'Microsessions' is Like Speed Dating for New Music

Mar 21, 2016

Bonnie Whitmore and Colin Gilmore at a previous Microsession
Credit Nathan Wagoner

Microsessions, the creation of producer Paul Schomer, are designed to expose fans to new live music in an efficient and time-conscious way. Each event features five acts playing five sets simultaneously (but in different rooms or areas of one location). Audiences are divided into "pods" which move from room to room until they've experienced a short set from each of the featured musicians. He likes to refer to it as "speed dating for new music."

Schomer was inspired to create Microsessions after attending a house concert with an ever-expanding bill. "I went to go see a friend of mine play," he explains. "It was a double bill, and I got there and I realized that three more artists had been added. And before I knew it, it was almost midnight... and my friend still hadn't played." By the time he got home, he'd planned out a way to achieve something similar but in a shorter time frame. "And it may seem weird to approach something artistic with sort of an eye to making it more efficient, but that was the idea," he says.

Another goal of Schomer's is to make the lineup as diverse as possible. "I just don't want singer-songwriter, singer-songwriter, singer-songwriter," he says. "I want a wide range of genres to be represented." With one Microsession under his belt, Schomer's gotten positive reactions from audiences and musicians alike, and he's hoping to make it regular event in Austin.

The next Microsession is Wednesday, March 30 at the Vortex.