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Live Art, Instant Music and Strange Happenings At Freq Out!

In Clubs, Music
Besides organizing Freq Out!, Kyle Patrick also performs as UpSwing.

Besides organizing Freq Out!, Kyle Patrick also performs as UpSwing.

The Freq Out! series of art and music events prides itself on being a place for spontaneity and synchronicity, and South Bay artists Katie Raynes and Matt Lopez know perhaps better than anyone how true that can be. Raynes, now a San Jose State student, had been going to Freq Out! since it started in Santa Cruz. But it was after it moved to downtown San Jose last year that it led her to Lopez, who would eventually become her artistic collaborator and boyfriend.

“The first time we ever talked was at a Freq Out, on Halloween,” says Raynes.

“I had just moved here from Florida, and started hanging out at live music events downtown,” says Lopez, who lives in Gilroy.

In a nice bit of circular karma, Raynes and Lopez will paint together at the next Freq Out!, on Friday at South First Billiards. This edition will feature seven live acts on the bill, and four visual artists doing live art to the music.

Most people aren’t used to seeing live art during a concert, let alone two people working on the same piece. But Lopez and Raynes began collaborating on their paintings after first experimenting with a long, rectangular canvas.

“I started at one end, and she started at one end, and then we just flip-flopped,” remembers Lopez. “I went over what she was doing, and she went over what I was doing.”

“It almost inspires me more when we work together,” says Raynes. “It’s more of a surprise.”

The canvas they’ll be working with on Friday will be the largest they’ve done yet. Both of them are hooked on the live art experience.

“It draws out inspiration that you wouldn’t normally get,” says Raynes. “Live music is so unpredictable.”

Lopez is now doing most of his art at live music events. “Everybody is really into it, because it’s immediate,” he says. “It’s like you’re a musician playing a song.”

In another interesting bit of symmetry, the San Jose group Rebelskamp, who’ll be performing at this week’s Freq Out!, looks at their music like an artist painting a piece.

“That’s such a match for our music,” says drummer Dan Gilardoni of the event’s live-art component. “We don’t know what we’re playing, but we’ll just start flowing with it.”

Rebelskamp started as the freestyle rap crew LSB, and didn’t compromise their creative process one bit when they became a rock band.

“We make up our music on the spot,” says Gilardoni. “We thrive on that unpredictability.”

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