In this dawn of a public age, I think we all take the gift of intimacy for granted. Whenever something cool is happening right in front of us our instinctual reaction is to grab our phones and document it. This was never how life was experienced in the past, but it is our current status quo. I don’t know if it’s good or bad, and I’m definitely not one to pass judgment on the cultural implications of mass social media (especially since I’m an actively participant.) But, I do know that when people come together to create a special intimate moment together it is like a breath of fresh air I didn’t even know I needed.
Sounds From A Room, or as conveniently abbreviated as SOFAR, has been putting together beautiful intimate shows all around the world. The secret to their success may just be that, a secret. They never reveal the location of the show until shortly before it begins. Attendees also don’t know who they came out to see until they are literally playing. It sounds strange considering we’re used to huge international marketing campaigns for massive music festivals. Even the smallest bands do the most they can to promote. SOFAR has captured something special that no PR firm can pay for, word of mouth.
I was told about this event from one of my fellow interns at KCSC. As I arrived at the address I was given about an hour prior, I was a little confused but definitely excited. I walked into the backyard of a beautiful home in Chico. The yard was decorated with twinkling lights all around. Soft music and excited chatter filled the air of the space. Blankets were thrown out across the yard along with various stools and chairs for people to snuggle up on this cool March night. It was announced right before the first act came on that this was supposed to be an intimate and quite show. Little to no phone use and no talking to the people around you. Everyone who was there was to take a break from all that, sit back and just enjoy the music.
Each act that came out was an absolute pleasure. MAWD started the show with her eccentric and bubbly energy and beautiful voice. Her poppy folk music set the tone for the rest of the artists we were to shear that night. Next up was Kyle Williams and his tiny guitar. He began every song with a touching story and followed with an even more touching display of his amazing acoustic talents. Last, but definitely not least, was the hilariously charming John Craigie. His dry, simplistic humor was complimented by his simplistic approach to the guitar and harmonica. His relatable jokes made the whole crowd laugh and his folky tunes kept everyone’s ears occupied.
All in all, it was such a special moment between music and the people there to appreciate it. SOFAR captured the lost art of intimate moments and served it right to everyone in that room. I think the best aspect of the whole event was that people were there just too genuinely enjoy music. There were no headliners and no special effects. Just a small intimate crowd and some songs from a room.
Written and reviewed by: Taylor Kurupas