Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sound Hall

On November 15, I was invited to yet another free and amazing New Haven happening, Sound Hall. In the words of its organizers, “The SOUND HALL series gathers diverse audiences together in various public spaces throughout New Haven, with the aim of creating meaningful spaces for collective listening.” That night, the event happened to take place in Beinecke library which is pretty much the perfect hosting ground for anything.

The topic of the night was Johnny Otis- a musician, educator, advocate, disc-jockey, and one of the most influential people in the development of R&B and Rock and Roll, among about a hundred other things. A very engaging speaker, Mr. George Lipsitz, shared intimate and familiar stories of Johnny Otis’ life. What was even more engaging was that he discussed the parallels and intersections of music and social justice movements. In particular, he discussed Mr. Otis, his music, and the Civil Rights Movement. He highlighted that both social justice and music movements necessitate practice, accompaniment, and improvisation. It was beyond refreshing to see someone so passionate about their work evidenced by his dedication as well as his head swaying and foot tapping to the music. But also, that Mr. Lipsitz, offered at least some sort of framework for a solution to the social and class issues of today; practice, accompaniment, and improvisation.

It makes me truly happy to be able to attend such events in the Town of New Haven. Feel free to add comments if you attended this event as well. It’s hard to do Johnny Otis and George Lipsitz justice, but hey, it’s a start.

Check out Sound Hall, I will most definitely be back!