VENTS Magazine Interview with Charlie Burger
1. What do you like most about playing music and singing?
Charlie: Making an uplifting emotional impact on a person and, in turn, being uplifted myself. Creating interest, first my own as a creative source, then eliciting attention/interest from others in what I am creating, plus some sort of participation from them even if it’s just a smile or a foot tapping. From there we rise together to new heights, mutually creating as we share in the aesthetic waves.
2. What inspired you to start singing and making music?
Charlie: I was born with this purpose. This is what I was meant to do. Then, my mom provided an environment that supported music. My mom was not a musician, she was a very fine painter (water colors). However, she saw that music lit me up and she introduced me to a wide variety of music from early on (I still have all those original vinyl records. The 1950’s up through the 70’s were when she had the most crucial influence. She never pushed me into it at all, but supported me fully in my own reach for it.
3. Who's your ideal singer/musician that you would like to collaborate with and why?
Charlie: David Pomerantz, singer/songwriter/performer/creative genius. He demonstrated a level of communication from the stage that opened my eyes and made me want to be able to do something like that in my own way. I think that being involved in a collaborative musical project with him would greatly help me to expand my own art.
4. What qualities do you think make a great singer/musician?
Charlie: Spiritual integrity, first. That is the platform I aspire to create from more and more. Every step I have made in my own spiritual journey has made me a better artist. And, I don’t think there is any limit to how far we can go along this line. The arts are right up next to who we are. Whatever you may believe, however you conceive of God or the Spirit, or how you see your own role as a participant or as a recipient in the creative process – I am certain that it starts with you and with the degree to which you are integrated with the spiritual. Even one’s ability to create energy emanates from the spiritual, not vice versa. The more I have been able to grasp that truth, the more effective I have become as a creative force and as an originator of art.
5. Are there any musicians who inspire you? What do you admire about them?
Charlie: David Pomerantz (see above).
Ravi Shankar. He brought his amazing competence and talent to strange lands and cultures and did it with such love and grace and integrity that it was embraced by those strangers and became a part of their musical heritage, as well.
Paul McCartney. He kept the music alive and focused on serving his audiences around the world even when he had long since surpassed any need of wealth or fame. In fact, he used his fame to bring goodness, decency, upliftment and an honest love of the music itself to people everywhere.
Garth Brooks. He is all about his audiences, and never for a moment allows anyone to forget that he would be nothing without his audiences. He cares for them, each one. He shuns status. He is like a father, a brother, and a supportive power to many other artists, and, as such, sets a stellar example of how we should have each other’s back.
6. Which skills have you gained that help you perform effectively as a singer/ musician?
My ability to be who I am and to know the things that are true for me. That includes understanding myself and having handled many of the ways in which I was holding myself back.
Also, my ability to communicate with others and find a mutual understanding, a common wavelength, a shared reality. This includes a certain knowledge about what makes us “tick” and why we do what we do, along with a far-reaching and enduring love for people of all ages, faiths, cultures and walks of life.
Music flows from the above skills, even more than it does from technical skills. However, competence in your art form allows for a richer and more powerful expression of your life skills. And it’s so incredibly fun!
7. Tell me about your favorite performance in your career.
Charlie: In Alexandria, Minnesota, just prior to the pandemic in 2020, performing for about 20 of my fans at a private party in my honor. It set a standard for me of what a wonderful experience we can create together when we lift each other up utilizing this vehicle of live music.
8. What's the best advice you would give an aspiring musician?·
- Know yourself, first, and what you stand for. Find a path that works for you , one that you can understand, one that you can do and make real (not imagined) progress on. I have studied Scientology for the past 27 years. It has been pivotal in raising my abilities, personal freedom, happiness, and love for life.
- Be a professional in every sense of the word. Don’t dabble in mediocrity. Get competent at your art. ·
- Stay away from booze and other mind-altering drugs, legal or illegal. They put you out of communication with your audiences. Wrong direction for an artist.·
- Know your people, especially those who pretend to be a “friend” but, despite appearances, instead cause you to doubt yourself and feel less able to reach your own goals as an artist. Associate with those who increase your abilities and self-confidence, who help you to win toward your own goals and purposes.