BUGRA SISMAN: Colors of Music

Bugra Sisman

Guitarist and composer Bugra Sisman recently released an EP titled “Until Now” (review here). In the interview below Sisman talks about it, the ideas that informed the EP, and more.

What is your mission with this project?

My only mission and intention was to create an EP that I enjoyed every inch of.

There is no way way to understand this while in the process of creating the album. However, I did realize I accomplished this after the release of the album and it makes me very happy.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your EP “Until Now.”

The EP’s “creative process” was a challenge for me. It is not easy to reach people without utilizing any words or lyrics nowadays especially with an EP that is difficult to understand as is like until now. Therefore, I was very selective in the writing process of the songs. I was very careful to find the sound and the harmony that I enjoyed without being in any kind of rush. I imagined every song as if I was living the EP’s storyline and asking myself “what should this song sound like?”

“Until Now” is a very diverse release. Can you describe the thread that holds it together?

I think the right answer to this question is balance. If you are not able to reach complete balance between the songs, you will end up with a whole bunch of unrelated drafts. I think connecting different time signatures in the song is one of the most important parts in progressive music. If you cannot connect those different trimmings organically, and if the transitions are more aggressive than what is expected, you will not be able to hold the fragments of the songs together. If there is no balance, the result of the release might be very disconnected and dysfunctional.

How does the title of the album reflect on the material you present with this release?

EP talks about the four different stages of someone’s existence. “Until Now” is the last period that one can reach.

Burg Sisman - Until Now

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

Whenever I came up with an idea, I always make a quick note on my phone or my ipad. Later on, I began recording those ideas professionally in my studio, saved those ideas and it just grew from there.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected or is it an organic outgrowth of performing them together?

Dynamic flow is very imporant for me in the case of music. However, you cannot always make it happen organically. This is something that needs special focus and attention. You need to give lots of thought to what part should be expressed and how/what dynamics will represent the idea to the audience. Occasionally, dynamic flow does happen naturally because it’s very obvious. But in this EP, there was a lot of thinking and brainstorming put into the dynamics.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

First of all, I imagined the colors of each song in my head; whether they’re dark or bright or maybe cold or warm. Even though the composing was ready, it was important to think about those colors before recording the album because of the atmosphere and the mixing of the songs. And that’s exactly what I did. Later on, I sent my drafts to my drummer Andreas Skorpe Sjoen. After he sent me the drum tracks, I rerecorded the guitar piece on top of the drums that he created. The Next step was to send songs to Nazim Kemal Ure for bass guitar editing. He recorded the basses and sent it back to me. After every instrument was ready, I started to work on the mixing. Lastly, chris Bauer worked on the mastering process.

How long “Until Now” was in the making?

It took about 8 months to record and handle the post production. I was very careful not to rush the album and make sure that it didn’t have any mistakes.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

It is not easy to notice some names’ influence on this EP. I was actually careful not to listen to a lot of music during the process, so that I wouldnt get influenced by them and lose my freedom of mind. It definitely wasn’t easy to stop listening to music but I think these are the smart choices to make to reach original thoughts.

What kind of gear do you use for recording your music?

I used Cubase 4 as my DAW, Axe Fx2 for recording guitars, RME fireface interface, yamaha hs50 monitors, focal spirit one mixing headphones, elixir strings, clayton usa picks and musicman, ibanez, carvin guitars.

What is your view on technology in music?

I think technology in music has been growing incredibly in the last 10 years. The softwares, hardwares and the plug in’s do make a difference and makes it lot easier for the composers and the engineers. Meanwhile,in between those new additions, it does create confusion. Even though it creates an easy working environment, it is also easy to drown in that technology. That’s why getting a software and learning how it works just to have an idea is more than enough. Asking yourself “how could this equipment will be useful to me” or “how could this vst help my music?” are the key questions to ask. However, we composers might be a little lazy for that at times.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

Not at all. I’m writing my music to express my feelings or to express issues/ situations around me. Most importantly i write music because that’s what I love to do. If you started to write music for some purpose or for someone you are quite off track from creativity and from your own musical character. The music I’m making might make people feel a certain way or maybe makes them think of an idea. However, this isn’t something I think about while I’m composing my music.

What are your plans for the future?

Writing more music, playing more music, and reaching more people. The Most important key to me is to reach that motivation level to create more music.

“Until Now” is available from Bandcamp. Follow Bugra Sisman on Facebook for future updates.

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