REFLECTING ON BASILICA SOUNDSCAPE
This upcoming weekend would have marked our eighth annual Basilica SoundScape: A Weekend of Music + Art. Like so many other arts organizations and venues, we once again had to make the difficult but necessary decision to cancel due to COVID-19. With another Basilica seasonal landmark passed, we wanted to give a special thanks to our collaborator since the beginning Brandon Stosuy of The Creative Independent, and all the artists, partners and attendees – lovers of the emerging, the fringe, the avant-garde, the loud, the beautiful, the weird – who have shared their art and energies with us and believed in our vision.
For one weekend every September, our old factory on the Hudson River would ring in sonic bliss from the magic of Basilica SoundScape. From grindcore to an orchestral soundbath, and from floating sculpture to raw power poets, Basilica SoundScape has remained a ramshackle example of our dreams of exchange and expression. To all those who have joined us throughout the years, thank you for stepping off the beaten path to be with us.
Brandon Stosuy, Basilica SoundScape Co-Curator and Co-Founder of The Creative Independent, says, “I started booking shows as a small-town punk teen in the Pine Barrens of NJ, but it took until Basilica SoundScape to find a live event that captured the same pure, excited energy. SoundScape, for me, feels honest, useful, communal, and real. It’s more a show than a festival. It’s more a family gathering than a show. It’s ambitious and weird on paper (‘let’s have four bands play at the same time to create one larger band!’), but it makes total sense in person (‘holy shit, four bands are playing at the same time and creating one larger band!’).”
“Truthfully, I get nervous each year that we won’t be able to recapture that energy. There’s no formula. We move by instinct. But then it all starts, people enter the space, and I think, ‘wait… we did it.’ Each time it feels new. And I feel so lucky to have met such a perfect collaborator (and friend) in Melissa, and to have been able to start this with her. I think maybe it’s worked because we’re both coming from the same place–a lifetime love of underground music and the people involved in it. (Which may sound simple, but in the music industry, can be depressingly complicated.) And, insanely, we’ve also found other collaborators who approach it in that spirit. And the people who show up each time. It’s a community. Basilica Soundscape is, without a doubt, also the most fulfilling curatorial project of my life. And, lord, the years flew by so quickly. When it started, my oldest son was a baby, and now he’s 10—Soundscape is as much a part of his life, as it is mine, and it’s been so satisfying to see it become a part of other people’s lives, too.”
Since we can’t celebrate Basilica SoundScape together in person, we’ll be taking the next couple weeks to share archived photos, videos and more and on our social media platforms as a part of our #BASILICATEN campaign. Be sure to follow along and tag us in your SoundScape memories with the hashtags #BASILICATEN #BSS.