Tonight Woodsman will play a midnight set at Mercury Lounge, the Lower East Side venue that accommodates up to 250. But on a given week the band’s guitarist, Mark Demolar, can be found tapping his effects pedals in a mellower, more intimate setting — for 10 vinyasa yoga students in Bushwick.
How did The Living Gallery book Demolar for such intimate gigs?
Last fall, dancer and newly certified yoga teacher Laura Bartczak approached owner Nyssa Frank about adding a second class to the facility’s yoga program.
“I was just really interested in being able to practice my classes and to ask different musicians to come and do whatever they want whenever they want,” Bartczak said. “Any instruments. It’s musician’s choice — they have free reign.” Frank agreed.
As it happens, Bartczak and Demolar have been a couple for six years. The pair met in Denver, where Woodsman was formed.
A variety of acts have had mini jam sessions during Bartczak’s Sonic Yoga class. One week, a two-man band with a drummer and saxophonist performed. Another time brought an acoustic guitarist. John Bohannon (aka Ancient Ocean) has also dropped in.
“The whole thing is pretty loud,” Bartczak said. “Depending on who is playing and what they decide to play, the vibe and the energy of the class totally changes. If the sound is more drone-heavy, the practice is more internal and grounded. If it’s more melodic, it’ll be a more active, energetic class.”
Demolar provides the soundtrack to a majority of the classes. “Mark plays electric guitar and he experiments with loops and pedals and distortions,” Bartczak said. Sometimes Demolar practices yoga on his own.
The Living Gallery’s hour-long Sonic Yoga class is Thursdays at 6 p.m. It’s open level donation-based.
Mercury Lounge, 217 E. Houston St.; 212-260-4700
The Living Gallery, 1094 Broadway, at Dodworth St.; 631-377-1998