Our first show in Europe - Performing at the Ubuntu Summit in Prague

 An open-source band's journey to Prague

picture of for guys with instruments in a room

It's amazing the things that can happen when you're a creative commons, open-source band.

When we released our album "Rom-Comm Mixtape" we decided to only use free and open-source tools and software for the band.

It was something that matched our ideals as a creative commons band

We allow people to share, reuse, and build upon our music freely. And decided to record and produce our work using tools based on the same principle.

The entire band switched to using the Linux-based operating system Ubuntu Studio to do this.

"one night while I was at our studio, Canonical contacted me and asked if I would be interested in flying to the summit that they were doing in Prague"
picture of man playing drums

 

It started with a podcast interview

We had done a limited-series podcast a while back. I wanted to talk to bands and other people involved in different aspects of music.

One of the interviews was with Erich Erickmeyer, a person involved in the Ubuntu Studio software we were using. We had become friends with him after that.


Canonical was looking for bands that used Ubuntu   

Canonical, the company that runs Ubuntu had asked Erich if he knew any bands that use their Ubuntu Studio OS and he told them to talk to us.

So one night while I was at our studio, Canonical contacted me and asked if I would be interested in flying to the summit that they were doing in Prague to do a talk about using Ubuntu Studio as a band.

Then that turned into a question of would the band be interested in playing at the ubuntu Summit in Prague as well?

Picture of streets with cars and buildings

Of course, we said yes!

First stop, Paris

So after getting our passports in place we headed to Prague to play at the Ubuntu Summit.

Rob and I were on the same flight and our first layover was in Paris, France

picture of two people in front of the Eiffel Tower
Tom and Rob at the Eiffel Tower

It was cold and rainy there. But during our layover, we got the obligatory shot of ourselves at the Eiffel Tower.

Staying at the Prague Hilton

They set us up with rooms in the Prague Hilton hotel where the Ubuntu Summit was being held

picture of lobby in hotel from above


Talking about using Ubuntu Studio, Ardour, and GitHub to collaborate on music remotely

picture of a guy talking on stage in front of a projection screen
Tom talking at the Ubuntu Summit in Prague

On the first day of the Ubuntu Summit:

I gave a talk about how I came up with a method for the band to collaborate on music remotely during the pandemic using Ubuntu Studio (the Linux operating system we use), Ardour (our recording software DAW of choice), and GitHub.

It turned out that Paul Davis and Robin Gareus the people that make Ardour were actually in the crowd during my talk!

That was pretty amazing 🙂

Hanging out with the people from Ardour

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Cliff walking with Paul and Robin from Ardour in Prague

We started talking to Paul and Robin from Ardour after the talk, and we all decided to go to dinner that night in Prague and hang out.

picture of people in a restaurant eating
From left: Robin (Ardour), cliff and wife, Paul (Ardour), Rob, Eric

Picking up instruments from a music shop

The next day we went to a rental company called Nomads of Prague to pick out our gear for the show.

The rental place was in a warehouse district that looked like a movie backlot.

Picture of man standing in alleyway
Tom outside Nomads of Prague

We had contacted the rental company before we left the US to let them know the gear we were looking to use.

Inside they had our stuff along with a bunch of other gear for shows they were supplying for that week.

picture of four guys in a room with instruments
From left: Cliff, Eric, Rob and Tom

picture of guy in front of keyboard

My keyboard was in another section of the shop filled with gear.

picture of guys in a room with instruments

Checking out the city again

Then that night we all hit a few more bars with Paul and Robin from Ardour.

picture of people in the street at night
Tom, Robin (Ardour) and Eric in the streets of Prague

picture of a man on a bridge at night
Eric on the bridge in Prague

Playing a show at the Ubuntu Summit on a boat in Prague

On the final day of the Ubuntu Summit, we went down to the Vltava river in Prague. Our show was on a boat that was going to travel the river as we played.

picture of four guys in a room with instruments

One of the guys from Nomads of Prague brought the instruments we were playing on that night. And we worked with the local sound company to set up the sound system.

picture of people standing by music equipment

Eric's keyboard actually blew up and they all worked on getting it fixed at one point.

picture of people around a keyboard

We eventually got it all fixed and the crowd from the Ubuntu Summit started rolling in.

picture of crowd in a room

We got up and running and had a great night!

-Tom


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