Describe your project.
We propose to create a traveling outdoor public event series called Nomadic Picó Picante, a mobile version of our monthly tropical bass party at Good Life. We will build a traveling sound system that visits neighborhoods for unannounced, guerilla parties throughout Boston. Our sound system will be derivative of a picó—a hand-crafted mobile soundsystem for DJs with origins in Barranquilla, Colombia. Picós are painted with visual elements that evoke local history and culture, and were originally invented to create communal, public parties because people with little money weren’t welcome in dance clubs. We’ll use the platform of a box truck as a mobile stage for DJs and video artists, complete with speakers, lights and projections.
We want to create public spaces that embody the post-geographic nature of tropical bass music, a genre that crossbreeds dance-friendly electronic elements with traditional and folkloric genres such as cumbia, champeta, salsa and kuduro. The nomadic parties will be public, pop-up events that use tropical bass to establish a celebratory inter-cultural dialogue in an oft-segregated Boston.
We’ve built a family of collaborators through Picó Picante by inviting local and out-of-town DJs and video artists. At-large, our aim is to create immersive events that celebrate the intermingling of cultures worldwide. Our team includes: Sara Skolnick and Ernesto Morales (DJs Pajaritos), Ricardo de Lima (OXYcontinental), Vela Phelan (HEXbeam) and Ethan Kiermaier (Ultratumba).
How will you use the grant to make your idea happen?
The grant will help building costs for the mobile system: specifically, rental of a box truck, materials for the picó DJ stand, and speakers (a pair of QSC K10 speakers are priced at approximately $600 for each in used condition). We’ve secured access at no cost to generators, projectors, an outdoor projector enclosure, lighting, audio/video technicians, DJs and video artists.
Why and to whom is your project important?
The project will benefit participants of these events and the communities they occur in by creating an open cultural space. This action creates a dialogue by using music as a catalyst to explore the commonalities of Boston’s contemporary cultural diversity.
If you win, what is the expected status of your project by the time the next Feast Mass rolls around in 3–4 months?
We expect to have held 1–2 events by mid-summer.