Concerts are great. But you have to admit, it is sometimes a lonely feeling to stand in a sea of people watching a group or single person make music. Lamplight Music Festival, entering its second year in East Grand Rapids, is a social experiment designed to break down the barrier between artist and listener with three days of house concerts in five different East GR homes. Between the historic and culturally rich streets and architecture of East GR and the immeasurable talent of visual artists, local vendors and over twenty-five bands, Lamplight Music Festival is the place to be November 1 through 3.
Founded by John Hanson in 2012, Lamplight Music Fest was the perfect spotlight to the abundant artisan culture of both Michigan music and East GR. There are five designated houses within walking distance of each other that have concerts scattered throughout the weekend. The venues include the Hen House, Waffle House, House of Pancakes, the Birdhouse and the Neighborhood House. For $35, ticket holders gain access to all five venues, food from local farms, handcrafted art outside of the venues, and a truly unique approach to concerts. What better way to enjoy music then to sit in a living room with the bands you love? I spoke with Micah Middaugh of Breathe Owl Breathe, one of the highly anticipated bands lined up for 2013, about Lamplight and inspiration.
While last year’s lineup was only Micah and Trevor Hobbs, this year their cellist and vocalist Andrea Moreno-Beals will will be joining them for Breathe Owl Breathe’s Saturday performance at The Hen House. Breathe Owl Breathe began with the chance meeting of Micah and Andrea in 2004 and has continued to make inspired music since.
Micah said that the biggest challenge for the band has been being able to unify their vision and music on a landline, due to the physical distance between all three musicians.
“Through the realms of VHS, camcorders and handheld tapes in the field,” he said, the music continues to be made.
According to Micah, the trio has learned to “adapt to creating what isn’t comfortable,” and it would seem that this strategy is what causes their audience to continue to grow and stay loyal.
The band’s 2013 album release, Passage of Pegasus, is available now. Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll hear it at the Hen House. As far as their upcoming appearance at Lamplight, Micah is calling for costumes! Breathe Owl Breathe will be wearing them, and you should too.
Some advice from Micah to other aspiring musicians: “Make a band, but make it because you want to choose your own adventure.”
A good place to start would be at this year’s Lamplight Music Festival lineup! Buy your ticket now and The Awesome Mitten will see you there.