Today is the International Day of Happiness, a day to celebrate, and also a day to reflect on what does make us all genuinely happy.
The creation of this Day is a minor miracle in itself, as all 193 member states of the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted it back in 2012.
For us at Matters Musical, the answer is simple – music makes us happy. But not just any music. Live music. Music that has the instant reach, raw energy and excitement and flows from the performer to the audience like a river.
And of course, musicians, talented performers who bring passion, technical skill and virtuosity to every note and make each note sound as if they played it just for us, just this once.
That’s what we look for in our musicians and performers when we’re selecting them for Matters Musical. After more years in the business than we care to mention, we can hear that level of talent a mile off.
And them there is the pure joy of discovering something new to us, whether it’s music from another part of the world, or an unusual fusion that grabs you by the ears and shakes your cultural perceptions to the core. We’re got groups that combine traditional with cutting edge, fuse music and dance traditions, and combine multiple musical influences to create something totally unique to that musician, band or act. That really makes us smile.
On the other hand, we love to see people having fun with music too. You can’t help but feel happy when a young toddler starts bouncing around to a jazz band in park, or a room full of previously reserved conference delegates suddenly discover their inner funk with a 1970s cover band.
Most of all, we love watching people coming across something totally unexpected at street festivals. You can almost hear the dialogue in their heads: “What’s that music? Never heard that before. I’ll just amble past. Ok, this is good, I’ll just hang about for a couple of minutes. What are they going to play next? I like this one! Woah, look at move cool dance moves!” And so on until “Blimey I’ve been here 30 minutes!”
Interestingly, our intuitive feelings are backed by science. Using data from the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index, a group of researchers at Deakin University Victoria looked for linked between Subjective WellBeing (SWB) and engaging with music.
“The findings revealed that engaging with music by dancing or attending musical events was associated with higher SWB than for those who did not engage with music in these forms. The findings also emphasised the important role of engaging with music in the company of others with regard to SWB, highlighting an interpersonal feature of music.”
With street festivals, there is definitely a secret to ensuring a happy audience, and that secret is variety. We know from experience that one person’s musical pleasure is another person’s Purgatory. That’s why we have helped hundreds of clients create diverse and dynamic programmes for events across the UK, using several artists, bands and musicians from our roster of artists. each artists provides something different to the overall mix, keeping the festival looking and sounding fresh, interesting, engaging.
Getting that mix just right definitely makes us, the client and the event attendees happy. So, if organising in inventive, imaginative entertainment programme for your festival or event is making you miserable, give us a call. We’ll make you happy by suggesting artists who fit your event, location, performance spaces – and your budget.
For five Matters Musical demo videos that always make us happy, check these out.
And if you want to know more about the science of happiness; check out these entertaining TED talks.