Underwater Airport is an improvising and recording multimedia ensemble combining music and projected visuals for the purpose of creating spontaneous portals into alternate space-time dimensions.
Underwater Airport extends its antennae into the aether, pulling in transmissions from the Great Beyond. Drawing inspiration from such diverse sources as shamanic trance music, 1960's free jazz and psychedelia, ambient electronica, and world beat, the band's members have practiced individual and collective improvisation in diverse settings far longer than they can remember.
In the studio Underwater Airport focuses on constructing consciousness-shifting music and video utilizing Ableton Live for audio and Livid Instruments Cell DNA for video, among other analog and digital tools.
Peter Spellman - Drums, Percussion, Guitar, Keyboard
Peter found his way into music as a guitarist in various NY bands and then switched to drums after seeing the Police perform in the late 1970s. Since then he's performed and recorded with reggae outfit, The Mighty Charge, world music ensemble Friend Planet, and now with the Underwater Airport crew. He's scored films for the National Science Foundation, composed video games for Massachusetts General Hospital, and coaches music entrepreneurs as Director of Career Development at Berklee College of Music. With the poet Carlyle, Peter believes the deeper we see into nature, the more we realize that all is ultimately music. Find him at mbsolutions.com.
Russell Lane - Drums, Percussion
Inspired by some ill-fated combination of the Monkees television show and his big sister's American Bandstand addiction, Russell began playing drums at the age of 10. After an undergraduate career studying and performing the classical art music of the 20th Century, Russell returned to his first love, the American drum set, and has never looked back. A lifelong student of music and drumming, he has been a constant presence in the musical community of Boston's north shore for the last 25 years.
Jim Whisenant - Bass, Stick, Laptop, Percussion
Jim's been playing bass and bass-like instruments for longer than he can remember, which speaks to either his dedication or his memory. He remembers listening to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Johnny Winter, then migrating through the English prog-rock catalog a little while later with local Wisconsin bands. Still later, at Berklee, he learned about Miles, and Coltrane, with equal interest in their legendary bass players. Not content to just play his instruments, he's also made some of them.
Lynda Stephens - Soprano and Alto Sax, Electronic Wind Instrument
Lynda is a multi-instrumentalist whose quest for variant soundscapes has led her through many bands and ensembles to her current runway in Underwater Airport. Embracing technology has been a passion and the electronic wind instrument fuels her search for new sounds, while the soul of her playing still comes from her Soprano and Alto Saxes.
Marcus Lisle - Video Projection, Laptop, Electronic Wind Instrument, Percussion, iPhone
Marc earned a BFA in painting at the University of Florida before computers were installed in the College of Fine Arts, and after 10 years of post-graduate desktop publishing experience, he taught a variety of computer graphics courses at The Boston Architectural College and Pine Manor College from 1996-2004. He began experimenting with digital video and VJ presentation software in 2004, and has provided live projected video mixes for performances of The Free Range Experiment at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and the collaborative dance & prepared piano performance "2T Shadow Worlds" (with Sarah Slifer & Stephen Hastings-King) at the Tank Space in New York City. He has also begun exploring the layering of sound textures with electric wind instruments such as the Akai 4000, as well as his iPhone's ocarina app.
Ed Blomquist - Guitar, Bass, Oud, Synths, Laptop, Loops, Flutes, Percussion, Voice
Ed approaches the guitar as a hybrid between a meditation cushion and an interstellar kayak. He also enjoys making noises with other acoustic and electronic devices.
What does "Underwater Airport" mean?
The name revealed itself to Ed one day, for no apparent reason other than it wanted to be manifested. In pondering what it might mean, a few thoughts have come to mind...
Both the underwater and the aerial realms are strange, beautiful, and somewhat dangerous places, inhabited by curious and fantastic creatures, affording extraordinary visions... Although they are located nearby, we humans aren't really designed to live there... But we can visit them for relatively short periods of time, relying on clever, almost magical, technologies to carry us there and back, and to keep us safe on our travels...
In this way, Underwater Airport represents a kind of mythical alternative universe that's familiar and (mostly) friendly, but also only accessible by means of a transformative, shamanic journey... And that is a pretty good description of what it feels like to play this music... And we hope to listen to it as well...