Songs that lend a voice to the equestrian world in a way only music can.
There are things you expect at a first-class horse show: fancy food stands; theatrical equestrian performances; a luxury car on display; and the obligatory pop up tack store. But a mini music festival mere feet from the warm up arena? That is simply not something you expect to see.
In fact, it’s been almost universally accepted that the songs will spook the horses, and that the spectators will be too busy with other equestrian pursuits to take a moment to enjoy the music. So it is amazing that the Los Angeles Masters show jumping competition decided to give it a try.
This extraordinary step towards the future of equestrian competitions began with a chance meeting between the Masters’ organizers and a Los Angeles local singer/songwriter and music professional, Justine Bennett. Bennett was presenting a music showcase at the trendy Standard Hotel on the Sunset Strip when the Masters’ organizers happened upon her unique skill for setting a scene with her artists. Immediately they knew they had found the right sound for their planned show jumping mini music festival.
And they were not wrong! The artists that Bennett brought to the LA Masters grabbed attention with their talent and song selections rather than loud sounds. Expertly playing a mix of well-known cover songs and original material, the audience was always in anticipation of what would come next. For example, here is a short clip of Tom Freund performing the Pete Townshend classic, “Let My Love Open The Door.”
And as for the concerns that spectators would be too distracted by the equestrian sport on hand, the organizers conquered those by scheduling the sets in between classes. Bennett said the biggest hurdle the musicians faced was figuring out when to do a sound check so it wouldn’t disturb the horses on hand.
Once you take a listen to these artists its not hard to see how they fit right in at an equestrian affair. Jessie Payo has more than a few ‘cowboy songs,’ and Trevor Menear has his very own song titled “Horses” to bring to the occasion. Meanwhile, A House For Lions was obviously on the right track with a tune entitled “Ease My Mind.” Isn’t that exactly what we would all like to hear in the warm up arena?
See and listen for yourself with the videos below.
Justine Bennett, and her music licensing company Silver Branches, may have served as the adept organizer of the LA Masters music festival, but here at 100% Sound, I do not want to overlook the fact that she is also an accomplished singer/songwriter herself. Learn more about the artist side of Justine Bennett and watch her perform with her side project, Phantom Tortious, partner B Willing James here.
To learn more about all of the artists that appeared at this year’s LA Masters please follow the links to their personal websites below. Happy listening!