An offering in solidarity

Monday, November 28, 2016

Last summer we welcomed audiences to the Big Barn with the following message in our season program book. We offer it today in solidarity and as an invitation to listen, thankful that music can speak effortlessly to unassailable truths, both personal and collective.

These are good walls. They are walls that embrace our humanity and resonate with devotion. Within them, worlds of sound are expressed, each one unique as a snowflake, and universal as snowfall. Each of these worlds will be more or less understood, or perhaps not at all, but listening, and wanting to understand, is what we will find here always.
This is the essence of the musician’s relationship with those who purposefully walk into a room for music and have the doors close behind them. With that act, a commitment to listen is made, to voices of unknown origin, religion, political leaning, gender, or sexual orientation. It is understating the case to say that this act is one of acceptance. After all, it is not who the voice belongs to that brings us together; it is what it might express, and what might be deepened in each of us by listening.
In welcoming you to Yellow Barn this season, it does not seem appropriate to comment here on the current wave of political sentiment that aspires to separation and nationalistic power, but that movement has made me acutely aware of how differently we live the evenings we share in this room. I am grateful that Yellow Barn is one of a constellation of places where another ideal is lived; where walls are not an escape or separation, but an invitation to listen far beneath the surface.
—Seth Knopp, Artistic Director