There is something truly special about playing music outside. One of the coolest things in life is it to kick back with an acoustic guitar, and sing songs with your friends. There’s a camaraderie there unlike many other experiences. A bond is formed and memory is created. Oftentimes, it’s not until years later that you realize how special those moments are.
I noticed a profile on Instagram called @PlayMusicOnThePorch. The name intrigued me, so of course I investigated further. This eventually lead me to playmusicontheporchday.com. I read a bit more into what they were about and decided to reach out.
I got in contact with Brian Mallman, the organizer of the event, just to pick his brain a little. I wanted more details about such a seemingly simple event. Turns out it’s exactly what it seems.
This is our conversation via email.
What instrument or instruments do you play?
I’m primarily a visual artist. I hack around on the guitar and I just bought a gourd banjo. I was in bands in my 20s and I think I’ve secretly always wanted to be a musician. My brother Mark Mallman is a professional musician. He is an obsessive songwriter and piano player, so my childhood has a piano soundtrack. Growing up there was alway music being played and musicians around. There was just always music. It’s still a very important part of my life.
Very very cool. What was it that really sparked the Play Music On The Porch Idea?
Some of my favorite memories involve sitting outside playing and singing with friends. It’s an experience I wish could happen more often. I remember sitting on a porch in Pensacola that looked out over the ocean. We played and sang until the sun came up.
I think the experience of being an artist or musician is universal and timeless. It crosses all cultural, religious and economic barriers.
However, being a musician is different from being a visual artist because it offers the opportunity to create and experience the creative process with others.
Anyone whose been in a band knows how peoples differences can disappear once you start playing together. You can play music with someone you disagree with on just about everything. All that goes away for a little while once you start playing. The experience of playing music supersedes the human differences. I think this is an experience the world needs right now. I think it’s something only musicians can teach.
I also think the world just needs a day to celebrate music and musicians. It’s not about entertainment, it’s about the experience of playing together.
What if for just one day everything stopped… And we all just listened to the music.
Plus I like throwing big parties and this one could be super fun!
Ha! Yes, and it will be even more fun knowing it’s happening all over the world. Have you considered broadcasting your gathering on Periscope? I’m sure people would love to join in.
No, I haven’t. I’ll check it out! Thanks!
It’s pretty cool, seems like it would be perfect for your event. Anyway, are there any particularly fond or important memories stemming from one of these outdoor jam sessions? A specific song perhaps?
I was at a party in a backyard in Atlanta and someone pulled out a guitar. My good friend Caroline Hull-Engle started singing. Her voice is amazing. Within few minutes there were several guitars and many people singing. I was floored by the talent I was surrounded by… It was awesome.
The song I remember most from that night is Wanda Jackson – Let’s have a party.
Are there any benefits to enjoying a performance this way instead of say, an outdoor concert?
This isn’t about sitting back and waiting to be being entertained. It’s not a passive experience. This is about participating. It’s about being a part of the music. It doesn’t matter how good you are. It doesn’t matter if you are with a group or just by yourself. It’s about experiencing music in a more intimate way.
There is also something that happens when you realize that people around the world are participating as well. You can feel the connection. Last year was amazing. I only expected a few friends in my neighborhood to do it. People were sending video from all over the country and parts of Canada… I was floored. I got so many comments about how cool it was that I thought I’d really go for it this year.
That was an excellent call. I’m pretty excited to see it all unfold myself. I want to thank you for putting it together, and for taking your time to chat. Any parting thoughts?
Just a big Thank You to all the people who are helping to make this happen. So many people have jumped in to help get the word out. This is a labor of love (That means no money) and it couldn’t happen without a bunch of people doing what they can to spread the word.
Right on man! This is going to be very cool. Very much forward to seeing it unroll.
Thank you!!! Now you are a part of this monster!!
Alright folks there you have it! August 29th is the day to bust out your acoustics and join in.
PLAY MUSIC ON THE PORCH DAY
SATURDAY, AUGUST 29
Check out the website Here