Jacobs Wonder music recognizes the many layers in life and the finding of solitude

Jacobs Wonder (Jacob Wondergem) is a solo pianist and composer from the Netherlands marked by Christian faith. His piano compositions are easily recognisable by their classical elements and can be classified in the neo-classical and contemporary solo piano genre. This is no coincidence as he is a classically trained player and performer. The road to finding his true north, however, might be considered a rather uncommon one, compared to other classically educated musicians. It was on this road that he became marked by the Christian faith which made his pathway even more wonderous.  Jacob first started out on keyboards in 1998 at the age of 32 and from the very beginning he wrote his own music.. 

These first tunes were mostly pop songs and new-age based pieces. These earlier compositions were also at the core of tunes like ‘Ballad to an angel’. A decisive switch to piano was made in 2002 and by 2004 Wondergem had started with private piano lessons (and still follows to this day). His music in this first period was within the spirit of that time formally based on the new-age genre and written with a great deal of reverence to his influencers, pianists like John Herberman and David Lanz. As his career and style developed composers like J.S Bach, Felix Mendelssohn and Cesar Franck had become inspirations. Similarly, a wide variety of pianists such as Rick Wakeman, Daniel Barenboim, Galya, Joseph Akins and Judy Esther made their mark on his work.

Whilst he was never an active musician in his younger years, Jacob was however an avid music lover. He was interested in a very wide range of music genres such as soul, funk, rock, reggae, rhythm & blues and even classical music. During these formative years a careful schedule was adhered to making tape recordings of particular radio shows which grew to several hundreds of cassette tapes, complementing a steadily growing record collection (that would be later replaced by cd’s.) These tape recordings from radio and other compilations, derived from his music collection became the foundation for being able to engineer and master audio. 

Audio engineering skills were further developed by listening, studying, trial and error and a deep commitment to Steinberg's Cubase. For him, audio engineering even became a professional matter for a short period of time when he got a position in the audio restoration market segment. This career move proved to be unsustainable due to the inability to combine audio restoration with family, work and being a musician so choices had to be made. From his 20’s to mid-30’s he became a huge fan of prog-rock and progressive metal, headliners in this love for the progressive genre were bands like Genesis, IQ, Dream Theatre, Van den Plas and Rush.

The actual reason why he suddenly transformed from a dedicated all-round music listener into a devoted classically trained pianist is due to a spiritual experience. Reaching his 32 nd birthday he suddenly got very strong feeling of destiny and he would start playing keys although had he never even considered it before. When he actually got to it, it became the revelation of a deeply hidden destination. This late start at the age of 32 was a definite stage in life when he decided, that piano would be his primary instrument. The pathway would not involve receiving a classical education on a full time basis, but instead, to take private lessons that were supplemented with the development of autodidactic music theory skills and a very great deal of home practice.. For his private tuition, he eventually found the right teacher (Max Crabbendam, concert pianist) that would bring him to the point where he is now and from whom he has been having lessons since the start of the journey in 2004. Inspired mentorship from Crabbendam saw master and apprentice become close friends. A successful professional and private relationship was a solid foundation for developing skills. An infectious appetite for perfection drove on Jacob who was never satisfied with his play but would always strive for progression in his play and his composing.

Following several difficult periods in his life, that saw personal loss, divorce and depressions, it was the meaning of his Christian faith through his music that became his deepest motivation to write, record and perform his piano music. In March 2018 his home-recorded debut album 'King is coming' was released independently online. This original piece of work  was a good overview of his compositional abilities up to that moment. The album contains several styles, which is fully in-keeping with his development through the years. Pieces like ‘Prayer for inner peace pt.I and II’ have new age influences while ‘Eve to Easter’, ‘Mercy on us’ and ‘Ballad to an angel’ show very classical elements. The title track ‘King is coming’ is a homage to both influences. 

By including Bach's ‘Jesu, bleibet meine freude’ shows Jacob’s deep devotion to this composer whose influence can also be heard in 'Easters dawn'. After this debut Jacobs Wonder wrote the 'Breathe in me'  theme endorsing non-profit organization Tamar Korat Thailand which appeared as a promotional single and video online. His latest release is 'Gift of Love'. This piece is a, with kind permission, cover of Judy Esther's 2014 piece for solo piano 'Memories of Terry'. They are forthcoming tracks from a new album 'the Church reflection' which will appear online in the spring of 2020. It will contain several piano arrangements of spiritual pieces which Wondergem holds very dear.

Though he was featured in recently released Lifoti's January/February 2020 issue 11, you can check it from below link's for your country:

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