19 de fevereiro de 2018

Buzz Hummer Music and History

The singer, composer and musician Buzz Hummer (63) was born in Toronto, Canada. His interest by music started when he was teen. “It was on February 9, 1964, when The Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan, 2 months before my 10th birthday,” he comments.

Buzz usually practices music one or two hours a day, five to six day per week. “It depends on my schedule, but I try and keep it in my daily routine,” he adds. His parents always were supportive in his music journey. “They paid for lessons, drove me to lessons, bought me my first guitar, and gave me lots of encouragement,” he points out.

Asked about the difficult in the beginning of his musical career the artist tell us it was the same one he faces today, getting noticed. When he began studying classical guitar at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, he studied with Carl Van Feggelen and Eli Kassner.  “Much later, I took blues lessons from John Tilden, a successful Toronto studio musician,” he says.

Initially the lessons were paid by his parents, and then he paid by his own way. His first guitar was a gift from his parents; the next two were money from summer jobs as a student. “Like half the kids in the world, I was inspired by The Beatles and wanted to be in a band,” he remembers.

The artists that inspired him were: The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, John Lee Hooker, Bonnie Raitt, Andres Segovia, Muddy Waters among others. His first public performance was a high school dance, when he was in high school. Buzz says the money he got from it was enough to pay the gas in the car. About the feeling of that experience he emphasizes: “I just love music.  When I play and realize that's me making that nice, it's a great feeling.  If someone in the audience likes what you're doing, that's a wonderful bonus when you see that you have made someone happy”.

Buzz started writing music as a teenager.  “Of course, I had no idea what I was doing, and had no life experience to draw on, so I had nothing to say, and those songs have long since been forgotten,” he comments. Buzz says he often hears successful songwriters say that their songs just write themselves, and he believes that.  “Of course, you have to nudge them along, and have to be equipped with the tools and knowledge to do that,” he adds.

In his writing process he tells us he rarely says: ‘I'm going to write a song.’ Usually he picks up a guitar or sits at the piano and starts noodling.  “If I stumble over something that sounds interesting I will play with it and see where it goes or where I can push it; somewhere in that process a bit of a lyric will suggest itself – a line, a word, a phrase – and I ask myself what that's about.  If I can relate it to a current event or life experience I'll play with it until the lyrics are flushed out.  Sometimes it happens quickly, sometimes the song refuses to reveal itself and so it takes more work; but it's always fun,” he reveals.

His favorite songs written by himself are: Stone In My Shoe; This Dream; Starshine; Omar Khayyam; Down To You; and Cash In The Bank. His latest album Let's Face It is available on iTunes with the songs: Stone In My Shoe; Cash In The Bank; Costs A Lot To Live; Down To You; When The Revolution Comes; Profit For The Man; Who's Gonna Care?; Watch Out; Drifting; The Next Best Thing; On The Take; Ain't Going Down Easy; Leave Me; Have Mercy; Let Oil Have Its Way; The Riders; Change This; What's Real; A Major Loop; and Why Else Are We Here?.

Buzz is an artist solo and has no label, the artist emphasizes he is in the music by love it. “As a youth I studied music and initially played in bands in high school and played a few dances; towards the end of high school, I switched to folk and acoustic music and played with a friend in coffee houses around Toronto, sometimes for free but never making much,” he adds. When it was time to go to university they went their separate ways, and Buzz switched again, studying classic music at the University of Toronto and classical guitar at the Royal Conservatory of music; and then he took up a career in computer consulting.

Since he has retired he has pursued his passion for music in various ways.  He was in a classic rock bar band, playing guitar and keyboard, for six years.  “I write and record original songs, then put them up on the internet and hope someone notices,” he says.

About the difficulties in the music industry Buzz argues that there are so many talented musicians and not enough ways for them to get noticed.  “There seem to be fewer and fewer live music venues each year, and with it being so easy for young people to generate ‘beats’ on their computers, the barrier to entry is very low; it has always taken a lot of talent, a lot of luck and incredible perseverance to succeed in music, and I accepted a long time ago that I was in music because I loved it,” he points out.

Asked about what he expects to happen in the future of the musical world Buzz tells us: “when I was young, many of us believed music would change the world; I don't hear that ambition or relevance in most of the music that is being made now, and that's sad”. To find out more about the Buzz Hummer's work visit: Buzz Hummer Blog; ReverbNation; Facebook; MySpace; SoundCloud; Twitter; and YouTube.

by Zel Florizel

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