The Bowen Beer Bottle Band
Matt and Summer were driving up the California coast when their baby was
nice enough to fall asleep for a couple of hours, leaving them to have an actual
conversation. A few years ago, they started the tradition of recording a
Christmas carol, just for fun. With their gifted peaceful car ride, they started
thinking about something “different” to do, when Summer simply said
“Wouldn’t it be cool to play a Christmas carol on beer bottles?!” About an
hour of brainstorming later, the idea were
solidified. We knew we couldn’t pull it off ourselves, and we knew it had to
be videotaped without an edit…otherwise, nobody would believe it was real. And so, the Bowen Beer Bottle
Band was born!
But I see people playing multiple beer bottles…is that right?
Yes, everyone was in charge of two different notes (with the exception of
our fine musician on the floor, who was in charge of three!). While this
definitely made things more difficult, it was the only way to have a
full-sounding arrangement with the limited head-count.
How did people know when to play?
Each person was handed personalized sheet music to learn their part. Once we
practiced enough, we were able to put the sheet music away. For the performance,
there were large color-coded pages of sheet music on the wall behind the camera
for reference…and when we say large, we mean 5′ x 3′ pages.
How long did you practice?
Believe it or not, the entire thing took one hour to perfect…from passing
out the parts to calling it a wrap. The music and beer bottles were prepared
ahead of time, and we have some ridiculously talented musicians (see our
band page). And yes, the main video is of our very last take (as you can
hear “that’s a wrap” in the credits section).
How did everyone have the correct pitch?
The bottles were tuned earlier in the day…and it’s a surprisingly