Laptop jam in Manhattan – I have seen this sort of thing here in Cleveland – it’s the wildest:
- IN his native West Virginia, George Cicci arouses curiosity when he gets on stage at local open-mike events and turns out beats on his iBook laptop between sets of bluegrass guitarists and rockabilly bands. While the crowd is always receptive to the innovative sounds he mixes, he says, he is still the only laptop musician around.
Last month he found a community of kindred spirits in Manhattan, where he was a featured guest at Openair, an East Village bar where dozens of laptop artists play together each week in an open jam session.
Openair is an indistinct lounge at 121 St. Marks Place with tinted windows and no sign. The door is barely noticeable but for a few smokers gathered outside. Yet every Sunday starting at 5 p.m., the bar draws performers with laptops in tow to share their musical and visual creations, composed or improvised.
“It’s not far from a traditional music jam where people bring instruments and play together in a band,” said Geoff Matters, 26, one of the event’s founders. “It’s just that the instruments people are using are software and hardware tools.”
….Most of those attending the weekly event, called Share, are performers rather than viewers or listeners. As Mr. Appleton put it, laptop music can be “strange for the listener” because “the performers understand what they’re doing, but the audience doesn’t.” The visual element can therefore help. Some of those taking part, like Mr. Vatsky, are V.J.’s – computer artists who use computers to mix images that are projected on screens in a synthesis with the music. [NY Times]
Someday this will be very popular, or maybe not.