Leaf Boat Theater serves the human journey towards loving interdependence through ritual theater, music, puppets, goofiness, and direct actions for the sake of all beings. Artistic director and buddhist counselor Beth Fairservis is the progeny of Vaudeville and Anthropology. She has studied theater with Ricardo Puccetti, Meredith Monk, Rachel Rosenthal, and Double Edge Theater. Her puppets have danced on streets and in city halls through Western Mass for over 10 years. Musical director, composer, and cellist Stephen Katz brings a lifetime of collaboration with dance and theater to Leaf Boat. Their son Olin Katz has been surrounded by puppets since infancy. He is now stepping in as lyricist, singer, and youth perspective in all that the company creates. Joining the Fairservis-Katz family at Unifier is the strong voice of Thai Massage therapist and Water Protector Ashley Berry.
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The World We Love is in our Hands
Puppets and a passionate love for the earth come together in unique ritual theater experience. On Friday at 5pm Cellist Stephen Katz and Beth Fairservis will muse on the magical powers of multidimensional consciousness. On Saturday at 5pm Ashley Berry will join the troupe along with the community in a giant puppet parade leading to the Earth Temple for a transmutational theater experience where we will all get in touch with our inter-dependence!
Alash ensemble is a trio of master throat singers from the Siberian Republic of Tuva. They have played at Carnegie Hall, Tchaikovsky theater, Shanghai Grand Theater, and many other venues world wide. All of the members of Alash are champion throatsingers and musicians.
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A Multi-Instrumentalist, producer and performer, Matt Carey is an up and coming talent that showcases a versatility, intention and quality of work that is poised to peak the interests of music fans worldwide. At 27 years of age, Matt has become a fixture in the North East U.S. Music Festival Scene and is well established internationally, now approaching his sixth year performing throughout Central America. 2016 saw the release of Matt’s debut full-length album, “Born into Babylon”. The album delivers a diverse sonic journey rooted in house music, weaving vibes, instruments and cultures creating a unique signature style. Live, Matt creates a multi-sensory visionary atmosphere utilizing his own vocals, analog FX and live instrumentation to bring an interactive and unique live performance. His productions consist of sounds, themes and instruments derived from a wide variety of places, times and emotions, creating an immersive audio journey.
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I’m realizing more and more every day that you can make anything happen for yourself if you really want to,” says Moon Hooch horn player Mike Wilbur. “You can change your existence by just going out and doing it, by taking simple actions every day.”
If any band is a poster child for turning the power of positive thoughts and intention into reality, it’s the explosive horn-and-percussion trio Moon Hooch. In just a few short years, the group—Wilbur, fellow horn player Wenzl McGowen, and drummer James Muschler—has gone from playing on New York City subway platforms to touring with the likes of Beats Antique, They Might Be Giants, and Lotus, as well as selling out their own headline shows in major venues around the country. On ‘Red Sky,’ their third and most adventurous album to date, the band uses everything they’ve learned from their whirlwind journey to push their sound to new heights, bringing together the raw, transcendent energy of their live performances and the sleek sophistication of their studio work into a singular, intoxicating brew that blends elements of virtuosic jazz, groovy funk, and pulse-pounding electronic dance music.
“I think ‘Red Sky’ is more focused than any of our past albums,” reflects McGowen. “We practice meditation and yoga, and I think that we’re more evolved as people than we’ve ever been right now. That evolution expresses itself as focus, and through focus comes our energy.”
It was two years ago that the band released ‘This Is Cave Music,’ an exhilarating thrill ride that earned rave reviews from critics and fans alike. NPR hailed it as “unhinged” and “irresistible,” praising each musician’s “remarkable abilities” and naming their Tiny Desk Concert one of the best in the prestigious series’ history. The album followed their 2013 debut, which had Relix swooning for their “deep bass lines, catchy melodies and pounding rhythms,” while the Wall Street Journal celebrated their “electronic house music mixed with brawny saxophone riffs.” Though the band—whose members initially met as students at the New School—turned heads in the music industry as relative unknowns with a charismatic, unconventional sound (they play with unique tonguing techniques and utilize found objects like traffic cones attached to the bells of their horns to manipulate tone, for instance), they were already a familiar and beloved sight to straphangers in New York, who would react with such joy and fervor to their impromptu subway platform sets that the NYPD had to ban them from locations that couldn’t handle the crowds. NY Mag once referred to their sound as “Jay Gatsby on ecstasy,” while the NY Post fell for their “catchy melodic hooks and funky rhythms,” saying they had “the power to make you secretly wish that the short [subway] wait becomes an indefinite delay.”
While the band’s busking days are behind them now, the lessons they learned from all those platform parties helped guide their approach to recording ‘Red Sky.’
“What we discovered playing in the subway,” McGowen explains, “is that the more focus and the more energy you put into the music, and the more you listen to everything around you and integrate everything around you into your expression, the more the music becomes this captivating force for people.”
Recorded at The Bunker studio in Brooklyn, ‘Red Sky’ is nothing if not captivating. The album opens with the tribal urgency of the title track and proceeds, over the next 45 minutes, to utterly demolish any and every possible barrier that could stand between your ass and the dance floor. On ‘Shot,’ Wilbur sings a stream of consciousness vocal line over an airtight groove, while “Psychotubes” channels the apocalyptic fire and brimstone of death metal, and the staccato intro of “That’s What They Say” gives way to a gritty, late-night come-on of a saxophone line that’s far more suggestive than any whispered words ever could be.
Though the band is heavily inspired by electronic music, they made a conscious effort to use as little in the way of “studio tricks” as possible on ‘Red Sky,’ aiming instead to capture the sound of their live show, which has evolved significantly from their days underground.
“When we were playing in the subways, we were playing entirely acoustic,” explains Wilbur. “It was just two saxes and a drum set. Then Wenzl acquired a baritone sax and we all started getting into music production and incorporating electronic music into our live shows.”
At their performances, the band now plays through what they call a Reverse DJ setup, in which the live sound from their horns runs through Ableton software on their laptops to process recorded effects onto the output. In addition, to flesh out their sound on the road, the band began utilizing Moog synthesizers, an EWI (an electronic wind instrument that responds to breath in addition to touch), and other more traditional instruments like clarinets. Wilbur added vocals to his repertoire on some tracks (something the subway never allowed him to do), and Muschler, meanwhile, traveled halfway around the world to expand his percussion skills.
“I went to India, and the first morning I woke up, it was like 5am, and I followed this music along the banks of the Ganges,” he remembers. “I eventually ended up finding this amazing tabla player, and after his performance, I asked him for lessons. He agreed, and I went for daily lessons with him and another guy for the next two weeks. After that, I took a train to Calcutta, where I met with the guru that I’d studied with in New York, and I did morning lessons with him and practiced throughout the day. It was an incredible musical immersion experience.”
The band members all speak reverently of meditation and consciousness and the role it plays in their music (McGowen believes his introduction to it, spurred on in part by Wilbur and Muschler, saved his life), but equally close to their hearts are the environmental causes they champion. Moon Hooch tries to live up to their green ideals while traveling as much as possible, playing benefit shows, supporting local farmers and co-ops, participating in river cleanups, filming informative videos for their fans, and more. The band even runs a food blog, Cooking In The Cave, in which they highlight the healthy, sustainable, organic recipes they utilize with their mobile kitchen setup on tour.
For the members of Moon Hooch, commitments to consciousness and environmentalism and veganism and philosophy and peace aren’t separate from their commitment to music, but actually integral parts of it. It’s all tied into that same core approach that led to their discovery on the subway platform: try, even if it’s just a little bit every day, even if it’s just with the power of your mind, to make the world less like it is and more like you wish it could be.
“I’d say all of our songs express the essence of that kind of energy,” concludes McGowen, “because before you can even think any thoughts, there exists the energy that drives those thoughts, and that energy is intention. I feel like we’re putting the intention of positive change constantly into our music. While we’re playing, I often see the future emerging: skyscrapers getting covered in plants, frowns turning into smiles, fistfights into hugs. I can see the energy of love and collaboration and trust replace the energy of fear, hatred and violence.”
It’s an ambitious vision, to be sure, but considering the band’s track record at turning their thoughts and dreams into action and reality, perhaps it’s only a matter of time.
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“(((::OFTHESUN::)))” was started in 2009 by Tom Fahey and Adam Blake from the ashes of an experimental improvisational sound project called “Fractillian”, which performed around the Boston area from 2007- 2010: they performed live for the first time in November 2010.
Shortly after forming, the sonic energy of CJ Carr joined Fahey and Blake and they performed as a trio for the first time in February of 2011.
Since then, (((::OFTHESUN::))) has been a vibrating gust of indigenous and electronic sounds,climbing to the surface in ever-evolving forms, often with visual and movement accompaniment.
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Earth Metal, Avant-Garde, Tribal Electronica, Blackened Psychedelica, Drone Rock :::
Bending the mind, allowing all things to exist.
“A spiritual cousin to Paul Simon’s Graceland” –Seven Days
From the front-lines at Standing Rock to the archaic streets of Jerusalem, the Sahel Desert all the way to Carnegie Hall, music has been the thread and source of strength for Billy Wylder. The band features Avi Salloway from Bombino/Hey Mama/Avi & Celia joined by an inspired cast of top-notch musicians who have performed in over twenty five countries. Over the last three years, Salloway has toured the globe, performing with Bombino, the Tuareg guitar virtuoso from Niger, Africa and is now bringing new and old songs to life with the Wylder family.
Billy Wylder, like their peers, the David Wax Museum and Rubblebucket, bring sounds from around the globe to meld with their American roots, taking the listener on a journey from bayou to borough, desert to dreamland. Wylder’s on a soul journey, singing songs with the people he meets, songs of love and adventure, filled by the color of his footsteps.
In the heat of the Arab Spring, Avi traveled to Israel and Palestine to work on an ethnographic music and dialogue project with young Arab and Jewish artists. Through his inspiration from the experience, new songs began to take form and the idea of Billy Wylder was born. The band recorded Sand & Gold with the help of The Low Anthem and Dan Cardinal in Providence, RI and is now on the road in America, building the “Wylder family” of fans from town to town.
Billy Wylder has toured extensively throughout the United States, performing and collaborating with renowned artists including Jack Johnson, Bombino, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, David Longstreth (Dirty Projectors), The Low Anthem, and Pete Seeger. Billy Wylder includes Rob Flax (fiddle, synthesizer, vocals), Chris Sartori (bass), Brandon Mayes (drums), and Avi Salloway (lead vocals, guitar, harmonica). The members of Billy Wylder are all charismatic artists and educators who have taught and performed in the Middle East, China, Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, North America and the Caribbean including concerts at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival, Newport Folk Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Montreal Jazz Fest, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center.
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A longtime student of spiritual practice and musical magic, Adam Bauer is an emerging presence in the chanting, yoga and creative arts space. His first solo record, is Shyam Lila. Adam began practicing hatha yoga in 1986, and co-founded reggae-rock pioneers The Equalites in 1987.
A kirtan musician for the past twelve years, Adam played bass with Krishna Das from 2001 to 2008, and with Shyamdas from 2005 until his untimely passing in 2013. He has performed at hundreds of gatherings over the years, sharing stages with Ram Dass, Jai Uttal, Deva Premal and Radhanath Swami, among many others. He has played bass at Bhakti Fest and at every Omega Ecstatic Chant since its inception in 2004 (except for that lost week at Burning Man in 2006), and has accompanied esteemed singers like Gaura Vani, Brenda McMorrow, Karnamrita Dasi, David Newman, Daniel Paul and Gina Sala, to name just a few.
Now accompanying himself on harmonium singing his own original kirtan compositions, Adam has led kirtan at world-class venues like Omega Institute, BhaktiFest and the Wanderlust Festival and at more humble gatherings in Canada, India and across the US. Through bhakti yoga, the community practice of kirtan and satsang, Adam continues his own journey of healing and transformation, offering a unique voice and perspective through these simple yet powerful ancient devotional practices.
Additionally, Adam has a unique online store, Dharma Boutique, filled with sacred and sensual treasures collected on his travels in India. www.dharmaboutique.com