Last year I was invited by Will Ackerman to join him in a living room concert he was to perform with his good friend David Cullen. Sponsored by "Cabin Concerts" , the chosen venue was in New Jersey. It was an all acoustic concert in the true sense of the word, different from "unplugged" shows where microphones are placed in front of the guitars , then amplified through a sound system. Here , there were no microphones to be seen . Not a one ....Zero.... When I arrived , there were guitars everywhere, ....really great guitars : Froggy Bottom, Klein,Taylor......I brought along a Del Pilar flamenco and a Martin 000-28 . Here were the recording instruments , the behind the scenes, rarely seen "chosen guitars", that are hand picked by each artist to make their records . Here also, was the perfect setting for people who love acoustic guitar music, to hear just that,... acoustic guitar music. What this type of arrangement also presents, is the dynamic setting a guitarist hears while recording or composing,.......playing in it's most intimate form , with silence as the backdrop. This is the only place I've ever heard such a dynamic range in a performance aside from my own personal experiences while writing or recording. Checking the place out I realized this was to be a very close and intimate performance of maybe a hundred people, seated very, very close to each other and to the performers. If you've never been to a show like this , I would highly, highly recommend it. Here are a few wonderful things to consider.........First thing you notice, is that you feel very connected to the performer before a note is even played. Makes you feel like you're in his/her house or living room , ( Living Room Concert ! ) . Secondly , everyone is very attentive , so you hear every inflection and nuance of the performance starting at the threshold of sound in the room , silence. Harmonics ring like bells and the complex overtones of the instruments are truly heard. Luthiers/guitar makers have spent centuries and lifetimes to make guitars sound beautiful. I think there is a reason for that . Music can be magical . Kahlil Gibran wrote , it is " food for the soul ". The quality of the sound often has much to do with the effect a piece of music may have. I learned an interesting bit of information from a friend of mine 10 years ago......Her name is Barbara Close , she's an author, certified herbalist and founder of Naturopathica , a wholistic health center in East Hampton N.Y. She shared with me , how essential oils used in wholistic health remedies (including recipes listed in her book "Well Being" ) , needed to be organic and pure if they were to have their maximum healing potential......I think the luthier thinks along similar lines when he/she sets out to build a great instrument......the finest woods , specific design and joinery , all with the aim of increasing the expressive potential for the composer/ turn, enriching the experience for the listener. Acoustic music is as pure as it gets .The dynamic levels available in the acoustic environment at the "living room " shows, ranges from absolute quiet, a stage one might find in meditation or playing techniques and volumes which reveal the full body and soul of the instrument's resource. It also presents that extended range to both the performer and the audience,.... and also to the composer if that dynamic platform is kept in be continued...........

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