By likemindblog


TIM SEISSER  is a budding talent in the electric bass world.  He is a freelance bassist in Chicago and has performed all over the US and internationally as a sideman.  He is also an accomplished band leader/composer.  His group features some of Chicago’s most talented young musicians and always delivers an energetic and unforgettable performance.   Tim’s began  playing the bass at age 13.  At 16, he appeared on his first recording.  In High School, he travelled to New York with a jazz band.  He’s performed in many styles…  This man is on his way up! 

Tim, you’ve managed to do this project with me  regardless of  your incredibly busy schedule and I find it quite amazing.  Thank you so much for such generosity.  Let’s get it on shall we!

 No. 1)  What is music to and for you?

Music is all encompassing.  It is a hobby and a profession.  It is the most important thing in my life but also a casual day to day activity.  It is hard to explain to someone who is not a musician, what it is like to play music as a full time living.  It requires one to be a master of many skills, both on and off the bandstand.  As primarily a sideman and bassist, the thing I relish most about the musical experience is being a selfless facilitator.  It is a beautiful thing to bring somebody else’s vision into reality and to act as catalyst for creativity and originality.  As a leader and composer, music is the truest and most honest representation of what I am made up of.  It is the most natural form, I feel, of self expression.  Music always succeeds where words fail, which is the real reason I prefer instrumental music to vocal music.  True instrumental music is the most organic form of person to person communication. 

No. 2)  What inspires you?Tim in action!

I used to be inspired primarily by technique and technical command of an instrument.  But now what impresses me most is the raw artistic and creative energy that comes from great musicians.  As great as it is to listen to the masters of music, the single most inspiring thing for me is to play music with other musicians who are at the peak of their creativity.  I am also inspired by what takes place in everyday life.  Inspiration and emotion are often tied together for me.

 No. 3)  When you are playing, creating, not performing, where does it take you?  I mean where does your mind travel?

The ultimate goal of music should be to take the listener and performer to the same place.  The best analogy is to think of the great story tellers.  Their goal is to make the listener imagine or visualize the events that are taking place in the story.  If I sit down and tell a story to a friend I want them to try to relive the story thru my shoes.  It requires trust on behalf of the listener to give the storyteller their time and attention and it requires responsibility on behalf of the story teller to keep the story interesting and to accurately re-live the experience.  Music is the same.  Music should clearly tell the story of the performer or composer.  The listener should feel the same emotions and should find themselves in the same place as the performer.

For me, it is impossible for me to explain where my mind is when I am playing.  When I am “in the zone”, to use a common phrase, my mind is nowhere.  It is comparable to what people would call meditation.  Ultimately, I strive to have a clear mind and to avoid thinking at all costs.  When I can get here, I am really playing music.  I am in the now and living only in the moment.  I am trusting that the music is going to go where it needs to go and I am just along for the ride with the other musicians.

No. 4)  Do you think music, visual art and health are related and if so, how?

I think music is directly related to many aspects of health.  Music can be the best stress reliever.  Music can have a very large impact on the brain.  Music  can soothe and calm someone, it can agitate and anger someone, and can cause emotions everywhere in between.  More often than not these emotions can directly influence your physical and mental health.  Also, music can be a physical exercise that helps to actually keep you in shape and in good health.    Just ask any drummer if he/she thinks music is related to health (playing drums is definitely a workout).

No. 5)  How do you feel when you are playing for yourself?

I would like to think I never really play for myself. I cannot make music at l_7a0eec6b51bf4544afecb2b8fdc96103my best unless I am in front of an audience.  I suppose when I am practicing I am playing for myself.  But to me, making music is all about playing for an audience.  Some musicians play for themselves, some play for other musicians.  My main goal has always been to find a way to play music that is challenging and engaging enough to demand a high level of musicianship from the musicians while at the same time being accessible to the general listener.   

 No 6)  Do you identify with your music and on what level?

I absolutely identify with my original compositions on a deep and personal level.  They are the musical embodiment of my musical experience.  I think the greatest challenge I have to regularly face as a bass player is approaching other peoples music on the same level, whether it be a standard or an original piece of one of my peers.  I think that the their is a true artistry in interpretation and a lot of times it goes beyond just learning the notes on the paper and playing them right.  You have to really get inside the composition and connect with what the composer is trying to convey musically and emotionally.

No. 7) When do you do your best work (environment, day, night, alone etc)?

I do my best practicing when I am motivated.  I tend to function on a larger scale and not worry about if I practice everyday for 6 hours, which I have in the past.  Now I just try to make every practice session as musical and as positive as possible, even if it is once a day for 30 minutes.  The last thing you want attacking your music is negativity.  So I don’t force it.  The time of day is not important, the environment, however, is.  I need to be able to focus and spend large amounts of time uninterrupted.  My best performances are almost always at night.  The Chicago music scene just operates late at night.

No. 8)  Does music help you connect with your “Higher Self”?

Music is my form of meditation.  The closest I can get to truly connecting with my higher self is thru performance of music.  Practicing helps make that experience easier and is also a sl_2c4c42619445d83337a1a0c74118f6ccubstantial part of realizing my higher self. 

No. 9)  What is it about jazz that you relate to the most?  

One word.  Improvisation.  To me, improv is the essence of jazz and the truest form of communication between artists and between an artist and his/her audience.  I don’t think that improvised music is better or worse than composed music.  I do believe that improvisation is the best representation of a person living in the moment.  Many people will say that many jazz solos are rehearsed… nothing we play is truly improvised.  I disagree.  I think that a true jazz musician is living in the moment when improvising and responding to all the variables around them.

Tim, thank you for this most inspiring article.  I wish you well in all your endeavours and until we meet again, be blessed!


I strongly recommend you visit Tim’s link below where you can hear some of  his music as well as enjoy this week’s video of  Tim and his group!



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Filed in: MUSIC • Friday, April 23rd, 2010


By Rich Franks on April 24th, 2010 at 11:42 am

Tim Seisser Quintet… Nice Tune! I liked the use of 7/4 and 8/4 always fun to play.

Nice bass solo… drummer was right on it. Always like the Fender Rhodes sound. Thank You Tim for sharing, interview and video.

Rich Franks


By Patrick Terbrack on April 24th, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Nice interview Tim! Congrats. It’s good to hear your thoughts man. I like the part about being a side man. That mentality is why you get hired. That mentality is why people, including myself, want to work with you. Looking forward to hearing you on May 5th at Cafe Galeria… I know, I know, shameless plug.


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My name is Michele Andree. I am an artist, I paint musicians in action. I think I’m a musician at heart, my instrument being… a brush, so I play…brush and I paint… music.
I love jazz. I call it freedom music. It promotes special values. I love intelligent people and good conversations.

Some people ask me how music relates to art. Personally I find they go hand in hand. Music is what turns me on to painting. It makes me see colours