd, Incubus and other pop and rock musicians.
While translating these pop songs to his acoustic guitar, Wohlmacher ensured that he does so in a unique fashion so as to avoid the same kind of “folksy” strumming.
“I try to incorporate different finger picking styles or different percussive strumming so that I can keep it interesting,” said Wohlmacher. “[Just] because it’s an acoustic guitar, I realize that I have to jazz it up.”
In addition to translating songs by professional artists, Wohlmacher also produces his own original music that students will be able to hear at his live performance. Wohlmacher enjoys producing music recreationally with Ableton Live recording software and focusrite USB Audio Interface. All of his original songs that have been officially recorded can be accessed through his soundcloud account, tomWmusic95.
Even though Wohlmacher plays and records his music on his own, he primarily enjoys performing his music for an audience. Due to Wohlmacher’s passion for performing, he hopes to have at least one live performance per month in Fairfield’s downtown bookstore.
“I like performing mainly for the potential joy and impact that it has on people,” said Wohlmacher. “It gives me a better feeling as opposed to just playing in my room by myself because I’m able to share my musical ability with people who care enough to listen.”