, Salem, MA


January 16, 2014

Taking off with Underwater Airport

Local musicians thrive on improvising ... and let the music flow

As far as we know, Gulu-Gulu Cafe in Salem is neither a spaceship nor a temple. But if you go there Saturday night, when Underwater Airport is playing, there’s a chance you may be transported to another realm.

“For most of us, this is a very spiritual exercise,” said Ed Blomquist of Hamilton, a member of the band. “Music is a profound mechanism for transforming consciousness, and that power has been recognized in virtually every musical culture.”

The group plays ambient music that is neither rock ’n’ roll nor jazz, but it is always improvised, he said.

They have no doctrines to impart but are serious when they say they want to take you someplace where you’ve never been.

“The music is the path, if you will. That’s why we feel free to draw on anything,” Blomquist said. “We’re not trying to impart a specific code. It’s Zen in the sense that the experience happens in the moment, then it’s gone.”

Blomquist, who teaches music business and management at Berklee College of Music, has been playing with some of the band’s other members for decades.

Underwater Airport formed in 2008 as a partial reunion of another band several members had played in, Free Range Experiment.

“We got together and it was like, ‘Oh, my God,’” he said.

The current lineup features two drummers, Peter Spellman and Russell Lane, who went to high school together on Long Island.

“We have this amazing double drumming thing,” Blomquist said. “Having the rhythm and time-keeping spread out across two people gives it a dimension you can’t get any other way.”

Spellman and Lane play different sorts of drums in styles that complement each other.

“Russell plays a drum kit, whereas Peter mostly plays percussion,” Blomquist said. “Russell does the deep grooves, while Peter does the decoration around it.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • North Shore religion calendar Saturday, April 19 Easter Bunny Breakfast & Egg Hunt, 10 a.m. to noon, Northshore Unitarian Universalist Church, 323 Locust St., Danvers. The youth groups of Northshore and Beverly Unitarian Universalist churches will hold an Easter breakfast and egg

    April 19, 2014

  • North Shore religion news in brief The Rev. Marya DeCarlen has been named the new, full-time priest in charge at All Saints Episcopal Church of the North Shore in Danvers. DeCarlen's ministry with the parish begins Sunday, April 27. Her appointment comes after the church's yearlong in

    April 19, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Teenage girl’s boyish figure is often deceiving to others Dear Abby: I'm a 14-year-old girl with a problem. Because of my buzzed short hair, slim hips and flat chest, I frequently get mistaken for a boy. It really bothers me because, despite my haircut and body shape, I have a feminine face and I wear women

    April 19, 2014

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday and Sunday, April 19 and 20

    Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vet Connection: Is it OK to give a dog a bone? We have all seen the cartoons and commercials depicting dogs burying bones and stashing them away for later. Unfortunately, most pet owners are completely unaware of the significant risks and problems that are associated with feeding dogs these treat

    April 18, 2014

  • Ask Dog Lady: Why is my dog fascinated with burying things? Dear Dog Lady, My dog came across a dead cat at the park and proceeded to bury the cat with surrounding leaves by using her nose and pushing the leaves over the dead cat. Two days later, we went back to the park, and she found the dead cat again and

    April 18, 2014

  • ed Ipswich author to share drawing techniques Most of Ed Emberley's 80 children's books, 20 of which are still in print, have one goal in mind. "Showing the kids you can draw; everybody can draw something," he said. "They get encouragement from working with the simplest thing." Emberley will giv

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • holtenhouse Quick pick 'Voices From the Back Stairs' Jennifer Pustz of Historic New England presents "Voices From the Back Stairs" tomorrow at 2, at the Judge Samuel Holten House, 171 Holten St., Danvers. In her presentation, Pustz explores domestic service in 19th- and 20

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Assistant’s gruff attitude needs to be smoothed out Dear Abby: How do I deal with an assistant who keeps calling me a "brown-noser"? She did it again yesterday at a staff meeting in front of my boss and another assistant. It was the third time she has said it. She is gruff and rude, and several people

    April 18, 2014

  • Friday's Best Bets Best Bets for Friday, April 18

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker