Demo Music From This Century Please (Now Hijacked)

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At Kite Party, Mr. Shenkman has the unenviable task of attempting

to please everyone all the time. Over the years, the event is semi-unplanned

except for 2 demo periods of about 30 minutes per day. Most of the kiters

have seen the demos many times. And even if the routine is changed, the

overall feel is similar.

For whom are the demos performed (zippy8  sentence structure)?

The crowd at the beach is 99.9% non kite savvy. The Sundowners flying

stacks with tails would get more notice than any of the Rev routines.

And sadly, I could fly a sport kite with a huge tube tail and hold more interest

than any of the much better fliers performing solo.

Ray Bethell would be a great go-to guy, but then he has been performing since

mud was invented.

The average "age" of the music performed during demos was about 40 years with

Whitney Houston (1993) being the newest song. Even Mr. Barresi's excellent

"Barber of Seville" routine is a soundtrack 60 years old.

If we are to hold the interest of the facebook/twitter/instagram kids and young

parents, we could at least grab some music less than a decade old. I'm not saying

it's music the pilot likes, just something that the passer-by can hum along to a song

by Maroon 5, Pink, Pitbull, Justin Timberlake or the Killers.

If we want new fliers, we can at least start with newer music.

Okay, back to my Mumford and Sons CD. Carry on.  :)

I've been to many festivals and I agree that you have an excellent point.  It's true that most of the great demo flyers seem to re-use the same music again and again.  I can see why as its very difficult to find a piece that works extremely well and they have also been working on perfecting flying to it and have much time invested.

I've seen certain music work really well during hot tricks where, at least in the PNW, random current  music is played during the flying.  You have no idea what is coming up, but its always catchy, recognizable, and engaging. 

I guess that one difference is that a ballet is usually thoroughly planned and practiced to a certain track, where this other sort of exhibition flying is really about entertaining the crowd, but not necessarily impressing them in an artistic way.


Allen Carter:
To entertain a crowd the music must be recognizable and enjoyable by a large percentage of spectators. Of course, it must also be practical as kite music.

"Classics" generally fill the bill as a huge majority of spectators of almost any age recognize something like Bohemian Rhapsody, Bugs Bunny or even (god forbid) Whitney Houston.  One of the main ways to wow a crowd is to hit major features of a routine at obvious points in the music. If these opportunities in the music aren't obvious to the spectator, the cool thing that just happened in the air in perfect synch to the music is sort of lost. There is less "That was COOL!" in the crowd.

There's a video on YouTube from last Saturday taken from the audience during iQuad's 'Rhapsody. It's clear that the crowd is anticipating the action in the sky, and it's obvious they are enjoying the show.

I'd say a spectator would be more likely to enjoy a killer routine set to BoRhap and possibly look forward to the same or similar next year than just about any recent music I can think of. It's not that recent music is bad, of course not, it just doesn't fit the parameters of kite demos.

I'm more concerned with the quality of music over the PA throughout the day. Last year was really bad, and in one nicely produced civilian video there is actually a disclaimer that the music was NOT the choice of the shooter, but was part of KP.

There's always a balance of this thing being for kiters vs. for spectators. I think we need music throughout the day that has overall appeal, for the diverse KP population and the guy walking on the pier who has to listen to it too.

  I have to agree with Allen, and not just because he still has my big kite bag.  ;)

  I think a well-performed routine is the main attribute of this event.  And to the common observer, it's not unlike Olympic figure skating.  Heck, we only see that every 2 years, and everyone's an armchair expert by the end of the competition. Consider that most of the pieces used for those routines are over a HUNDRED years old!  I imagine that there are folks who look forward to the routines once/year just like many of us enjoy the figure skating every other year (used to be four years).

  If anything, I think John's challenge is for performers to work out new routines to more modern music.  This in itself is a challenge, and probably due to the nature of media.  Certainly "Bohemian Rhapsody" became a cultural meme for millions, and that lasted for a long, long time.  Nowadays, however, the cycle is much shorter, and "Call Me Maybe" becomes "Gangnam Style" becomes "Harlem Shuffle".  Heck, by the time you could work out a routine, the tune is already ancient history.  (Still, I'd love to see Chilese do a routine to "Gangnam Style"... ::))  So the challenge I would propose is a routine to some newer musical vein.

  And as a devout Bugs Bunny fan, I must assert that since the Foley sounds are in the mix, JB's routine is more precisely described as flown to "The Rabbit of Seville".   ;D


just something that the passer-by can hum along to a song

by Maroon 5, Pink, Pitbull, Justin Timberlake or the Killers.

Here's the sad thing... I have no idea who any of those artists are, or what they perform. I haven't heard anything I've liked on the radio since the 80s...  :o


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