Bugra Sisman is a guitarist from Istanbul, and he recently put out an EP titled “Until Now.” In an interview for Moshville, Bugra discusses his musical background, the EP, and more.
Thank you for having time to answer some questions. First of all, please introduce yourself.
My name is Bugra Sisman. I was born in 1987 in the city of Istanbul.
Would you mind telling us about your musical background, as well as education?
I started playing guitar when I was 12 and it became more than a hobby in a short amount of time. Somewhere within that first year, I joined my middle school’s band. A year later, the dean of my middle school contacted my parents, told them that I should major in music and that I should begin to build a career path in that direction. Thus, I went to a fine arts high school to mold my path around music. After I graduated from the fine arts high school, I wished to continue my education out of the country to further enhance my musical career. I was accepted into MiddleSex University’s Ba Jazz major, a university located in England. Once in London, on my first day of class, the dean of the music department, Dr. Peter Fribbins (classical musician and a composer), advised that I should change my Ba Jazz major to a classical music major because of my classical guitar experience. Therefore, I changed my major to Ba Music Performances even though I was accepted to Ba Jazz initially. Aside from working with Timothy Walker, a phenomenal classical guitar player, I also had a chance to work with Francois Evans and Rarnelda Machie on composing and performance.
One random day, something suddenly clicked and the story came to my mind. I’d always enjoyed reading and thinking about ones existence and the world. Indeed, it did not come as a surprise when I began creating a four song EP about this concept. I started to compose the day after I came up with the storyline. Afterwards, I began selecting the musicians I wanted to work with on the bass, drums and the artwork. I focused on the goal.
What do you think I should describe your music as to my friends?
Unsteady, house pertaining to many different atmospheres, and not just simple guitar music… it is focused on the melody, not the show.
This eclectic music must have a wide range of influences and inspiration. Would you mind enlightening us as to some of the influences you haven’t mentioned already?
I don’t like to categorize music into a “genre”. My only distinction is determining whether or not the music is simply good or bad. I can name a good amount of musicians who actually produce strong, good music. Some of these individuals are: Early Dream Theater, Allan Holdsworth, Trentemoller, Steve Morse, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Rick Graham, Joe Pass, Hans Zimmer, Acoustic Alchemy, Al Di Meola, Paco De Lucia. I have new additions to the list everyday because I love to explore new music and be influenced by them.
Do you have any plans for a tour somewhere down the road?
I do have plans of performing this EP in my workshops or any speech related events. However, I do not have any upcoming concerts or tours for now. I am fully open to suggestions and invitations. It will be more than a pleasure to perform my EP live. It would be an amazing experience.
What have you been listening to recently? Also, would you tell us what your all-time favorite albums are?
I listen to a lot of classical music right now. Julian Bream and Sergio Assad are my favorites at the moment. Also, Jake Bowen’s Isometric album came off as quite a success. Some of my all time favorite albums are:
Dream Theater – Images & Words, Falling into Infinity
Frank Gambale – Passages
Porcupine Tree – Stupid Dream
What kind of advice would you impart to other musicians? Do you have any words of wisdom or inspiration for other artists trying to make their mark?
It’s going to sound like a cliche, but I think focusing on the goal is key. Surrounding yourself with people who share a common goal is a great source of motivation. Most importantly, do not try to be like someone else and aim to find your own musical character. In order for someone to do that you need to focus on being free and not worrying about what others may say.