These days, no one is ever at a loss for music listening opportunities. Most of us have a plethora of sources to choose from: a Spotify account, that slightly annoying (but well-meaning) friend who’s constantly posting new music via Youtube videos on your wall, and an impressive iTunes library. Even so, when was the last time you sat down and listened to an album in its entirety instead of mindlessly shuffling through playlists during your daily commute? Can you even remember?
Classic Album Sundays aims to change that by encouraging music lovers to tune out of their daily routine and allocate time to tune in. The event has quickly risen in popularity over the last few years after its creation in London by Colleen “Cosmo” Murphy—who happens to be a DJ and a Massachusetts native—after she and her husband began having friends over to their apartment to listen to albums. It was here that Murphy recognized potential for a unique, collective music listening experience in a world where music listening has been downsized to an almost alienating degree. It wasn’t just any old listening either, but one done completely on vinyl. It’s an audiophile’s hi-fi dream, and this weekend, it debuts in Boston.
The premise is simple: every month a classic album is chosen by Murphy and her team, ranging from artists like Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin, Brian Eno, Bob Dylan, and others. Then, on a Sunday, participants gather and dedicate a night to that album—not just the music itself but the entire picture. Before the needle’s lowered onto the record, the context and cultural importance of the album are discussed in depth amongst the group. Afterward, phones are turned off, lights are dimmed, and conversations are silenced as the crackling, detailed first notes of the album float out across the room. For the next hour or so, listeners are fully and completely swept up in a true musical experience, one that proves to be just as physical as it is mental.
Much like a yoga practice, many find the experience to be therapeutic, meditative, and in some cases, even eye-opening. Not only does the event challenge the way we’ve grown accustomed to listening to music, but it unveils how music should actually be experienced: an immersion without distractions, one that allows for intricacies as well as the grander picture of an album.
After taking Classic Album Sundays global and expanding to cities like Glasgow, Edinburgh, and New York, Murphy’s decided to return to Boston and bring her project with her. This Sunday, listeners are invited for the unveiling of CAS at Mead Hall. Going forward, they will take place on the first Sunday of every month.
Why should Sunday nights merely be a precursor to the ever-dreaded Monday? Stop by, order a drink, and raise your glass to what’s sure to be an unforgettable music experience.
This weekend’s event centers around the album Remain in Light by Talking Heads. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online or at the door. Sunday, April 7, 5-8 p.m., Meadhall, 4 Cambridge Center, Cambridge.
Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/2013/04/04/classic-album-sundays-boston/
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