2016, South Carolina based Weaseltrap Records released Time and
Again from guitarist Bob Kilgore. Later in 2016, Weaseltrap
also released a new CD by Bobs brother Bear Kilgore called
After a Pause. Musically, Bob and Bear are on
the same page andwith
the album performed entirely by Bearthat
same high level of musical expertise can be heard on After a Pause.
Bob is renowned as a guitarist and the classically trained Bear
likewise, shines on a range of keyboard related tracks here that combine
New Age sensibilities with a kind of soundtrack vibe. The 15 track
After a Pause is very much rooted in all types of instrumental
music and would make the perfect soundtrack for a documentary or some
science fiction film. Commenting on the title, Bear explains, "After
A Pause refers to two very different events. The more obvious
one was my waiting six years to make the CD. The other one, of much
more eternal significance, was the period between the old and new
Testaments in the Bible, in which God was silent for 400 years before
the birth of Christ." Bear balances his fondness for synth keyboards
with some appealing percussion, which swells in and out of the sound
spectrum. Other types of music featured on After a Pause include
jazz-piano and instrumental techno-pop. Six years after his first
solo album, Untroubled, keyboardist / composer Bear Kilgore
returns with After a Pausehis strongest album to date.
mwe3.com presents an interview with
It seems like the Kilgore family are on a roll in 2016. First your
brother Bob released Time and Again and now you follow with After
a Pause. Did you both strategize with these 2 music releases? You
guys are turning into a new force of great American music families!
Bear: We didnt actually plan to release music at the
same time. I just realized that it had been entirely too long, six
years since I shared any music with the world. Bobs music incubates
for a longer period before completing itself and mine just sort of
mwe3: With your performance and composing, it sounds like you
have a classical background in music. What were your musical studies
like when you were growing up and what instruments do you play in
addition to the keys?
Bear: I definitely have a classical background, having studied
for 12 years under a very thorough German piano teacher, who was also
an incurable musical romantic, absolutely loving Rachmaninoff. I dabble
in other instruments but keys are my thing.
mwe3: Tell us where youre from originally and what you
like best about it? In his mwe3.com interview, your brother Bob told
us that he was born in Baltimore but moved to South Carolina in 1999.
I guess the whole Kilgore family moved there? South Carolina seems
like a cool place to live! Tell us more about South Carolina and where
you live there.
Bear: We are the only two in the family who moved to South
Carolina. He moved me here because he was tired of having to drive
to Jacksonville Florida to pick me up to put my parts on his CDs.
It was a good move for me, since Bob also helped me launch my YouTube
channel BearKeys. And I have become a recognized piano teacher here
Its been six years since you released your album Untroubled
in 2010. What did you set out to accomplish with After a Pause,
how would you compare the albums and how do you feel your music has
evolved with the After a Pause album? Also are you getting
any comments for the title? How did you come to be called Bear?
Bear: After A Pause refers to two very different events.
The more obvious one was my waiting six years to make the CD. The
other one, of much more eternal significance, was the period between
the old and new Testaments in the Bible, in which God was silent for
400 years before the birth of Christ. Musically, the main difference
in the two CDs is that there are more different styles on the new
one. Bear is just my name, what everyone calls me. Our mother went
by the name of June most of her life and didnt find out she
had another name on her birth certificate until her senior years.
Bob wrote a tribute song to her called June Bug , which
is on his Metamorphoses CD.
mwe3: What keyboards did you use to record After a Pause?
Musically, whole album has a great animated and kinetic energy. On
one hand its very meditative yet on the other hand the whole
album has some great sonic energy pulsing throughout the many tracks.
What were your go-to instruments on the album? Did you use sampling
or different computer programs to recreate different sounds like sequencing,
fretless bass and vibraphones? Im thinking of the track Colors
Of Sunrise which has some great sounds on it! Tell us about
Colors Of Sunrise.
Bear: My main axe is the Roland Fantom X8. It is
connected via MIDI to two other instruments, a Yamaha DX-27 and a
vintage analog synth, the Roland Jupiter 6. No computer programs are
used, just the three keyboards. Together they can create virtually
anything, including the sound combinations on Colors Of Sunrise.
I was ecstatic when I got those sounds.
Who are some of your big musical influences? Bob was telling me about
his fondness for everyone from Mahavishnu Orchestra to Pekka Pohjola.
Have you listened to Pohjola too? Your music is very smartly composed
and sonically pleasing so I was thinking you might have heard Pohjola
Bear: Bob has referred to me as a musical sponge, absorbing
everything I hear and being influenced some kind of way by it. Bob
and I both listened to the same albums in the 70s and I simultaneously
checked out everything else I could find at the same time. Every once
in a while I will play with the intro to Pekkas album Visitation.
mwe3: Track 5 on After a Pause, Beyond
is great. It has a kind of Oldfield like orchestral effect on it.
What more can you tell us about how you composed Beyond
and what keyboards and sounds you used on that track? Sounds like
oboe and strings!
Bear: This song started with the harpish sound and the other
sounds just seemed to be the ones that went best with it. Having this
particular 3-keyboard setup makes blending sounds a pretty easy and
fun thing to do.
mwe3: Track six on After a Pause is called Everyday
Life. It sounds like theres acoustic guitar on it too
but you said youre the only musician on the album. Did you set
out to create more of a jazzy sound with Everyday Life
and does that jazzy effect carry on over into You Make My Joy
Bear: My jazz side definitely came out on both of these. The
acoustic guitar sample in the Fantom turned out to be perfect for
Everyday Life and I wont lie, I had a blast with
You even get into some type of techno / dance music on After a
Pause. Were you influenced by techno and dance music? Its
good that you get into it on track 8 Dancing For Eternity
but its not over the top techno like so much dance music.
Bear: I have always had a dance oriented side. I played house
music exclusively for years because I was attracted by both the beat
and the keyboard textures that dominated it.
mwe3: Track 9, Pressing On starts off sounding
a bit like the intro to MacArthur Park but it comes into
its own with some lovely harpsichord sounds. Simple, but quite lush
sound and one of the great tracks on the album. What was your sonic
approach on Pressing On?
Bear: Pressing On just sorta happened. It was one
of the later tracks. The more I added to it, the more I liked it.
mwe3: Bob was telling mwe3.com about the Tangerine Dream influence
which you were also influenced by. You can hear that on track 10 The
Race which blends synth bass and mellotron flutes. Are they
mellotron flutes samples? The mellotron is like the foundation of
progressive rock. Tell us about The Race and Tangerine
Dream as influences on your music. Also, were you influenced by Mike
Pinder, the mellotron master, who founded the Moody Blues?
Bear: Tangerine Dream, and Klaus Schulze were MAJOR influences
for me. We had a gazillion TD albums, and I believe we still do. This
is the only track where I use another keyboard. The bass is an Arturia
Mini-Brute, a totally analog synth. The mellotron flutes are samples
in the Fantom. I did also have some Moody Blues albums. I wasnt
really compositionally influenced that much by them, but I loved the
Seventh Sojourn LP.
Track 12, To The Remote Regions features drumming sounds.
Tell us about the drumming sounds and how you added drums and percussion
to this track and other tracks? You mentioned African inspired percussion
on that track. Were you influenced by African music?
Bear: Im not sure how the African influence snuck in,
but I love tuned percussion instruments like marimbas. Like Bob, I
was very much influenced by composer Steve Reich, who uses mallet
percussion extensively. I did also have access to a Nonesuch Explorer
Series album where some music from Africa was recorded. I was always
checking this album out at the library. Remember being able to/having
to do that?
mwe3: Its amazing how you segue from African percussion
to track 13 Contemplating. Did you play the piano sounds
on your electronic keyboards or did you use a real grand piano? What
is your favorite piano? Are you a Steinway person?
Bear: This is still the electronic keyboards. Im flattered
that you werent sure. Everyone loves a good Steinway. lol
mwe3: With so many genres of keyboards covered on After
a Pause, how do you plan to approach radio or press or is great
music just great music in your estimation?
Bob is much better than I at the business of distribution. I wouldnt
have found out about mwe3.com for example, on my own. I dont
know what the future holds. Im hoping that fans of Untroubled
arent too hesitant on the new styles introduced here.
mwe3: Tell us about the cover art of After a Pause.
Its a very intriguing photo. Was there some photoshop treatments
to the photo?
Bear: Bob handled the artwork and I think he made subtle changes.
The photo is originally a sunset taken in Corpus Christi, by a photographer
named Gary Malarkey, a friend of mine who I only see on Facebook now.
mwe3: Now with your recent album and Bobs album released,
are there other plans underway to further promote the talents of the
Kilgore family? Are you and Bob planning to make albums a yearly event
or even once every two years event to release your music? Are you
hopeful about the future of music, because all the streaming and downloading
which exists today sometimes means less revenue streams for the artists?
Bear: We dont have a promotion strategy in place. At
least I dont. But we are both natural musicians and I believe
all of us have an innate desire/need to share what we do. Otherwise,
wed just be on desert
islands somewhere amusing ourselves. If I do another one, I probably
wont wait so long. The digital revolution has certainly changed
the music market. But I dont think I need to say that I would
also like to be able to continue this through at least a little bit
of revenue. Theres no other way to keep the music flowing.