It's original, spontaneous, improvisational, and unrehearsed performance art brought to life by performer songwriter/musicians. Ah, but it is also a bonding between these artists that springs from mutual respect, acceptance, trust, willingness and often just pure-d ol' love for each other and each other's songs.
I'm not exactly sure how the phrase came to me, but I remember back in the '70's when I was making music over at Jack Clements label, JMI in Nashville, we would frequently say things like, "Let's go swarm those folks over there..." I always liked the way that sounded and it usually meant we were going to assimilate ourselves into another social happening with ease and enthusiasm. And today, in my personal experience, ease and enthusiasm are two elements that help make a songswarm truly magical!
Of course, there is also the open hearted communal embrace of each performer that overrides any ego about song presentation or discontent when someone hits a wrong chord or "bad" note. Songswarmers are more interested in the sharing of their songs than the caring if it's "perfect"! That doesn't mean choosing songswarm partners doesn't matter...it's extremely important because the audience picks up on those that don't honor the guidelines and share the value of this once in a lifetime musical moment that's happening.
OK. I feel like I need to fall silent and let you who are reading this have a chance to speak. We're putting this website up for songwriter performers who have songswarmed, and those who want to songswarm; for audience members who've attended a songswarm and those who might want to attend a songswarm.
Make yourselves at home here, share your experiences with other like minded musicians and listeners.
“Where words leave off, music begins.” ― Heinrich Heine