Breaking the Silence: Rock and Roll Bands Take Over the Library

Bathed in red and orange lights, the four members of Conundrum Nine banged their heads in perfect unison while performing their original song, “All the Time.” As the group members joined together to sing the final chorus, the combined movement and sound sent vibrations through the floor and walls of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library (OWHL). Conundrum Nine is a professional band formed in 2013 that has released two albums and has toured the East Coast, according to their website.

“I would have to say that my favorite song of the night was ‘All the Time’ by Conundrum Nine. While I enjoyed both bands, this song, in particular, stood out to me for its masterful interweaving of several different genres. While the song definitely qualified as a rock song, I felt the presence of influences from jazz and funk as well,” wrote JayShawn Fuller ’17, an audience member, in an email to The Phillipian.

“All the Time” was one of the songs performed this past Sunday as part of the “Sounds of Silent” concert, run by Keito Mahaniah ’16 and Theo Perez ’16. The concert was held on the second floor of the OWHL and included performances from both student and professional rock bands. This was the first concert ever held in the library.

“Having a concert in the library embodies the spirit of rock and roll, and many other genres of music as well,” said Fuller. “To host a concert in a space in which silence is typically encouraged is an act of pure rebellion. It completely challenged and redefined the space which we, as students, are so familiar with. Most of all, it speaks to the importance of self-expression, even when we find ourselves in environments that try to limit that expression.”

Automaton Circus, a student band, covered “Can’t Stop” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Mahaniah played syncopated notes on the bass guitar as Perez played four simple chords on the guitar that purposely faded in and out at different times during the song. The piece ended with a guitar solo played by Perez and an energetic final verse sung by Ian Jackson ’16.

James Taylor ’16 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Getting to listen to Automaton Circus was easily my favorite part of the concert. I love getting to watch my friends perform, and Automaton Circus had an infectious energy on stage. They did a great job, and I was bobbing my head and tapping my feet through their entire performance.”

The House on Cliff, another professional band, performed “Helter Skelter,” a popular song by The Beatles. The guitarists strummed constantly, adding to the overall energy of the song. Alternating the pitch of his voice from low to high on each line, the singer steadily built his voice into the chorus behind the guitar riffs. As the song ended, each musician strummed their notes for as long as possible before finishing in unison on a final chord. The House on Cliff was recently nominated by the New England Music Awards for the “Best in MA” category.

“[My favorite moment was] when The House on Cliff performed a cover of ‘Helter Skelter’ by the Beatles. I’ve listened to the Beatles for years, and ‘Helter Skelter’ is one of my favorite songs, and they did a killer job with it,” wrote Perez in an email to The Phillipian.