Stepping outside the box

Converge Gallery to host innovative music performance by M/Life

PHOTO PROVIDED This promotional photos shows local artist and performer Mick Alan, who performs under the name M/Life. He will perform at 7 p.m. Oct. 28 at Converge Gallery, 140 W. Fourth St.

One of the best ways to thrive is to try new things — to expand beyond a comfort zone.

Converge Gallery, 140 W. Fourth St., is taking that to heart, offering not only cutting-edge contemporary art exhibits, but also monthly spoken word events, and now, live music performances.

The gallery will present “Gay & Lazy” by local artist and singer-songwriter Mick Alan, who performs under the stage name M/Life, at 7 p.m. Oct. 28.

“Mick wanted to do something special outside of Spoken Word. We messaged back and forth and eventually setup this performance a few weeks after the regularly scheduled Spoken Word,” John Yogodzinski, gallery director, said. “I’ve always been blown away by Mick’s performance and am looking forward to this one in particular.”

Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Alan “began to rebel, at a young age, within his mind,” according to his biography on Converge Gallery’s website. He described his angst as “getting the best of him in his preteen to teenage years,” but he always was writing — short stories, poems, essays for school — finding a way to escape with his words.

He moved to central Pennsylvania five years ago, when he was 21, and spends much of his free time writing and recording music.

“Unlike our normal Spoken Word setup, this will almost be like a mini concert,” Yogodzinski said. “We’ll have a DJ to provide the background music, and Mick has asked for special lighting for the event. Also, we aren’t setting up chairs, so this is a standing-room-only type event.”

Converge has hosted a few musical performances before, according to Yogodzinski, including a metal show several years ago and a CD release party for local band Maitland, so it’s not entirely new ground for the gallery. However, it’s part of a continuing effort to provide a unique place in Williamsport, not only for the kind of art that hangs on the wall.

“Really what I’m trying to do with the gallery is provide a venue for amazing art — whether it be paintings, or performances,” Yogodzinski said. “I just want people to come in and absorb what the artist(s) have to share and take it all in.”

In the case of the Alan performance, there’s little doubt people will leave impressed.

“I hope the audience leaves with an appreciation for the time and energy that Mick puts into his music,” Yogodzinski said. “He is quite passionate about what he does and has overcome a lot in his life to get to where he is at.”

For more information, visit www.converge­