Opened just this past summer, Lake Worth's UNIT 1 is already getting tons of local love. Like the kid who just moved to a new high school from a different country, everyone is clamoring to learn more about it and sit at the same lunch table as founder Jacques de Beaufort. Beaufort describes it as "an experimental exhibition space," and as the community grows surrounding UNIT 1, so do its endeavors.
The space has already been home to six events, including the aptly titled "Reasonably affordable unframed works on paper by some very talented yet unpretentious artists scheduled for sale to coincide with the holiday buying season so that you may purchase them for display in your home, office, or boat!" The space promotes local artists of all kinds but in a new type of venue; Beaufort isn't concerned about pleasing others as much as he cares about titillating eyes and ears, saying, "I fully expect that as many 'blockbuster' shows we have, some will leave people scratching their heads in bemusement," a big statement for the new kid in town.
This week marked the premiere of just one of his projects in the works, the UNIT 1 Sessions. Similar to what you might see on NPR's blog or your favorite indie-music website, Beaufort invited select local bands and musicians into his space to record a track or two in front of a small audience. The intimate feel gave way to great live music, and the topnotch video work and lighting make these new videos a place for local music to feel special and über-share-worthy.
The idea of recording a "sessions" series is nothing new, but why did Beaufort decide to bring the concept to Lake Worth? "Originally, I was talking with the guys from Smith Sundy about making a video for them, and we were leaning in the direction of a live recording. One evening, I went to Coastars to see some art by Monica McGivern and watch Ella Herrera perform. Billy and Rachel from Raggy Monster were sitting next to me, and all the sudden it dawned on me that as long as we were going to record one band live, well then, why not three or four? They all liked the idea, and then it basically just happened."
Throw in the Sunny Devilles, and just like that, Beaufort had his inaugural round of bands lined up. The recording sesh went great. "Every band pretty much nailed it, and we got everything within two or three takes," he says. "I was amazed that we could produce so much content of a high caliber with basically no money." And now we get to simply sit back and enjoy. The first video to hit the airwaves (AKA YouTube) features Raggy Monster performing "Morgan's Organs" and "Fool's Gold."
Every Tuesday for the next eight or so weeks, Beaufort and the UNIT 1 team will release a video. The next recording session hasn't been scheduled, but we are confident the content will be entertaining and completely its own, like everything we have grown to expect from UNIT 1 in the short time since its opening. In the meantime, carve out ten minutes and crank the volume; the Raggy Monster UNIT 1 Session is here for your local music fix.