Lapping up the Big Mountain Experience 

Music, images, movies part of BME

There’s not much left for free in this world but the Big Mountain Experience (BME), Jan. 7-12, is offering three top-notch nights out for nothing. That’s right, it’s coverless capers for the common people. BME’s attendees will have automatic access to some great live music, films and photo exhibits.

Headlining the social engagements is the Big Shivoo, a celebration. Lappalectro, a funky, jazzy fusion mixing loop based DJ culture with live improvisation, will be playing all night long. They’ll be taking over the GLC to serve up some electronic TLC on Saturday, Jan. 11.

This funky four-piece outfit from Victoria is quickly gaining respect and recognition in all the right places as an innovative jazz-based electronica band. The core of the group is multi-instrumentalist Daniel Lapp, who has an international reputation as a fast and furious fiddler. He also plays an array of other instruments during the set, including horns, strings, guitars and vocals.

He is joined by three band members: bassist, Rick May, drummer Ryan Stewart and keyboardist Danuel Tate. Together with samplings of sounds and DJ-type rhythms, their innovative nature and improvisational capabilities push the limits of numerous diverse genres.

Lappelectro was formed as a result of Lapp’s search for musicians who were open to all-out improvisation. He found the free environment he was craving within the DJ culture.

"It was really exciting to discover this world," said Lapp, "Like DJs, I go with instinct, that’s the sort of musician I am, but I also apply my knowledge of composition and arrangement."

Using live sound layering to craft musical illusions, Lapp said their sound must be experienced live to fully appreciate what they are capable of creating.

"Live, you get to see the sculpting of our music right in front of your eyes; the sound builds from the ground up," he said.

Touring has been the name of the game for these guys lately. After a long stint of Sundays at Victoria’s Steamers Pub, which saw them release seven live albums, they’ve spent several months travelling through the Pacific Northwest with dates in Washington, Oregon, and around B.C., including two shows at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival in the summer.

Currently working on their debut EP, entitled Closer Than They Appear, Lappelectro is busy planning tours in Europe and Australia, as well as key dates on the other side of Canada and the United States.

"We’re definitely not part of the mainstream," said Lapp. "It may take us a while to find our audience, but Lappelectro has elements that can appeal to anyone and we know that people are ready for change."

On Jan. 9, also at the GLC, the Whistler Freeride Team will be hosting a "Big Mountain Evening" from 7:30 p.m. You can swap ski stories with Whistler Freeride Team members mingling among the crowd, like PY Leblanc, Jen Ashton, Moss Patterson, Steve Leeder and Leif Zapf-Gilje. Later in the evening, local photographers Eric Berger and Blake Jorgenson will host a slideshow. These guys are some of the best-known, most progressive photographers in Whistler, and their shows are not to be missed.

Jorgenson was the 2001 champion of the WSSF Pro Photographer's Showdown and is a Ski magazine contributor.

Berger is a senior photographer for Transworld Snowboarding and Skier magazine, and a contributor to many other major ski/snowboard magazines. His work is internationally known, and he also shoots outside of the ski/snowboard industry with musicians like Madonna. As for his BME show, it is going to be a celebration of big mountains and big mountain culture. He is including some of his best shots of the Whistler Freeride Team and the mountains around us, but his show will not be limited to Whistler or Whistlerites.

On Jan. 10 it’s Movie Night at Merlin’s during the BME. The movies are yet to be confirmed, but word has it there is a Canadian premiere in the works. Watch for more details.

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