High Society

Cannabis and Classical Music Unite at This Portland House Concert

Brahms, Beethoven, and bud: a new collaboration between HiFi Farms and Groupmuse.

By Rebecca Jacobson January 16, 2018

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Portugal. The Man keyboardist Kyle O'Quin played a living room show at the McCormick Mansion last year, pairing each piece with a different HiFi strain.

Portlanders can already get high and do yoga, get high and glaze some pottery, or get high and play Dungeons and Dragons. And now, they can get high and take in a classical music concert in the living room of a Southeast Portland mansion

Friday, January 26 brings the inaugural HiFi-muse, a collaboration between cannabis company HiFi Farms and Groupmuse, a social platform that helps stage classical concerts in private homes and apartments around the country (quoth Wired: “Uber, but for millennials who want orchestras in their living rooms”). The McCormick Mansion—a stately home on SE Salmon, built in 1910 for a well-to-do lumberman and now owned by HiFi co-founder Lee Henderson—plays host. 

Concerts have been central to HiFi since its 2014 inception—its founders used to work in the music industry—and Henderson has hosted living room shows by the likes of Justin Townes Earle, Patterson Hood, and Lera Lynn, as well as offbeat variety shows (with an assist from the Back Fence PDX maestros). Last February, Portugal. The Man keyboardist Kyle O’Quin played a classical piano concert at the mansion, pairing each piece with a different HiFi strain. “The feeling in the room was like, this is fucking magical,” Henderson says. Shortly thereafter, Henderson came across a New York Times story about Groupmuse, and he reached out to Sam Brodkin, the company’s CEO.

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Sam’s whole thing is that classical music doesn’t have to be fussy,” Henderson says. “It doesn’t have to be proper and elitist. I feel the same way in many respects about weed—not so much that weed is elitist, but there’s a different kind of stigma.” 

Groupmuse handles the booking, and attendees can expect an all-local quartet, likely featuring piano, cello, and violin. For his part, Henderson sees classical music and cannabis as particularly compatible. “I find classical music very visual and very emotional,” he says. “It can be very stony.” Which doesn't mean snoozy: "This won't be like a quiet yoga class. It will be a lively party. The music will be upbeat and cool." 

For legal reasons, HiFi-muse, like other cannabis events in Oregon, is BYO. (The good news: the McCormick Mansion features a spacious wraparound porch.) Picking up some flower beforehand? Henderson recommends HiFi’s Honey Bananas: “it’s a good party strain.”


7:30 p.m. Fri, Jan 26, McCormick Mansion, $10+

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