130: Conversation on Replenishing Your Creative Energy with Emile Pandolphi



Replenishing with Emile Pandolphi

Do you sometimes suffer from low level creative energy? In this episode, I’ll be talking with Emile Pandolphi about his approach to keeping his creative energy at a high level to fuel his professional career. Now, even if you are not a professional. This conversation is going to help you maintain and improve your creative energy by taking note of what a professional does to maintain their output.

Biography

Emile Pondolphi

Emile Pandolfi is a professional pianist and entertainer with over 40 years of performance experience. One of the top-selling pianists in the music industry, he has recorded and released over 30 albums, including one with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra (Czech Republic). Since his first release in 1991, Emile has sold over 4.5 million copies nationally and reached more than 750 million collective streams online.
Throughout his career, Emile has performed hundreds of concerts with thousands of fans in attendance, including performances at St. Mark’s Square in Venice, the Catherine Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Liverpool Cathedral, and Sydney Opera House in Australia. While intricate arrangements of Broadway and pop standards make up the majority of his performance repertoire, his influences remain more
classical than pop. It is his subjective layering of classical style, which he infuses into the broad palette of his performance selections, that continues to resonate with audiences everywhere. Although serious about his playing, Emile is never serious about himself and believes that every moment at the piano should be one of joy. While his audience is treated to a brilliant musical performance, they are also entertained by Emile’s charming, light-hearted sense of humor and outgoing personality. From his early
performances on cruise ships, in piano lounges, and in the recording studio to his current solo performance career in concert halls, Emile has used his music to create an intimate and powerful emotional connection for those listening. Today, Emile continues to write original songs and arrangements for his fans to
stream. He lives in Greenville, South Carolina, with his wife Judy.

Topics Covered

  • Knowing When to Replenish Your Creative Energy
  • Why it is important to replace your creative energy
  • The Impact of using negative sources for creative energy
  • Taming inner critic

Links To Emile Pandolphi

Reaching Out

To reach out to me, email timothy@createartpodcast.com I would love to hear about your journey and what you are working on. If you would like to be on the show or have me discuss a topic that is giving you trouble write in and let’s start that conversation.

Transcripts of the Show

CAP Conversation Replenishing Your Creative Energy with Emile Pandolphi
Tim: Create art podcast conversations, replenishing your creative energy with a Emile Pandolphi hello friends. This is Timothy Kimo. Brian, your head instigator for create art podcast where I use my 20 years of experience in the arts and education world. To help you tame your inner critic and create more than you consume.
Do you sometimes suffer from low level creative energy? In this episode, I’ll be talking with Emile Pandolphi about his approach to keeping his creative energy at a high level to fuel his professional career. Now, even if you are not a professional. This conversation is going to help you maintain and improve your creative energy by taking note of what a professional does to maintain their output.
Now, as an amateur artist, like many of you will listen to this podcast life, get in the way of my practice. Now you couple that with my recent diagnosis of Ms. In 2021 and being a father of twins and having a full time job energy is at a premium. So how do you refuel your creative tank and create the art that you were meant to create?
Well, for Marie, for me, I read a lot of magazines and newsletters to get inspired for projects. I listened to podcasts about art that I’ve shared with you in previous episodes. And on Friday nights after I put my girls to sleep, I go out to local poetry readings and occasionally read poems, but mostly I go there to support other artists on their journey, which reminds me of my journey.
Now, sometimes you must expend energy to get energy. And that’s how I maintain my energy levels. Does it always work? And then not every time. Like you, my life has different poles on my energy and different priorities demand my attention. Let’s talk about my guest this week for a moment before we go into the conversation now in meal with more than a half billion streams across platforms, including Pandora, Spotify, and apple.
Is among America’s most popular piano artists. Although majority of his performance performance rep RT are lush, intricate arrangements of Broadway and pop standards. His influences are in fact more classical than pop. It is this subjective layering of classical style, which pen Dolphy infuses into the broad palette of his performance selections that continues to resonate with audiences everywhere.
Recording since 1991, the pianist’s albums of familiar music have sold over three and a half million seats. Nationally, this has earned a meal. The distinction of being one of the top selling pianists in the music industry distributed online as well as in specialty. Gifts and bookshops across the nation.
Now with 30 plus albums, most major online retailers also carry a meals, music for download, and it’s streamed to thousands of times daily on Spotify, Pandora and other streaming platforms. Now I present to you, the conversation that we had about replenishing your creative energy.
So, thank you all for listening into CRE podcast, where today we’re going to be talking about replenishing your creative energy. And with me today you heard the intro before we started this conversation. I do have a meal with me here to give me the professional view of what that looks like for us and mail.
How are you doing today?
Emile: Great. Oh, we had here in South Carolina and we had some chilly weather and it’s a nice change.
Tim: Absolutely. It is. Absolutely. And I know it’s taken us a little time to get together because I had a power outage
Emile: for five days.
It’s
Tim: okay. It was nice, quiet time away from podcasting, away from everything, you know, when your kids, kids
Emile: like the hotel, kids love
Tim: the hotel. Absolute. Absolutely. And, and I’m glad I have you on here today because you know, you’re a professional. You do this for a living and I think it’s going to be really important for our listeners.
That are, you know, delving into, you know, making art either on a professional level or, you know, as their side hustle, but for you as a professional, how do you know when that creative energy needs to be replaced?
Emile: Okay. To be honest, it almost, I almost never deal with that. It’s because I love every time I get up in the morning and go to the studio and I start playing something or other, but if it does need to be replenished, let’s say I have a deadline of playing these particular pieces of music.
I just go to something that I already liked to play. What I do. I try to surround myself with beautiful things artwork. I’m not an artist. I’m not a visual artist, but I, I love paintings and I love watching a ballet. If I need to get inspired, I might turn on river dance and watch these amazing athletes dancers do what they do.
And it doesn’t take long before something kind of. Just clicks. In, in my case, I often have deadlines. I have to do a particular piece of music, whether I want to or not, but I take some, I think that it’s worthwhile for me to take some time away from that and play. I feel like playing some Chopin or something that inspires me and I just get all excited about it.
And then I say, okay, I’ll go over here and do what I need to do again, because I’m doing it for a profession. But I think if you just. Go to other forms of artwork, literature, or poetry, or a famous paintings, or go to a museum. I think all those things seep into your consciousness. You don’t do it with the, with the desire to be inspired.
You just do it and then you get inspired
Tim: and that’s true. And it’s really enjoyable to go through an art gallery and, you know, to take that time away from everything else and let that subconscious part of your mind. Figure out whatever issue that you’re having, you know, we’ll say you’re working on a piece by Chopin and you just can’t quite get that certain section step away.
Go look at some art.
Emile: Yeah. It’s it has always worked for me. It’s odd to discuss how to do it when you’re in the doldrums, because I’m almost never there. I’m happy to say it’s just part of my personality. It’s just unlike you. I’m a one trick pony. I play piano and that’s it. But I surround myself with other, other kinds of art.
I love seeing people do I, it could be, it could be athletes or gymnasts or circus performers who do amazing things. And you say, oh my gosh, how did they do it? And that kind of gives it a. Good deal. Good deal. There’s a silly country song title. It’s I see something like that, that somebody does something extraordinary.
And the guy says, I don’t know whether to kill myself or go bowling. I always choose bowling.
Tim: And today’s brought to you by.
So what bill you’ve talked about, you know, how do different ways that you, you know, you replenish that, that inspiration and and, and that energy for yourself, how important is it for you to have the, the, the high level of creative energy that you have in your profession?
Emile: Well, I think the most important thing in for any artist is authenticity.
And so rather than now you do your studying and you get your technique and the discipline that you’re in, whether it be dancing or playing the piano or singing or whatever it is. So you have to. Given that you have your technique to whatever degree it is. That’s a separate thing. But as far as having that creative energy going, I think if.
If you were, if you were stuck and don’t know what to do, I say, step outside yourself and look at yourself. What is your default place like? Who are you actually artistically when from a piano’s viewpoint. If I am going in and I’m in a piano shop or I was in a place and there has a piano there and I have to touch it, what do I do?
Do I start in the middle? Do I start at both ends? Do I play. Just junk things or play melodious things, because my default is what I just naturally default to tells me who I am musically and all of my piano in my profession. They’re all piano arrangements, solo, piano arrangements of tunes that have been written by somebody else.
They’re all cover tunes. So why do they sound like me? Because I’m authentically me. I mean, whether people like it or not, I can’t, I have no control over, but. I don’t do something that is not authentically me and some people sometimes I think people are not sure how to find. What’s authentically, then we’ll look at yourself, see what you do.
How do you like living with me? I talk with my hands all the time. Some people don’t, some people I I talk enthusiastically, maybe some people are very slow talking and that’s who you are. And that’s what you should do with your art.
Tim: I agree entirely. Absolutely. Now I was going to ask you about what’s the overall impact for replenishing your creative energy from negative sources.
Cause I, I read your book on play it, like you mean it and you had talked about you know, you had overcome smoking, which is something that I’m overcoming right now to get that out of my my thing. And now, you know, I I’m talking with my hands too with my, you know, famous quotes, but I’ve relied on that as a in the past, as a creative energy source.
What’s the impact of, you know, those negative. Sources of creative energy.
Emile: Well, I think that what I have done over time is remove from my day, those things that I don’t like, you can’t remove everything, but removing those things that I don’t like to do and I’m left with what I do want to do. And as far as the the, I’m not exactly sure what the question is, how do I use negative things to, to turn it to a positive.
Well,
Tim: actually what, what’s the impact of using negative sources of energy on on your craft, maybe that you, you know, not that you do, but maybe that you’ve seen other people.
Emile: Okay. I can say there, there are many times in my career where I’m doing, I’ll just call it, work for hire. I have to play a certain song for a certain event.
Right. And I don’t even like the song. I don’t want to do it, you know, and I keep finding other things to do besides work. Thanks. But then I think it comes down to, in my book, I call it digging a ditch. You start working on like, just disinterest in thinking about your day at the beach, but you’re playing the notes and you’re reading the notes on the page and you got to go through humdrum.
I think, and because at sometime this has happened to me many times I was a piece of music that I didn’t. I could even do like maybe a Michael Jackson tune or something that is not me at all. Even though, even if I love the song or, or I admire the artist. I discover, wow. I actually could do something with that.
And because the work, the job has made me do it, otherwise I wouldn’t have touched it, but because which is, to me, that’s a kind of a negative, I, I, I avoid music that I don’t like, but if I have to play it for a deadline, because it’s my profession, it shows me. You know, you got to think outside your box and we all know that as a phrase, but you actually have to do it.
And the more, excuse me, the more I do the busy work of going through it while I’m thinking about being at the beach, all of a sudden something clicks. And I say, so that’s how they get that sound. And, and I’ve discovered something new that I never would have discovered if I had my druthers.
Tim: Absolutely.
Now my tagline for create art podcast. As everyone knows, is taming your inner critics in creating more than you consume?
Emile: love that.
Tim: Well, I got to credit my wife for that cause she’s she’s fantastic with one-liners she’s married to me. So obviously she has to be good with one-liners, but for you, how do you.
How do you tame that inner critic that we all have? You know, obviously we don’t necessarily want to get rid of it because it does have some benefit to us, but how do you tame that inner critic in your practice?
Emile: That’s a good one.
I guess
I don’t, I don’t, it’s a funny, I’m not having an answer for that. How do I tame that inner critic? I guess I don’t, I just, I leave it. I let it be. And I, and I it’s part of my process of learning. It’s I say, okay. If I really don’t like that. Meticulously looking at it. Just take it apart. What is it? I really don’t like, because I think the inner critic says you don’t play Michael Jackson tunes because that’s not who you are.
Well, okay. That’s a big generality. So what part of it is actually happening? It’s kind of like, I can’t play. Piece of Chopin, but what I really can’t play is those two bars, the rest of it I could get away with or I could play. And so I think when I Michael Jackson is a good example because I love his music, but it’s nothing, whatever, like me is not in my background.
My whole background is classical. It’s just completely different and he’s a wonderful artist, but I start examining it closely, closely. How did he get that sound? What, and I, it becomes a detective work. Did it and, and I come away learning some technique in my case, F the piano to imitate. The rhythm that he has in that piece of music I’m working on, on his tune bad right now.
And it’s not, it’s not a penalty in any way, but it’s, but you can do it. And I will have to discover how they it’s just like when I’m playing my classical, I’m used to really intensely looking at how did they make that sound? I mean, from nothing, they got that. And so I, I do the same with. Pieces of music that I’m not familiar with or that I feel like I cannot do.
And I think, I think meticulous investigation is what works for me. So
Tim: for you, what’s the next thing coming up for you? I obviously you are an accomplished And you have this wonderful book out, which everyone should go grab a copy of. I know I got a copy of it. I’m very happy that I did play it. Like you mean it, and it’s not just for folks that are, are musicians.
I found a lot of things that I could relate to other art forms with that book, but for you, what’s next on the road for.
Emile: For me I’m I have been kind of away from, I’ve never stepped away from classical music, but I haven’t done classical performances in a very, very long time. My whole career is my arrangements of movie themes and musicals and that’s, that’s my, that’s my thrust.
That’s what I love doing. And it’s also. My career, but for now I’m backing off on public concerts to like put together a classical performance. That for me, I’m always, I always have the listener in mind, so I’m not trying to play for the Juilliard crowd. I’m trying to play for you and me and plays on the classical pieces that I’m playing or those that are probably like Clair de Lune a constellation by list trauma.
I mean, I think there are things that. Even if people don’t know them there, pop songs has some things, you know, that you can do excuse me. And it for me, because I don’t do classical on a regular basis, it’s going to take a lot of months. So that’s my next goal. And it’s just for my own pleasure, really.
I’ll keep doing my other things.
Tim: Gotcha. And for those for our listeners out there, You know it might be a good idea. It let’s say you’re a painter or a dancer or something like that to pick up a meals book and take a look through it because I found I’ve got three pages of notes. I, I gotta say single-spaced times new Roman eight point font from from from.
Where you do talk a lot about creativity. You do, you, yes. Your main thrust is the piano, but you do talk a lot about our creativity and, and how we can do better with it. And one of the things that I really liked, and that was back in chapter 19 when you’re talking about the doldrums and the whole the whole ditch digging candidate.
And can you elaborate a little bit more on that? Because that’s, that’s one of the things that really resounded with me is you know, when we’re doing the things that we have to do for for money for pay, but then, you know, I putting it into that whole ditch story that,
Emile: yeah, for me that that’s a very accurate metaphor because and, and by the way, Elaborate on what’s in the book.
I say, you, you, you’ve got this hundred foot ditch to dig, but you’ve, you’ve got a dull shovel and you’re starting on a hard ground and you just give up, you’ve got a dent going and, and so it can be very frustrating and disappointing and everything else when I have. Do that with music. I put the sheet music in front of me.
I on purpose that’s one time I do not play it. Like, I mean, it, I don’t be authentic. I don’t be anything I’m just saying, oh, that notes to see that notes would be, this is or whatever. I’m honestly, I could be daydreaming, but part of my attention has to be looking at the sheet so that I can play the notes there on the sheet.
I’m just going through it mindlessly like a robot. And I do that through the entire piece of music and I go back and do it some more. And I still, and I don’t judge myself. That’s what inner critic. That’s not a no time for judging. This is a time for letting some of these notes get into. Consciousness.
And before long I have I find something about it, one measure or a couple of measures or phrase that appeals to me and I can I can say, oh, that’s kinda cool. I wonder what that’s about it. And it, it actually gets my interest going. I actually think. Oh, that’s fascinating. The way they did that. I mean, that’s, this is a real process.
Would that really happens? I’m not, it’s not a theoretical thing. You have to do it. So you start by first. You have to get rid of that. Oh God, I have to do this and get rid of that. And you just say, just do it mindlessly, just mindlessly. Do it. Eventually some part of it is going to strike a cord to use a metaphor.
And and you’ll say that was that interested me, or may not even like it, but I think this is music that I’ve never liked. It sure is interesting how they create it because every artist is different. And, and I know my, I know myself really well. I know what I do artistically. I, I know I sit at the piano instantly.
I come out cause that’s who I am and I’ve known that most of my life pardon me, but so anyway, that’s, that’s my, as much as I can think of at the moment about that. You start doing it and eventually it takes hold.
Tim: Excellent. Excellent. And everybody go at it’s chapter 19, marketing the book, get the highlighter out for them.
Cause that’s a really important chapter. Give me, was there anything that I haven’t asked you yet that you really wanted me to dive into with you today?
Emile: I think I would like to elaborate a little bit more on an artist, particularly an artists who are beginning. Career, not about the business end of it yet, but not knowing some people say, I don’t know who I am artistically or what are they try this, they try that.
And that’s fun. This is great. Try all these different things. But I really think that something that the most. Obvious thing is to watch yourself how you interact with people at a party. Are you the life of the party? Are you the wallflower? What are you? And if you’re here’s a good one, if your friends were going to impersonate you, what would they do with these start shouting and ranting?
Or would they be very quiet? Would they be a good listener? Would they be, would they make fun of how you always do this thing with your head? I mean, you know, If you really, really look at it, it’s easy to find out who you are, artistically and then whatever your discipline is, whether it be painting or music or dancing, you go for that.
Either you go for ballet or you go for modern, you go for Rafael or you go for Jackson, Pollock. It’s just, what are you drawn to? And I think, I think in art, you have to find your default place and that is who you are. You may think I want to play jazz? Well, if you’re not a jazz, if that’s not, what a, if that’s not your authentic thrust, then that’s probably not for you.
Tim: It’s new. One thing that I, I I’ve noticed is that because I have kids and I have a 20 21 year old steps on is that, you know, with, with people’s day jobs, careers, stuff like that. And a lot of people are focused on, okay, what’s going to get me the most fans. What’s going to get me the most money, but the most successful artists.
They take the risks. I’m thinking of Bob Dylan, when he went electric you brought up oh, the the, a painter polling Jackson, Pollock Jackson, Pollock, you know, he didn’t start with the drip paintings. He started a different way, and then he decided to change and you know, and we’re still talking about him today, here in 2020.
Not the works that he does. And you know, I, I think it’s important what you said about being your authentic self, and that will come across to the audience naturally. You won’t have to force it. And like me, I love jazz. Don’t think I can play it to save my soul, but I enjoy supporting new jazz musicians, you know, buying their records.
And attending their concerts. For me to go and pick up a jazz bass, not going to happen today.
Emile: You know, it’s interesting because all my life I’ve been surrounded by classical music. I have sisters who are in classical and it is the most natural thing in the world. Part of it is being Italian because I grew up in an Italian household and every male Italian thinks he’s Pavarotti and opera music is like pop tunes and it it’s, it was the most natural, comfortable thing.
And, and if I were, if I were painting, I would try to paint like the the rough, the Raphael’s. I would not try to paint like Jackson Pollock. I would end up being a very poor Jackson Pollock. But if I were, if I were to if I were a dancer, I’ve always, as a matter of fact, I’ve played for ballet classes in the past.
I would take ballet if I had any gift for it, which I do not, but I wouldn’t take it. I might even take ballroom dancing, but I mean, those are the things I’m drawn to naturally. And and I, and I think, I think it’s a very simple thing. If you just really look at yourself and don’t go into a lot of psychology things psychological down a rabbit hole, I think you just.
Look at me. Well, this is what do I do? What do I do all day? Do I sit in front of a computer? Do I let my active? And, and I think sometimes the most obvious things elude us just because we didn’t take the trouble to have a look.
Tim: That’s true. That’s true. Well, thank you so much for that. Is there one thought you’d like to leave the listeners with.
You know, replenishing their creative energy or just creativity in general.
Emile: Yeah. Every single person is creative. I mean, there, from the time you were a little tiny child, you made a bracelet out of grass or you played dandelions and you tried to catch the dental. Fluff the freeway and you did it your way.
And if you look at how you approach the simplest tasks, when you, when you’re doing the dishes, do you do them a very orderly way or do you do very chaotic? And I think that you find a, a discipline that appeals to you again, whether it be visual arts or music or dancing or gymnastics or whatever I think you’ve actually, you shouldn’t, you shouldn’t think of that.
Some people are creative and I’m not, no, everybody is some it’s just like everybody. Excuse me. Everybody can write a sentence, but some of us are great authors. So it’s, I think it has to be taken out of the special category and put it in the normal category. Everyone is an artist to some degree and some are good and some suck.
Tim: Well, I’ve done. I paint like a four-year-old on crack. I can tell you that,
but it’s, it’s the enjoyment of doing it. And it’s one of my ways to, you know, get that creative energy, you know, replenish that when, you know, I work nine to five with the federal government and that can get to be a whole lot of fun, but then I can, you know, sit back with with my kids. Do some crazy paintings and put them up on the wall, on them.
You laugh at them years later.
Emile: Yeah, I think, I think by the way, the creative, sometimes things to be creative, you have to be really good at it. No, no, you’re just creative. I mean, I can just do a stick drawing of something and it gives me pleasure. It’s never going to be in an art gallery, but it’s, it’s a creative impulse and I can do it.
No, but don’t stop yourself because you’re not the best.
Tim: Exactly. We, you know, we, we, we, you know, we need our, you know, number one folks to up there and to be up there and do their do their do their art. But we also need everybody to feel comfortable in, in doing that. Maybe you make a career out of it, maybe you don’t.
But I know at the end of the day you know, the bookcases that I had behind me, it have a lot of authors behind them then have, you know, thousands of years of experience. But I also have four of my books up on there to go. I can do that too. Maybe not with the success that they’ve had, but I can put something out into the world like that.
And it does my heart.
Emile: Good.
Tim: Excellent. Well, again, thank you so much for joining us here today on a create our podcast. And we definitely are going to look forward to new things coming out by you and everyone should go grab the book and go on to YouTube and watch this fine gentleman. Tickle those Ivory’s.
Thank you so much for joining
Emile: us. I mean, as a guest, I really appreciate it’s Timothy, you got it.
Tim: Thank you for listening to create art podcast and this episode on how to replenish your creative energy. You know, it was a real pleasure talking with a meal about his practice. And understanding his approach to replenishing his creative energy. Take a look at his book and look him up on his website and musical platforms.
I’d like to hear from you on how you replenish your creative energy. Or if you have questions on how you can add this to your practice, reach out to. Timothy@createartpodcast.com and let’s have that conversation. Now, if you’ve got something under this episode, I’d like you to share it with a friend as fellow artists, when we sometimes need to help each other out and share the information we find and incorporate it into our practice, you can subscribe to this podcast at the website, create art podcast.com and links to this discussion will be in the show notes.
So you can learn from. Now go out there and tame that inner critic and create more than you consume. Go out there and make art for somebody you love yourself.
This has been a production of gaggle pod, east studios at gaggle pod. We have been helping creatives tell their story through podcasting since 2017, go to gaggle pod.com to listen to all of our network shows and reach out to us so we can help you tell your story through podcasting.

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