Palaver Strings on Laughing, Listening, and Loving

By Alex Goodin

Palaver Sessions: Chamber Music in Somerville

Friday, February 27, 8:00 pm

RSVP with Groupmuse

At the beginning of each rehearsal, we greet each other with nuzzles and hugs.  Our 6’3” violinist, Ryan Shannon, might gyrate his hips (how are those hips so LUXURIOUSLY loosey-goosey?!).  During break, we undertake a mass migration to Chipotle for burritos, and then we pound them like it’s our job.  When we’re not playing music, we joke about farts and rub each other’s backs, gobble snacks and hold dance battles.   And I have never been so profoundly and deeply moved by a group of people in my life.

Oh hi there!  I’m Alex Goodin, and I’m a bassist in Palaver Strings, a Boston-based musician-led string orchestra.  I’m very pleased to make your e-acquaintance, and I look forward to maybe meeting you for reals sometime soon.  As a transplant from Cleveland, Ohio, I’m here to tell you about my family-away-from-home, Palaver.

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Our name, Palaver, comes from the Liberian “palaver hut”—a small, circular shelter where communities gather to discuss issues and resolve conflicts.  This is the essence of how we work together as an orchestra: twelve equal voices sharing ideas and opinions, laughing, finding common ground, and trying to understand each other.  It’s not always easy; our rehearsals sometimes bristle with tension, misunderstandings, and disagreements, but they are also rich with laughter, connection, and joy.  Each individual in the group, with total sincerity, is striving to love and listen deeper, and to create something together that is worth sending out into the world.

Okay, so besides chomping burritos, what does Palaver actually do?  In a nutshell, we’re a group of musicians who enjoy exploring and sharing music—classical, folk and fiddle, new, pop, choral—and collaborating with all sorts of other artists.  We produce multi-media concerts that explore the ideas and questions that we’ve had on our minds—our inner dialogue, dreams and nightmares, the contrasting innocence and brutality of life—and try to work through them together.  We bring music to hospitals, prisons, soup kitchens, houses and art galleries, and we want to use art and artistic collaboration to build relationships and make a positive difference in people’s lives.

Our next chance to do this is on Friday, February 27 at 8 pm.  We will be teaming up with Groupmuse to host “Palaver Sessions: Chamber Music in Somerville,” a warm winter celebration with Romantic music, hot food and drink, and some neato new friends!  Also, bring your instrument cause we’re hosting a party-jam-session after the show.  GET PUMPED – we’d love to see you there.

RSVP with Groupmuse, peep the Facebook event, or send us a message through our website.

Yours most sincerely,

Alex Goodin

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