Last week we had the pleasure of checking out the new and improved DIY venue Silent Barn. Silent Barn’s old location in Ridgewood – at 915 Wyckoff Ave – was robbed (of more than $15,000 worth of equipment), vandalized, and eventually, abandoned. But, dry your years-old weeping- Silent Barn is back to stay. Their new space, funded by a $40,000 incredible Kickstarter effort, is a Bushwick 3-story apartment building with a sprawling first-floor venue space and a whole lotta love going around.
Silent Barn encompasses a community of artists and musicians living in communal apartment and venue space. Their youth-empowering mission (laid out in a series of manifestos on their website) encourages people to create great things, experience great music, and share greatness with others. In their own words, it’s a living experiment in expression:
The Silent Barn is the living body of a whirlwind of symbiotic relationships between events, interactive installations, residents, and audience that simultaneously make the Silent Barn their home. Performance programs & other event programs at the Silent Barn bring a daily stream of exposure, discussion, feedback, and organic growth of experimental community projects. The presence of these openly interactive projects cultivate a healthy and curious audience, and make the Silent Barn a continuously evolving and uniquely multi-functional event space for performing artists. The residents of the Silent Barn share their living and kitchen space with these performances & art projects, extending a chamber music like intimacy & feeling of welcome to both performers and audience members, and encouraging a level of accessibility to art that can be life-changing to an all-ages community. The residency program also subsidizes the building operational costs, enabling event and art program curators the financial freedom to pioneer unexplored currents in art.
These pictures give you a good idea of the vast space that the new SB offers. The venue itself takes over the entire floor – two huge rooms – with an entry to a large yard. The yard is currently full of gravel and the walls are fairly blank, but knowing the creative creatures that run the space, they’ll soon be smothered in graffiti, painting, showbills and handprints.
They’ve worked long and hard to procure and operate their new space legally so, until their liquor license is official, they’re selling virgin drinks only. Following are some images of the second and third floors of the building – art installations (Babycastles anyone?), bands, and some attractive party-goers….
Silent Barn’s schedule is chocked full of shows- almost every night of the week you can stroll over to Bushwick Ave and have yourself a house party and concert all in one. Last week I attended the Barn’s first house show, hosted in the “Champagne Room” in the third floor’s living room. Performing was Maria Chavez, an experimental noise artist, who “plays vinyl in every way it’s not supposed to be played.” She created a sound atmosphere by dragging the needle across fragments and slivers of different records- from Latin to spoken word- to create more-or-less predictable avante-garde noise series. The sound that came out was both wispy and blaring, sometimes pleasant, sometimes less so, but in SB style, it was an interesting performance.
Last was punk/noise band Cum Blood (yes, you read that right), which features The Living Gallery‘s Nyssa on the mic. Not much to say about their music – it fits the sometimes abrasive mission of Silent Barn’s experimental policies or the lack thereof. Their music is loud and full of angst, and they put on a great live show.
Make your way over to Silent Barn and expand your airwaves, social network, and Bushwick credibility! More info over on their website.