As part of an on-going project, PDXBusk will be interviewing buskers around the city and showcasing their profiles. If you are interested in having your act profiled, please feel free to contact us!
Website: Nathan’s Guitar
Are you originally from Portland?
I originate from the Portland Area. I was born in Oregon City and have lived in the same 5 square miles my whole life. I am currently living in Oregon City.
Do you have any recordings available? Do you promote yourself? Do you play elsewhere?
I have a couple of really old recordings. I play a few gigs here and there.
What is your musical background? What instruments do you play? What style of music do you play? Do you have any influences?
I played the trumpet in middle school and high school, and then I picked up the guitar just before turning 17. I’ve studied classical guitar with several teachers in the Portland area since 2005. A couple of months ago I played in a masterclass for Manuel Barrueco, I think that was a high water mark for me.
Do you have a different job or go to school? Do you support yourself completely through music?
I go to school full time studying music. I don’t have a job and I live with my mother. Some might call that lazy and irresponsible, or say I’m a moocher, or a man-boy, or a mama’s boy, but I don’t want to be saddled with debt and ridden like a donkey by corporate overseers. I guess I’m a little sensitive about the subject. Don’t give me shit about living with my mother or I’ll kick your ass!
What inspires you to do what you do? How long have you been busking? What initially brought you to street performance?
I’ve been busking for three years, mostly just during spring and summer. I think its fun to get out in the sun, especially in the park blocks where its really nice, and add some decent music to the scene. At least I aspire to add decent music… nobody’s perfect.
What is your biggest obstacle as a street performer? Do you have any main concerns or troubles?
Laws, Rent-a-Cops, and buskers who don’t know better than to set up right next to you, that usually results in an awful cacophony and a lot less cash for everybody. Its pretty demoralizing when a place is choked with buskers–that’s when, if you stay, you’re less of an artist and more of a beggar.
What is the worst thing that has happened to you while performing on the street? The best?
I really haven’t had many bad things happen to me. I dropped a guitar on the pavement once, that was really bad. But It wasn’t something that happened TO me, it was just something stupid I did. Getting told to leave a place really pisses me off, even though most of the time cops aren’t assholes about it. I think it would be different if I looked (more) homeless, or played badly.
How do you feel music effects you and the world around you?
Geez, am I supposed to say something cheesy now? That’s a tough one. I’ll get back to you on that.