Mind hive will be abuzz with Park City-based songwriters
Local musician mind hive
When: noon on Monday, Nov. 19
Where: Rockwell Room, 268 Main St.
Singer-songwriters Bill McGinnis and a group of his musical compadres have noticed a misconception regarding Park City’s local music community.
While it seems healthy in terms of the number of live-music offerings from bands and artists who perform covers or like to jam, it isn’t as nurturing to those who want to create and perform their own music.
“While musician get the opportunity to play out in the restaurants and bars and earn income to pay the bills, we really have nowhere to go to play our own compositions, because everyone wants to hear covers,” McGinnis said. “There is nothing wrong with that, but it precludes a real exciting element of what many musicians are doing in Park City.”
Taking inspiration from the Park City Summit County Art Council’s Project ABC — a cultural planning initiative — McGinnis, fellow songwriter Jody Whitesides and other local musicians will host a collaboration event at noon on Monday, Nov. 19, at the Rockwell Room, 268 Main St.
The event, dubbed a mind hive, is free and open to the public, especially musicians and non-musicians who enjoy original music. The idea is to gather as many locals under one roof to discuss the town’s current original-music climate and come up with ideas for the future, McGinnis said.
“We want everyone to share their ideas and visions of what a vibrant, supportive music community looks like to them,” he said. “We want to do this with open minds and open ears. So there will be a hook at the door for egos.”
The idea for the mind hive, a term local songwriter Robyn Cage culled from “hive mind,” a science fiction concept of a single intelligence comprised of multiple consciousnesses, began to form when another local songwriter, Shannon Runyon, posted a TEDx talk by music publicist Elizabeth Cawein on her Facebook page.
Cawein presented her talk, “How to Build a Thriving Music Scene in Your City,” at TEDx Memphis in January.
During the presentation, Cawein highlighted criteria that make a music town.
Some of those elements include seeing music as necessary, and by doing that, building an ecosystem to support and develop professional musicians and building receptive and engaged audiences to sustain them.
“If we find in the mind hive that Park City is about having open mics and open bars so we can jam and play covers, then we’ll know that’s where the community stands,” McGinnis said.
But if the collective finds the town is ready to support songwriters’ creativity, McGinnis and Whitesides are ready to take the next step, which is to find a place for musicians to create songs and host listening rooms, song circles and all-ages open mic events.
“If there are means and ways to pull this off, we can also turn the space into a recording environment, and hourly professional rehearsal-room rentals,” Whitesides said.
McGinnis hopes the mind hive will inspire future discussions and songwriting opportunities.
“This is an attempt to change the mindset of people who think there is a vibrant music community here,” he said. “From the standpoint of the creative side, it is not as vibrant as people think it is.”
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“We wouldn’t want to be responsible for a massive COVID outbreak, and the Santa Pub Crawl attracts hundreds of people every year who gather in small venues up and down Main Street. We felt it wasn’t good timing.”