The Red Room, located at and sponsored by Normals Books and Records is the laboratory for paracultural revolution of the Mid-Atlantic Region. It is a space run entirely by volunteers, intent on expanding their own and society’s cultural horizons—“expanding the definition of expanding the definition.”

Since late 1996, the Red Room has produced approximately 50 concerts a year of experimental, improvised, and harder-to-describe music (not to mention vital film, language and performance). That’s a lot! You do the math, Thousands of musicians and performers have passed through the space, including many of the most famous and infamous experimental musicians and sound artists. It has also been the birthplace of many collaborations and significant groups.

The vibe of the Red Room is equal parts nonconformist, uninhibited fun, culturally expansive, and critically serious—contradictions we have no interest in resolving.The Red Room is one of the most inspired and longstanding series dedicated to experimental culture in the country, or certainly at least on the East Coast. It frequently merges Baltimore’s unusually and uninhibited experimental community with the best performers from around the world.

Run by a unusually stable collective with very occasionally changing membership (formally known as The High Zero Foundation (a 501(c)3 tax deductible nonprofit group)), the series is intensely connected with The High Zero Festival of Experimental Improvised Music, a number of vital local music labels, and with a larger network of experimental venues on the east coast.

In addition to the primary series, Red Room activities have included educational workshops, and also include a number of longstanding but irregular sub-series:

  • The Volunteers Collective, a usually monthly open session/free music workshop for anyone who wants to experiment with non-idiomatic improvised music or expand their base of player associations. Check schedule for details.
  • The Philosopher’s Union, a lecture series designed to cross-engage the experimental cultural scene with interesting figures in contemporary philosophy. Previous speakers have included Alphonso Lingis, Henry Flynt, Jane Bennet, Graham Harman, and Archdruid John Michael Greer.
  • Very occasionally, Baltimore Technology Overdrive, a workshop/meet dedicated to digital signal processing software development.

If you are interested in performing at the Red Room, click here to read more about that and submit your work. 

The Red Room is a volunteer-run space in Baltimore dedicated to mind-expanding experimental culture, headquartered at Normals Books and Records.