Interview with Calle Sjönell, the founder of music making technique “Meet & Beet”, at Bizarre Star Bazaar Festival in Stockholm
One day when your grandchildren ask you how first Meet & Beet started, this is the story you’re gonna tell them.
Right in the early 2016 when Swedes announced Bizarre Star Bazaar festival, I knew it was something worth checking. It was promoted as a Swedish version of Burning Man, a participatory festival taking place every summer in Nevada desert.
I booked the plane tickets and in ca. 50 minutes found myself in Stockholm. As I arrived at the festival, I couldn’t ignore a section with a huge concentration of music gear: synthesisers, microphones, guitars, basses and even more laptops and cables.
The music was very appealing, and soon I found myself at the heart of “Meet & Beet”, together with Swedish producers and instrumentalists, creating beats in a very original way.
A photo posted by MAGDA EDM 🎛🎙 (@magdaedm) on
I sat down with Calle Sjönell, the founder of Meet & Beet, and here is what you need to know:
MAGDA: What is Meet & Beet and where did the idea come from?
Calle: Meet and Beet is a way for electronic musicians to jam together without sounding like shit.
It started with different experiences I’ve had working with others making music. Then I realized most electronic producers are either doing it solo or collaborate over the web or stare at the same computer. But the feeling and togetherness you get from jamming together is unbeatable.
MAGDA: How it all started?
Calle: I dreamed up this idea 8 years ago, but the technology for doing it in a fairly simple way have just arrived.
MAGDA: What do you need for Meet & Beet?
Calle: You need a mixing desk and a way to deliver a sync to all the equipment. Recently Roland MX-1 and Ableton Link made this idea much simpler and cheaper to do!
MAGDA: Why is it different than jamming?
Calle: The magic comes from the Mixer Operator (MO) who listen in headphones to what everyone is doing and selects what goes out in the speakers. Each headphone wearing musicians then tries to make some stuff on their own equipment in the hope of the MO letting it out into the speakers. This way the music takes a direction that others follow. Since the MO selects what goes out into the speakers, it all sounds pretty good.
We have done a few test runs of Meet & Beet before the the Urban Burn Stockholm Festival. It was with some friends and people from Propellerheads. We immediately understood that this was a fun format and sometimes it sounded REALLY good.
MAGDA: What was Meet & Beet at Bizarre Star Bazaar like?
Calle: At the Bizarre Star Bazaar festival it was complete strangers who came with their equipment, both electronic instruments as well as base, piano and guitars. Not only did people have a lot of fun, some spontaneous songs where made, such as Where is my Robot? which we want to record later this summer. You Magda showed up riffing the roof off on your iPhone and all our jaws just dropped. A pretty amazing experience!
A video posted by MAGDA 🎛🎙 (@magdaedm) on
MAGDA: Who can join Meet & Beet?
Calle: Anyone can join if you have some gear to plug in. If you don’t play music, you can always be the MO where you just listen and select the streams that go to the speakers.
MAGDA: What are the plans for the future?
Calle: In the future we are securing a permanent place at Noden, in Sickla, Stockholm so anyone can get their friends together and jam, regardless if I’m there or not.
I wish most people who make music by themselves forms little Meet & Beet hangouts all over the world. Making music together that sounds good is the best feeling in the world!
MAGDA: Where to find more info and connect to other Meet & Beeters?
Calle: Join us at Facebook group.
This was Meet & Beet (for now). What innovative music making methods did you stumble upon? What music setup do you practice?