The Seattle Phonographers Union

07-23-09_1943One question, why not “pornographer’s union?”  Too risqué I suppose.

It was probably the most beautiful day of the year, July 23, 2009.  I believe it was a Thursday.  I arrived a little early and although I don’t smoke, decided to have a few cancer sticks to kill the time.  I wanted to stick in my newly acquired audio book, “Neuromancer,” until I remembered I didn’t have a CD player (that was the work vehicle).  I flipped on the radio, listening to an interview regarding the opening of a new Adam Sandler film.  I think it was the director and, yeah, he had it all wrong.  At least most of it.

Anyway, it was the most beautiful day of the year.  I can say this rest assuredly now that the fairest weather days are over for 2009.  80 degrees, clear sky and a breeze.

It was time for the concert to begin and so I strode into the church and surveyed the venue.  Apparently I was still a few minutes early.  I took a seat on the outer aisle near the back, so as not to be intruding.  It struck me that my fellow attendees were dressed casual and this was a very pleasant surprise.  In fact, so casual that there were people sitting in the window sill, shooting the breeze.  I followed suit and being that the venue was on the fourth floor, there was quite a view!  Really, just for this peaceful experience alone I would have  paid the modest 5-15 sliding scale admission fee.

About the concert and my expectations.  I wasn’t sure what to expect in the way of a performance.  The word “phonographer” in the title had me thinking the whole concert was made up of spinning records.  The presence of several laptops clued me in to what was going to be played.

The group eventually came out.  After a brief introduction the performance began.  Each performer played a part in the building and decreasing soundscape through samples ranging from everyday noises to political speeches.  The genius in this form of concert is the ability to shuttle the listener to wherever their imagination, following the lead of the music, takes them.  A real expedition of the auditory senses.  I noticed midway through the gig that the outer seating wasn’t the best spot, since a speaker sitting directly behind you takes away from the stereo experience.  Therefore, I took the opportunity of changing to a middle aisle seat from a couple who had left the show.  It made quite a bit of difference.  I checked my watch after what seemed like 20 minutes and almost 90 minutes had elapsed.  The show soon came to a close.  Its hard to explain the show in detail, four months later, but the collaboration and improvisation of the group really worked.  I highly recommend checking these folks out.

The members of the group are Steve Barsotti, Pete Comley, Christopher DeLaurenti, Doug Haire, Susie Kozawa, Dale Lloyd, Perri Lynch, Robert Millis, Toby Paddock, Steve Peters, and Jonathan Way. 

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One thought on “The Seattle Phonographers Union

  1. The time I caught them, I remember a point midway where it seemed gradually all the various strands each member was coaxing out of their gear coalesced, and suddenly there was this aural “shape” that seemed to literally float, suspended, hovering just above the space. Almost a living thing, like some organic “mother ship”. Truly amazing.

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