Arts

Play Music on the Porch Day looks for northern participants


On August 29, musicians across the globe will come together to play music on their porches – but organizers are still looking for more northern representation.

Brian Mallman, founder and co-organizer of Play Music on the Porch Day, told Cabin Radio: “I hope that even if people see their territory already has someone, they realize it’s still important to register.

“I think it builds a bond when you see you’re a part of something that all these people all over the world are a part of as well.”

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Mallman, who organizes the event with Monica Alcaraz, says this is the first year they were able to reach people in the north of Canada.

“For me, it hits home how much work we have to do to reach out to people with different ideas and different beliefs and different cultures and different backgrounds,” he said.

Play Music on the Porch Day happens every last Saturday in August. Musicians of all skill levels and instruments are invited to post a video of themselves playing music on their porch (or anywhere they like).

Mallman, an artist from Los Angeles, says he wanted to create an art project that would allow people to participate anywhere in the world and create a sense of community. 

“I started playing around with the idea of a worldwide collaborative art project,” he said, “with the idea of being a peace movement: bringing people together, creating a global community, and breaking down boundaries and borders.

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“I hope people can look at it as one person did this thing, and it is sparking this movement that is making a better world. I’m hoping it inspires other people to do the same.”

Play Music on the Porch started in 2013 with less than 100 people. This year there are 500 participants registered more than a month before the event.

Mallman says last year’s event reached 700 cities in 70 countries. The aim this year is 1,000 cities in 100 countries.

“Last year was such a great year because we actually had major events around it. So like the entire city of Panama City, Florida participated, and Porchfests are now getting pretty popular,” said Mallman.

“There’s a few of them that have rescheduled their date around this event.”

A group of ukulele players from Portland, Maine celebrate a previous Play Music on the Porch Day

A group of ukulele players from Portland, Maine celebrate a previous Play Music on the Porch Day. Photo provided by Brian Mallman

So far, only two people have registered from the NWT, one from the Yukon, and one from Nunavut. 

Leading up to the event, organizers have published a children’s book featuring instruments from around the world, hosted songwriting collaborations, produced Facebook Live shows, and filmed a documentary about the lead singer from the Zimbabwe band Gwevedzi.

To be added to the official map, register on the Play Music on the Porch Day website and add the hashtag #playmusicontheporchday to your video.

Registering and having a porch are not required to participate. Mallman encourages everyone to go out on August 29 and play music.

“You can see people from Zimbabwe and people from India and people from Canada – people from all over the world – coming together around this one event and playing music,” he said.

“It kind-of gives you faith that we can come around as a world and fix these problems.”

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