It can be hard out there in the post-grad world. It can be even harder when booking Daytrotter sessions, getting married, releasing singles, writing an album, having a baby, touring the east and west coasts and preparing a brand new tour with accompanied by a string quartet of current Bradley students.
For local indie singer-songwriter and 2010 graduate Jared Bartman, that’s just one part of getting your name out there.
“Touring is just something that I really want to do more of,” Bartman said. “It’s tough sometimes but I feel like it’s important. Everywhere you go is different and sometimes you have to bite the bullet and just do the best music that you can do.”
Bartman is starting his Spring 2012 East Coast tour with a free show at Dingeldine Music Center on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Accompanied by 20,000 Leagues Under the String Quartet, Bartman will be playing songs from across his discography, focused on 2008’s quirky retro “I Refute Technology” and 2009’s sprawling European-influenced “Jersey Shore” as well as several new songs from his soon-to-be-released album. The tour will then head to the Canopy Club in Champaign before traveling to New York to perform for three days.
Bartman said that the new tour, as well as some of his new material, is being worked on by several alumni, as well as current students.
“There are actually a lot of Bradley alums involved and Bradley students involved in what I’m doing,” Bartman said. “There’s this guy, Dan Viggers, who’s a composition major and he’s an alum now. He arranged a set of nine or so of my songs for string quartet. I’m actually really glad I asked Dan to do the arranging, because he has a deep knowledge and repertoire and capability for string music and he kind of writes for strings like it’s a second language. So he brought a lot of really cool shit to the table in a very short time. That guy can really write on a deadline.”
The arrangements for the show are designed to accompany the music Bartman’s fans are accustomed to, but occasionally in unexpected ways. Some of the arrangements will work with Bartman’s full band while others will just accompany his songs by themselves. This shift to a live performance focus is informing not only this tour, but what Bartman believes he’s going to be recording in the future.
“Half the songs we recorded for ‘Jersey Shore’ had a lot of things I just couldn’t do live,” he said. “This one’s going to be much more focused on what I and a couple of others are going to be able to do live. I mean, I love going inside the studio and going crazy and we probably will go down that rabbit hole, but this is something I want to be able to tour straight away.”
For Bartman, the opportunity to play his songs on the road is something that he has to take, both to continue expanding on his music, but also to bring his sound to people around the country.
“I always try to keep a long term point of view,” Bartman said. “Little opportunities pop up all the time and you can take them and get big, but at the end of the day, people are just people and you have to take the opportunities to connect with them one show at a time.”