About once a month a musician or band shows up at my house, usually around dinnertime. Sometimes they set up a sound system, but most often they don’t because wood floors and tall ceilings make voices and instruments ring and shimmer. I move my furniture and set up chairs in readiness for an audience. I cook, put food and drink on tables and light candles. Around 7:30 people start arriving and the magic begins. This is the set up for a house concert, one of the best ways to celebrate community, fellowship and life.
The musicians who come to my house are songwriters, each with different stories to tell and different styles of telling. The people who come to listen are friends, neighbors and strangers, friendships developing with the frequency of the shared experience of music and fellowship.
In the revelation of stories told in song we learn personal histories, cultural histories and imagined histories woven with the thread of vocal and instrumental grace. No corporations are involved, no by-laws govern the gathering but the strength of fellowship, community and the unique pleasure of these evenings imbue each of us with formidable feelings of well-being.
That is the magic of the house concert. -- Sigrid Christiansen