“My ears will never be the same again, after hearing their music.”
– 4th grader, Harmony School, with Kinobe & the Wamu Spirit
For 20 years, Lotus Blossoms Education Outreach has brought children, underserved populations, and the Bloomington community into close contact with new cultures, new music, and new creative skills. Lotus Blossoms artists are some of the world’s best ambassadors and communicators . . . but their voices couldn’t be heard (literally!) without the hard work of some unsung Blossoms heroes: our dedicated audio engineers, who have been trekking across counties to school gyms and community venues for years to bring Lotus to life for all ages.
Young Lotus ears have benefited greatly over the years from the talents and long-time dedication of Dave Weber, owner of Air Time Acoustic Consulting & Air Time Recording Studio. Weber has been a strong supporter for Lotus since the very beginning, serving as sound engineer in the late 1990s for the Festival, supporting PA for Lotus’s annual Edible Lotus benefit event, and travelling with artists to school after school for Blossoms performances. Dave’s audio skills are indispensable, but equally important is his calm, quick-thinking presence before every performance. He recalls doing sound for Hot Club of Cowtown (2000) at First Presbyterian Church, and troubleshooting a horrible buzzing noise just minutes before the performance was to begin. After in-the-moment problem solving, Dave solved the issue and remembers the grateful guitarist exclaiming: “You are a rocker!”
Not only has Dave helped ensure these musical interactions are of highest quality, but he has also generously shared his invaluable professional skills and knowledge to help Lotus acquire audio equipment of our very own. This year, thanks to a grant from the Monroe County Government’s Sophia Travis Award, Air Time Acoustic Consulting guided Lotus in purchasing our first-ever PA system – a purchase which will alleviate the costs of renting an audio support system for nearly 25 separate presentations in 2015 alone.
In his volunteer roles with Lotus and in his professional career with Air Time Acoustic Consulting, Dave shared this observation: artists want to connect with people. “The artists that Lotus presents have a mission to share their culture and knowledge with others,” he reflects, “and Lotus does a wonderful job of inviting this connection, both at the Festival and at Lotus Blossoms.” Dave suggests that Lotus Blossoms is succeeding in ways that inspire everyone involved: “Lotus Blossoms is ideal: you get to watch both kids and artists light up – it is electrifying.” He adds: “Working with Lotus has been a wonderful experience, from watching children experience an opportunity they wouldn’t normally have, expanding and promoting new world music to the Bloomington community, and putting Bloomington on the map – I’ll do everything I can do to support Lotus.”
Lotus is so grateful for Dave’s years of dedication to amplifying Lotus’s efforts in the Bloomington community!