July 5th, 2011 22:39 EST
Bingham Willoughby An Artist of the Highest Caliber, Destined for Carnegie Hall!
This writer always finds it a true gift when the week finally rolls around, where I can write an article that once again focuses on the true magic that Bingham Willoughby offers to the world.
As all readers will know, Bingham Willoughby is the amazing artist behind Maybe Not Today, Maybe Tomorrow, which was his debut album released on Hurry Up Comfort Records. Everyone who has been smart enough to follow my advice knows that this album is comprised of some of the most witty, charming, entertaining, and heartfelt songs that have been released in a very long time.
Bingham Willoughby is that person who I always said would be my pick to sit across from in a cafÃ©, and listen to his powerful yet, calming, voice that delivers so many amazing lyrics to the masses. And, luckily enough, I have been given the opportunity through the power of computers to be able to get even more in-depth information from this poet, songwriter, singer, performer, musician, producer and the list goes on.
I wanted to know, as did many of Bingham Willoughby`s fans, the inner-workings of such an extraordinary mind. I wanted to find out what makes a true artist, and how Bingham Willoughby feels about the performance and audience from his point of view. AND, luckily for the rest of you, my mother always taught me to share J. Therefore, my gift becomes yours as well. Call it an early Fourth of July present - which is fitting, seeing as that when Bingham Willoughby performs, it is as awesome and completely unforgettable as a true fireworks display.
`In solitude` seems to be a way for you to create your songs. However, one of your most favorite things is performing for an audience. A double entendre?
Alone at home, or alone on the stage with people watching J! I joke, because it`s shocking how different the experiences are, yet they`re so related for me.
When you`re writing you go through a lot of stages to get to the finished product, but your goal is to have that tune that communicates the meaning and emotions you`ve intended. So, that final stage becomes the goal for playing. It`s the weird cycle of events for a tune.
Do you specifically like large venues, or perhaps smaller groups that allow you to be more one on one with a fan?
Not to dodge, but I like both. When you`re almost sitting in a person`s lap, things become almost conversational. It takes you back to the old days - sitting around the kitchen with people playing tunes. There`s a lot of grinning back and forth in that set up.
When you play for larger groups in a larger venue, you can get a more `group` feeling, so it`s a different type of `energy` you want to generate. You might get a different sort of return from each one, but they both can leave you feeling great. I guess it can seem serious, but there`s a lot of laughs involved, too.
What kind of energy do you get from live performing; does it actually create more ideas for songs?
Performing gets you pretty charged up. I would equate it very closely to what would pass for nervous energy in most people. You get a minor case of ants in your pants, as my Grade One teacher would say. Singing and playing tires you out a bit too. I think in terms of the performance creating new ideas - I think it can happen, but for me it`s rare. Sometimes in the midst of the performance, though, you hear a little tangent open up, and then you discover it again later. It`s cool when it happens!
Can you tell our readers about the very first time you performed?
The first time I performed was for a kids party in a weird clubhouse in a tennis club. We were fifteen- `ish,` and the kids were probably between ten and fourteen years old. We could barely play - but we did, and people danced. I vaguely remember being given Kool-aid and a hot dog. I guess that hot dog at the time might`ve been the sweetest tasting dog I had ever eaten. Yes, there were nerves, there always are. And I think I had my first inter-band fight that night too. A total experience!
Was it during your first performance when you knew that you wanted to be a music creator and not head along a different path?
I`d love to be able to say that, because it makes for a good story, but my experience is more of a day to day evolution. I think the path had its designs on me before I was saying I want to make music, then it was too late! J
What are your live performances like now? Is there still that adrenaline rush as if you`d just stepped out on the stage for the first time?
My performances now are still really exciting for me. Now, it`s more about harnessing that energy and focusing - concentrating all those thoughts. Adrenaline is a huge factor, it`s part of performing. I still get the ants in the pants, but I try to save it all for the presentation of the tunes. There is an aspect of the first time every time - now it`s more a perspective thing, (that you try to tame!)
What is the oddest `thing` a fan has said to you - such as, something you`ll always
People can say some odd things, particularly when assisted by their favorite series of libations! I`ve blushed and have also been very moved by some things people have said - several of these things I wouldn`t mind forgetting too!
This might say a bit more about me, but an exchange that`s always stuck in my mind most, was when a rather drunken attendee - slurring very badly - asked me: What do you think it would be like to be Les Paul? I thought he asked me if I played a Les Paul guitar. So, I innocently responded that I like them but I usually play the acoustic, etc. Then he said: No, no, to really be Les Paul. For fifteen minutes this dude went on about what his day would be like, what color guitar he`d choose, what Les Paul liked to eat.
The way he pronounced Les Paul sounded like Lesp Pal. This guy loved Les Paul and amber liquids in that order. So we talked and he was very friendly, hugging and shaking my hand a lot. Then he disappeared into the crowd. I was left standing there asking myself, What just happened? It was the strangest guitar-related conversation I`ve ever had, and I`ve had a ton of conversations about guitars!
I know you are fixing up a house at the moment. With the solitude and quiet that you receive in this location, do you get ideas for songs from perhaps, nature, the quiet your surroundings?
Solitude yes. Quiet plus power tools, however, equals, no! There are still quiet moments, though. I`m not sure I`ve been out of the city long enough to fully quash the residual urbanite in me. I think you just find the ideas if you`re looking.
I`ve had a lot of melodies come to me in really noisy situations. The countryside is more about the novelty of what I`m seeing now. Just this afternoon I watched three dragonflies buzzing around my front steps. One had this bright turquoise tail, and I was sitting there fascinated. For someone who had lived here their whole lives, maybe these dragonflies go unnoticed, or maybe it`s all they think about. I don`t know. But, a lot of my momentary impressions find their way into my tweets.
Can I assume songwriting is a lot like novel writing? When the song or piece hits you - you can write an entire song in what seems like seconds, yet there are others you end up grinding your teeth on but never giving up on because you KNOW there`s something incredible there?
Not being an authority on novel writing, I can`t say for sure. There are moments, that can even extend into periods of time, when it seems like every notion turns into a good idea, and it`s like you can`t help but produce a ton of words and or music. It seems as easy as pie.
I remember reading somewhere that the average for re-writes on a published first novel you`d see on the shelves, is twelve, or something like that. I never keep track that well, for sanity`s sake, but sometimes it takes some doing. I prefer to think of it as fiddling around, as opposed to, grinding your teeth. A song (or book, for that matter) could be described as a kind of structure. Intangibly. The funny part is you build it up as the ideas arrive and, I`m half joking here, you might get the roof first! So one part could literally materialize, and then you`re waiting six months for the walls to show up.
If the idea feels good then it always hangs around it percolates. And, it`s true, sometimes you can be waiting quite awhile. When you think of it that way it is a lot like building a house - you`re going to have to do some waiting, but I believe it`s all worth it in the end.
What would be the one place where you would LOVE to perform?
There are so many famous, world renown venues that would be a dream to play: Carnegie Hall, for example. I`m also fascinated by those ancient Roman and Greek amphitheaters. The idea that people have been gathering somewhere for ages - that our present is very much connected to our past - is an idea I find really compelling. It`s part of the whole `acoustic` thing, I guess - the past colliding with the present.
It goes without saying that I`d love to play any number of famous recital halls. To perform in an ancient setting in a modern way - that really appeals to me I`d love to play in a place like that. Maybe I could conjure up a few ghosts - the super-friendly kind, of course, seeing as that performing provides all the adrenalin I can handle! J
Well, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. After speaking with Bingham Willoughby, this writer walks away even more inspired than the last time. Not only do I want to sit in a cafÃ© with this artist, but now I want to buy tickets to the special open air theatre located at the well-known Baths of Caracalla, and listen to Bingham Willoughby`s voice as I look out over the dramatic Roman ruins in the background. In other words, this writer does not only hold the artistry of Bingham Willoughby in high esteem, but with his winning combination of wit, charm, and talent, I have also developed a bit of a crush. J
For those of you who have not been smart enough to heed my advice, visit the below sites and listen to this incredible voice! It will not surprise you at all when, one day soon, Bingham Willoughby is playing Carnegie Hall! (Just like Les Paul did in 2005 at his 90th birthday bash!) J
Until Next Time, Everybody!
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