One of the side projects that I have been putting on hold, since forever it seems, would be The Acoustic Project. Now that I have some time on the side, I am thinking of trying to give this a go.
There are several existing music projects that gave me the idea to do this. The concept is simple: pair two or more unlikely performers, give them a theme and ask them to come up with a set-list containing a mix of covers and original compositions, present them in an all-acoustic format where the performers must perform simultaneously (so they have to learn each other’s songs and support one another when the other takes the lead), and, allow the audience to participate on the spot by joining them onstage to provide vocals or play the various instruments that will placed around the stage.
Like a free-for-all music potluck, if you can call it that.
For instance, the themes could be:
“Songs For When It Rains” – stuff you listen to when it’s raining outside.
“Songs by P. Ramlee and Saloma” – stuff by…umm, you should understand how it goes by now.
In fact, the theme and songs in the setlist can be chosen by collaborative effort – get the people to suggest them, put it in a hat and pick one. Not on the spot of course. Maybe two weeks before the scheduled performance. This will ensure the performers are challenged as they may pick a theme that they are completely unfamiliar with, and the audience will feel involved… well not just FEEL involved but actually participate in the process. The setlist can be published beforehand so that those who feel like they want to come and jam along can prepare at home. All they need to do on the performance date is to bring their instruments along and go onstage when it starts.
The way I see it, the more the merrier. In my mind, this happens on a circular, multi-tiered stage (like one that has steps surrounding it) so that impromptu musicians can sit on the steps and start jamming any time without disrupting anyone; while the main performers remain onstage and control the flow of the show.
And why I am calling it The Acoustic Project? So that each of these theme nights can be called “The Acoustic Project presents… Songs For When It Rains, featuring Mr Abu I and Mr Abu II”.
And the reason I want the performers to mix well-known songs with their own compositions is to show that their original stuff can stand up to scrutiny against the classics if we give them a chance.
Most importantly, I want to make music fun again. Something to be shared, enjoyed and reminisced about. Something you can sing along to. No judgement, no snobbery, no dissing one genre over the other, no “bleeding”. It is one night where music is just that: the soundtrack of our lives.
The Acoustic Project is a free self-funded project where everything is voluntary and without financial remuneration as, to quote the philosopher Bono, “Music is its own reward”.
One show a month, 12 shows in a year, 12 pair of performers.
Kinda like Glee. But you know, without the pregnant cheerleader and a music teacher who knows only Eagles and Journey songs.
But you can sing Eagles and Journey songs if you want to. Just no Michael Bolton.
If you are interested to be one of the 12 pair of performers or to be part of the project in any way, the Send Message button is your friend.
The Acoustic Project starts once this post is done. Start clicking that Send Message button… now.
Spread the word around!