By Hollis Taylor
Open Mics are a service to the creative community! We visit them while we build Bright Hawk as a solo musician in order to network and promote upcoming concerts. Recently I was turned on to a new place in Denver for an Open Mic. Since I am always looking for places for Bright Hawk to get exposure and places to meet other artists, I asked her to take part in the open mic at Brik on York. I could tell by the website that this place was going to be unique.
Upon arrival I was comforted by the casual setting. This industrial style venue resembled many other new food places that also serve craft beers and wines in Denver. This place had a bit more style though in the art they held on the walls. The art, with closer inspection, was from high schoolers. So now the Brik has pulled on my value strings, creating space for artistic expression for youth is a great thing to do, most of us would agree. When I came in there was a film screening ending, yet another creative form of entertainment. As I looked around I noticed that Brik on York was becoming a space for artists to show their true colors, including the young and less experienced. The open mic is yet another way…
When it was time to sign up the owner was plugged in enough to his venue that he could create a line up that would celebrate everyone. The show was opened by a band of young people including the owner on percussion. Its always great to see when people come together to play music and cooperate. There was a bit of a jam session that was just right to bring shy artists out of their shell. It can be intimidating to get on stage and perform in front of people, even if you have practiced every day and you been told a million times your good. It takes practice and confidence to get on stage again and again….often what is before can help sooth nerves. Then someone else has taken a risk as well. I have experienced this myself as a performer although it does get easier the more you do it.
We were blessed some good acoustic guitar players and then interestingly a spoken word artist did an improv type performance. The artist asked for 3 words from the audience after words like kitten and apple she managed to work the words in a way that sounded inspirational. As if they were the center of us all. Really well done. Bright Hawk took stage with her amazing instrument, the Hang PANArt. The unusual style of the instrument always gets initial interest but she has a way of keeping people past that curious moment, without diminishing the curiosity. Her style is most unusual and she can easily talk and play the instrument, or at least it looks easy! She uses the insrument to create music but also as sound effects and background to her Storytelling. The instrument is so diverse that it gives her freedom to create variety in sound and rhythms from song to song. Showing her diversity Bright Hawl delivered a fun Irish Story along with her song “Dance of the Fae” and then showed her impressive skills by playing both sides of the instrument at the same time. To keep two hands doing two different sides at the same time to create a song is a special talent. Her ability to balance the Hang in between her legs is impressive and unique – even having a story to go along with this song. Feels like a lullabye and takes many of us back to gentle imaginative days of our youngest years.
She closed her set showing even more diversity by singing along to a fun upbeat song that tends to get everyone singing and dancing. Seven Generations her original composition for this age old value. Showing how we are all connected through her music she rocks us into a community song that helps us all know just how siginificant we each are, regardless of age. Her fun attitude and upbeat rhythms bring a strong feeling of unity to the song overall. Most of us feel experience a sense of humanity as a result of this uplifting song.
Overall I was grateful to have tried the Open Mic out, maybe we can make it next week! Thank you Brik on York for supporting artists and keep up the good work!