Cape Town-born improvisational musician and composer Reinhardt Buhr blends the sounds of the Flamenco guitar’s unpredictable rhythms with the ancient harmonies of the Australian didgeridoo, the ethereal sounds of the electric cello, the majestic sounds of the Israeli Shofar, synthesiser, percussion & vocals.
He started his musical career in 2010 and quickly became known for his live shows around South Africa and Europe. After only a few months, he opened for one of South Africa’s biggest and best-selling rock bands, Prime Circle, and has since also opened the stage for various other popular local acts such as Arno Carstens and the Parlotones. Reinhardt Buhr has released 16 albums since 2010.
Check out this exclusive interview with him
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
I had never touched an instrument or considered being a musician until after school when a friend played the guitar at a campfire, and at that moment, I fell in love with music, I was inspired and pursued it with everything I had.
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
The idea comes first in my creation process.
Does your material feature any collaborations?
I have done one or two collaborations, but very long ago. So my plan for 2020 is to do many collaborations.
What’s on your current playlist?
Currently, I am super inspired by orchestral & cinematic music (especially Hanz Zimmer), and I’ve always loved instrumental and meditational music that I listen to while praying.
Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
My music is my form of worship to God, and the feedback that I get leads me to believe that my music touches people’s hearts. My music seems to take the audience to the same quiet inner spaces that I go into while creating it, and from what I’ve seen and experienced, it leaves everyone who was present in that moment inspired and revived.
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
My sound has evolved (and is still evolving). I’ve experimented with different techniques from different cultures and music styles and put it all together. It started out with only the Flamenco guitar. I then heard someone playing the didgeridoo and immediately loved it and started learning. I then was inspired by someone playing the cello and added that to my sound. After that, I’ve added percussion, vocals and all sorts of smaller instruments. I’m adding keys at the moment and it will probably never stop growing. Basically, I’ve just added all the instruments I like and it has somehow just worked out.
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
I always start my day with a cup of coffee and some quiet time with God. This is where I get my ideas from and usually by the time I’m done I’m full of inspiration and head into my studio (which is at my house). Because my studio is at home, I spend pretty much most of the day in there, working on new projects and watching hours and hours of Youtube videos to learn new methods etc.
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
The moment at the campfire when my friend played the guitar.
What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?
Just a bottle of water 😀
What gets your creative juices flowing?
My quiet time with God, and watching and learning from other artists.
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
My live set includes a Boss RC-505 loop station, a Headrush Gigboard, a Yamaha MG10XU mixer, a Novation Circuit, a Boss FS6 footswitch, a Yamaha NTX1200R, an NS NXT Black electric cello, a custom made didgeridoo (made by my awesome dad), a Spanish Cajon, Korg Mini Midi Controller, and Sennheizer & Shure microphones. My studio gear consists of a set of Eve Monitors, an iMac, a Mbox soundcard, an M-Audio Midi Controller and some virtual instruments like the BBC Symphony orchestra & Native Instruments. The software that I use is LogicPro for sound recording and mixing, Izotope Ozone for mastering and Adobe Premiere Pro for video editing.
Any side projects you’re working on?
At the moment I am experimenting with movie scoring, so I might be working on something like that soon. I am also working on doing some collaborations with other artists and dancers.
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
Definitely. It is an ongoing process.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
I’ll be doing lots of collaborations, releasing lots of videos and I’m adding a whole new dimension to my sound. Aside from that, I will be touring to Europe and some other parts of the world.
Famous last words?
May God bless you all in 2020!
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