The magic of physical presence

Photo: The Coffa.

These days it’s very much possible to start a band, with a musician you’ve never met, on the other side of the planet. Super super cool and it opens up possibilities for collaborations that probably never would have happened without the technology we have today. I think it’s awesome and I’d love to make more use of that possibility.

But I can’t help thinking it doesn’t come close to the satisfaction of getting in a room with some friends and jam out or write a song together. The feeling when Hotlips hit a magical note on his harp in a solo and it puts a smile on the faces of everybody in the room. Or when I mess up on the piano with my poor piano playing and somebody just loses it and starts laughing. Or when everybody in the room gets into the zone all at once and you get the chills from what you’re building together.

I haven’t been able to reach that feeling from writing songs and sending them by email or whatever to somebody. Even if the person really loves the song and get super inspired by what I’ve written. It’s a good feeling indeed. Just not as good at being in a room together.
It’s sometimes easy to forget that when you’re able to work with people from your sofa in front of the tv.

Don’t underestimate the magic of physical presence. (Tomas Juto, aka ‘Barba’)


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Swedish 7 piece urban folk band. Tomas Juto: keyboard/lead vocals | Oskar Hovell: acoustic guitar/banjo/lead vocals | Tony Lind: drums/vocals | Oscar Harryson: guitar | Christopher Anderzon: bass/vocals | Mårten Forssman: harmonica | Andreas Prybil: percussion/vocals

One thought on “The magic of physical presence”

  1. In cyberspace you are inundated by everything, connected to everyone, and surrounded by all the sights and sounds you could ever want — yet it’s a very lonely space to be in.

    Projects like “Play for Change” produce some pretty cool music, and it’s a great way for musicians in remote areas and similar tastes in music to collaborate and compile musical experiences; but I only watch and listen to “Play for Change” videos if I come across them by chance or someone sends me a link.

    I believe that putting in all those hours of practice together, fighting over and resolving how the nuances should be played and performed, and bearing their souls before critical crowds makes a big difference in the sound, feeling and dynamics of the music created and performed by groups who play together in the same room, and the music compiled from various musicians in remote locations.


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