the photography, music and ramblings of Matt Lipstein

A Special Sufjan Afternoon

And now for the first ever guest author on Stupidfresh, I give you my wife Amanda (a.k.a. Bubbles McMurphy, Minder, Mandy Staxxx, etc.) Read along as she recounts the story of what she surprised me with this past Sunday...

... Matt and I went to this really special music listening party on Sunday. A while ago, there was a contest run by Sufjan Stevens. He writes Christmas songs every year, and he wanted to trade his song (including all the rights and everything) with another songwriter who won the contest. So this guy Alec wrote a beautiful song, sent it to Sufjan, and won the contest. Sufjan sent him his own song, and now this guy is the "owner" of an original Sufjan song, just as Sufjan is the "owner" of Alec's song.

Now Alec could do anything he wanted with the song (put it on the internet, play it himself, put it into a musical, etc.), but he decided to make it available to people to come in small groups to his apartment and listen to the song a few times on headphones. We got a reservation and went to his place yesterday at 3:00. There was another couple there along with 2 of Alec's friends and a radio producer who was doing a segment for the NPR show Studio 360. We sat in the living room and chatted over tea and homemade cookies, and then we got to listen to Alec's song and to Sufjan's song.

Alec played his song out loud, but the Sufjan song we all listened to simultaneously through separate sets of headphones. It was such a powerful experience, so intimate and personal while still being social. It was really moving to know that we would only hear the song at that place and in that moment, and then we would never hear it again, probably. It really brought a different consciousness to the act of listening to a song. The song was beautiful and tender, as many Sufjan songs are, but the experience is probably what will stay with me more than the actual song.

While I was listening to it for the second time, I thought, "How cool! The baby can supposedly hear things now and is going to hear this song, too." Then I realized that the baby probably wouldn't hear it because it was in my headphones. After the song was over, I sheepishly asked the favor to play the song one more time while the headphones were on my belly. Alec happily agreed, and the baby got a listening party all to itself! Maybe you'll hear about it on the radio someday!

New York, I love you sometimes.
[Direct Link to Alec Duffy's wonderful winning song, Every Day is Christmas ]

3 Responses to “A Special Sufjan Afternoon”

  1. # Anonymous kmac

    and how much more this makes my heart love love love you guys..if it is a possibility.....sweeeeetness...miss you always  

  2. # Anonymous kmac

    and how much more this makes my heart love love love you guys..if it is a possibility.....sweeeeetness...miss you always  

  3. # Blogger Matt

    Thanks KMac! It was a really lovely day.  

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