About music, community and a bit of photography: Sofar Sounds
There are many ways to communicate. Music is definitely one of them. I’m always connected to music, one of my great passions together with photography. It touches me and that is the reason why, among other things, I photograph some gigs. Today I want to talk to you about SOFAR project. The first time I had contact with the SOFAR Sounds community was in Brazil. More precisely in Sao Paulo, five years ago. A big city like Sao Paulo never let me down, rich in culture, vivid and alive just like London. I’ve been in the first concert that SOFAR did there, and it wasn’t so intimate, but for Brazilian dimensions, we can call that intimate.
The bands that day were great, the energy buzzed in the air, the good mix of people with only one interest: listening to good music without interferences. I fell in love at the first look! Hence in the second gig I went, I took 10 friends with me!
When I came to London I got into contact and started to work with them, so far it has made me feel very proud to be part of it. I am very lucky to get to know so many talented artists and be around this community. I can’t explain fully how much this means to me.
The only rule for photographers is, in order not to disturb the gigs, that we need to be at the same spot and not to use flash. So you can notice in the photos that I use only natural light, which is a magnificent challenge!
But what’s Sofar Sounds?
Why is this so special?? Sofar Sounds means “Songs from a Room”, and it is exactly what it means. Imagine you sit down in your living room surrounded by 40-50 people in silent and appreciating 3 incredible artists. You might listen to jazz, indie rock, rock, hip-hop, electronic, blues, and so on! Every genre is welcome, even poets!! Now you know what I am talking about!
Everything started in 2009 when three friends, Rocky Start, Rafe Offer, Dave Alexander, were tired of people’s massive noise in concerts and also mobile phones disturbing the artists, not appreciating the artist. Therefore, they started to make concerts in friend’s sitting room, everyone in silent just listening and enjoying. The dream became a huge community. And that become bigger and bigger! Now there are about 60-70 gigs per month in London and other 350 cities around the world! So if you are not in London probably there is some gig next to your door too.
It’s an innovative concept that brings live music to intimate, unusual spaces, most of them livings spaces. I’ve been photographing some interesting places like Popchips, The Arts work uk, Astor hostel, Carossel restaurant, Away, Hairdressing, Artist house and many sitting rooms around the world! Stunning venues, kindly hostess, exceptional artists!
The best points to consider about Sofar Sounds in London:
-This is a BYOB (bring your own booze) event- means you can bring whatever you want! Beer, Prosecco, Pims, Caipirinha etc
-There are 3 artists between musicians, poets and others. Each artist play about 4-5 music
-It starts at 8 pm and it is supposed to be ended by 10h30pm
-The phone can be used only for the break (we don’t want to disturb any magician)
-About the place, well it can be in your sitting room, in your co-work, in your office, in your hair salon. Just need space and aim to make the magic happens!
-Like a cherry of the cake, Sofar Sounds keeps secret about the venue and the artists you only will know about that a day before the gig, making the surprise element more excited for everyone!
-You can open your house to spectacular artists and respectful people, just for you!
Well, Sofar is quite famous now?
Last year, the passion for music let Richard Branson get into the business as a partner and help spread the project globally. Recently Airbnb announced a partnership with Sofar with the aim to publish on their site Sofar experiences to travelers, but we still don’t have the details about how is it going to work.
Normally the artists that play on these gigs are about to hit success, they see Sofar as a chance to learn more, being “Sofar alumni”. But there are already a few names more known that had the pleasure to present in some sitting room Sofar has organized. Like James Bay, Bastille, Wolf and Alice, X Ambassador, Will Young, and Fantastic Negrito.
Gratitude and proud of being part of this community
Recently I had one of my photos published in The Locker magazine from the Army (I just received at home one of my own!). I got really surprised to see one of the photos in a magazine, in such a short time that I’m working with them. I think that the passion that I have flows into my images! As a result, that leads to this recognition.
Cool, interested, with high knowledge of music, youngers work as volunteers at Sofar! And I am very proud to be by their side, learning a lot on this path.
I am always thankful for the opportunities that photography brings to me, as being part of a big project like this. To feel truly included in a community is priceless. Mainly for someone new in town! Sofar team has events every month to reunite the crew, we have Karaoke, picnics at the park, festivals, and shows. I can say that this community embraced me more than anyone else in London!
So if you are in doubt, go to the site! Choose the nearest one to you and be welcome to know a gig with many artists! Who knows, if you really like music and have some free time, you decide to make part of the volunteer group!?
So live the magical and spread the word!