Open Mic – the community gathers! The anxiety in the room heightens as the group of new musicians gather to support each other and take their moment in the spotlight. There are several open mic events in Denver, every night, all over the city. Tonight, we are visiting Swallow Hill Music – Open Stage.
Swallow Hill is a gathering spot for musicians in Denver, CO. They provide space for classes, concerts and community music gatherings. Often Bright Hawk attends this open stage and has been featured as the “Best of” open stage. Once a month they have an open stage and they choose several people from the open stage that are considered the “best” to be featured at a special concert the following the month. Providing more space for the community to not only connet in community but also to lift each other up. Sharing audiences helps all in attendance to develop as musicians. We can lift each other up and celebrate our diversity. Swallow Hill Music certainly has the feel of not only professional musicians but also the community of people that celebrate music.
Bright Hawk plays the hand pan in a way that is different than most other hand pan players. Her background in percussion, music and African music shows through in her diversity and talents. The instrument, the Hang PANArt, is a very unique instrument but is normally played for only atmospheric music, until Bright Hawk.
Bringing her instrument to the stage brings immediate interest as usual. Everyone has questions about how to get one and where it comes from. The instrument is interesting and the sounds it provides for music enthusiasts is uniquely interesting. The sounds are compared to many other instruments such as the harp and even an orchestra! Some people have even insisted there is something inside of it, really underneath in that big hole. Others want to know how to get one or where they can get it. The instrument in itself gets tons of attention.
Once you get past the initial fascination with the instrument you are moved by the smiling Hang PANArtist and amazing talent of the Percussionist Bright Hawk. Her 20 years experience and lifetime of music study shows through in her compositions. Songs that begin and end in a way that feels like she took you on a journey. A journey with an instrument tuned in F that inspires happy and joyful feelings. She does two songs at the open mic that are upbeat and fun. One song with a little visualization about traveling and honoring those that have come before us. Then we are reminded of where the original Americans came from with a fun Irish Story and music that inspires community and hospitality.
By Hollis Taylor