Kin: A new monthly open mic draws original artists and performers
ROCKLAND — We’re all familiar with the concept of an Open Mic night, which tends to take place in noisy bars and restaurants, while musicians take their turn at the microphone. Jamie Wood, a bartender at The Drouthy Bear and a musician/storyteller himself, wanted to start a new kind of “Listening Room” venue that took the Open Mic concept a step further.
On the second Sunday of each month, Wood and a group of performers and artists will gather at the Yvette Torres Gallery from 7 to 9 p.m. for an event called “Kin.”
“This is a place for artists of all types to perform original work,” he said. The concept of “Kin” came from Wood’s experiences living in Edinburgh, Scotland.
“I used to participate in these events, which were also called ‘Kin,’ a place for unique artists to perform each month,” he said. “You’d go into this large room with every wall and ceiling draped in black cloth with all of these fairy lights through it, so it felt like you were going into this starscape. The only lighting was this one spotlight onto the stage. so, we’re doing the same thing, but way more low tech using candles and soft lighting in the room. We put rugs on the floor and suggest people bring their own pillows.”
Wood said as a musician who performed at traditional open mics, he always felt that he was competing against the noise in the room. This is an opportunity to showcase new talent before an audience fully committed to listening and watching.
“Kin is curated and everyone gets an introduction and it’s more open to more than just musicians,” he said. “We have poetry, stories, live dance, live art, really anything that can be performed.For me personally, it’s my favorite kind of event to perform at because you really feel heard.”
Wood said he hasn’t done much advertising of the events beyond a poster. “We’re trying to let it grow really organically,” he said. “I’ve put pretty minimal effort into the promotion of it because I feel if people want it to happen, it will. And if people are excited about it each time, it will keep happening.”
The event can hold 40-50 people.The next “Kin” Open Mic will be on Sunday, Feb. 11, at Yvette Torres Gallery on 464 Main Street, Rockland on the second floor from 7 to 9 p.m.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org