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Sleeping Swan

Blog

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Sleeping Swan

Ty Burhoe

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Welcome back my friends, 
I have been working on a special album to share with you for quite a long time. This recording is different that my other music in that I am playing guitar. And also most of the compositions are my original songs written as backdrops to bedtime stories I told my children. 

To share a little about this journey I need to scroll the clock back a ways. I started playing the tabla drums in 1988 casually and in 1990 met my teacher Zakir Hussain. From then on I was totally focused on learning the very vast and difficult art of tabla as applied to Classical Indian music. At that point I was already 26 years old and a bit "over the hill" so to speak to really swim deeply into the Classical music. However, stubborn Ty charged full steam ahead and with the grace of my teacher began to reach a few cookies on the counter. This musical counter top, in a tradition like tabla is something that can take 20 years or more to grow up to, and still is in many ways, too high for me to see over. And yet, like the toddler that I am, I can't help but enjoy playing these  amazing and beautiful drums - so fun!

Meanwhile, I had another passion, the acoustic guitar, which had begun when I was a freshman in High School (about 1978) in part because it was a cool thing to do at that age, and also because I had been playing the trombone for 7 years and had just gotten braces of all things... ouch! So I needed to shift my musical focus away from my mouth. 

My brother Mark and I had been doing lots of singing and messing around with music for some years and growing up with a father who not only was a classical singer, but was a cool dude who listened to Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Cat Stevens, Moody Blues, ELO, YES, on and on... I naturally slid right into the world of the electric guitar and created a High School rock band with some buddies. That was simply a way to get out some energy and lasted a couple of years until one day my younger brother Scott brought home an album called "6 and 12 Stringed Guitar" by Leo Kottke and that was the beginning of a new chapter in my love affair with the guitar. 

From there I found a whole tradition of finger style acoustic guitar players who blew my mind. Artists like Michael Hedges, Pierre Bensusan, Alex de Grassi as well as the technical genius of Paco De Lucia, John McLaughlin's acoustic playing and others who were crossing back and forth from rock to acoustic like Al De Meola, Steve Howe, Steve Morse etc... I never took a guitar lesson which really would have done me good back then, but I became obsessed with playing and trying to soak up these amazing musicians. Ultimately when I started going to college and was headed towards my next chapter which was Wildlife Biology, I found that I was burned out from trying to emulate the high powered, technical prowess of others and I sold my electric guitar and turned away from music all together. I disappeared into the Wilderness of Montana following my degree which specialized in Grizzly Bear, Beaver re-population and Osprey Hawk preservation. 

After a year and a half of wilderness quiet, I started craving music again and bought a Guild dark spruce jumbo body guitar which had a big, warm sound. And that is when I realized I was free to tune and play the guitar in any way I wanted. I wasn't bound to some law of the Universe telling me how the guitar should be tuned or fingered. So I began messing around with altered tunings and simple melodies that were only meant for me to relax and imagine. And that is how it has remained until this day. 

It has been so nice to let go of trying to show any kind of technical ability or musical theory and simply enjoy the sound of the guitar. And of course, as it turns out, the instrument I chose to get my "technical Ya Ya's" out, is considered the world's most difficult and technical drum. So I have no shortage of theory, material and training to keep me busy (out of trouble). The other thing is that as a tabla drummer, my ability to share my harmonic / melodic vision is quite limited and being much more of a melody guy than a drummer guy, I am giving my Spirit a blast of fresh air by sharing my compositions. As a musician I feel I can be more honest and well rounded by sharing both.


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Now, bringing us back up to this current album release, the sweetest chapter of this journey was during the years I was living with my son Shaun up in the mountains outside Boulder Colorado in a cabin. And for his bed time stories, I would accompany them with my simple, alter tuned guitar style. And from those stories came the melodies that have become this album. Never intended for sharing outside of that private home setting, but now I feel, have a place in the world and may serve some of our world family's craving for peace and hope.

If you would enjoy to listen to some of those melodies feel free - here is the page link: http://www.tyburhoe.com/shop/byh0l6h0fm617jxvz3g26y6pt0adi0
Please enjoy and thank you for joining me in this story about the evolution of this latest project. I enjoyed creating this album so much, I am already looking forward to sharing more of my melodic music with you... after a couple of upcoming high powered rhythm based collaborations I'll be back with more guitar stories. 

Wishing you peace, kindness and inspiration in your life,
Ty