Carol Forsloff –Someone once said the person with the “leather pants” in a band is the one who plays a complex instrument, like the accordion. But within the ranks of the greatest contributors to music are the composers, like Stephen Foster, whose compositions remain integral to the core of American song and music everywhere. One of these composers is Ole Cram, a composer of that same tradition, who brings that classical edge of melodies that remain with us forever.
Ole Cram is one of more than 500,000 musicians on Fandalism, a website for musicians and their supporters. In terms of numbers of followers, Cram is in that top ten or twenty on the site. Every morning he entertains with a brand new composition. So Cram is not just talented with music; he is prolific with both composition and performance. And his ability to play the keyboards transcends most musical artists as well. This means an overall presentation that elevates his music to the highest levels.
Music has been a part of Cram’s life since he was a young child, his compositions beginning at the age of 10. His was a musical family, a family that encouraged music during family gatherings. The young Cram started drumming at age 10, then added keyboard after that. He did this in spite of a slight hearing loss at high frequencies, for which he compensated with hearing aids when the deficit was discovered.
For those parents who fret over their youngsters’ interest in rock, rap and sometimes the ridiculous, there is a message in Cram’s musical development, as his heroes came initially from pop culture. However, as his abilities strengthened in music, and he matured, his interests expanded as well. His music is now defined as inspirational, with all the complexities and level of tone and presence that one finds in the great music that becomes immortal.
Once the repository of major music, the Christian community has inspired Cram for many years. That is why his music is inspirational. It comes from a deep belief in God and a solid sense of gratitude for the gift of music. Yet Cram takes once a sectarian, and sometimes closeted music style, and brings it forward to the modern world in a way that classicists and even young rockers can admire.
Cram tells us, “I feel so connected to God whenever I play. It is my time to give Him my cares and concerns of the moment as He gives me His wonderful music as a gift in return. I always feel so absolutely blessed to receive such wonderful gifts and treasure every song. I personally get great satisfaction listening to the music He gives me as much as when I’m composing it with Him. Also, during the time of composing, He gives me answers many times to the problems and concerns I have at that time.
I will say during my younger years, there was a lot of motivation to be a “rock star” and make millions. Music was going to be my venue to making it big and getting all the benefits of stardom. So, there was a lot more selfishness in it. However, maturity and making it through many hard trials over my life have now brought me to this point in my life where the music comes first. I now feel it is His music, not mine. It is up to Him what the next steps will be. I am open and wanting to help share His music with as many people as He wants to have experience it.
When asked how he chose the style of inspirational music to compose and play, Cram says this, “So, I don’t chose the style I play, God gives me what he wants played. It is so spiritually uplifting to me and I am so honored.
Fandalism is a community for the world’s musicians, and Cram is very active in that community. Like many other musicians on the site, Cram is grateful for the opportunities afforded by Fandalism, a site created by Philip Kaplan, or Pud as he is delightfully known. This is how Cram describes his experience. “Fandalism has by far been the best venue for presenting the music God gives me to the world. I have made so many new musician friends from around the world as well. I love how everyone is equal on the site. There are no “fame gods” that are untouchable. Everyone on Fandalism is so friendly and gracious and accepting of each other. It truly feels like one big family helping each other to succeed. I absolutely love it and love helping other new members come on board and get their music heard.”
As for the future, this is Cram’s vision: “I only want to serve God in all that I do. Having done “my way” for so many years as a very driven business man and investor, it is so nice to finally be at rest within myself having let those selfish motivations go. I do hope to leave some legacy of music for my children and future generations to come. I also hope to be able to make enough money to be a good provider for my family. If God should bless us with more money, then we will want to share the abundance with charities that can really make a difference in the lives of many others. I’m ready to joyfully serve in whatever capacity He needs.”
Cram struggles with the financial end of the music business, an issue experienced by many others, including some of the top performing artists at some time. Cram is particularly concerned about the practice of pirating the work of others and the negative effect that has on the composer and artists who originate music. He advises, “So, artists must come up with new ways of generating income from their arts. I have always been an entrepreneur creating many business ideas over the years. This is just another challenge to me that is fun to try and figure out.”
Music must come first. Musicians need to create music because it is part of who they are, not the means to fame and fortune. Make smart choices about how you present your music and if it is meant to be, the doors will open to other opportunities. If not, you always have the music. ”
Those who want to listen to some of the best of the newest music of the world, might wander over to the following sites to listen to Ole Cram, the man with the ultimate vision: to produce good music as a demonstration of love for others and the Creator from which all music is shared:
YouTube Music Videos: www.youtube.com/OleCramMusic
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/olecram