We take a band, an audience, and give them one goal - create a song together in an hour, and then record it in one take.
It's a free event and anyone can sign up - the only rules being you leave your wallets at home and egos at the door.
January 29th marked something of a dream come true as Playground teamed up with Dan Mangan + Blacksmith and 35 non-musicians from Vancouver to record a version of the song Pretty Good Joke, live off the floor at Gastown's iconic Warehouse Studio.
Dan, Kenton, Gord and Johnny re-orchestrated the song with the aim of creating something beautiful and artful, with the video following a series of reveals as the audience parts come into the song.
The audience played xylophones, marimbas, pianos and formed a choir, with additional help from an incredibly talented group of musicians in their own right.
JP Carter, a long-time Dan Mangan+Blacksmith collaborator and noted jazz musician bookended the track on trumpet, while Dawn Pemberton (a vocalist and choir leader - who also just happens to perform with The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer) taught a choir of non-musicians in less than an hour.
Rob Hamilton (guitarist for Lee Aaron, Vince Vaccaro, and a host of others) teamed up with Cory Curtis (bass player for Head of the Herd and Hannah Georgas) to lead xylophone and marimba players, whilst Zach Grey of the Zolas conducted our six new piano players.
The producer for Dan's recent album Club Meds was Colin Stewart, and he came into the studio to help record, mix and master the final audio.
With all that talent all that was left was for us to flick a few light switches, turn on the cameras and serve up some beer.
A huge thank you goes to Telus Optik Local - without their support this event could not have happened. They are also supporting local musicians and filmmakers though projects such as Storyhive, Riff TV for Rifflandia, Sing Talk Play in Calgary and The Secret Sessions in Edmonton - all worth checking out.
Big thanks also to our local sponsors Main Street Brewing and Tom Lee Music helped keep the creativity flowing and the notes ringing out, providing the beer so we had something to drink and the instruments so that we had something to play.
And finally a huge thank you to 35 members of the general public who came out and not only learned something new, but also committed to recording that performance for all the world to see.