Archive for November 24th, 2008

Working With A Weird-Shaped Room

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Twice in the past two weeks, my band was hired to play receptions in private clubs perched atop high-rise office buildings. Each had stunning views, which more than offset the idiosyncratic characteristics of the rooms. But boy, they did have idiosyncrasies.

The first venue was shaped like an old fashioned telephone receiver, with two large areas at either end linked by a long, narrow section of the room. This left no place for the band to set up where we could be seen and heard relatively equally. In order for all guests to know about the first dance and cutting of the cake (your Granny gets ticked if she misses those special moments), we simply added one extra speaker in the far end of the room. That speaker was only used to convey announcements, and it worked perfectly. Those who wanted to be near the band could be, while those who preferred the (relative) quiet at the far end of the room could still be aware of all significant happenings.

Our second performing space was in a great spot for all to see and hear (yet not hear more than they wanted). But a bay window set into that part of the penthouse cut our band’s set-up space by half. We solved that problem by adjusting how much equipment (as well as which equipment) we brought to the party. Again, everything worked fine.

But, please note that – in both the examples detailed above – the key to success was that we were able to adapt our normal way way of setting up to the realities of the rooms. And we were only able to accomplish that by having had extensive conversations with our brides in advance. By knowing where we were going to be set up and what their expectations were, we could plan out our solutions – prior to showing up at the site. Also, in both cases, we brought special equipment – something we wouldn’t have known to do without talking things through with our brides.

So – for that perfect music at your reception – be sure to tell your bandleader or deejay everything they need to know about both your needs and about their playing area. A weirdly-shaped room provides special challenges, but – together – you and your music provider can conquer them.