#43: Kurt Bauer
If you're an ambient/experimental/folk/worldbeat/noise/improvisatory/uncategorizable musician in Denver, you know it's not easy to get noticed. But Kurt Bauer is on your side: Bauer -- who's spent years in Denver's underground music scene -- galvanizes a small but serious community of like-minded creatives by providing them with a forum for both live and recorded performance as the dynamo (recording engineer, promoter, player and poster-maker) behind the local label Bangsnap Records.
See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Matthew Hunzeker
One such forum happens periodically as part of the Mercury Cafe's Gorinto series: Bauer's next improvisational Gorinto show, Etudes for Scrap Metal and Voice, goes down there at 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 2. Admission is $5 (and another optional $5 for food); visit the Facebook event page for information.
In advance of this show, we invited Bauer to answer our 100CC questionnaire; keep reading for a glimmer into his experimental world of sound.
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Kurt Bauer: Robert Johnson. Robert on guitar and vocals. I would play banjo and harmonica. Might have the Devil sit in on a few tunes. I would have him play a Jaw Harp or washboard. Probably a washboard. I say this only because a friend (not Mark Fuller) told me the other day the lyrics from one of my songs sounded like something Robert Johnson might have played.
I always thought it would be interesting to collaborate with Hector Zazou. He was a French composer and record producer who died in 2008. Listen to Sahara Blue, Chansons des mers froides / Songs from the Cold Seas and especially Noir et blank.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
Everyone on Bangsnap Records is interesting. Founded in 2010, Bangsnap is a collective of Denver/Boulder musicians that I have been recording over the years.
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
I don't really follow art trends...especially ones that need to die. Although I like the idea of a bad-art-trend hit list. One should be creating art trends, not following bad ones. On the music side of things, I would however like to see the mp3 audio format and free music downloading go away and die.
What's your day job?
Pimping Bangsnap. Recording the musicians. Mixing and mastering the music. Designing the CD artwork and posters. Promoting various concerts around town.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
Yeah. Like that is going to happen anytime soon.
What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
Make friends with the mystery patron above and distribute all those unlimited funds around the state to schools, artists and musicians.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
I have many. Here are a few...
Charles De Graaf. Charles is an exceptional photographer/film maker/musician.
My cousin Andy Bauer. Andy is a septilingual multi-instrumentalist and vocalist from Conifer, currently studying Khoomei and Kargyraa overtone singing in Mongolia and Tuva.
Steve Gordon. Steve is an amazing inventor of strange-looking musical instruments.
Everyone in the bands ANIMAL/object and Super Secret Messengers and the entire Denver underground arts and music scene.
What's on your agenda for the rest of 2013 and beyond?
I will be recording more Piano Mutations sessions. Piano Mutations is a series of solo-prepared piano recordings I started in March of this year. Recorded at the Mercury Cafe in the Grand Ballroom on a Kohler & Campbell piano prepared by each individual.
I will also be hosting more Gorinto shows at the Mercury Café.
Who do you think will get noticed in Denver this year?
Throughout the year, we'll be shining the spotlight on 100 superstars from Denver's rich creative community. Stay tuned to Show and Tell for more, or visit the 100 Colorado Creatives archive to catch up.
Do you have a suggestion for a future profile? Feel free to leave your picks in the comments.
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