The Ether Project, a new jam band experience that brings the audience into the creation of the music, will bring special guest Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band) with them to Brooklyn Bowl on Friday, February 5.
The process of engaging the audience starts with a lucky guest who gets to choose a new key and genre for the jam from a selection of white laminated placards. The genres range from “Phunky Furry Thug” to “Hipster Polka” to “Light Metal” and builds a back-and-forth of audience participation leading to a unique musical performance.
Guitarist Vic Cornette spoke with NYS Music to share what their live performance entails and what fans can expect from their special performance this weekend at Brooklyn Bowl.
Pete Mason: Ether Project is a unique live experience. For the uninitiated, what sets Ether Project shows apart from other improvisational performances?
Victor Cornette: I think what sets us apart from other improv performances is that the audience initiates what we do next by choosing key and Genre before each Jam or song. It ultimately breaks down the barrier between audience and musician.
PM: How does Ether Project differ from Everyone Orchestra?
VC: It’s funny that you bring up Everyone Orchestra because Matt Butler is the inspiration for this project. I had great pleasure in working with them intimately for some runs through Colorado and the East Coast. The difference between us is the audience decides musician to start jam, the key and the genre not the conductor. I feel Ether takes on the daunting task of letting the listener be apart of the improv process and to understand how magical it is when it all works out or when it doesn’t.
PM: What influences does the band draw upon in creating each live show?
VC: As far as influences for each live show it’s completely based on what the audience wants, who I have sit in and what’s on the mind of my bandmates. It’s all from The Ether.
PM: In what way does the audience play a part in The Ether Project?
VC: This took some time to work out but I came to solution with the help of my amazing band. A table is placed in front of the stage which have cards of genres and keys. Audience members ,first come first serve , will decide what we do next. Our Jam liaison helps orchestrate this and puts it into play when we are ready for the next Jam.