Out of the Blocks is a uniquely immersive listening experience that emerges from a mosaic of voices and soundscapes on the streets of Baltimore. A custom-tailored score colors and connects this tapestry of stories hidden in plain sight.
Have you ever been a mentor to someone? Maybe you had a mentor of your own? How did it change your life? January is National Mentoring Month, and this episode we turn our attention to the voices and the stories of some young Baltimoreans we met through a network called Maryland MENTOR. They’re young, but they’ve got life-lessons for a willing ear of any age.
This pandemic’s been a tough time for musicians. Clubs are closed, and gigs are cancelled. But our friends at Baltimore’s Creative Alliance had a lightbulb moment. They thought: These musicians that we usually book on our stage, what if we start booking them on stoops and porches? They’d be outdoors, the crowds would be small, just the neighbors on the block. People would be masked up and socially distant. But it’d be a little moment of community, and it’d give these musicians some work. They called the series, Sidewalk Serenades. And it ended up bringing little spontaneous moments of genuine joy to Baltimore neighborhoods during a really dark time. Out of the Blocks decided to book some of these Sidewalk Serenades on different blocks around the city. And we recorded them for this special episode. Mask up & head out with us for some great live music and neighborhood togetherness!
They have access to the collected astronomical data of the world’s most powerful space telescopes, and they’re stuck at home in quarantine. Here’s what they’re doing: Scientists Jenn Kotler, Clara Brasseur, and Scott Fleming have been using their time in isolation to design a radically new way of understanding the dynamics of the cosmos. Inspired by a blind colleague halfway around the planet, Australian astrophysicist Garry Foran, they’re pioneering a new method to study the motion of the universe, through sound.
Curious to learn more about their work? Check out this link and this link
James' Block: An Outlier
This episode is about a virtual block that makes up the current world of one fascinating and unusual young man. His name is James Burrows. He’s a musical genius, and he’s autistic. This week, he’s graduating from high school in the midst of a pandemic. What might James be able to teach the rest of us about living in the shared social isolation of the moment?
NOTE: All the music in this episode was composed and produced by James. Check him out on SoundCloud.
Lexington Market, part 3: On a Humble
Well, this long-overdue episode wasn’t originally intended to be an audio time-capsule, but, you know… life. Here’s a final look back at a venerable city market that’s now temporarily closed to the public, and partly demolished.
Um, Now What?
We’re working through how to best proceed on near-future episodes of the show, and we want to invite you into the conversation. Got an interesting online ‘block’? Hit us up on Instagram @outoftheblocks1 or on twitter @outoftheblocks1