Birth Name: John Thomas Tuttle
Stage Name: Donner Muir
John is an acoustic songwriter whose musical experience spans several decades. His unique sets incorporate ear‐popping cover tunes intermixed with his own original music. For twenty‐five years John has been honing his craft with the mindset that originality is key to performance. He strives to create the ideal environment for which he is playing, and in doing so provide for listeners an experience that is comfortable, engaging, and entertaining.
At the age of 13, John worked all summer bagging groceries to earn enough money for his first guitar. He began taking lessons immediately and by 14 had written his first song. John continued to study guitar and write music all through high school. When he moved on to College at Butler University, the dream of music had still not died. He continued his studies by taking classical lessons from Professor Brett Terrell, a renowned master class understudy of Pepe Romero. Here John’s craft evolved from the amature world into that of professional guitar. He continued to expand his skill set by joining the University Choir, where he discovered his wide vocal range with an emphasis in the double bass region. Despite intense music studies in college he never lost touch with songwriting, and continued to work hard at both throughout school. John also had a fascination with electronic music and recording, and began working in the recording studio on campus as well. In 2001 John graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Telecommunications and Recording Arts, with a Minor in Music. After graduation, John became immersed in the Indianapolis Art Scene. As an active and absorbed member of the rich art and music communities of his home town, no event escaped John’s attention. By 2002, he began regularly playing in bars and cafés and with multiple local artists.
2002 – 2005 ‐ John played with various artists and performed original acoustic sets at cafés and bars.
2005 ‐ 2006 ‐ Alexandra ‐ John went on tour with a four piece progressive rock band named Alexandra. The tour consisted of several states throughout the midwest, playing roughly 50 to 60 shows in one year. The band put out an underground EP and sold over a thousand copies. At the end of the summer of 2006 the band parted ways, but they all remain friends to this day.
2007‐2008 ‐ The Myriad Archive ‐ In the Summer of 2007 John produced his first acoustic electronic album, T he Myriad Archive, which was released to the underground scene of Indianapolis. John made over 2000 copies and gave the music away for free over the course of a year. He did this out of an effort to give back to the music scene that had so generously supported him. T he Myriad Archive had a significant impact on the local music scene and helped to shape much of the music and art scenes in general.
2008‐2009 ‐ The Ben Ishmael Revival ‐ John joined an electronic fusion band called the Ben Ishmael Revival. Over the summer they played more than 30 shows. The band consisted of two experimental keyboard players, a guitarist, and a drummer. The music consisted of improvised surreal jams, affectionately deemed unexplainable by most who listened to it. Nuvo magazine wrote of them as “undeniably cool….a techno/hip‐hop band with a jazz mindset.” Much of the Ben Ishmael Revival’s music established new ground in the electronic and experimental music scene of Indianapolis, which is now thriving.
2009 ‐ Present ‐ Donner Muir ‐ John decided to leave Indianapolis for the wild jungles of California. For the past six years he has been making multiple genres of music behind closed doors. John has been working on a new acoustic album, has been vamping up his electric guitar playing, and has also released a number of electronica songs on Soundcloud. Currently, John has put together a large repertoire of original music and covers intended for live performance in small to mid‐size venues, wineries and establishments. His goal is to continue to pursue the art for which he was created.
Written By: Floyd E. Higgins
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