October 20, 2005

World Cafe Live - Philadelphia, PA

WHEN: Thursday, October 20th, beginning at 6PM
WHERE: World Cafe Live - 3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

WHAT: I am really excited to be setting up the booth at World Cafe Live. Not only is this simply a great venue for cutting edge live music, but it is the sister operation of the venerable World Cafe radio program produced out of WXPN in Philly. David Dye is the host of this show and spends lots of time seeking out new and interesting music that deserves to be spread to the eager ears of us listeners and the mission of the live venue is much the same. I wish that I could get involved with the radio program as well, but being there in the first place is a good start.

I will be setting up in the lobby with great visual presence starting at 6PM when the doors open for the show. I'll remain setup until the show is over, though I imagine once the music has started, there won't be too much participation. The performance for that evening is What is Jazz? presented by Ropeadope & Blue Note Records so it should be a very interesting evening all around. Hopefully I'll have a chance to meet some of the performers and people from Blue Note and Ropeadope. I'm coming to understand that promotion is all about simply putting yourself out there enough to generate random connections. You never know who will be where at what time. The only thing you can control is the extent to which you allow - even encourage - these random things to happen.



Number of voices recorded: 15
Reading sheets used: 14, 13, 15
Weather: OK for the event (not that it really mattered), but terrible on the drive home
Level of success: high - not tons of voices, but great exposure and interesting people around
Records broken: most rain on the drive back
Photos: Check them out

Well, it is a long drive to Philly from Boston, especially when you have the New Jersey turnpike to contend with. I hate that road with a passion, but it's sort of hard to avoid on this trip. Thankfully the event itself, and my time in Philly with friends made this transitional experience well worth it.

I did know that World Cafe Live was the coolest live venue in Philadelphia, as this is what all my sources have said, but now I know why. The place is beautifully built with a great design aesthetic and, more importantly, excellent sound. They have quality acts coming through nightly and the whole place is very professionally run. Hell, even the nachos are really good (no skimping on the guacamole!)

So this is what greeted me upon arriving and stayed with me throughout. I set the booth up in the vaulted and muraled lobby between the downstairs venue and the WXPN radio studios and I think it fit in pretty well. I was able to meet, record and explain what I was doing to a number of people at WCL and WXPN (including David Dye himself) as well as a bunch of concert-goers. This is what Bring Your Own Voice is all about.

Special thanks to Julie, first and foremost, for hanging in there all evening giving me tons of moral and physical support, and to the crew at WCL - Karl and Laura in particular - for letting me do this in the first place and for being so helpful throughout. Thanks!

As usual, click below to access some representative audio clips:

the timing of





rarefied space

fear and love

let me down

they don't slobber

I just don't buy it

faith and happiness

Posted by halsey at 07:31 AM | Comments (1)

October 02, 2005

Oktoberfest - Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA

WHEN: Sunday, October 2nd, Noon-6PM
WHERE: Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA

WHAT: Oktoberfest is essentially the same thing as Mayfair, but, you guessed it, in a different month. Despite the rain at Mayfair, it was a great opportunity to expose the BYOV booth to lots of new people and to get some interesting recordings as well. I hope that the same will prove to be true for Oktoberfest, and I hope even more that we don't get rained on. Since that incident, I have made a few modifications to the booth involving marine epoxy and permanent markers, so even if we do get a bit of rain, I will be better prepared.
I do not yet know where the booth will be positioned, but most likely it will again be next to Out of Town News. There should be a bunch of interesting vendors, artists and music going on, so there will be plenty of entertainment to go around.



Number of voices recorded: 26
Reading sheets used: 9, 14, 13
Weather: sunny and hotter than one would have expected
Level of success: high - lots of voices and general interest
Records broken: number of times I explained what a big plywood box was doing on the street in Harvard Square
Photos: Check them out

This time around in Harvard Square, things were much more under control. Not only have I gained important BYOV event experience, but the weather was dramatically better than last time. The biggest problem with the booth was that it got a bit hot when sitting in the direct sun, but thankfully I had a fan to cool things off so it wasn't too bad.

There were tons of people walking by, asking questions, reading the text on my scrolling message sign or just simply seeing the booth, so this was a great marketing event. Having been in New York the day before for a four hour event, I was a bit nervous that another six hours of explaining and recording might be a bit much, but it went much faster than I expected. I was glad to not be off to a different city that night though.

Thanks a lot to Kris B. for the MAJOR assistance setting up and breaking down as well as to Crystal B. (hmm...Kris B. and Crystal B....I'm not making this up!) for being a remarkably pleasant draftee.

As usual, click below to access some representative audio clips:


a peppered rain

very tall things

it's made out of stuff, of course

not so good at it


singing not required

the tension of hate


comfortable unknowns

greater power


I do too

Posted by halsey at 03:33 PM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2005

Jim Kempner Fine Art - New York City

WHEN: Saturday, October 1st, 2-6PM
WHERE: Jim Kempner Fine Art - 501 West 23rd Street (entrance on 10th), New York City

WHAT: I am venturing south to the BIG city for the first time with the Bring Your Own Voice booth. I think this venue will be great as it is a very impressive art gallery with cool architecture including a courtyard which is where, weather depending, I will set up the booth. JKFA is particularly appropriate for a BYOV event as this is the gallery where Tanja Alexia Hollander shows her work in New York. JKFA also represents a large number of other famous and talented artists.

So please join me and Tanja and everyone at the gallery for an afternoon of voice recording and viewing of cutting edge contemporary art. I need to hear the voices of New York.



Number of voices recorded: 26
Reading sheets used: 12, 9, 14
Weather: beautiful, though slightly warm for New England fall
Level of success: high - excellent first trip to NYC
Records broken: number of voices recorded
Photos: Check them out

New York is a different beast than Boston. This statement is true in so many ways, but for me and BYOV events, it was mainly different because it required significantly more travel than anything in the past, and New York is so much bigger and more unfamiliar to me than Boston. That said, this event went very smoothly. I was remarkably lucky with the parking, the weather behaved perfectly and truth be told, there were really no technical glitches or other unforseen difficulties.

I set up in the courtyard of JKFA which was a beautiful location, and served my purposes as well since everyone who entered the gallery had to pass through that space. The booth generated lots of interest and I ended up being pretty busy all afternoon explaining what on earth it was that I was doing to curious gallery patrons. My parents and cousin (with wife!) joined the fun as did friends from college (one of whom carries the dubious distinction of having been the lead singer in the cover band I played in freshman year - yes, it's sad, but at least I made some money!) so I was never without friendly support.

Big thanks to Jim and Jen at JKFA for their assistance and to Tanja for helping set the whole thing up.

As usual, click below to access some representative audio clips:

technology apology

soul recycling

nature can be fabulous!


a dragon!


cast them aside

the first baby

a philosophy for living


I am an angry person


Posted by halsey at 10:13 PM | Comments (0)