Those of you who know me well know that music is a huge part of my life. I am fortunate to have grown up with my mother's good taste in tracks - surrounded by the sounds of the sixties & seventies with orginal Vinyl records of Cream & Hendrix. Rock, funk, soul and reggae have laid down roots of rhythmic influence that I continue to recognize and appreciate in modern day sounds. With an appetite for good music, I wanted to share with my readers around the world, one of the world's best kept secrets: Sofar Sounds. SS is a cultural collaboration which curates intimate live music gigs in living rooms. Sofar spotlights emerging artists by introducing them to new fans and professional connections through a unique and magical concert experience. Thanks to the power of technology, these intimate concerts are filmed, streamed and shared all across the globe.
I recently became aware of Sofar when searching live shows for an up and coming band from Costa Rica; Patterns. It prompted me to spread the efforts of SS so my fellow music lovers can get involved, either by attending, playing or opening their homes to a show.
Sofar strives to connect musicians, listeners & the beat. There are no fancy strobe lights, dancers with glittery tops or sound synthesizers to 'enhance' the performance. It is live music in it's most raw and genuine form, bringing the truth of music as art back into our culture.
After becoming aware of the SS community, I immediately signed up for their email newsletter, which is sent out in the beginning of each month with the dates and cities they will be in (they are now in over 60 cities around the world!). I sent my RSVP for the June date in San José and was personally welcomed and confirmed for the secret event by the lovely Reema, Sofar's coordinator in Costa Rica. A few days before the event I was sent details for the private location and I followed the instructions which led me to an incredible house high on a hill overlooking the city. The night was a fusion with 4 unique bands: reggae, indie, latin pop + world electronica...a perfect taste of the culture here in San José: a tropical Latin country with increasing bursts of global flavor.
"Symbology is the universal language" -Swami Siva Kalki
This powerful quote has resurfaced to yet another of my posts. I believe that just like a smile, music is a universal language that flows through every country and each culture.
Music dates back to Prehistoric Eras, where archeologists have discovered instruments carved from bone, and still millions of years later, music is all around us. A rhythm, a beat, a melody or a voice can be heard in multiple levels of our existence. The most obvious being songs played with instruments and sung by humans, to the most subtle as sounds created effortlessly and organically, either a busy city or a quiet blend of nature.
I began to seriously meditate on the meaning of music, and found it to impact me in similar ways to my yoga practice. Both yoga & music offer a sense of connection with myself, with loved ones and with strangers across the continents. After all, connection is what all organisms crave, and is a constant dharma (purpose) for us humans.
Music is non-physical, which means you cannot quantify it - it literally does not exist in the same way that other forms of art do, such as a painting or sculpture. Yet music has one of the most powerful impacts on humans by affecting our mental bodies, filling us with sweet memories of nostalgia and our emotional bodies with the ability to transform our mood and induce feelings of pleasure or pain.
Both Yoga & Music are spiritual aspects of my life which I continue to explore and evolve with. Some days I love practicing my Asana with a backdrop of beats...DJ Drez to Moby to Snatam Kaur. On these days my body is compelled to move in complete unison to the vibration of the music. Other days I prefer to practice with the constant lull of San José in the distance and match my movement to the internal rhythm of my breath.
It struck me that there is always some kind of music present, just as there is always a certain kind of beauty around us. The key is to find more awareness to these different types of music and to listen with a different perspective...to open our ears to new sounds and perceive them with positivity. To appreciate the loud chaos or the quiet stillness from each moment of our lives.
Check out Sofar Sounds and the many talented artists involved here
LAUREN LEE is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated yogini and sun seeker, she lives for creating connection and enjoying simple pleasures. Read more about her here