Outfitted with an electric guitar, a variety of effects pedals, and a tie-dye guitar strap, Mathew Buelt, a UCD junior and music business major, was the latest performer in Auraria’s Gig Series, an event sponsored by Student Activities to showcase the diverse musicians found on and around campus.
Buelt’s performance transformed the Tivoli food court from burgers and fries into a jazz bar for a couple of brief hours.
Conversations between students carried on while Buelt jammed in the background. Some onlookers stopped for brief moments and appeared to get lost in the music, bobbing their heads back and forth and tapping their fingers on the tables.
In high school, Buelt pursued his musical endeavors as a bass player in a rock band, and by the time he reached college, his interests had widened.
“I got more into jam bands, but also started learning about jazz and more music theory,” Buelt said.
This project began out of a desire to bring all that he’d learned about music to a crescendo.
“[I’m] just trying to make it fun, but also complex, putting theory into it,” he said.
While the Gig Series usually showcases more traditional and modern musicians, Buelt is more of an experimental artist.
“It’s jam based — it’s kind of got that groove to it, but I try to experiment in it and go beyond just soloing over a bass line,” Buelt said. He listed his two biggest musical influences as The Grateful Dead and Phish.
In his music, Buelt utilizes a technique known as looping, in which he creates samples using a computer and plays them as the backbone of the song.
He then decorates the music by playing his guitar through various effects pedals over the pre-made tracks.
Included in the effects he uses are those made by an E-Bow, a device which simulates the sounds an electric violin would make on a guitar.
Buelt is also a practitioner of minimalism, a musical technique characterized by beginning with a simple idea and expanding upon it.
“Recording something small and trying to build it up, you can just change how it sounds completely from how it started,” Buelt said.