Hello, my name is Erik Jarvis. I am a composer and performer. A year ago I moved to Omaha. I live in a duplex in Benson and the basement is large and the neighbors are hearing-impaired. These are convenient details for my roommate Justin and me, because our basement functions as a recording studio and venue that we call Yorick Studio.
Yorick functions as a headquarters for our community’s artistic projects. When I say “our community,” I mean it pretty loosely, though so far it has meant the residents of Yorick and our immediate friends. Our goals are pretty simple: make things (specifically great music), make lots of it with many people, find many ways to share it. So far we have done this with our potlucks and house shows, recording projects, and even a live stream of a touring jazz trio in our living room.
Our potluck house shows are important for creating an open and welcoming environment. Recording studios often have a mystique shrouded in secrecy and exclusiveness. We want to invite people in and maybe even have them join the process. Also, by having a potluck before bands play, our open house events allow attendees to commune without any sense of artist-audience barrier.
The recordings we produce also demonstrate how we use collaboration to achieve artistic excellence. Our first project, The Performer EP by guitarist/songwriter Michael Everson, features soundbites of his friends and percussion stomps casually recorded on a hungover Sunday when friends were still over. Between our next two albums, Eavesdrop and Elevate by myself and RUGs by the Rather Unsightly Gentlemen, we were able to involve our students (many of us teach at School of Rock) and string and horn sections. These are sonic records of our community.
The basement in Benson happens to be a perfect location for such happenings, but really the physical space is secondary to the people and ideas. Whether you are an artist, a fan, or just someone who wants a community, we invite you to take part in our happenings.