Images provided by Music.Art.Ppl
As Ottawa grows as a city, our artists need places to play and display their work. One of the organizations working to create excellent events is Music.Art.Ppl. We spoke with co-founder Peter Albert about the journey thus far, what’s ahead and how they are celebrating three years together (hint: it’s a party this Friday at Queen Street Fare!)
Music.Art.Ppl is a multidisciplinary artist collective that specializes in hosting events and connecting communities based on a shared interest of music and art. In particular, they have found a niche in playing electronic music, mainly house and techno. Their events are fairly immersive, including the use of decorations, video projections, and live painting. There are six main contributors; four are DJs and two are visual artists.
Their names are: Jordan David, Nick Hebb, Peter Albert, Corinne Blouin-Hudon, Eve Blouin-Hudon, and Ollie Kavanagh. Interestingly, I’ve met several of these people in different circles, whether through house shows at the former Chateau Cyr, wine downs at Impact Hub Ottawa, A.M dance parties morning jam, or at a yoga and meditation retreat in collaboration with Our Athenas. To me, this shows that they are actively creating community through a shared appreciation for music and connection.
What does Music.Art.Ppl do?
I spoke with Peter Albert, co-creator and resident DJ to understand more about the collective and their mandate. Albert spoke about the growth of the city’s culture these last few years, suggesting a parallel with the growth of Music.Art.Ppl.
“We always ask ourselves, how can we add to the Ottawa community in an artistic or musical way?” said Albert. “There is so much talent in Ottawa – everything is growing. With the LRT opening, it is going to be a new chapter. The city is becoming more accessible, we are really trying to grow.”
Providing a space for emerging artists is front and central to the work of Music.Art.Ppl. While they have resident DJs who take leadership roles in the organization, they also make sure to have other artists featured in their events. Partnerships beyond Ottawa have included artists from Montreal, Kingston, and Toronto. “Giving them a platform to play has been really fulfilling for us,” said Albert.
Peter estimated that Music.Art.Ppl has organized about 36 events, or one event per month over three years. On average, these events feature three live painters and between four and five DJ sets. This means the organization has provided an opportunity for about 100 musical artists and space to paint at least 100 visuals artists.
He believes the multi-disciplinary nature of these events helps engage the audience and provide for a number of ways to experience the event. Peter indicated that having programming in different areas of the space where the music is quieter enables experiences aside from just drinking and dancing, such as having in-depth conversations and taking in visual art.
What’s next for the group?
One of the changes Music.Art.People since early days is that they are pursuing more collaborations. For example, they worked with the National Arts Centre recently on a “block party”, to enhance audience engagement prior the theatre events. The event includes art installations and live painting – and of course music.
“We think it’s important to work with lots of different people in the scene, to organically grow our reach,” said Albert. “We’re trying to create more in-person connections. We have so many devices these days, but it’s important to connect outside just social media.”
Peter also shared that Music.Art.Ppl has recently received a grant from the Ontario Arts Council, which will support putting on events with artists from other parts of Canada. This is scheduled for fall 2019 and sounds like a great initiative, but it’s also a vote of confidence in the organization.
Are you interested in getting involved or partnering? The process seems simple enough: “If someone wants to do something they can pitch it to us as collective, and if everyone is on board we move forward with the project,” said Peter.
What are they doing to celebrate three years together?
Music.Art.Ppl have an upcoming event at Queen Street Fare, which is happening this Friday Jan.16 from 8pm-2am. The venue offers both food and drink with at least one vendor selling food all night (most food stalls close at 10pm). There will be three live painters, VJ doing visuals, multiple DJs, and a live band called Funk Yo’ Self.
Creating a special experience in a safe environment is important to the group. “We want to develop a sense within our community, that our community members are not bystanders. That they will interfere if something isn’t right,” said Peter. “We want to create a sense within our community that there are people taking care of you; they have your best interests at heart.”
Interested in checking out the anniversary party this week? Keep an eye on Ottawa Beat’s social media accounts – we will be giving away two sets of tickets for a few lucky winners! You can get all the info here ($10 adv / $15 door).