Underwater Airport is an improvising and recording multimedia ensemble combining music and projected visuals for the purpose of creating spontaneous portals into alternate space-time dimensions. Drawing inspiration from such diverse sources as shamanic trance music, 1960's free jazz and psychedelia, ambient electronica, and world beat, the band's members have practiced individual and collective improvisation in diverse settings far longer than they can remember.
In the studio, Underwater Airport shifts its focus to constructing consciousness-shifting music and video utilizing Ableton Live for audio and Livid Instruments Cell DNA for video, among other analog and digital tools.
Propelled by the drumming of Peter Spellman, piloted by the bass and Chapman Stick grooves of Jim Whisenant, set adrift by the floating guitar and synth loops of Ed Blomquist, carried aloft by the sax and electronic winds of Lynda Stephens, and enlightened by the projected visuals, horns and synths of Marc Lisle, the Ambient Folk Jazz of Underwater Airport creates the ultimate launch site for departure to mystical heights and depths...
Peter Spellman - Drums, Percussion, Guitar, Keyboard
Peter found his way into music as a guitarist in various NY bands and then switched to drums after seeing the Police perform in the late 1970s. Since then he's performed and recorded with reggae outfit, The Mighty Charge, world music ensemble Friend Planet, and now with the Underwater Airport crew. He's scored films for the National Science Foundation, composed video games for Massachusetts General Hospital, and coaches music entrepreneurs as Director of Career Development at Berklee College of Music. With the poet Carlyle, he believes the deeper we see into nature, the more we realize all is patterned vibration – music. Find him at mcareerjuice.com.
Jim Whisenant - Bass, Chapman Stick, Laptop, iOS Devices, Synths, Percussion
Jim's been playing bass and bass-like instruments for longer than he can remember, which says something to either his dedication or his memory. He remembers listening to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Johnny Winter, then migrating through the English prog-rock catalog a little while later with local Wisconsin bands. Still later, at Berklee, he learned about Miles, and Coltrane, with equal interest in their legendary bass players. Not content to just play his instruments, he's built all of the stringed instruments he currently plays, except for the Stick.
Lynda Stephens - Soprano and Alto Sax, Electronic Wind Instrument, Synths, Keyboards, iOS Devices
Lynda is a multi-instrumentalist whose quest for variant soundscapes has led her through many bands and ensembles to her current runway in Underwater Airport. Embracing technology has been a passion and the electronic wind instrument fuels her search for new sounds, while the soul of her playing still comes from her Soprano and Alto Saxes.
Marc Lisle - Video Projection, Laptop, Electronic Wind Instrument, Cornet, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Percussion, iPhone, iPad
Marc earned a BFA in painting at the University of Florida before computers were installed in the College of Fine Arts, and after 10 years of post-graduate desktop publishing experience, he taught a variety of computer graphics courses at The Boston Architectural College and Pine Manor College from 1996-2004. He began experimenting with digital video and VJ presentation software in 2004, and has provided live projected video mixes for performances of The Free Range Experiment at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and the collaborative dance & prepared piano performance "2T Shadow Worlds" (with Sarah Slifer & Stephen Hastings-King) at the Tank Space in New York City. He has also begun exploring the layering of sound textures with electric wind instruments such as the Akai 4000, as well as his iPhone's ocarina app.
Ed Blomquist - Guitars, Synths, Laptop, iOS Devices, Loops, Flutes, Percussion, Voices
Ed approaches the guitar as a hybrid between a meditation cushion and an interstellar kayak. He also enjoys making noises with other acoustic and electronic devices.
Russell Lane - Drums, Percussion, Co-Founder of Underwater Airport
Inspired by some ill-fated combination of the Monkees television show and his big sister's American Bandstand addiction, Russell began playing drums at the age of 10. After an undergraduate career studying and performing the classical art music of the 20th Century, Russell returned to his first love, the American drum set, and has never looked back. A lifelong student of music and drumming, he has been a constant presence in the musical community of Boston's north shore for the last 25 years. (Editor's note: Russell retired from Underwater Airport in early 2015. His last performance with the band can be heard on the recording Live at Berklee, 2.5.2015.)