by Pentestoy

Subvista is a band based out of Baltimore, MD. It tours all over the eastern US and has had occasional gigs west of the Mississippi River. The band is more than they seem.

Subvista has nine members, who only go by first names:

  • Alexander - Loops
  • Cynthia - Guitar
  • John - Lighting
  • Michael - Drummer
  • Paul - Painter
  • Peter - Guitar
  • Raymond - Percussion
  • Sarah - Keyboard
  • Seth - Bass

Subvista's music is a hypnotic, flowing mix inspired by jam bands, jazz, electronica and Eastern influences. The individual parts played by Cynthia, Michael, Peter, Raymond, Sarah and Seth tend to be fairly simple sonically, although they are often difficult to play. The backbone of the piece is usually formed by two of the instruments, which vary from piece to piece, with the remaining four improvising over the base. There are no written vocals, but all the musicians have microphones to sing as they are inspired.

One of Subvista's favorite techniques involves clashing time signatures. The percussion may be in 4/4 time, with the drums and keyboard in 5/4 time, one guitar and the bass in 7/4, and the other guitar in 11/4. The repetitive themes played by each musician weave in and out of each other, and has the effect of the music becoming more and more chaotic, before suddenly and dramatically coming back together when the time signatures meet naturally, at which point the musicians all revert back to a common time signature. The effect is astounding to hear.

Alexander's loops are typically drawn from field recordings taken the day before, and on the morning of a performance. He has been known to talk to the crowd before the band takes the stage, and to use snippets of those conversations as well. Alexander likes to choose a few audio feeds from individual instruments and mics before the show and patch into those as well, so that he can capture loops of music from an early part of the show and re-introduce it later in the show.

The visual impact of Subvista is every bit as impressive and strange as the aural one. Paul and John are considered full members of the band, even though they don't play a musical instrument. Paul sets up a large canvas behind the band and paints during the show. The paintings are typically surreal landscapes, although any subject matter, or even abstract art, has been performed. John has built a custom box to control the complex lighting they like to use, and plays it much like a keyboard, controlling color, movement and strobe. The band performs in costumes reminiscent of stylized and tattered period dress, and wears masquerade ball-type masks.

Paul's paintings are sold on the band's website, with the proceeds going to various charities.

None of the band members are particularly mythos aware, but Raymond is a powerful Dreamer (although he doesn't know it) and Paul has read about one-third of the King in Yellow. When performing, the band forms a gestalt that has real Power. Members of the audience lose 1MP per hour of performance, and the band members gain 3-5MP per hour of performance (rolled separately for each person). Audience members who watch the entire show get a rush at the end as the band feeds the energy back into their performance, unknowingly channeling the MP they've gained back to the audience during the show's climax. The rest of the MP the audience loses is dissipated into the surrounding area, weakening they borders between this reality, and others. This occasionally results in temporary Dreamlands gates or Carcosa manifestations.

It's only a matter of time before the band realizes that they have the power to change the world, and begins to soak up more of the MP available at their perfomances.

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