It really is the way that music was originally heard. There was a time when to hear music you had to be with the musician, before sound recording came about and sounds were divorced from context. In the Victorian era, we might have invited you to our "parlor" for an evening of song. In the Blue Ridge Mountains, maybe you'd come to my house on Friday night and we'd play music awhile while others sang along. Music was local, a rich part of the community.
Despite all the benefits of sound recordings --- like production, portability, availability and so on --- something was lost. Like every technological breakthrough, with the positive comes the negative. That negative is a loss of community and intimacy, hearing music with others and interacting one-on-one with the artist. At a house concert, if you have a question about a song, you can ask it. if you have a request, you can make it known. You can even sing along.
People still long for community music, and that is part of the reason house concerts have gained in popularity. In addition to providing a great listening environment, they break down walls between artists and listeners, between art and patron. They're positive for the artists as well, as they build a loyal following of listeners and, at least in most house concert venues, the artist does reasonably well. There is no commission given to the venue at our house, meaning the money you give, the suggested artist donation (generally $15) goes directly to the artist. So do the proceeds of CD sales. They won't get rich, but maybe they can eat, put gas in the car, and generally make a living. Don't they deserve that for what they give us?
My name is Steve West. My wife and I began hosting concerts over a decade ago under the name of Swift Creek House Concerts, though at another home. After a hiatus of several years, a remodeling of our home made it more suitable for concerts, so we began again, in 2008, under the current name. A Christian, I seek out music that has excellence, that is transcendant (prompts us to consider the deeper meaning of things) and immanent (earthy, real, and authentic), that both meets us where we are in life and calls us to something deeper --- a relationship with the One who made us. At the same time, we are inviting you to our home for music and relationships, not preaching. It's not church, though something of good church comes through in music and community that gives glory to the One who made them. I'm particularly interested in artists that are unnoticed, at least by most, and yet deserve listening to because they have something rich to say.
Our Raleigh, NC concerts are by reservation only and often reach capacity in the 60-70 person range. While we ask for a suggested donation, usually $15-25, the concerts have expenses and artists must be paid. See our note about costs here.
Please join us at a future concert. Find out what you've been missing!