The following excerpts are from my article on underground musical organization, Sofar Sounds. The photography and video are from two separate performances I was lucky enough to attend in NYC and Philly. Head to Butlerway to read the article in full and if you’re a music lover definitely check out Sofar Sounds to see if there’s a group in your area! It’s an experience not to be missed!!
It’s happening. You’re going to see your favorite band perform live! All the necessary arrangements have been made. The babysitter’s been scheduled and the tailgate cooler’s packed. You’re so excited to see “Band X” until you arrive at the sold out venue to find it’s wall to wall packed and you’re now stuck between the seven foot tall guy and hordes of screaming teenagers. Suddenly the music experience you’ve been hoping for isn’t going according to plan.
Enter- Songs From A Room. The global movement, dubbed Sofar Sounds, takes the live music experience and eliminates the outside noise and glitzy components, stripping it to the core and bridging the gap between artist and fan, musician and listener.
Co-founders David Alexander, Rafe Offer and Rocky Start were tired of attending shows with unappreciative or disinterests audiences. Looking for an alternative in which they could support fellow musicians while sharing their love and passion for music, the three friends created an acoustic setting in their living room. Sofar Sounds was born.
The idea behind the innovative project is to share new music between enthusiasts, artists and industry professionals in an “unplugged, intimate, unusual space or venue.” Performances typically consist of 50 people or less in a “living room setting,” revealed only two days prior to the show; while the lineup remains a mystery until arrival.
Guests are requested to sit upon scattered pillows and cushions, silence all phones and respect the no talking policy while artists perform. In between acts, the room returns to its social atmosphere of chatter, networking, or taking advantage of the BYOB policy to freshen up a drink.
Although the emphasis is placed primarily on music, it’s an overall explosion of art, incorporating painting, photography, poetry, videography, dance, and spoken word. New artistic blends are constantly infused as Sofar grows from a passion project to a music business.
This past May, the organization took over a creative art space to put on a one-day festival in its home-base of London. Housed in an ex-dairy warehouse, a collaboration of 12 musical acts, spoken word poets and dancers, performed over a twelve hour period. True to form, no lineup announcements were made, but the special event attracted a sold out crowd of artists and music lovers to take part in the unique experience for the modest price of £14 (around $18).
If Sofar Sounds can preserve the intimate atmosphere and grassroots appeal they’ve created, this appreciation and expression of music should thrive.
**Indie folk-rockers, Seryn, are one of the most talented bands currently making music. Watch the following snippet of them performing “Beach Song” at Sofar Sounds NYC.