Revisiting rock icons

Jeffrey Klassen led the first Listening Party at Pembina Hills Arts Council in November with Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon. (Supplied Photo)

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Pembina Hills Arts Council in Morden is spinning records and you’re invited to come enjoy the music.

Their next listening party, a partnership between the Society of Music Lovers and PHAC and sponsored by Co-op @ Home, will explore the music of Led Zeppelin by diving into Led Zeppelin IV from 1971.

Jeffrey Klassen leads the evening by taking participants through the album, being sure to include interesting facts about the band and music as well.

Klassen said when he was in his teens, he used to buy records and call his friends over to listen to the full album start to finish.

When records began gaining in popularity again, Klassen thought it would be neat to revive his listening parties. He did a test run with friends before approaching PHAC to open the event to the community.

“At the art gallery usually it’s about paint and canvas,” he said. “Various things we traditionally see at an art gallery. How often do we have the listening arts, the music? I thought why not add a new dimension to an art gallery experience.”

In November, Klassen hosted the first listening party at PHAC with Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon.

The 48 participants at that event were asked to turn off their cell phones for approximately two hours as Klassen took them through the history of the band and provided interesting facts before letting the record play.

Klassen said he was told by participants that the experience was refreshing and therapeutic.
“It was a profound experience,” he said. “To get two people to agree on something is difficult. To get 50 people to agree on sitting in silence for two hours without phones and just really listen… how often do we do that?”

Klassen said the hardest part is picking which record to listen to. “You want to pick records that are iconic, big game changers in the music industry,” he said. “The 70s was a very big time in music where things changed. Music suddenly became for the young culture probably the most important things in their lives.”

“They would gather around music, they would go to concerts, music would be playing as a soundtrack to their life so to speak,” he added. “I think music still is the same way today. I used to be in the music business and one of the things the record industry taught me is that when you’re selling music to somebody, you’re selling them a soundtrack to their life in one way, shape or form.”

Once the event is established and people know what to expect, Klassen said he would like to shake it up a bit and choose some more obscure artists.

Eventually Klassen would also like to see these listening parties spread throughout the region. “We have such a great musical community here,” he said. “We have folk bands, we have celtic bands, we have heavy metal bands, we have classic rock bands. We have a massive music talent out here, it’s an incredible community of musicians and music lovers.”

The Led Zeppelin IV listening party takes place January 25 at Pembina Hills Arts Council in Morden. Spots are filling up fast for the event.

Reserve your spot at the PHAC by calling (204) 822-6026 or email info@pembinahillsarts.com.

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