All photos by Shauna Alexander
This past Saturday I had the pleasure of attending Bluebrain’s final Boombox Walk at the luscious US Botanical Gardens. The idea is simple yet incredibly effective, inspired by composer Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night project, attendees are given mp3s, CDs, or cassette tapes of slightly different parts of a 20 min original Bluebrain piece. You show up with your music making device of choice (or if you’re lame, your iphone) a countdown begins, and everyone presses play.
An angelic ambient drone with what sounded like inverted handbells layered over it begins to swell from my portable ipod speakers, we’re split into two groups and led on a little trek through the foliage. As we spread out into single file lines, the greenhouse comes alive with music. While I caught a few “look at these fucking hipsters” stares from the tourists and visitors not in the know, for the most part people seemed happy about the proceedings. Even a little entranced. The misters turned on (so much for a good cold weather hair day) as we marched across the elevated walkways. I looked down over the gardens as the guitars kicked in, the song truly enhancing this beautiful space. How nice it would be to have it playing on a loop at all times. Ambient 3: Music For Botanical Gardens.
Eventually the groups met again at the entrance and we ventured outside into the hateful cold air. Boomboxes were held high. John Cusack jokes were made. We were warmed by the glow of Wayne Coyne’s smile all the way from Oklahoma. If only BYT had brought our megaphone for the Brain Brothers. The song winded down. Well except for that one guy that came late. Bluebrain thanked us. I yelled out “let’s do it again!”, but people thought I was just kidding. The crowd dispersed. We went to PF Changs. Make the Chang Sauce extra spicy please.