Around Hear is a partnership between the Somerville Housing Authority, Mystic Learning Center, Mystic Tenant Association, and an evolving collective of musicians with a mission to provide free, regular musical mentorship and exchange opportunities and inspiring, interactive musical events to people living in and near the Somerville Housing Authority.
The goal of this series is to offer a highly accessible, regular time and space for people of all ages, from a wide spectrum of life experiences to gather and listen with openness, depth, and creativity—to music, to themselves, and to each other.
Each event begins with a performance by wonderful musicians from near and far, followed by a meal or refreshments. Around Hear events are a treat for the eyes as well as the ears and appetites; the music often comes with a meaningful visual art pairing. Also, knowing that not everyone does their best listening sitting still, we welcome and encourage audience members to respond to the music via quiet art-making, writing, and movement.
We (Marji & Dan) adopted the project name "Around Hear" from a concert we participated in in April of 2009, in a park in Houston, Texas. By taking classical musicians out of the concert hall and into a sunny, weedy public space in the middle of a busy commercial area, the director of that Around Hear, the late composer Ethan Frederick Greene, opened up what felt to us like a whole new range of fresh, exciting possibilities for social interaction and musical interpretation.