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Santa Maria Sun / Music

The following article was posted on August 9th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 23 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 23

Bent Myggen and the VisionEars perform live in the heart of Los Olivos

By JOE PAYNE

Right in the heart of downtown Los Olivos, in sight of its iconic flagpole, there’s one quaint little home that remains in an area packed with fine dining, tasting rooms, boutique shops, and a large hotel. That’s Bent Myggen’s home, and you’re a welcome guest.

The Danish-born singer/songwriter hosts concerts during the summer months in his yard, named The Crooked Path. Anyone is welcome to stroll down the path, plop down in a chair or on the lawn, and enjoy the music.


ARTISTS WITH VISION
Bent Myggen (front left) said he enjoys collaborators who know how to listen first, then play. His band, the VisionEars includes (pictured from left to right) guitarist Luke Sundquist, keyboard player Ronn Cobb, percussionist Grace Feldmann, bassist Kurt Kummerfelt, and Yves Bajulaz on saxophone.
PHOTO COURTESY OF BENT MYGGEN

“It’s not a business, it’s my home, and the people who come there are my guests,” Myggen said. “So anyone is allowed to go out in the garden and sing a song or listen without a permit.”

Myggen has a loose coalition of musicians who join him on Saturdays and Sundays, usually from 4 to 7 p.m., who he calls the VisionEars, collectively.

The group has garnered a local following, Myggen said, of people who come to the shows each weekend, bring a picnic dinner or some wine, and listen to the tunes. The shows also attract people wandering around the small town as most of the shops close down, hear the music from the sidewalk, and join the crowd, he said.

“It’s a little bit like a baker who’s baking bread in the morning and people walk by and smell it,” Myggen said. “If the music speaks to them, they come in. The people who come in the garden, they actually like to listen.”

Myggen has worked to cultivate an audience that likes to listen, he said, but that’s also because he has filled the VisionEars with musicians who like to listen as well.

Walk the path
Bent Myggen and the VisionEars perform live on Saturdays and Sundays from 4 to 7 p.m. through Aug. 27 at The Crooked Path, 2885 Grand Ave., Los Olivos. More info: visionears.com.

He divides musicians into two categories: those who have something to say, and those who listen first, and then play. He’s interested in playing with those who listen to his original songs first, and listen to their hearts in general, before throwing out notes.

“That’s the kind of people I’m looking for, that understand that, have the maturity,” he said. “So, we don’t really have any rehearsals, it’s all on the spur of the moment, and it’s amazing sometimes, what happens.”

The VisionEars include guitarist Luke Sundquist, keyboard player Ronn Cobb, percussionist Grace Feldmann, bassist Kurt Kummerfelt, and Yves Bajulaz on saxophone. They’re all seasoned musicians, he said, noting that some have experience on tour with big-name acts.

Together, they perform what Myggen calls “Americana,” which even though he’s born in Denmark, includes an amalgamation of American styles like jazz, R&B, folk, and rock, all with the polish of a classical education. He also pays close attention to how he arranges the PA system and amplifies the instruments, always going for an authentic sound and feel.


HOME SWEET HOME
Myggen holds weekend concerts in the yard of his home in Los Olivos, The Crooked Path, right in the heart of the small town.
PHOTO COURTESY OF BENT MYGGEN

“It’s all about getting the natural sound of the instruments to the people,” he said. “To me, I play because I love the sound that the instruments make. It transports you.”

The concert series is scheduled to go through August, but like his style of collaboration, nothing is concrete. The shows could continue on if weather permits, Myggen said.

“I’m really glad a lot of people are showing up and supporting this, people in the community, including the winemakers and people like that,” he said. “There’s other things going on in town, there’s bands during regular hours, and I’m not interested in competing with that, and when the town settles down and gets a little more quiet, that’s when it’s better to play.”

Managing Editor Joe Payne has walked the crooked path. Contact him at jpayne@santamariasun.com.




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