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“ Talent songwriter honored in UK contest For Bridget Wolf of Talent, writing and performing her award-winning music is a doorway to feeling more connected to life and nature — with lyrics that are so optimistic and encouraging that she's been welcomed to sing them in many Unity Churches. Wolf, 42, recently released her second CD, "Love Transforms" — and her song "I'll Never Forget You," a piano solo inspired by a breakup, was chosen as a finalist in the instrumental category of the UK Songwriting Contest, meaning it finished in the top 2 percent of 6,000 entries. Two of her other songs were honored. "Let's Make the Difference" was a semi-finalist in the Adult Contemporary category and "Life is Precious," inspired by a friend considering suicide, was a semi-finalist in the Christian/Faith category. They are on her just-released CD "Love Transforms. Semi-finalist means they ranked in the top 30 percent. I'm so excited! I don't have words for how I feel. I burst into tears when I found out," says Wolf. The soft-spoken and enthusiastic Wolf keeps a "Measure What You Treasure" chart in her living room, per the instructions of her business coach, noting that, since July 1, she sold 32 CDs, did 18 performances and had 587 people attend her performances - at the Eugene Saturday Market, and New Thought Churches, such as the Center for Spiritual Living in Central Point and Unity Churches in Ashland, Medford, Grants Pass, Corvallis and Bandon. Wolf, a native of Minnesota and a music graduate of that state's Carleton College, found her "uplifting and empowering" approach to music from parents, who taught her those ways of living and, despite their own upbringing in poverty, devoted themselves to travel, concerts, dance and music lessons and other enrichments for their children, she says. My parents helped me with optimism. My dad has a truly optimistic outlook. My mom was a painter who taught us to look more deeply. Wolf's haunting piano solos, especially one called "Autumn 83," bring back instant memories of the Wyndham Hill instrumentals by George Winston. Composed before she heard that label's popular works, it is "deeply connected with the pulse of life, with living, breathing nature and life force energy. That music was a wave"»that nourished people at a really deep level and still does. Her "I'll Never Forget You," from 1993, is an extension of that tradition and is the song most of her followers have listed as their favorite, Wolf said. It's also been used in local dance classes. Wolf says her main influences, whose footprints can be found through her music, have been a wild mix of Julie Andrews, Joan Baez, Enya, Alison Krauss and Loreena McKennitt — and the result could variously be called "earthy folk songs, bluesy songs for evening, sexy, sultry torch songs and chanting-drumming. I love all kinds of music, even rap songs," said Wolf singing a few bars of her rap song "You Gotta Do Your Thing. I will write in any style that moves me," says Wolf. Her penchant for writing church-suitable music reminds her of Bach, who "was a great improviser, who composed church music every week. During meditation in church, I feel it and know where to go for the keys. The lyrics of her inspirational songs are straightforward positive affirmations of life. Let's Make the Difference" has these words: "I choose to be the change I wish to see in the world today / I choose to unite with all loving hearts / I choose to share all the gifts I've been given / I choose to live my life fully now / Cause all life matters! Yes it does. Her "Life is Precious" says, "It's a miracle of creation / And you, you've been made specially / None can take your place / There is only one you. Wolf says she's a healer and uses music in her sessions to reach and release feelings at a deeper level. She also gives music lessons and is available for performances by calling 512-8862. Her Web site is www.bridgetwolf.com. ” - John Darling