That is the sign you read as you entered the small gallery space on York Boulevard in the Highland Park area of L.A. Before you can finish reading the sign your senses are already overcome with the aroma of 1000s of flowers and the sound of Moses Sumney's ethereal voice hanging in the air.
Vinyl Me, Please has long held a mission that we exist to help people to explore, experience, and enjoy music on a deeper level. During this two day event in support of Moses Sumney's new record Aromanticism we were able to do just that. The concept--which was part listening party and part art installation-- was designed to help expose people to both the music and philosophical statement of the new record.
Aromanticism gets its title from the idea of the non-romance — valuing friendship and activities done purely for the self over romantic partnerships.
Over the two days, hundreds of people, some Moses fans, some Vinyl Me, Please members, and many neighborhood passers-by took part and were immersed in this experience. Taking flowers-- often a tool of a prototypical romantic gesture-- and turning it into a self satisfying activity truly fits the aromanticism concept. Person after person walked through the door and asked how much did it cost, and can they take the flowers with them. With the answers of nothing, and no you cannot, you could watch people's entire outlook change. They settled in to choose the flowers that they found the most beauty in, taking surprising amounts of time to choose, and smell, and arrange, and rearrange, all while the Moses Sumney record spun on vinyl providing the perfect soundtrack.
Watching strangers’ eyes well with tears of appreciation, and bearing witness to a hundred different moments of joy and simple pleasure, is more than we might ever have thought possible from this installation.
We were thrilled to work with Moses, Pro-Ject turntables, Sonos, Jagjaguwar and Yours Truly to bring this event to life. As we broke down the event on Saturday evening, the thousands of flowers now grouped in bouquets by our visitors were set out on the street for anyone to take. For a few hours on Saturday evening, it seemed like every pedestrian in Highland Park was walking around with flowers in their hands and smiles on their faces. Aromanticism made those the most beautiful few blocks in all of Los Angeles.
All photos by Hannah Brooks