Friday, April 17, 2009

A utopian vision of intentional community!

Thanks to D. Draper for the photos!

Oh, we were dreaming in technicolour THAT day -- wow, what an amazing event. The energy was awesome. Dulcimerhead had the Old Town Hall rented anyway for their triumphant "Dark Mandala" CD Launch Party and Concert -- so, there was this big ol' space just asking to be filled with art, music, energy work, networking with great people, stories, food --

So it was an intentional community today, to encourage us all to stay creative and keep the focus on what's really important. These were all people who know how to make things: the skill to take materials and impose a vision on them, and to create something that didn't exist before. THAT is much more real than a fixation on the electronic ebb and flow of cycling financial data around the world. When people connect, it strikes a blow against the anomie of the modern age. Opportunity spaces pop up where none were before. And we are creative enough to SOLVE the problems we have generated ourselves.

That is why Dulcimerhead spent time during this event to raise awareness of and funds for the York Region Food Network. Those people are raising the alarm in this affluent area, and using creativity to increase the healthy food available to food banks. They do this via community gardens where people can be mentored in the lost art of vegetable growing, or if they are already good gardeners, they plant an extra row for the Food Pantry. YRFN also runs cooking classes in their new offices on Penrose Avenue. They fill backpacks with school supplies in September, knowing that it is almost impossible for some families to find the money to do it for their kids. In this day and age of instant food and separation from the land, it is wonderful to go to a community garden, to see a vacant lot turned into a place where people can create food with knowledge and their own efforts, connecting with the soil again, and with each other.

Then, after a day of meeting folks and talking ideas and looking at art and hearing stories and drumming and eating and just generally feeling that our neighbours, friends and kids were MUCH more interesting than we'd ever have believed -- it was time for the BIG CONCERT!

After an electrifying performance by opening artist Daniela Godina, Dulcimerhead rocked the stage with their new "Dark Mandala" tunes -- using full drum kit for many of them.

Fernando's solo piece "Why Not" was so perfect, a jazz fusion number that almost sounded like a drum machine in its precision, except no WAY could that sound be automated.

The beautiful, spiralling "Deep Blue Star" featured an awesome flute improvisation by guest artist Jason Pfeiffer. There were hard-hitting tracks that showed Dulcimerhead fully at home with their progressive rock sound, such as the brilliantly reworked "Persian Trance." In contrast to the driving energy of the drum kit tracks, was the slow and lovely "From a Hill" with Dave's solo dulcimer. Both Daniela and Jason joined Dulcimerhead later in the show for a joyful improvisational jam -- honestly, this is why you have to see this band live. :)

At the end of the evening, we knew this thing was not over.

"Dark Mandala" was properly launched and celebrated, and we had built our intentional community -- what adventure would be next?

View Dulcimerhead's Sonicbids EPK
View Dulcimerhead's EPK

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spiritfest is NOT over!

Still feeling the resonance -- the Dulcimerhead Spiritfest is NOT over! We weren't 100% sure what we were doing with that festival, but WOW -- now it's clear. It was a one-day intentional community start-up. Some of our exhibitors have put it into the words we did not have: that now we have connected, we remain connected and that space can be re-opened any time. There will be other Spiritfests. For Sure.

Wherever people gather in little pockets with the intention of opening a space for each other's talents and creativity -- it stopped being a craft show, or an art show, or a concert or a non-profit organization fundraiser. It became a big home, a mini-utopia, a transpersonal experience. But it wasn't a participation mystique -- we didn't at any point lose ourselves. We all became MORE our own sweet selves.

I was permanently changed by it.

I can barely wait to tell you more about it. :)

And there will be photos!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dulcimerhead and Daniela Godina on Nik Beat's "Howl" show, April 7, CIUT 89.5FM

This is an exciting experiment -- improvisational music and spoken word poetry, blended together in a spiritual crucible. The result: ECSTATIC ALCHEMY!

Tune in April 7, 2009 to hear Dulcimerhead (David Rankine and Fernando Villalobos) perform live on radio for the first time with chant poet Daniela Godina. They are hosted by Nik Beat on "Howl" -- a radio show on University of Toronto's radio station CIUT 89.5FM. You can also listen in on digital cable, or on your computer by visiting at 10pm TOMORROW.

Godina is also opening for Dulcimerhead's April 11th "Dark Mandala" CD Launch Party Concert and will be leading a drum circle at their all-day free family Arts Exposition, Spiritfest: Celebrating Creativity in support of the York Region Food Network. Her work is powerfully essential in its impact, carried in her resonant voice, the mythic images she weaves into her words, and her djembe self-accompaniment.

So, tune in for the big experiment. You will not believe these people have never played together before. Witnessing their live performance in concert is absolutely necessary. For more details, please visit Tickets for the "Dark Mandala" concert are $20 each; Families $40; kids under 10 free! Silent auction in support of York Region Food Network. Please consider bringing a non-perishable food donation! And of course, admission to the all-day Art Exposition -- with free workshops, performances, art projects and a wonderful vendors' market with artisans, henna body art, intuitive readers and energy workers, is completely FREE.

View Dulcimerhead's Sonicbids EPK
View Dulcimerhead's EPK