Back in 2016, Phil Elverum apparently inspired a new speaker company. That year, the Microphones/Mount Eerie songwriter announced he wouldn’t be touring. One fan, Nick Dangerfield, offered to build him 50 speakers that could be connected to an app on Elverum’s phone, so he could play live for his fans from home. This eventually led Dangerfield to create Oda, a speaker company that’s positioning themselves as a conduit for the live concert experience in your own house.
One of Oda’s main selling points is their claim that the speakers — which are thin wood-covered squares — are designed to make you feel as if you are at a live performance. Obviously, that’s notable as the pandemic, and our inability to attend shows, drags on. To that end, Oda is one of many entities springing up this year that’s taking a look at how in the hell being a musician is going to be financially viable/sustainable as touring remains on hold. (An added layer with Oda is their focus on older musicians who might not be able to leave home to perform even under better, non-COVID circumstances.)
Oda is a speaker but also now a concert programming series. Today they’ve announced a “Winter” season and a “Spring” season of live performances, from an artist’s home to yours. You can buy a subscription to these seasons, and Oda promises over 20 artists per season and that there will be “original commissions, collaborations, and experiments” and that each will be “a one-time unique live event, accessible only through the speakers.” It should probably be noted these are also normal speakers and you can, as usual, play your own music through them.
Oda’s curated a pretty impressive lineup for its kickoff seasons. Fittingly, Phil Elverum is there as the Microphones. He’s joined by everyone from Arca to Jessica Pratt to Standing On The Corner to Terry Riley to Bradford Cox to Beverly Glenn-Copeland to Madlib, and more. Obviously we’ve seen a lot of people trying to approach live performances from new directions during COVID. Though Oda’s aims presumably predate and extend beyond the pandemic, here’s one more.
Oda’s “Winter” Season One runs 12/21-3/20, and then “Spring” is 3/21-6/20. Here’s the initial lineup, with exact scheduling TBA:
Angel Bat Dawid
DJ Python & LA Warman
Don Bryant & Ann Peebles
Pastor T.L. Barrett
Pauline Anna Strom
Standing On The Corner
The Oda speakers are available for pre-sale now. The promotional pre-sale price is $299 plus $79 for a seasonal membership. After the first 1,000 units it will cost $399.