They joined the proverbial stage from all over the world, from Australia and New Zealand to the American Southwest and far beyond.
Promoted by tons of social media, Highland Park’s fifth annual “Play Music on the Porch Day,’ the brainchild of local resident Brian Mallman, with help from Monica Alcaraz, drew participants from porches, front and back yards, living rooms, kitchens, and dining rooms everywhere around the world. The players gave life to the event’s overall premise that “everyone in the world suddenly stop and just play music for a day.”
Thousands of musicians from at least 59 countries and over 675 cities from around the world participated in this year’s event. The day began at 10a.m., Sat., Aug. 25 in Samoa, the Line Islands, with the first major city, Auckland, New Zealand. The music then moved with the sun, from Oceania, Russia, Australia, Japan, Southeast Asia, China, India, Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe, Antarctica, Iceland, Greenland, South America, and North America and Central America, through Alaska, ending at 10pm, Aug. 25 in American Samoa and along the International Date Line which was 1 a.m Pacific Daylight Saving Time in Los Angeles, where the event was born.
“Some of my favorite memories involve sitting outside playing and singing with friends,” co-founder Mallman told Tone Mob Magazine recently. “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.”
Continued Mallman, “I think the experience of being an artist or musician is universal and timeless. It crosses all cultural, religious and economic barriers.
“However,” He continued, “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 people’s 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,” added Mallman. “It’s not about entertainment, it’s about the experience of playing together.”
And play together they did. The 24 hours of music around the world was capped off by a local “After Party” staged in Highland Park, which featured the Mexican Standoff, The Ultra 4, and The Andersons.
Said Barry Chadwick, leader and founder of the Andersons, Saturday, “This just seemed like a fun lark when I first heard about it a few years ago. But, today I was just struck by what a huge undertaking this whole thing was. Brian and Monica lived and breathed this event for months, and playing on that stage, and seeing people continue to arrive and cross the street to come hear the music was exhilarating for me.”
The Highland Park event was highlighted by a live performance by the Gwevedzi Afro Acoustic Band, who arose at 4 a.m. in Kenya to perform live via Facebook for the evening Highland Park crowd.
The next “Play Music on the Porch Day” is scheduled for August 31, 2019.