Student artist feature: Talking with Tyler Buckeridge

One of Colby’s greatest assets is its bottomless pool of talented students. Among these students is Tyler Buckeridge, a first-year musician. Buckeridge, a multi-instrumentalist, spoke about his early musical experiences at his Jesuit high school for crowds as large as 2,000.

“I would never learn the chords for the church music. I didn’t care at first, so they’d never turn my mic on. I realized it wasn’t on very loud, which I liked ‘cause I wouldn’t really be playing. But then all of a sudden I realized, oh wait, maybe it was a different person setting it up, but it was hot, so it forced me to start practicing ahead, and it ended up being something I enjoyed.”

Buckeridge’s humble Catholic school beginnings did anything but limit him in his musical journey.

“Guitar was definitely first. Early on I tried group lessons, but I was pretty young and that didn’t really stick. But then I started taking one-on-one lessons later on and I was definitely more into it then, and since getting into the Grateful Dead I’ve gotten really into guitar. My dad’s a drummer. He’s always played and we’ve always had a set in the basement, so a few years ago after playing guitar I decided to kind of mess with it. He showed me a little, but I’ve mostly been trying to figure it out [on my own], listening to stuff. It’s still kind of a side thing, but it’s fun and it definitely gives me a different perspective, to be able to do both. When I listen to music now, I’ll listen to the drum track a lot and see what they’re doing and see how it all plays together. It’s cool.”

Tyler’s family played a key role in his musical development.

“It definitely started when I was very young. My parents were into older music, but pretty diverse tastes, like jam bands to jazz, blues…a lot of different stuff. My first iPod was my dad’s old one, or something like that, and it was full of all that music, so that’s all I listened to. I never listened to pop [when I was young]. I just grew up on a different set of music and that’s where it kind of got started, pretty early.” Now, Buckeridge finds himself being drawn to improvisational music.

“General improvisational music definitely has been something that I’ve found myself more and more drawn to. I find it really impressive when they’re able to do it and it sounds like it’s been prepared. It’s really cool to see–you see it a lot in jazz–where every instrument’s playing a pretty unique part that could stand alone but it all just fits. It doesn’t always work, but when it works, it’s like ‘wow, that’s pretty cool.’”

On campus, Buckeridge is heavily involved in the music scene. He is in a student band, the Local Crazy, and participates in guitar ensemble and group drumming, which he credits to expanding the ways he thinks about music.

“It’s reflective. Sometimes, you know, you just drum how you’re feeling!” Buckeridge said.

Tyler also spoke about his experience running his own campus radio show, Ramble On Radio. It is on the air on Mondays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“[At first] I was kinda scared to go on and talk. You first need to know how to use the board, and then actually talking, knowing that anyone could be listening [in the] town of Waterville…I had a lot of family members listening, so at first I was a little bit hesitant, and now it’s cool. I would say my last show was one of my best. I have gotten really comfortable with it, being able to talk and tell personal anecdotes, stories about the bands, researched a ton or just things I know about them, and that’s been a lot of fun.

“When there’s no DJ on [the radio], it’s just a set list of music; it’s a big library but it just autoplays, and it hasn’t been updated since, like, 2010. I think we’re about to start updating it. They’re going to put together a committee, and anybody who’s really into music and has music they want to share can get up on there and we’re just going to be adding music. There just needs to be some newer stuff, of all genres. I think people will listen to it more if there’s actually some interesting [music] and there’s a new reason to.”

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