Paul Dill and I went to New York this past October to perform our piece “Polvo y Tierra o Formas de Lidiar con la Muerte Ajena” at the Kraine Theatre. After the show, the technician from the theater told us that, as every Tuesday, there was an open mic at Under St. Marks and that we should definitely play there as well. We were excited about exploring as much as possible the art scene in the city, and what’s better than an open stage, a bunch of artists wanting to share their work and some biers.
After coming literary down to “The Open Mic Downstairs” and make our way through with the huge luggage filled with 40 bulbs and 80 meters of cable, one guitar, one bass, one accordion and 60 liters of soil (all what we needed for the previous show); we discovered a small and cosy room filled with people, a very enthusiastic moderator on stage and an incredible amount of highly talented musicians, rappers, poets and comedians. The energy of the room was amazing, people were excited and supporting and it felt great to be in that crowd.
And out of the blue, we were announced on stage. We put our beer aside, Paul played a couple of his songs and I took my shoes off and danced to the second one.
After that we mingled with the other people, who, by the end of the night, were basically all have been on stage as well, and was then when we met Brad Geyer. He told us about his video project “The Street Noise Project” and asked if we would be interested in filming some songs on the New York streets.
We met up the following Sunday, our last day in NYC.
We explored a bit the city together and recorded a couple of Paul’s songs at different locations.
One of my favorite places was a spot in Williamsburg by the East River, behind an old warehouse/power station. It was quiet and dingy, with a history of it’s own, with the memory of people working there and boats coming and going. You could see the busy city from the distance, which I liked very much.
Another great location was at 50th and Broadway. That was basically the opposite from the one I told before. People rushing, huge and bright commercial screens, guys recording us with their smartphones and a lot of street noise. It was great to have both experience and it felt nice to bring something a little different to the day of the people that saw us. Their faces seemed interested and happily surprised, it was refreshing to see that you can spice up a little somebody’s day, even in a city that has lived it all… you just need to put yourself out there, and somebody will notice, and somebody will appreciate it.