Roundup: Sound App, Y’s Men, More


There’s an app for everything. Including remote audience and applause sounds.

Westporters Mark and Faith Sargent have developed iCrowd. It allows anyone — by themselves, or with just a couple of people — to make the same crowd sounds as if they were attending an event in, well, a crowd.

You can applaud with different levels of enthusiasm, boo, groan or make other crowd sounds.

The sounds selected by all of the users are transmitted to the cloud, then combined using the Sargents’ proprietary algorithm to form an aggregate crowd noise, which is transmitted back to each user.

Each user hears a combination of the sound they selected, and the combined crowd sound.

The crowd sound can be played over speakers where the event is taking place, so athletes, performers or others can hear the sound of the remote audience.

There’s also a chat for each event. So members of the remote audience can comment on the sound — or anything else — in real time.

The possibilities are endless. It’s great for sports events, plays and music performances (even those done virtually, like Facebook Live), or a TV show watch party. Politicians can use it for speeches too. Family members celebrating an online birthday can add applause and cheers when the cake is cut. Office workers can react to the boss’ presentation.

And if COVID knocks out our annual “06880” party again this summer, we can use iCrowd to make some noise.

To learn more, click here.


The Y’s men continue to hike — COVID, age, and gray skies be damned.

On Friday, a group of septuagenarians covered 14,500 steps and over 6 miles, despite the weather.

They were socially distant, of course. But close enough to talk about the coronavirus vaccine, and how to get it.

Interesting in joining the hiking group? Email

From left: Brian Fradet, Peter Eyes, Mike Johnston, Sal Mollica, Chris Lewis. (Photo/Michael Hehenberger)


And finally … Howard Johnson died last week in Harlem, following a long illness. He was 79.

A tuba player (among other instruments) and arranger, his work transcended jazz, rock and pop.

He played with Charles Mingus and McCoy Tyner; contributed arrangements and horn parts for John Lennon and Taj Mahal, but was best known as an original member of the “Saturday Night Live” band.

And you’ve gotta Howard Johnson’s joyful work with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on “I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream.”

FUN FACT: It was written in 1927 by Howard Johnson — but a different Howard Johnson. And neither of those 2 are related to the Howard Johnson who later created the restaurant franchise that boasted 28 flavors of — yes — ice cream.

8 responses to “Roundup: Sound App, Y’s Men, More

  1. I sure hope they use some discretion on those sound tracks! There is nothing (well I can think of a few things) more annoying than the sound tracks that are indiscriminately used on the comedy sitcoms where every utterance is followed by a laugh track. Good idea though.

  2. Dan, Just want you to know how much I love the musical endings to your blog posts. Many bring back memories and others are totally new to me like Howard Johnson. But all of them brighten my day. Thank you.

  3. Preservation Hall Jazz Band made a regular appearance at the Westport Country Playhouse on their summer tours back in the 80s. A treat. I was a regular.

  4. Well, there was someone I actually knew – the trombonist Miff Mole, seen in the picture playing (later) with The Preservation Hall Jazz Band. He was a great musician and fun to talk with. But that music is in my past now – my grandkids all call me “Bebop.”

  5. Someone listens to Don McGee’s Mixed Bag! He did a very nice tribute to Howard Johnson… Good of you to mention and highlight him here.

  6. I was most impressed by his “Tuba Choir”…a well regarded, amusing and unique massive group of (exclusively)Tuba players. They performed on occasion but it appeared to be a display of comradeship…. what a sound!
    ” …Bottom feeders rule”!

  7. Dermot Meuchner

    Howard Johnson was a great baritone sax player, along with re-inventing the tuba for bebop.