This year the fall
Global conference was back in Boston, and it was my first time
attending one since
Our first floor tenants had
recently moved out, our
new tenants hadn't moved in yet: good opportunity for an afterparty!
I decided I'd host a party with board games and quieter conversation
in our apartment upstairs, and music in the empty downstairs
apartment. I spent the whole evening downstairs so I don't know how
games went, but I'm very happy with how the music went!
Since people were coming from out of town and probably wouldn't have
their own instruments, I set up the room with a range of options:
keyboard, footdrums, electric bass, electric mandolin, (classical)
guitar, violin, shakers, sousaphone, baritone, trumpet, whistle, etc.
A friend brought their flute and steel-string guitar. This was
probably overkill: mostly people were interested in the keyboard,
steel-string, bass, mandolin, and drums.
As is common with this sort of musician gathering I didn't know in
advance what kind of music we'd end up playing. Some things I
Simple fiddle tunes: Angeline the Baker, Sandy Boys. A few
people knew them, others could pick them up, others felt a bit awkward
and left out.
Secular Solstic canon: The
Circle, haMephorash, Still Alive, Brighter
than Today (Boston version), Level Up
Will All Go Together, Somebody
Will (not simplified), God Wrote
the World, Uplift, Hymn
to Breaking Strain. Maybe some others? When we played Brighter
Than Today a crowd came downstairs partway through to join in on the
Dance music: we made up some music for swing, waltz, and
polkas. Swing and waltz were not taught or called; I taught a (three
couple) Kerry set.
Sing-alongs: a mixture of looking up lyrics on phones and the
Rise up Singing sequel. I remember at least Viva la Vida, I Want You
Back, Let it Go, and the House of the Rising Sun, but there were a bunch. Some
of them fell apart (it can be really hard to judge whether you have
anyone who knows a song well enough to lead it, and sometimes you
think you know a song but you really only know the chorus) but mostly
they went well and were fun.
Probably about 80% songs with lyrics, 20% instrumental? I was excited
that lots of people tried the footdrums,
and was generally really pleased with both how musical people were and
how willing they were to try things out of their comfort zone.
We went for about four hours, with some people staying the whole time
and others filtering in and out. Averaging maybe 15 people at a time?
I had a really good evening, and it felt like a great way to wind down
from a weekend full of relatively intense 1:1 conversations.
That's me on the bass! Thank you for hosting, it was really fun to jam with everyone.
Thanks for coming!