The Sonic Room 9.19.2015

The Sonic Room is a little pocket of light, in this industrial concrete city. It’s like your inner child hunting fireflies in the grass on dark summer nights. It’s a door into another world that celebrates expression, provokes your curiosity and marvels in creativity. This is a ‘secret show’, but I use the term sparingly, since it is not exclusive. All are welcome, even encouraged. Just wholesome good hearted people. It is hosted in someone’s living room or back yard and the location is different every time. All we know is the day announced early in the month, and that it will be in Brooklyn — somewhere.

Since the first show I have attended back in April, I have had the privilege to photograph the events surrounding The Sonic Room. The gallery you see here in this post are some of the shots from October’s show.

I was initially introduced to this event by word of mouth from a friend of mine, Honeybird. She was performing her new material as a solo artist in April. In collaboration with our mutual friend, Ivy Wong, they put on an incredible duet along with two other young vocalists who performed that evening. Through recommendation of a mutual friend, I was then introduced to Oliva Gazzarrini, coordinator and creator of the Sonic Room. Although I emphasized photography is just a hobby of mine, I offered to shoot proceeding events.

But I digress, this warm night in October welcomed listeners with an opening acoustic performance by Paco Paquerro from Chile. Meditation pillows and blankets were sprawled along the grass. Purple gel lights dangled across the yard, leading up to the deck that was transformed into that evening’s stage. Paco’s songs fluctuated between English to Portuguese, about leaving the city to go up to the woods. He talked about moving to NYC, a shout out to his Russian girlfriend, and the struggles of language barriers.

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The line-up of artists are always unpredictable. No two artists are scheduled to play here twice. But the atmosphere is flexible, and the flow of artists allow for last minute performances between new acquaintances and familiar faces of consistent concert-goers and friends.

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Nicko Sand and Junko Nozawa collaborated with a base of sweet chords and hip-hop freestyle. The video above is an excerpt from their set performing That’s the way the World Moves, written by Nicko.

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The evening shifted into soothing ambiance with koto player, Jun Ando, and a mystery Flautist (didn’t get his name). I had never seen or heard of a Koto before, and as they hauled this instrument through the kitchen to the deck – er, stage – they called out ‘Watch your back, giant surf board coming through’. The Koto was wired to what looked like a variety of four or five distortion peddles, creating a reverb affect and ornamented distortion to their ethereal work.

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The lovely and talented Ms. Honeybird sang with Sara Erenthal for a Yiddish song written by Sara.

 

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To end the night, was a set by Cumbia River Band. I couldn’t stop myself from dancing between taking photos, as you can see from my video below. The frame sways as I move along the crowd, weaving between people, and eventually panning out into the infinite darkness that surrounded this brilliant plot of light squeezed between a row of desolate backyards.