Photos and text by Ashley Bradley
A few days before the Classical Music Kegger, the organizer and composer of the event Nathan Felix and I ran into each other at a bar. When asking about his excitement level, Felix expressed his fears that the party would be poorly attended. Well, it wasn’t. It was so much the opposite that it was hard for me to maneuver around to get photos.
On Nov. 14, Felix hosted the first of what he hopes to be a series of parties called Classical Music Keggers. A little hard to explain, this first one featured six pianos the composer obtained from friends, family and Craigslist.
Four bands opened the event, each adapting one or more pianos into what are typically piano-less sets. Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders played acoustic guitar, a snare drum and a piano. The Saddle played two pianos and the harmonica. Danny Malone, in between awkward laughter and talking out loud about what songs he might play next, played the piano and sang, and also brought up Sydney Wright to sing with him. After the bands, classical musicians took their places at each piano.
The idea behind the event is to pair other forms of music with classical music, yes, but Felix is also planning to donate the pianos to children’s programs in need of the instruments — in hope that those children will experience the joy we did this night.
The most incredible part of the evening was when the living room and kitchen area of the 1,200 square-foot home was full of sweaty, happy audience members who sat packed along the wood-floor (including one of my idols – Laurie Gallardo) while all the pianos played in unison. Because the pianos were placed in a circle along the walls, the musicians used mirrors to see conductor Brent Baldwin behind them. The room of at least 60 sardine-packed people were silent as they sipped their free Dos XX and Tito’s vodka and just enjoyed the classical music, which played in 360-degrees around them.
Keep your ears open for future events like this. Like I said, this is supposed to be the first of a series of Classical Music Keggers — with future events to include other mixing of different instruments.
It was an incredible night, and I hope these photos do it justice.