David Pianka can attribute his involvement in the music industry to a job at a coffeeshop.
After graduating from Springfield College in Massachusetts with a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy, Pianka moved back to Philadelphia. He began working at the Last Drop Coffee House in addition to his work as a physical therapist, where he met DJs, musicians and artists.
Six months later, Pianka lost interest in working as a physical therapist and left to focus his efforts on music. He wanted to combine the three DJ nights he had been attending into one event, so he created Making Time, an event featuring local and national DJs, bands and musicians.
Pianka’s experience with Philadelphia’s DJ scene was the catalyst he needed to start Making Time. From the beginning, Pianka booked and organized the Making Time events. Later, he took a more hands-on role in forming the identity of the events.
“I didn’t even DJ the first two years of Making Time,” Pianka said. “After a few years, I wanted to incorporate more electronic music and that’s when I basically taught myself how to DJ and started DJing. It wasn’t something that was planned. It just kind of happened as a result of where I was in my life at the time and the people I was meeting.”
This month, Making Time marked its 15th anniversary with two weekends of celebrations at Voyeur Nightclub in Center City. On Friday, June 12, Making Time honored its indie influences with performances from Viet Cong and Lower Dens. On June 19, Shamir paid tribute to Making Time’s dance influences with a mix of R&B, pop and dance.
Pianka said Viet Cong’s ability to combine multiple genres within their music fit the musical vision of Making Time, which made the band an easy choice for the 15th anniversary celebrations.
In addition to organizing events around the city, Pianka is the host of a DJ set on WXPN under the Making Time name. After 10 years of Making Time parties and events, WXPN offered Pianka a monthly slot on-air. In August, the radio show will celebrate it’s fifth anniversary.
“The radio show was more of a result of the events and what we had been doing for years. It has become my favorite thing that I do, actually,” Pianka said. “You have so much more freedom on the radio. You’re not trying to make people dance.”
Thomas Roland is a member of the Philadelphia-based group Broadzilla DJs. The members of Broadzilla have been resident DJs at Making Time Events since 2007.
Roland said he has noticed a shift toward dance music since the beginning of the group’s residency. Regardless of current music trends, the goal of Making Time events has remained the same since the beginning.
“I think Dave is always committed to trying his best to make it fun and exciting and bring artists, DJs and bands people may not have heard of or are just getting into,” Roland said.
Through Making Time, Pianka has found an outlet for countless DJs, bands and musicians in Philadelphia’s club scene to share their talents.
“The fact that it’s been going on for 15 years [and] if you just look at the roster of bands that have played, I think that is just a testament to all the hard work Dave has done,” Roland said. “We’re trying to stay on the crest of that wave constantly. We all love music and I think that’s what’s at the heart of it all.”
Tim Mulhern can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.