Forget those hippie drum circles…

…I wanna hang out with Bombshell Boom Boom, which is an “anti-venue marching sound collective, stemming out of the little known grassroots marching band movement happening world wide.” I met Sean, the director of Bombshell Boom Boom, while singing in San Diego this past Sunday. Sean explained that first the participants make their own instruments, and then they go play at the San Diego Museum of Art, or, as in the video below, at Mardi GrasĀ (sadly the Mardi Gras video is no longer online, but below is a still from the SDMA instrument-making workshop):

Can you imagine doing this in your Unitarian Universalist congregation? No? I guess you’re right. Our congregations are not exactly open to sound art, even when it’s fun and light-hearted like this. Yet sound art could fit in very nicely with an alt.worship service, or in emergent-type services that deliberately incorporate everything from spoken word performances, to installation art, to conceptual art.

You’d think that Unitarian Universalists, with their leftward-leaning theology, would embrace leftward-leaning art forms like jazz, new music, or sound art. Instead, the highest ambition of many Unitarian Universalist congregations seems to be to get a praise band, which to my mind is pretty far on the conservative side of the liturgical spectrum. The difference, I guess, is whether you want liturgical music that transcends your day-to-day world, or whether you want liturgical music that sounds just like what you hear when you shop at Trader Joe’s.

P.S. Did you notice that in the video the average age of the people in Bombshell Boom Boom is maybe a third of the average age of your typical Unitarian Universalist congregation?

More from sound artist Sean.

1 thought on “Forget those hippie drum circles…

  1. Catharine

    I am very lucky to attend a church with all kinds of sound art — but we could always use more. I admit, I get confused about our we as UU’s are such contradictory beasts. I mean, yes, wouldn’t you think we’d be all over progressive musical (and other) art?!

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