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A Musical Life: Torin Andersen

Georgia Andersen

Torin Andersen is a Wichita-based independent artist and musician. He has played with more than 20 original musical acts (not including solo performances) since 1996. His current projects include: Spirit of the Stairs (guitar), Bridegeist (drums), JOOM (guitar) and Theta (synth/keys/programming).

Also a visual artist, Torin has shown work since 1999 including paintings, drawings, photographs and video installations. Constant exploration and experimentation has brought him to many different venues wearing many different hats, such as frequently hosting 1st Tues Talks for CreativeRush and writing for Wichita's weekly alternative newspaper, F5. Married to local artist Georgia Andersen, Torin continues to grow and challenge himself in new fields daily.

My name is Torin Andersen and I play guitar in Spirit of the Stairs and Joom. I play drums in a band called Bridegeist.

Being an artist I looked at the whole rock formula as a bit predictable. I eventually got really sick of the sound of a distorted electric guitar and started exploring several different avenues that a guitar player could take to explore his craft.

I think the first thing that you hear when you listen to Spirit of the Stairs is that there’s a lot of different time signatures, so it’s not going to be your standard beat that you can tap your foot to and then understand the cycle of the riff.

We have time signatures in our songs anywhere from 7/8… 6/8 isn’t that weird but, given the proper set up, it can sound really strange. 5/4 is another popular time signature. I think we even got something in 11 at one point.

It helps, if you can’t play some stuff the way that you want to, if you’ve got a nice delay pedal, which is one of my favorites, you can fill out a lot of space. If you’re not playing as fast as you want or in the coolest rhythm that you want to create.

It wasn’t until four years after purchasing my first delay pedal that I realized how much I was influenced by the U2 guitarist The Edge. That takes a lot for me to admit.

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.