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Back in January 2015, we had the pleasure of hosting Coupler in our Blue Room. The event came to life when these local acousticians and purveyors of deliberate ambience took the stage. It was twenty minutes of captivating and unhurried techno that sounded bucolic at first, then violent, then crumbling, but always with a deft momentum. You could feel it in your gut and in your skull. Coupler’s set was a twenty-minutes mega-moment of song, and we decided the live album needed an accompanying piece. We invited them back to record Side B in October with a full orchestra of nine friends and musicians, and it turned out to be a very special piece exploring the nether-regions where the organic collides with the electronic. However, this wasn’t our typical TMR show. We kept it a relatively intimate affair, with the stage in the center of the room, and only sold a handful of tickets to those interested in seeing a recording process become a performance, making this our first installment in The Blue Room Sessions series.
If you’re new to the magic of Coupler, you can think of them as an “organization” rather than a band. Ryan Norris’ objectives go beyond leading a band — he aims to use Coupler as a vehicle for writing, photography, installation art, film-scoring, etc, and above all this, he aims to collaborate with the creative people around him that inspire him. In the case of this particular performance, the organization core live members, Rodrigo Avendaño, Rollum Haas and Norris, plus a group of auxiliary players: Adam Bednarik, Mark Bond, Matt Glassmeyer, Mia Krout and Ben Marcantel. The icing on the cake was Kelli Shay Hix and her light installation. The performance was tackled from an oblique angle, using group improvisation to reinvent the trajectory as they played. The end result? The birth of a new series, and one of our favorite musical creations to which the Blue Room has ever played host.