, 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
  • Jenson1 Salsa spirit Dance party will benefit Jazz & Soul Festival Salsa spirit

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • rhinaespaillat Survival through art Rhina Espaillat met many survivors of the Holocaust when she was growing up in New York and was often impressed by their strength of mind. "I was always surprised to meet people who came through the Holocaust not only physically whole, but mentally w

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140422_SN_HAND_READERSEYE The reader's eye Name: Sarah Rydgren Hometown: Salem Description: Taken during a ride through the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire last week. I love the mountains, and this stretch of highway is one of my favorite roads to travel. I am a self-taught photographer a

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • shellfish North Shore Entertainment Calendar

    Good causes LIBRARY FUNDRAISER AND STORY PROGRAM. Thursday, April 24, 1 to 4 p.m., Swizzles Frozen Yogurt, 421 Paradise Road, Vinnin Square, Swampscott. Swampscott Public Library fundraiser features a free story and music program for children of all

    April 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • benefitrace Good cause Racing for a reason On Sunday, Salem State University hosts its 18th annual North Shore Fitness 5K Road Race and Fun Walk, starting at 9 a.m. at the O'Keefe Sports Complex, 225 Canal St., Salem. Advance registration is $18 for Gassett Fitness members

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Parents appalled by man’s indifference to son Dear Abby: My 23-year-old son, "Wayne," who is single, has a 3-year-old son. We didn't learn about the child until he was more than a year old, when Wayne was asked to take a paternity test. Luckily, we have been able to form a good relationship wit

    April 24, 2014

  • Thursday's Best Bets Best Bets for Thursday, April 24

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

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Married couple’s sex life is all about the numbers Dear Abby: I have been married to a wonderful man for 30 years. Our marriage may not be perfect, but it's quite good. My dilemma is this: My husband keeps track of every time we have sex and has a personal goal of 100 times a year. In 2013, he infor

    April 23, 2014

  • Wednesday's Best Bets Best Bets for Wednesday, April 23

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

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Don't meddle in office affair unless it interferes with work

    Dear Abby: I manage a group of 15 employees. A few months ago, I hired the wife of an old friend. Until now she has been a great employee, but recently, she and a male co-worker have been taking lunches and breaks together in a way that leads me to b

    April 22, 2014

NDN Video
Comments Tracker