Heart-to-Art: Charlie Freiburger strums all the right chords

Gemma Strauss and Bella Piacente

“Heart to Art” is a column highlighting artists in the Redwood community. The column was created to represent the arts on a broader scale, appreciating student artists and their craft.

Junior Charlie Freiburger sits calmly with his light blue guitar. He strums a few chords that will later develop into his latest release on SoundCloud. As an avid artist within the Redwood community, Charlie is a member of the Advanced Performance Workshop (APW) where he composes his own music and plays guitar and bass.Inspired to take his music outside of class, he plans to release more songs and explore various genres with his band, Everything. 

Apart from his band, Charlie is committed to writing his own music as a solo artist. He recalls one experience when beginning to write his first original song.

“I was sitting in my room late at night. I started playing these [chords] and then it kind of developed into a melody. [I was moved by singer-songwriter] Blaze Foley, [who] writes a lot of instrumentals that are really good and inspirational. [He prompted] me to write something without lyrics, ” Charlie said. 

Charlie candidly focuses on his guitar. (Photo courtesy of Charlie Freiburger)

This song became “Strings,” an instrumental song that Charlie released on SoundCloud in September.

With more time at home due to COVID-19, Charlie has also been able to play music and collaborate with his like-minded brother, Tommy. 

“We are both older now and I think you start seeing your siblings less from the lens of a sibling relationship and more as a person. [Having] the band, driving, practicing and having to spend a lot of time together has definitely made us closer,” Tommy said. 

Like his younger brother, Tommy was a part of APW as well. Not only did the program’s leader, John Matter, help Tommy discover his musical interest, he also assisted Charlie in exploring new genres and instruments. 

“[Charlie] is really clear about the [type of] music that he is into. He knows what he likes, and he’s developed a real mature sense of [musical] discovery. I’m so lucky [to work with] somebody that motivated. All you have to do is turn them in a certain direction,” Mattern said. 

Mattern has high praise for Charlie’s musicianship as well as his overall positive demeanor.

“Charlie is one of the most heartfelt, sincere, soft-spoken, thoughtful young men I’ve ever worked with. He just has a really wonderful nature. [It’s] inspiring,” Mattern said. 

As a teacher, he is also impressed with Charlie’s innate ability to pick up instruments quickly and believes that music will always be a part of Charlie’s life. 

“I think the sky’s the limit for Charlie. He could do anything he sets his mind to. He started playing bass a year ago, and now, he’s one of my best bass players, along with the guitar. He is a very talented young man, and he just gets it. He gets how it works,” Mattern said.

Charlie’s released music is on his SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/charlie-freiburger