People had plenty of time to relax during the pandemic lockdown of 2020, but musician Kurt Buchanan was hard at work creating new songs that eventually comprised his first full-length album.
Buchanan has been playing the electric guitar for a while and involved in music for years but had never finished his own recording.
With the extra time three years ago, he began working on a few song ideas and finished most of his project that year. However, once society reopened, he was too busy to complete the album.
It was only recently that he concluded and released “Luxury of Time.” The 47-minute album has 10 instrumental tracks featuring Buchanan jamming on his guitar backed by computer-generated drums and other instruments.
“I’m an old soul. I still like to listen to albums rather than singles or shorts,” he said.
Buchanan has always been interested in music with different time signatures ever since he began playing, he explained. So, he toyed with different time signatures on the album and “enjoyed the exploration of anything but common time,” which is one connection to the record’s name.
A second connection is he likes to grow his skills and abilities as a musician and knows he could become better if he had more time to practice.
Buchanan named his first track “Mountain Pass” because it has a melody that increases incrementally. Also, his late father said life can be easy or like mountain climbing.
The second song, “Joseph’s Dream,” has patterns of seven with its time signature. Buchanan noted that in the Bible, Joseph interpreted the Egyptian pharaoh’s dreams, which featured seven healthy cows and seven sick cows, representing an abundance of food and famine.
Another song is titled “Psalm 18.” That biblical chapter sees King David crediting God with training his hands for battle and giving him supernatural-like abilities.
Buchanan explained that he grew up in the Church, so those two biblical stories were his reference points.
“I’m not doing any battles, but I feel the sense where I want to give credit where credit is due, that the skill I have is not just somehow my own hard work or experience or opportunity, that it is grown right out of my faith,” he said. “(Also), that the skill I have to play or enjoy music kinds of comes from my relationship with God.”
Buchanan was unsure in which sub-genre his music fell since it’s instrumental guitar, although there is some rock and progressive in the songs.
The Dave Matthews Band was one of Buchanan’s biggest influences starting out, while he also listened to pop-rock music on the radio.
About 10 years ago, he began listening to instrumental music from musicians such as Eric Clapton and John Mayer. He also discovered who influenced them and listened to those sources.
Some instrumentalists he follows now include Australian Plini (Plini) Roessler-Holgate, Joseph (Joe) Satriani, Steve Vai and Andy Wood.
When asked if he was satisfied with how the album turned out, Buchanan said, “I think I am. It’s a great first start. I wanted a project I could do on my own for the most part.”
The instrumentalist thought his later songs sounded better than the first few because of his knowledge growth with sound production. He hopes to apply this knowledge to future albums — including his performances — while improving the sound.
The musician thinks he might release another album in a year, considering he is sitting on nearly 50 song ideas. Some songs are already completed, while others are still in progress.
Buchanan added that his kids are already asking their smart speaker to play their father’s new music, which he joked is all the fame he needs.