It is with great pleasure that I announce the return of The Alder Fork Podcast. As we gear up for the big festival in less than a month, the podcast will feature several episodes with appropriate topics. The episode, which will be up as of Tuesday August 18, will feature a discussion of previous benefit concerts. Most of those festivals were on a much larger scale and featured a who’s who of popular music. The Alder Fork Festival will be a low key event, yet it maintains the sense of optimism about the power of people and music to make a difference in the world.
As an undergraduate student I took a number of courses on music history, tracing people’s efforts to make sound from the ancient past up to the Twentieth Century. For our ancestors music was often a powerful spiritual experience, connected to worship, storytelling, and community bonding. Right through the time of the great composers and into the last century music was a special treasure, and truly gifted musicians could only be enjoyed periodically if at all for most. The evolution of recording technology has meant a steady bombardment of music is now the norm for most people. It follows us wherever we go, and a great many people prefer it that way. While this has meant that a greater number of musical performers can find a piece of people’s days, it has meant that music isn’t quite as special as it once was. Yet even today, a well constructed melody can illicit irreplaceable feelings in the listener. At its core, music is still spiritual, and still soul moving in its way.
Perhaps then, this is why we have come to so often associate music with causes. Of course, the rise of the rock star has contributed to the relationship, but when it comes to events like Live Aid, it is the most poignant songs that bring us to contribute. The whole event becomes an out of body experience shared by millions, in a way no ordinary telethon possibly could. While my little festival cannot provide such a thrill to the millions, for those of us who are deeply involved it will be a magical night. I have worked very hard over the years to create as many of these mystical nights as possible. The fact that I can use them to help a very worthwhile cause heightens the feeling.
I have provided people with many reasons to come to The Alder Fork Festival. A short list would read: 1) It’s a great cause 2) The music is top notch 3) The venue is fantastic 4) It’s a fun way to help people out 5) There will be cookies. But the real reason to come is the magic of such an event. The magic begins when a group of caring people gathers to listen to passionate musicians in the name of worthy cause. Out of that foundation, the possibilities are endless, and that is all I ever wanted.