When most people think of a concert in their house they probably picture china breaking, mosh pits forming and the rooms being torn apart as a band blasts music throughout their normally quite home. Bob and Nina Anmahian Lantis know better though, the Loudoun residents finished hosting their first house concert in December and are already planning their next two.
"House concerts are an opportunity to see really great musicians in a really intimate environment," said Nina Lantis of the experience.
A house concert is a modern-day version of an old form of entertainment where family and friends would gather at a host's house and be entertained by a musician who was traveling through town. Now homeowners are bringing it back by inviting bands to perform in their houses for small groups of people in the community.
"It's a community...opportunity to bring music and art to an intimate setting," said Nina Anmahian Lantis.
THE LANTIS' ATTENDED many house concerts in other areas in Virginia and decided when they recently moved to their Ashburn home that they would bring the tradition to Loudoun.
"They're house is just perfect for the music," said Kathi DeGucman who attended the Lantis' first concert, "It went really well. It was packed and the band was great."
Because of the locations and size, the concerts allow the audience and musician to have a closer connection. Most of the time the concert will be "unplugged" because there is no need or space for large speakers or sound equipment.
"For the concert goer it is very similar to going to a club. The difference is that there is no sound system. You get to hear the music in a natural acoustic setting," said Sue Trainor, a member of the band Hot Soup who has played many area house concerts and will play at the Lantis' April 1.
The house concert venue also offers a more relaxed surrounding where the band and the audience can mingle and talk. Many people at the Lantis' first concert got up after the show and had conversations with the musicians, said Nina Anmahian Lantis.
"It's just a great variety of people, there is a lot of mingling," she added.
"It makes it feel like they are playing for you, in your home," said DeGucman, "I talked with the musicians about personnel things so it made me feel a more personnel connection to their music."
Trainor says that this is one of the aspects that the artists look forward to as well. "A house concert tends to be a little less formal. It's easier to visit and get to know the audience. For those of us who enjoy small venues it actually makes our job a little easier in terms of getting into a conversation with the audience."
THE LANTIS' WANT to stress that this is not a commercial venture and they are not making money from the concerts.
"It's not a business," said Nina Anmahian Lantis, "We request donations and all the donations go to the artist."
Artists are also able to sell their compact discs and DVDs at concerts along with promoting future concerts.
The Lantis' won't let just anyone into their house though. They like to get in touch with people before they come and keep the concerts small.
"It is a private thing. It is not advertised publicly. We need to know everybody who comes. It is our home," said Lantis.
This being said the Lantis are hoping to create a new kind of community gathering in the area. A place where people in the community can hear new and different music and meet other people who enjoy the same music in their own community.
"House concerts are a great way to introduce people to new kinds of music. I absolutely love to see it in the community," said DeGucman.
"Really house concerts are everywhere," said Trainor, "If you Google them you'll be amazed how much stuff you get."