Arquitectura ContemporáneaONLINE ACOUSTIC CONCERTS: Take-away musicEl Croquis


By Elia Maqueda. April 20, 2012


In the universe of the instant, of the eternal carpe diem, of retweets and “Likes”, music is worth nothing if it isn’t the real thing. We accept Auto-Tune without even batting an eyelid in studio songs, but sometimes we need to see and listen to the musicians with their heart stuck in the guitar's neck, bawling, rubbing their eyes or half-smiling. We are not "exactly" talking about live music. We are not talking about concerts. We are talking about videos and, in particular, acoustic videos.

With the sequence shot as their motto, many have picked up their cameras and with them over their shoulders or hanging from their necks they have seized the magic of the songs released free from the plug and the track, thrown out onto the streets, interrupted by the intermittent sound of traffic lights. They bring jugglers back and they broadcast them on the Internet.

This is what future was meant to be, definitely.


The French La Blogothèque are known all around the world thanks to their Concerts à Emporter/Take Away Shows, which Chryde and Vincent Moon began in 2006. They have been and will be the reference for hundreds of projects that have reproduced like spores in many countries. Our preferred “take-away show” is Tenniscoats', which takes place next to a railway in Tokyo and finds percussion everywhere, although there are other memorable ones, like Arcade Fire crammed inside a lift or Beirut using litter bins as a drum set.


Black Cab Sessions tests musicians' skills by bringing their songs to the streets of London inside a taxi -one of those London cabs, almost as emblematic as its red phone booths-. Thanks to this idea by Jono Stevens and his production company Just So Films, we have been able to witness electric tunes become something different in the privacy of a backseat. Their latest release features Rufus Wainwright, whose performance gets to move us only with the vehicle's engine as backing vocals.


It doesn’t always rain in Dublin. Stephen O' Regan and a group of friends devised Balcony TV while they were drinking tea, when somebody mentioned that they should use their balcony more. Only five years have passed from then until now that videos are being filmed in more than 30 cities (Dublin, London, New York, Mexico DF, Madrid, Stockholm and a long etcetera). Known, unknown and invisible musicians have performed on these balconies, among them Mumford & Sons or Kimbra. How many unused balconies are there in the world?


In Spain we also find restless minds keen to take music to unsuspected places. The guys behind Acordes Urbanos started this by chance in a park in Valladolid and now have a long long list of songs filmed and waiting to be filmed on small boats, in churches, gardens and libraries. Our favourite is Eef Barzelay, no more and no less than against the wall of a pelota court.


Duck beak, otter body and beaver tail. That is how these Catalans describe the platypus (ornitorrinco in Spanish), that strange creature that gives the name to a project in which two bands fuse their songs together creating a mammal and oviparous symbiosis to delight eyes and ears everywhere. Mine! and Pau Riba, for example, combined their voices and chords in a garden filled with plants and mosquitoes on an August afternoon.

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