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September 30th, 2008

Recollecting Festival in the Forest

I stepped over lazy rocks and roots weaving clumsily through the redwood trees beside me. The fog followed us across the footbridge as clouds would follow. Sleepy and silent, we parked the car beside a brook, with a yawn and a smile and a stretch, upon a peninsula due-south of the stage. We pitched a tent, and the first day began with a warm sun overhead.

Too many words would empty the experience of its juice so I’ll try to stay short and sweet. There were a lot of friends and a lot of tents to house them. There were a lot of bands and a wooden stage to play them. Each morning we awoke to music and water mumbling over rocks and, for a lucky few of us, coffee sweetened by chicken eggs.

Those same few made a short trek long, but luckily a beach greeted us at the end of it all.  We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, split by hand. We asked a traveling couple for a ride back to Fernwood, south, and they were more than happy to help. There was music when we returned.

Every band complimented the feel of the forest surrounding us. Many many thank you’s to the musicians I met, in the audience and at the camp, for each and every sound you made this past weekend. Matt Baldwin and Beach House floored me. Two incredible performances.

But I especially want to thank two musicians who played songs that I never expected to hear. I returned to my tent as the sun sank between bands, thirsty and hungry for a seat. A ukulele came from a nearby tent with a hand and a voice to bring it alive. Dina Rae made her small instrument sing and rose a towering voice above it, singing songs that made us all sit still. Thank you.

Sisters also sat by the water, Cass and Karina. Karina fingerpicked a nylon-string guitar; her thumb and fingers sounded circles and layed lace around intuitive melodies played in the shapes of stories.  I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a sound so beautiful in an atmosphere to match.  Thank you.

Throw in some beer and some gummy bears and you have yourself a fairly accurate picture of my time at the Festival in the Forest. I’m looking forward to the next.

Thank You FolkYEAH, Britt, the volunteers, Samuel J. Macon’s beautiful photography, and Big Sur for making it happen. Don’t miss Karina, known as Besos de Tortuga, playing at BrainWash in San Francisco on Saturday, October 18.

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Karina, known as Besos de Tortuga – “Hambre Besos”

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Dina Rae – “Warbling Banshee”

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  1. that was beautifully put Tyler! and was the most extraordinary weekend ive had in quite some time. ive been “online friends” with Karina for a while now since after a Devendra show at the orpheum in witch this fellow dancer (Karina) next to me was asked to come on stage to play a song of hers. her music was beautiful!
    on the other hand. im a little bummed we didnt get to hang out at all.. i dont know what you look like hahaha. but i know we will get the chance soon. ill give you a call next time i come to the city.

    Comment by ryan — September 30, 2008 @ 7:44 pm
  2. Sounds like a sweet time!

    Comment by Mark Schoneveld — September 30, 2008 @ 9:03 pm
  3. oh, how i wish me and big sur could meet one day! it’s a life goal of mine!

    Comment by dharma bum — October 1, 2008 @ 12:30 am
  4. same time next year?

    Comment by Jose — October 6, 2008 @ 3:51 am
  5. Sounds amazing! I am very jealous that you got to go. I still haven’t made it up to Big Sur yet- which is kinda crazy cause I went to school in Santa Cruz and went between LA and there like 50 times. Anyways, beautiful pics!

    Comment by Jody — October 6, 2008 @ 4:46 pm
  6. […] tank, and drive north to Big Sur, California. The deer and dew and babble of recent memory, of the Festival in the Forest, were fresh in my mind still, asking to be revisited. So we […]

  7. […] working (60 MINUTE) cut of “Festival in the Forest” (the film) will be screened on March 20, 2009 @ SXSW ::: Everloving / Design Within Reach […]

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