We had the good fortune of connecting with Chase Chandler and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Chase, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Finding a balance between work and life is an ongoing process. There are days I feel I’ve found it and other days I feel I still have much to learn. But when it comes to work-life balance, a huge shift in my perspective was reprioritizing away from productivity and quantity, and more toward efficiency and quality.

I roughly spend half my time on work and half my time with life, though this fluctuates day by day and week by week (even month to month). For many years though, I spent most of my time on work and would hardly allow myself a break. As a self-proprietor, private teacher, and freelancer, why would I ever take time off if there is ALWAYS something to do? And I’m not kidding. Even now, no matter how hard I work and no matter how much I might accomplish in a day, there is always more to do. It is easy to fall victim to the rabbit hole of to-do’s and feel burned out, but making time for mental health helps level the playing field so I can keep a consistent determination.

In other words, the biggest life lesson I’ve realized recently is the importance of self-care. Not only does it help in balancing work and life, but it also improves the effectiveness of my work and, in turn, the business as a whole.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Living in a very postmodern, technologically-driven world has heavily influenced how connected I’ve come to view the world. All art and music can be seen as expressions of the human experience, so sources of inspiration include all styles and genres, cultures and philosophies.

I love approaching my own creations similarly. There is power in dissolving barriers and I’ve found doing this on a personal level involves letting go of my inner critic. Approaching my creativity with less judgment has invited more fusions of styles, including jazz and more melodically driven material, but hey! Why fight it? And why not mix it sometimes with untraditional graphic notation? Or electro-acoustic elements? Jazz, pop, contemporary – it’s all a part of me. And it’s been so fun to explore and redefine what it means to be a contemporary composer.

What sets me apart is my many projects ranging from music and art, 3D music videos and VR-art sound installations, film music, and contemporary string quartets. I love exploring and trying everything! So I pride myself on having many genres and varying projects in my portfolio.

Music and art is not the easiest route to take, but for me, it is the most fulfilling. I wish I had known 10-years ago that it’s okay to pursue creativity as a whole (including art and music) and how rewarding it is to teach others to create themselves. Exploring all the corners of my skills in self-expression has also had a tremendous impact on how effective I am as a private teacher. And helping others give their inner emotions a voice always re-inspires me to further my own practice. It has become quite a self-sustaining ecosystem of creativity and learning! Connecting with others through music and art also reminds me to look outside myself and to continue learning from the world around me.

Nothing is done by yourself. Being “self-made” is one of the biggest illusions I also wish I had known when starting my creative career. Everyone has had help from others and if they say otherwise, they’re lying to themselves. Whether we know it or not, we are all a part of a community and come from a long tradition of creative individuals. It is our choice to acknowledge this and to get involved. So I’ve let go of my previous needs for perfection in my work and now just strive to be more present, to share my creations, and to be more available for others and their work. This shift in priorities has been another game-changer in looking outside myself and finding a good work-life balance as well. But again, it’s all a continual process!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Scattered all around Southern California are some amazing places that I’ve taken friends and family. LA has some amazing spots to visit like the Hollywood Bowl and LACMA (Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Modern Art). But here are some places I’d recommend all around SoCal.

The Anaheim Packing District is such a cool place with many restaurants and little shops to visit. I’ve met composer friends here before and watched big band performances of contemporary jazz. Quite a fun place to check out along with some amazing food.

A little further south, you’ll find my home town, San Clemente, where I’d highly recommend “The Cellar” off the main street Avenida Del Mar. Wonderful food, great atmosphere with live music, and amazing wine. Plus, the main street is a great place to walk around and see quaint surf culture.

Even more south, Little Italy in San Diego is extremely popular and one of my favorite brunch places is right there: Morning Glory. Such an artistically-driven, colorful restaurant that has amazing views, great food and drinks with a unique, cool vibe.

As far as nature hikes and explorations, I’d recommend checking out Solstice Canyon near Malibu, Top of the World near Laguna Beach, San Onofre near San Clemente, and Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach (San Diego County). There are so many places to visit around Southern California and I know I’ve missed a lot of amazing places, but these are a few that have served me well.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Everyone who has helped me along my creative path deserves credit and recognition. To be honest, it would be unfair to choose a single person who shaped me into the musician I am today because everyone I’ve had the pleasure of crossing paths with has influenced me one way or another. But I will say, my experience at Saddleback Community College was by far the most defining. The friends and teachers during my three years there all helped encourage me to pursue the arts and I can’t thank them enough for helping spark this lifelong journey of self-expression. I wouldn’t have had the same interest in music theory without Dr. Weston and I would have never had the courage to try singing professionally if it wasn’t for Dr. Farthing. So a big “thank you” goes out to all my Saddleback professors!

My wife has also been one of the most important sources of support and she deserves a lot of recognition. I remind her a lot that if it wasn’t for her seriously talking to me about pursuing my passions, I probably wouldn’t have gotten my Master’s in Composition. It’s because of her that I am where I am and I can’t thank her enough for always encouraging me to be my authentic self.

Website: https://ChaseChandlerMusic.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chasechandlermusic/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgk53TU14er9KomFGX0p5ww

Image Credits
Concert photos: Luminarcanum Live Audio & Video Production

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