A Guide to Current and Alumni Coherians Speaking at Startup Week Fort Collins

cohere-member-wall

Members of coworking spaces love to support their fellow members in their endeavors. Here’s a cheat sheet to ALL the Cohere members, current and past, who are speaking at Fort Collins Startup Week. Don’t waste another day working from home. Fo(co)works has put together free coworking every day of Startup Week so you can try all of the Fort Collins Coworking Spaces.

MONDAY

How Coworking Can Save You From Destitution (Angel Kwiatkowski, Julie Sutter, Current Members of Cohere)

In a world where you can work from anywhere, why cowork? Hear from members of four Fort Collins coworking spaces about how being a part of a coworking community can supercharge your skills, connections and success as a solopreneur, freelancer or non-profit.
Moderator: Angel Kwiatkowski, Founder, fo(co)works (Fort Collins Coworking Alliance).
Julie Sutter (Cohere)
Aaron Todd (Cohere) Only he’ll be stuck in Canada waiting for his work visa to renew :(
Logan Hale (Articulate)
Sara Durnil (The Music District)

FREE Drop-In Coworking at Cohere

Enjoy FREE drop-in coworking each day of Fort Collins Startup Week courtesy of fo(co)works, the Fort Collins’ coworking alliance. If you’ve been coworking-curious, cooped up your your home office or fighting over power outlets at the coffee shop, this FREE event is for you to try out all the amazing coworking communities. To attend, simply show up at the space you would like to visit on their free day. You can cowork for a few minutes between sessions or up to the full day.
• Monday 9a-4p: Cohere at 418 South Howes Street

2015-06-26 17.05.52-1 (1)TUESDAY

Getting Started with Your Startup (Ariana Friedlander, Recent Graduate of Cohere)

Wish you felt smarter about starting your own startup? And had some quick start tips & tricks to get there? We’ll walk you through a business model canvas quick start… You’ll leave this session knowing just what you need to tackle, next —  to create or scale your own startup!

Endurance is the Price Tag of Achievement (Kristin Mastre, Alumnae of Cohere)

Startup life is all about tenacity. Sometimes your plans may become obsolete as society (or technology) evolves. Sometimes the community doesn’t hold as much value in your product as they once did before. And sometimes the toll of startup life almost kills you. I’ve been there. Most (sane) people throw in the towel and quit when the going gets tough, and I’ve found that “fail fast” doesn’t always work in Fort Collins. Entrepreneurs generally aren’t sane nor do they quit easily. I’ll share how our foray into market research got us ready for a pivot and how burnout led to new business perspective.

Sourcing and Valuing Local Marketing Creative (Julie Sutter, Current Member of Cohere)

How do you find the talent located in your own back yard? What is your true cost in sourcing your photos, video,written content, web design, logos locally? Hear from local creators and experts about the added benefits of using local firms and artists to fulfill your business marketing and strategic goals.

I’ve Looked at Clouds That Way (Brian Fromme, Alumus of Cohere)

This talk will help entrepreneurs to better understand their own need to learn about cloud technology. Most non-technical people think of the cloud as a place to store data. But, the cloud can be used to make your rapidly-changing business processes more lean. In this talk, you will learn about aspects of cloud technology and how you can utilize it in your startup to grow more quickly without adding headcount.

Startup Music Videos and VR Show and Tell (Shane Zweygardt, Current Member of Cohere)

Join us for an hour of locally produced and directed music videos in the OtterBox Digital Dome Theater.

From Soloprenuer to Multi-Person Business (Nick Armstrong, Mary Merritt, Alumni of Cohere)

Calling all Solopreneurs! This month’s Fort Collins Internet Pros meetup is a collaboration with Fort Collins Startup Week. Look forward to a 45-minute roundtable discussion with local business owners, followed by audience Q&A. Panelists will share their tips and experiences as Solopreneurs—growing their businesses from one-person shops to team-supported enterprises.

Integrating Social Media with WordPress (Jeremy Green, Current Member of Cohere)

Whether you blog, design, code, sell, or anything in between, if you use WordPress then you belong here. Even if your just interested in finding out more about this powerful piece of software, please feel free to join us!

We will be discussing all things WordPress, including themes, plugins, security, blogging, and business uses. There is so much you can do with WordPress. So whether you are just getting started, have mastered the basics, or are a WordPress core developer, we have a place for you!

https://www.meetup.com/Fort-Collins-WordPress-Meetup/events/237558045/

ianclapWEDNESDAY

Access to Capital: Show Me The Money (Ryan Stover, Alumnus of Cohere)

Are you seeking funding for your small business but are unsure of where to begin? With all the options available for small businesses today, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed! The Larimer SBDC and Innosphere are partnering to bring together several types of funding sources and respective experts for you to ask questions and get answers.

THURSDAY

Work-life Balance for Entreprenuers: Staying Happy and Healthy While Building a Business (Chrysta Bairre, Current Cohere Member)

Learn how the 80/20 rule applies to your work and life as we discuss how to build a successful business without sacrificing your health and happiness, including top tips for creating healthy habits, improving productivity, and focusing your efforts on what will get results in your business without burning you out!

Crowdfunding for Today and Tomorrow  (Ryan Stover, Alumnus of Cohere)

Crowdfunding is an ever growing trend to get early stage ideas off the ground. Colorado leaders in the crowdfunding arena let us know where it is today and where its headed. Get the inside scoop on how startups and entrepreneurs are accessing billions of dollars of usable capital through this innovative financing method.

Startup a Music Business (Angel Kwiatkowski)

Starting a business is hard. Starting a music-focused business can be even harder when it comes to tight budgets.  Music businesses must learn to balance their affinity for helping musicians with the reality of the cost of doing business. Come by The Music District to hear from local professionals that have been able to create and sustain music related businesses over the long-term.  Bring your curiosities and questions to learn about music entrepreneurship.

Startup Music Software Stories (John Dawes, Cohere Alumnus, Rob Viola’s Company Vionza, Current Cohere Member)

This panel will feature stories and experiences of music software’s creative leaders.  This is an opportunity to both meet and learn from the folks that make great ideas great.

_MG_6937FRIDAY

How to Self-Publish a Book Without Losing Your Shirt or Soul (Ariana Friedlander, Recent Cohere Graduate)

Ariana will share the story of how she applied Lean Startup Principles to write and self-publish her first book, A Misfit Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building a Business Your Way so it was profitable within a few weeks of it’s release. She will then challenge attendees to begin re-imagining their idea with a Lean Startup lens and provide insight into how to maintain your soul while steadying yourself for success. This engaging and fun talk is relevant to anyone embarking on a creative endeavor that is entrepreneurial in nature.

Meet the Female Founders (Maria Gregori, Cohere Alumnae)

The Typo That Cost $620 Million (Molly McCowan, Current Cohere Member)
What do NASA, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. government have in common? They’ve all paid the price of a missing hyphen, misplaced comma, or rogue letter.
Hear the true stories of companies that have lost millions of dollars, trashed their reputations, and even gone out of business because of one typo.
In today’s world of instant connection, Autocorrect, and the ubiquitous screenshot, one mistake can spread around the world and take on a life of its own—with just the click of a button.
Learn why it’s worth the time and money to hire a copyeditor or proofreader to look over your company’s written content (including proposals, whitepapers, contracts, blog posts, email newsletters, and marketing collateral) before you click “send.”

Happy Hour Networking for Musicians at Cohere Bandwidth (Angel Kwiatkowski, Tim Massa, Current Cohere Members)

(free beer/drinks)
2014-12-09 08.48.12

COHERE BANDWIDTH OPENS REHEARSAL SPACE IN DOWNTOWN FORT COLLINS

Shared practice space for local musicians to celebrate grand opening on June 27 in Old Town

Arliss Nancy courtesy Craig Okraska of Chromatic

Arliss Nancy courtesy Craig Okraska of Chromatic

Fort Collins, Colo., June 9, 2015 — After two and a half years of planning, preparation and construction, Cohere Bandwidth announced today that it will open its doors on Saturday, June 27 for musicians looking for rehearsal space. Two fully backlined practice rooms featuring high-quality gear, secure access and state-of-the-art sound mitigation are available for bands to book online at coherebandwidth.com starting today. Located at 317 Jefferson St. in downtown Fort Collins, Cohere Bandwidth is housed in the same building as The Downtown Artery’s new music venue, also scheduled to open June 27.

“While the entire process has been lengthy, the result is completely worth it,” said Cohere Bandwidth owner Angel Kwiatkowski. “The location couldn’t be more perfect. We’ve been able to construct this safe, comfortable, convenient workspace for musicians in the heart of Old Town Fort Collins, and it’s housed within the artistic ecosystem and creative community that’s blossoming at The Downtown Artery. The entire building is filled with people helping, inspiring and collaborating with one another, and the possibilities inherent in that are endless.”

Cohere Bandwidth offers plug-and-play hourly practice space for local and touring musicians, and was designed after extensive research and input gathered from several Colorado bands. Hourly rehearsal rates are set at $20, but a limited number of monthly memberships are also available at $145 for 8 hours of rehearsal time. Members of Cohere Bandwidth are also eligible for discounts and freebies from local merchants, including food, beer, gear, professional creative services, clothing, and more. Members also get advance priority access to booking, so they can choose and reserve regular rehearsal times in the Cohere Bandwidth schedule.

bandwidthmembercard

Kwiatkowski, who owns and operates Cohere Community (shared office space for independent creative professionals and remote workers), was motivated to create shared rehearsal space for musicians after hearing the story of local bands Fierce Bad Rabbit and Wire Faces having their practice space robbed.

“I was pretty horrified at the story, not just of the robbery, but of the conditions musicians typically work in,” she said. “The more I learned about what bands need in a practice space, the more parallels I saw between the coworking community and the music community. Why should our artists be forced to work in substandard conditions? They’re business owners, too, and deserve a workplace designed to suit their needs.”

To make sure the space continues to be inspired and guided by the musicians it serves, Kwiatkowski hired drummer Shane Zweygardt of Wire Faces as Cohere Bandwidth’s General Manager.

shane incognito

“It feels good to know that one of the musicians that was the catalyst for this whole project is now helping to run the rehearsal space,” Kwiatkowski said. “Shane is one of the most respected artists in the community and his input has been invaluable as we build the space.” Zweygardt was formerly a long-time employee of Colorado Drum and Percussion, the now-defunct local music store that was once in the building Cohere Bandwidth occupies.

rocksolid

Cohere Bandwidth will host a private party for friends and family on Friday, June 26, but has purposely scheduled the public opening of the practice spaces to coincide with the Downtown Artery’s venue grand opening, to demonstrate the synergy and camaraderie between the two businesses. “They’re the best neighbors we could ask for and we can’t wait to celebrate with them,” Kwiatkowski said.

Cohere Bandwidth offers 24/7 access via unique door key codes. Online booking for June 27 and dates beyond is available immediately. Bands can register online at coherebandwidth.com and purchase hourly rehearsal time or monthly membership as needed.

The Downtown Artery venue grand opening on June 27 features Denver bands Itchy-O, Super Bummer and Panther Martin, along with Fort Collins favorites Stella Luce.

###

Cohere Bandwidth and Cohere Community

MEDIA CONTACT: Angel Kwiatkowski

angel@coherecommunity.com

(970) 219-4061

www.coherebandwidth.com

317 Jefferson St., Fort Collins, CO 80524

 

For more information about The Downtown Artery, please contact:
William Knudsen, Director of Marketing and Development

william@downtownartery.com – (970) 682-2668

www.downtownartery.com

252 Linden St., Fort Collins, CO 80524

Rock Solid Rehearsal Space Is Born in Fort Collins, CO

bandwidth logo horizontal   tagline

 

 

We’re so pleased to announce the birth of Cohere Bandwidth’s internet presence last Tuesday 11/11/14 at 8:45am MST. Mother and baby are doing well.

Total gestation for this pixalated bundle of joy was 22 months. That’s like baby elephant long but it was worth it. The worst part was having to pee every 15 minutes from all the coffee we drank.

Cohere Bandwidth Team Photo

A Julie Sutter Sandwich

We wanted to take a moment to thank all of Bandwidth’s baby mamas and papas (who also happen to be members of the Cohere Coworking Community). This pregnancy never would have happened without the support of the whole family!

Egg Donor: Ellen Bryant, creates the backbone of our design which we replicate every time Angel gets a whim to start a new business.

Godmother: Julie Sutter, who provides words, artistic direction, puns and guru support.

Baby Daddy: Shane Zweygardt, twerked the DNA of our original logo to make it 50% more 50’s.

Godfather: Kevin Udy, pays child support to the thing every Wednesday night by donating his time to the back end.

Surrogate Mother: Angel Kwiatkowski carried the thing for 22 months.

Please take a gander at our little love and tell us what you think!

Website

Facebook Page

Instagram

 

Help Cohere Create A Coworking Space For Local Musicians!

Cohere Bandwidth header

Good Monday Morning!

A few days ago, Cohere Bandwidth launched a fundraising campaign on Community Funded, a local crowdfunding platform. Our project is just one of a handful that are hoping to raise at least $5,000 through the My5 campaign.

Here’s the catch (aka opportunity): before we can actually begin collecting contributions, we have to gather endorsements. It’s kind of like proving that we have the chops to go far in the fundraising round. You have to have at least 50 endorsements to proceed to the funding stage, and the project that gathers the MOST endorsements gets a special cash prize from Community Funded before the crowdfunding even begins.

Alright, here’s where we stand:

August 1: Cohere Bandwidth campaign launches, begins collecting endorsements.

August 1: You, our awesome community of supporters around the world totally crushes it! Cohere Bandwidth gets 54 endorsements in the first 12 hours the campaign is live!!!

August 5: WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP! Every extra endorsement we get from now until August 14th puts us closer and closer to securing the additional $2,000 prize.

(Let’s pause for just a moment and reflect on exactly WHY we were so successful so quickly:

  1. We’ve been building a community of friends and supporters in Fort Collins for over three years. My main goal, when I had the idea to start a coworking space back then was to build a community around independence, entrepreneurship, and collaboration. We started in a lobby, sharing coffee and power cords, but we had a blast! I took the time to let the community tell me what it needed, rather than the other way around. From the beginning Cohere members have had a strong desire to support and help each other, whether work related or not. So, when it comes time to mobilize support for something like Cohere Bandwidth, all we had to do was ask.
  2. We know how to use the interwebs. Social media is INTEGRAL to crowdfunding success. You have to know the right words to say, and where to say them. Not everyone’s on Facebook. Not everyone’s on Twitter. It has to be a multipronged approach, and it has to be genuine (that means lots of shares and request from someone else OTHER than me!), telling the real story of why the project is important.
  3. We made it easy. Any time we asked for endorsements, we kept it short and sweet, and explained what people needed to do once they clicked through to the crowdfunding site. That way, they knew they would have to log in, and they knew what button to look for to endorse us.

Here are some examples of how we mobilized our community to support us through endorsements:

On the Cohere Facebook Page –

Clickity click click please! We’re trying to get 100 endorsements for our crowdfunding project to get Cohere Bandwidth off the ground officially. Can you take 3 minutes to help us out?

We only need 16 more votes to get to the funding round! Can we do it in ONE DAY?! I think we can. Be sure to either create an account with Community funded or LOG IN so your endorsement counts!

7 endorsements away from getting to the funding round for “coworking for bands.” Yeah, you like it and you know it. So go endorse us (but create your account or login first).

On Angel’s Personal Facebook Page –

Oh pretty please endorse our crowdfunding campaign for Cohere Bandwidth: Shared Rehearsal Space for Musicians in Fort Collins. We need at least 50 votes but our goal is 100 so we can get a cash prize to contribute towards the project. You have to create an account but can do so by just clicking the Sign in with Facebook button. Hooray!

On Julie’s Personal Facebook Page –

I had breakfast with Alana Rolfe today, who told me she can’t stand up to play her viola at Stella Luce practice because the ceiling is too low. I think that sucks, and am working with some people to find a fix for such ridiculousness for musicians in our community. We could use your help. If you could take a sec to give us your vote for our shared rehearsal space project, we’ll be on our way to making things better.

And of course, we live-tweeted the entire thing from the @CohereLLC handle:

  • We’re only 14 votes away from getting to the funding round for Cohere Bandwidth:shared rehearsal space for musicians.
  • now we only need 13 more endorsements to get to funding :)
  • It’s FIVE now. FIVE! I’m literally atwitter right now.
  • And people wonder how the long process (of community building) actually works. Psshhh.
  • If you’re scrolling twitter right now you have time to be the last 3 endorsements we need.
  • It happened. It really happened. We got to our goal of 50 endorsements for Cohere Bandwidth in under 12 hours. You all rock.

Anyway, now that we’ve spilled our guts about the campaign, WE NEED YOU TO KEEP THE AWESOME FLOWING. We want that $2,000 so bad we can taste it. It will be a most welcome chunk of change and the first resources we really had to take Cohere Bandwidth off the drawing board and into reality.

This is basically a contest about who has the best and most supportive community. We know you’re the best, all you have to do is prove it!!

WE need as many endorsements as possible between now and August 14th to make sure we get the top spot and $2,000 cash prize towards our rehearsal space project. To show your support, click this link, then login with Facebook and click Endorse This Project (it’s a big green button). Easy! http://communityfunded.com/projects/angel/shared-rehearsal-space-for-musicians/

Cohere Bandwidth: A Prayer

Are you there God sticky

Read all of the Cohere Bandwidth Updates here.

Cohere Bandwidth has been a little radio silent since my live music excursion. I wasn’t recovering from the bar scene but rather completely unsure what we should do next. I rallied Julie and Ian over donuts one morning to figure out how on earth we’re going to pay for shared rehearsal space for musicians in Fort Collins.

We’ve basically landed on corporate sponsors for everything from rent to extension cords. In the meantime we want to test our concept in a temporary space in order to get the musicians introduced to the most basic version of Cohere Bandwidth. We’re calling it Cohere Dial-up in the meantime. It’ll be a dialed down, less ideal version of the finished product. It’ll have all the basics but likely with limited hours and amenities.

Most of my friends know I’m not particularly religious although I have been trying my hand at Quakerism and being quiet and being more helpful to strangers. I’ve tried hard. I also believe that you’ve really got to tell the Universe what you need otherwise you get a bunch of random stuff that makes no sense. So, here ya go, Universe.

Dear Universe,

We believe that Cohere Bandwidth should be free for musicians. Did you know that musicians might make $75 total to split between them after a live show at a venue in town? How can we possibly ask them to pay us. How?! So here’s what we need.

We need a donated standalone industrial building for about 6 months that has  a bathroom, great power and climate control. It needs to be secure-able and have a room or two for equipment storage and a decent sized rehearsal area. The landlord needs to be cool and helpful and is possibly in his/her own band or understands that letting their building sit vacant for years is silly when we could drive traffic and awareness to their location.

We need someone to donate paint so we can at least make the interior minimally attractive. I imagine one 5 gallon bucket of Dolphin Cove blue or Whisper grey would do the trick.

We need Century Link or Comcast to donate 6 months of internet connection.

We need 1 wifi router.

We need 12 power strips.

We need 100 rolls of toilet paper and 75 rolls of paper towels.

We need help spreading the word about Cohere Bandwidth and Cohere Dial-up to anyone who will listen.

Thanks for listening.

Love, Angel

image credit

Cohere Bandwidth: Pre-Paradise with Post Paradise

Post Paradise

 

Read all of the Cohere Bandwidth updates here.

I’m continually surprised at how much I learn with each band research field trip. On Wednesday Julie and I trekked out to the industrial area of Fort Collins to examine Post Paradise in pre-paradise practice conditions. Julie and I arrived a smidge early since we didn’t know where we were going. We decided that a band would likely load-in via the back door so drove around the building to the large garage doors. We were a little confused when loud mariachi music was playing out of the unit we were to be visiting. A minute later Nick, Amy, Mark and Chris showed up and quickly realized that their practice space had been double booked.  *big frowny faces*

So, a 6 pack was shared while listening to a Christian mariachi’s practice for about an hour. At 9:30pm Post Paradise rushed in and set up a surprisingly complex system with full light show in about 12 minutes.  Julie and I peppered them with 3 year old style rapid fire questions while they unpacked, plugged in and tuned up:

  • How often does a scheduling mishap happen?
  • Why are you laying out rugs on the floor?
  • How long does this usually take?
  • Why do you set up your full lights for practice?
  • Are you comfortable leaving your equipment here and sharing with a band you don’t know?
  • Do you have insurance?
  • What’s a Direct Support band at a show?
  • Why is your light making that funny sound?
  • Why do you have so many pedals?
  • Where’s the bathroom?
  • How long can you rehearse before diminishing returns set in?

We were able to stay for 2 songs before I had to get back home to the babysitter. The mariachis had also stayed behind to observe, they’re mouths agape at the incredible musicality to which they were being treated.

Julie and I make for an odd band groupie couple as we bury ourselves in our iphones to document our experience. Julie tweets, I take notes, Julie takes a picture, I upload a video to Facebook, Julie and I bow heads together to discuss how easy it would be for a band to file LLC paperwork and so on and so forth.

Julie and I drive back to Cohere and sit in the car while it’s running. It feels a little like the end of a good date. We know we have to part but don’t want to so we stall by talking about the business concerns of baby Cohere Bandwidth by the light of my headlights reflecting off the building. I kind of want to make out with her–like in a I love my friend so much kind of way.

Julie and I have our 222nd date tonight to see Wire Faces, Post Paradise and A Tom Collins at Hodi’s Half Note. Wish me luck at my first intentional live music concert since 3rd grade.

Read all of the Cohere Bandwidth updates here.

Cohere Bandwidth: Briefly Losing Our Way-Except For Ian Who Gave Us the Map We Dropped

weiner dog in a bun

By Angel

Read all the Cohere Bandwidth updates here.

My day to day life in modern housewifery is often painfully boring and filled with tedious hours over a high chair or reading the same 4 books over and over again so when we brainstormed the idea of the “Tune Truck/Breaking Band” portable RV/sound studio I got really excited as a solution for shared rehearsal space in Fort Collins. Too excited it turns out. After a brief marination period, Ian sent Julie and I the following email:
So after our meeting last Friday, I felt inspired and excited about the idea of the Tune Truck.  A few hours later I began feeling like this, in itself, is almost a completely separate business idea and am wondering the following:

  • How much is it going to cost to do this properly? (Alot)
  • How are we going to receive a return on this investment and what parameters are we measuring? Probably not $$, perhaps awareness. Is it worth it?
  • Who is going to operate it and how much will that cost? (Both for a driver and an audio engineer)
  • What musicians are going to actually feel comfortable enough to use it?  I know many musicians prepare for weeks or months before they record, and the likelihood of finding enough people on the street to record on the spot seems fairly slim.  Not to mention, the recording process for many of us is a somewhat private (and revealing) endeavor.
  • Other costs to consider: Insurance, gas, a computer, mics, cables, sound baffling, a power supply that does not create noise, security, instruments, monitors(speakers) or headphones etc…

So I’ll elaborate on what I meant about a separate business idea. If we were to retrofit an RV and turn it into a recording studio, then drive it to peoples houses and charge them to record in it – that would seem like a potentially “sound” investment.  Just my humble opinion, but if we were to raise money for something, perhaps that money should go toward the actual space for the following reasons:

  • We know we can charge people
  • All of our research is based off of that idea (not on musician acceptance to on-the-spot-recording/collaboration)
  • We could probably use all of the money we can get.  Although, I doubt we can ask for a grant from the city to start a business… I am sure you two know all about this.

OK, sorry for the lengthy email but I wanted to express my concerns in order to be transparent. If I am being a wiener about this, please tell me to shut up and I’ll move forward.  I feel that having a “collaborative space” within our rehearsal space building would potentially be both easier and much cheaper but also comes with some concerns.  I know this is my fault because I lit the fuze on this collaborative recording idea, so sorry for the wishywashiness.

To which we replied to him, “thank GAWD we have you and no, you are not a weiner.” It’s nice to know we have a more linear thinker AND a musician on our team who can bring Julie and I back from the clouds–where we often find ourselves due to our tendency to “ideate all over people” and ya know, “store documents and stuff up there.”

During a mini-coworking reunion last night Julie and I met to get the idea pendulum swinging back the other direction and member Kevin suggested we keep the location of Cohere Bandwidth a secret in order to gain maximum security. We thought this was clever so we are keeping that as a feasible idea for when we finally DO get a location–which we don’t have yet–which has been very confusing for people. We DON’T have a location for Cohere Bandwidth yet. Stay tuned, though we might not tell you where it’s located.

 

Cohere Bandwidth: Field Research Notes with Wire Faces

 Field notes

By Julie

So. We met with the musicians. We conducted two focus groups. We consumed approximately 7 pizzas, collectively (and fewer beers than you might imagine in a band session – serious business was afoot). We listened. We wrote on some giant sticky notes. We asked a lot of questions. In the end, it all boiled down to one more question: now what?

Well. Having heard from the musicians about what a successful rehearsal space would look like to them, we did our best to use our imaginations (that was fun!) and dream about what *could* be . But we needed to know more. We needed to SEE what they were dealing with NOW. Angel and I figured there was only one logical next step for us, and so … for the first time since we were teenage first-chair woodwind superstars: we were headed to band practice.

Luckily, our trusty colleague Ian is in a band . We asked him if he would mind if we visited during their next practice – after all, they’re used to the media  being all up in their (Wire) Faces. He said yes.

Wire Faces pic

Now keep in mind that Wire Faces is among the many bands in Fort Collins currently without a permanent rehearsal space to call home. Their story, while a little more blatantly terrible than most (they moved out of their last practice space last winter after having ALL their equipment stolen) is unfortunately not that unusual. They’re currently shuffling their stuff between two makeshift practice spaces: the back of the store where their drummer (Shane) works, and (Menyus) their bass player’s living room.

The store owner had to use his space this particular evening, so we got to experience a living room rehearsal. Angel picked me up (me: “fun, this feels like high school!” her: “I know, I wondered what I should wear, but then I remembered, I’m married – it doesn’t matter.”). When we pulled up to the house we knew which one it was because, well, we could hear the music — a common concern for ALL the musicians who talked to us about home practice spaces. “Sometimes our drummer doesn’t even want to practice at all, because he’s afraid he’ll piss the neighbors off,” one of the focus group musicians told us. Oddly, because Menyus lives on a fairly busy street, the noise level from outside the house is not as bad as it could be – the traffic provides a natural sound buffer for passersby. Still, the band let the neighbors know that they’d be practicing tonight (“no problem”, they were told; but, Shane says, “we don’t do this very often”). When they practice in the back of the store, they use headphones, both for recording purposes and because “there are people around – we don’t want to draw a lot of attention to ourselves.”

What we were treated to, mind you, was super-stripped down Wire Faces, with Ian and Shane using about half their equipment (Shane is minus a floor tom and all his cymbals and has no vocal microphone, or even his regular drum sticks; Ian’s using a little battery powered amp and is missing all his effects pedals. Menyus is fully equipped because it’s his living room and his stuff lives here, too). Still — Angel and I leave the house after an hour or so feeling just a little bit deaf.

Wire Faces video rehearsal

The band was gracious enough to allow us to observe, and live tweet (#coherebw) and blog from their practice and take photos and shoot video and they still managed to keep some semblance of normalcy, from what we can tell.

What we learned (or had reinforced):

  • Musicians are incredibly adaptable. Shane, for example, kept pausing between songs to fortify a “drumstick” he had fashioned out of packing tape, for sound dampening purposes
  • Coworking (with freelancers) and – as a friend called it – “coplaying” (with musicians) share some striking similarities. Intervals of introspection interspersed with conversation within the group are evident in their work process. A moment was taken to stop and nerd out a little about software (in this case, the benefits of Logic  vs. Pro Tools). And a fiercely independent sensibility – how you can learn to make something on your own and figure things out and iterate and create and try again over and over, because you’re a little obsessed about it? Reeealll familiar territory.
  • Sound and all its nuances: super important. Power – also important. Security and accessibility? Yes, please. Trust remains the watchword as we continue down this path with the bands.

So, still: now what? We think we’d like to observe a few more band practices in different spaces as nothing really beats getting a window into how musicians work and what they need (also: about halfway through, Angel realized an added benefit – we were essentially at a VIP private concert; Menyus even offered us snacks!) We’re going to continue the process of putting the people before the place[js8] . And we’re going to allow things to unfold a little more, because Angel says this feels just like what happened with the creation of Cohere. Sometimes you have to get comfortable in the fog. Because, counter-intuitive as it is, everybody knows that when you get scared and turn the brights on, you only impair your visibility.

One final note from Julie: I tried to write this in a fairly objective and clinical way because, hey, we’re analyzing. But I can say that watching these guys just cope with conditions is both profoundly inspiring and rather distressing. The band says – and I’m sure it’s true – that the constraints motivate them to get creative. I felt a little like I was bearing witness to the unbouncing of Tigger. Ugh. That feeling makes me want to work even harder to make something awesome, though, so … perhaps they have a point.

Image Credit

Cohere Bandwidth: What’s Trust Got to Do With it?

Trust

I asked Ian to write us a blog post on trust this week because we feel the topic is critical to our process/progress with Cohere Bandwidth and the larger Fort Collins music community. Nothing frustrates me more than a newb bursting on to the scene and then wondering why no one wants to hang out in their “awesome new thing.” Trust has been abused so often by theft in all its forms that we’re finding it takes awhile to gain a musician’s trust and when we do we’ll guard it closely—much like we will your equipment when we finally get our space!

By Ian Haygood

Song: Truth by Alexander Ebert

“You Can’t Shake Hands With A Clenched Fist”

So said the late Indira Gandhi, third Prime Minister of India.   Her words resonate for me specifically because of my experiences as a musician.  Typically, trust is not at the forefront of a musician’s mind during the preliminary stages of creative collaboration.  Instead, the quest to concoct a unique, compelling mix of creativity and talent acts as a catalyst for progress.  Subsequently, many of us get burned.  More often than not, young musicians are very trusting, even naïve at times; especially when it comes to things like contracts or parking the van on the wrong street.   This mindset can act as a “blinder” from a variety of threats: both internal and external.  On the other hand, more experienced, touring musicians have had enough negative experiences to fuel a sense of distrust.  Many of us have been ripped off by a club owner, some of us have been robbed by even our closest friends or bandmates, and don’t get me started on what I like to call interband copulation.

 

So why do we keep putting ourselves in these potentially vulnerable situations? I am sure it is partially due to our innate love of “the ride”, but mostly we are searching for truth.  That is why I have chosen Truth by Alexander to accompany this post.  It is very difficult to shake our past experiences, for they have become an integral part of our personalities.  Although this is somewhat inevitable, we continue to search for truth in each other, in words, in the past, present and future. Music, to some of us, is the only truth.  Which is why we feel we’ve found it while we are creating it.   At this point everything else becomes secondary or tertiary. However, trust is the foundation of relationships and therefore the foundation of a band’s success (not everyone can get by with a Pete Doherty in the band).  Moreover, a band’s success is dependent on the support of said band’s local community.  If you don’t think so, I am afraid you may be mistaken.  Even the Beatles needed it.  As the great Cesar Chavez once said, “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community…Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”

 

Unfortunately, we cannot predict if someone is untrustworthy, we can only surmise a group or individual’s intentions based on shared experience, hearsay or “gut feel”.   This process is done on an individual level.  So you tell us. How do you know you can trust someone?  How can you know someone is trustworthy until you trust him or her first?  How do we progress as individuals and as a community without trust?

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Cohere Bandwidth: What IS or What COULD Be?

Thank you card CB

It’s hard to pick a song of the week when you don’t have audio on your computer! I picked this song by Post Paradise purely off of the title, lyrics and this line in particular, “If I’ve got strings and I’ve got friends then I’ve got means to all my ends.” <—that pretty much sums up how we feel about Cohere Bandwidth. We’ll continue to collect people and ideas (and maybe some instruments) until it becomes clear what we should do.

We STILL haven’t been able to do a detailed analysis of the focus group info partially owing to the fact that we just completed one last night at the horrifyingly (to me) late hour of 9pm. What we do have is these awesome thank you cards that the musicians signed for all of our pizza  sponsors. We also found out that Krazy Karl’s has AMAZE-BALLS pizza for a great price. After buying 8 large pizzas and 2 cinnamon breads we still have some sponsor money leftover for our next social event; a “Photo Band Reunion” where we all bring a picture of ourselves from band in Jr. High or High School. Braces anyone? Stay tuned for that.

I would also like to share an excerpt from an email that we wrote to help clarify our direction. We got a little lost in our first focus group and got too focused on WHAT IS rather than what COULD BE regarding shared space for musicians.

—Cohere Bandwidth’s process is more in depth and our vision is larger than a simple shared rehearsal space where you pay to play. We’ll be gathering people and ideas together, dreaming big and building passion BEFORE we look for space. This process could take months and that’s okay because the end result will be mind-blowing (we hope!).
We ask for your patience as we will put in the majority of our effort into gathering your thoughts, ideas and opinions before we find that useful container that is a physical space. We promise that this time consuming and extensive process will be worth it.—

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