Bryan Deister on music and lockdown

By May 17, 2020 Listen

In our latest spotlight, we chat to Bryan Deister about the challenges of being a musician in lockdown.

S] What motivates you outside of music, think specific people and places?

It’s probably philosophy.  If I’m not working on music I’m probably reading some old dry book, but for some reason I get a lot out of it.  Any conversation about ideas really sparks my interest.  Music seems to me the primordial expression of an idea before it is fully formed as an image.  Then philosophy is the image in symbolic language or the final manifestation of the initial impulse.  In that view it’d make sense why philosophy would motivate music.

S] What are some of the biggest challenges you face as an artist?

In the past I would’ve said my health.  During the recording of my last album my singing and more importantly my hearing suffered a lot as a direct result of my jaw.  But now that I’ve gone through the painful medical procedures and healed up I hope that chapter is closed.  Right now it would probably be financial.  Doing the creative, inspired work while somehow making enough money to survive is quite a challenge, especially for musicians who had most of their income in gigs and teaching before the lockdown as myself and a most of my colleagues.

S] How do you define success as a person, and performer?

I believe I’ve had success as a performer.  After a show when someone approaches you and really thanks you for your work.  That’s success for a performer, and probably as a person as well.  If someone is truly grateful for you enriching their life, that seems like success.

S] What are your goals, post-lockdown?

There’s a few albums I’m working on that I’d like to finish.  I joined a jazz rock fusion group and we’ve been wanting to record an album, which obviously has to wait until the lockdown is over.  Otherwise I’ve just been writing a lot, and hopefully after everything opens up and is safe we can go back to doing live shows and not livestreams.