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Wednesday, April 4, 2001
Collegian.com

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Local musician pairs with Reynolds tonight on campus April 4, 2001 Thea Domber Rift

The acoustic guitar is a gateway into the soul of a musician.

For Tim Reynolds and Kaplan Hasnoglu, it's also their voice to the people.

The pair will play tonight at the Lory Student Center Ballroom, Hasnoglu as the opening act and Reynolds as the main performance.

Reynolds started his musical voyage at a young age. His mother played piano and his father played guitar. Both parents were deeply religious and Reynolds attended church regularly.

Eventually his uncle started him on guitar so Reynolds could play at church. The first song he learned was a combination of "These Boots Were Made for Walkin'" and "Hear My Train A Comin'."

In the 1970s, Reynolds had added bass and sitar to his ever-growing musical repitoire. But he wasn't yet playing the acoustic music he's now known for.

One night his sister had a party, and her friends left all their records. It was then that Reynolds first heard the rock of bands like Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and the Doors.

Soon after, he discovered the world of underground music and he never looked back.

"Once I discovered the underground rock scene, my eyes were opened to all sorts of music I never knew about before," Reynolds said. "It was wonderful."

In the early '80s Reynolds bought his first acoustic guitar. By that time he was already writing songs. With the addition of his acoustic sound, he began touring clubs as a solo acoustic act. In the late '80s he formed the TR3, which has released four albums. But the band is not his main focus at this point.

"I love working with the band, but I'm not 100 percent into it right now," he said. "Eventually we'll probably release another record."

Reynolds' loose but poetic writing style has made for some incredible acoustic melodies that attracted the likes of Dave Matthews. Reynolds has played guitar on all of the Dave Matthews Band's albums and launched a successful acoustic tour with him in 1999.

"It was great," Reynolds said. "Like two high school friends living out their rock and roll fantasy."

Reynolds draws inspiration from all around him, and writes songs with a personal element that anyone can relate to.

"Some songs will practically write themselves," he said. "They've got a personal touch to them, like on the new album (Nomadic Wave-length), it's sort of an anti-drug war, but the songs are always what the audience makes them to be."

As for what's spinning in Reynolds' stereo right now, he's into the harder stuff.

"People expect me to rock out to folk," he said. "But I'm not into that stuff. Right now I'm into the new Deftones CD. And I love Pantera, Rage Against the Machine ... I just like to rock, get pumped for the shows and whatnot."

The Lory Student Center show is the second on Reynolds' Tour. He likes playing the smaller venues because of the intimacy, though even bigger shows can be personal.

"The size of the venue isn't as important as the audience, ya know?" he said. "You can play in a club where the audience is dead and impersonal, or you can play in an arena and if you connect, it's as small as a bathroom. It's all about reaching the audience. Music is my love, it's part of who I am. I love making that connection and sharing my love."

Local act Kaplan has the same view.

"My main drive is to connect with the audience, whether it's 10 people or 100," he said. "I like the bar atmosphere, but I like bigger venues."

At only 19 years old, Kaplan has already recorded and released his first album, Acoustic Sessions. A freshmen this year at CSU, Kaplan is humble about his music and the recognition it's brought him.

"I just love music. It's part of me," he said.

Like Reynolds, his training began young in his home state of Wisconsin. At age 9, he began to take lessons on the classical guitar because of his dad.

"My Dad was the main reason I played," he said. "Both my parents encouraged me to play, though they made me take piano lessons, too. But it helped in songwriting, so I'm thankful." By age 12 he had moved on to acoustic guitar and written his first song. By age 13 he had given his first performance.

"I've been performing for awhile now, and it never gets any easier," he said. "It always takes me a couple of songs to settle down. But I love performing live. It's the best part of music for me."

Kaplan joined his first band in high school, doing mostly Stone Temple Pilots covers. In his second band, his fellow bandmates discovered he could sing and write, and they switched to playing his songs. Kaplan has been writing his own songs ever since.

For Kaplan, like for Reynolds, most of the songs contain a personal element. One of Kaplan's songs, "Life is the Cure," was written after his then-girlfriend's father died of cancer. "Take it Down" is about the frustrations that come with being in love.

"I write songs to purge me of something, but sometimes they help me to see another side of a situation, to put myself in someone else's shoes," he said. "I use words like 'I, you, he, she' to help people put themselves in the song, to make that connection."

No matter what the future may bring, Kaplan will always play music.

"I've always believed that to be a full, complex person — mentally, physically, spiritually — you need to have those spiritual moments, those times of realization," he said. "For me, music completes that circle and will always be a part of who I am."