Art Collaborations

Sarah M. Chenby Sarah M. Chen

I don’t know if it’s a trend I’m just noticing now but there have been quite a few book events I’ve been to lately that feature both readings and live music. It makes sense that this type of event would work. Writers are creative types and many of us also dabble in other creative outlets like music, painting, and dance. I have many writer friends who bond over music backgrounds and band favorites. Why not bring them together?

Jeff Whalen performing acoustic guitar. He’s the singer of the LA punk band Tsar.

For example, last week, I read at S.W Lauden’s launch party for his Greg Salem sequel Grizzly Season along with another writer friend. There was also a singer from a punk band. He sang acoustic guitar and it added a fun twist to the typical book launch party.

Even having your writer friends reading at your own book launch party is unusual and something S.W. Lauden has done before. He’s very generous with spreading the love!

Last year’s launch for S.W. Lauden’s BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION at the L.A. River. Bands played afterwards.

There are several anthologies that revolve around bands and musicians, such as Trouble in the Heartland inspired by Bruce Springsteen songs and The Replacements anthology that is coming out soon.

20161009_081948Another writer friend of mine, E.A. Aymar, is putting together a website called eaalkimist with DJ Alkimist where you can hear him reading one of his short stories against the background of some cool music. I think this is a great concept.

youre_as_good_as_dead_homeOne Noir at the Bar that really stuck in my head was when we viewed a film trailer for an upcoming movie. Not only that, but the director of the noir film, Dave Boyle, was present and talked about his movie. I loved the trailer so much that I went out and saw it when it came out. Man From Reno was incredible by the way. Very atmospheric and totally surprising. I loved it.

imagesThere was a recent event (a popup bookfest) I wanted to attend (sadly couldn’t make it) that featured readers at the Museum of Neon Art. How cool is that?

How about anyone else? Are there events that you remember that were especially fun and combined different artistic forms?


Sarah M. Chen juggles several jobs including indie bookseller, transcriber, and insurance adjuster. Her crime fiction short stories have appeared in Shotgun Honey, Crime Factory, Betty Fedora, Out of the Gutter, and Dead Guns Press, among others. Cleaning Up Finn is her first book available now with All Due Respect Books.



24 thoughts on “Art Collaborations

  1. Sarah, I am so about collaborations, whether it’s writers, muscians, painters, etc. I am hoping to create such events here where I live. The arts are alive, but the dynamics of the town make the process slower than I would like. Thank you for the kick in the seat of the pants. (Figuratively of course).

    I totally resonated with your words on this one. Doris

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of our local organizations, ArtCore, often combines music with poetry readings, and they also host an open mic night for writers (which I participated in a few years ago) and bring in musicians for that as well. It seems musicians and writers gather in Casper somewhat frequently, and I think it’s a wonderful combination. I hope to participate in open mic again next summer as I have new works being published and as well as still in process; it’s fun to “get the word out” about upcoming works! Great post, Sarah!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great idea. I now live in a rural area in the Upstate region of South Carolina near the Blue Ridge Mountains, a beautiful area! There is a book/writers event coming up later this month. I don’t believe any crossover-type artistic ventures are planned, but it’s a good idea. If I get the chance I’ll mention it to the organizers. There is quite an “artistic” movement in the area. I’ve played guitar since the Beatle era (yep, I’m an old dude); used to play and sing in a band. Hey, I could bring one of my (many) guitars and sing a chapter from my latest book. Or, maybe not. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s a great idea! I love combining artistic talents and seeing what happens. I didn’t think reading a story set against music would work (my friend’s website I mentioned with the DJ) but it really gives a unique vibe to the short story that I don’t think would be there otherwise. It makes it more chilling. So singing your chapter? I say go for it! 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting, Michael!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think adding music is a great idea. I’ve been an artist longer than I’ve been a writer, but we used to have sales where several artists got together and there was always enough interest and enthusiasm to go around. We all did well. Cher’ley

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like a great time! I love the idea of combining book events with artwork such as hosting one at an art gallery or having a reading with artists selling their work. Thanks for the comment, Cher’ley.


  5. I love the hybrid idea and SW Lauden has been great at bringing that together. I was fortunate enough to read before the 25th(?) anniversary screening of Devil in a Blue Dress. The director Carl Franklin was there, which was cool. I’d like there to be more of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I forgot about that, Travis. I so wanted to go to that. What a cool opportunity! I love that movie and to see Carl Franklin…very cool! I’d love to do more reading/film events. I think they’re a great idea.


  6. I haven’t attended an event that combines reading and music, but I know there have been some here. Combining them makes sense. I wonder if Bob Dylan’s winning the Nobel prize for his poetry might generate more.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bringing together a variety of art forms is always a plus in my book. I coordinated an Earth Day Festival that brought together musicians, authors, painters, photographers, gardeners, and local non profits. It gave everyone a chance to see we all had similar interests.

    Liked by 1 person

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