In partnership with music club Black Market, Sony Philippines is set to hold a series a “Silent Parties” from now until March 2016, effectively introducing the local underground scene to a type of gig known to few and rarely ever organized around these parts: the Silent Disco.
The interesting thing about the Silent Disco as a type of gig experience is that it eschews the most important aspect of live performance: sound travelling through the air of a given space. Last September 16, Sony Philippines held its first Black Market Silent Party with DJ Scratchmark manning the booth. Headphone stations were set up around the dancefloor, and club-goers were invited to gather around each station to listen to the DJ’s set through Sony’s MDR-XB450AP or MDR-XB450BV headsets, as though each bass thump and subtle quirk were directly injected into the brains of the audience. The Silent Party takes tool typically meant for blocking off the outside world, and turns it into an instrument of communal revelry.
The Silent Disco may have begun as a means of keeping a party going without violating noise curfews, but has since evolved into an invitation to question how we enjoy music. With each audience member effectively anchored to their chosen stations and held quietly in place, Sony’s Silent Party subverted the average club-going experience. Take away the option of moving freely through the space, or the advantage of still being able to hear the music muffled outside the club’s walls, and the Silent Party serves as a reminder that gigging is, first and foremost, a listening experience. Come for the music, stay for the music.
For the months to come, Sony Philippines will be inviting more electronic musicians to its Silent Parties, with the likes of David Sorrenti, Vince Pante, and The Zombettes set to take control of the booth. If you ever get the chance to go to a Silent Disco, take off your headphones while the music’s going on. You’ll be met with stark, disturbing silence, bearing witness to a mass of people having each of their worlds quietly rocked.