Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

My community is currently experiencing great loss. We will begin healing with time. Yet as I write this I know friends (who are musicians and dancers) willing to put all their energy into keeping in tact those little bits of what can be saved from devastation. Literally, my friends were restless in the burning, smoking night hard at work in a virtual hell to protect both the oldest and the newest things we have which make us this community (Chico, Helltown, Paradise Ridge, the valley, the foothills and beyond).

Irish music, all music and artistic expression, boils down to the community of people who live it. We’re down and fighting. I trust we will be playing music together yet. It will take a lot of time and energy.

Cheers!

Posted by .

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

The scenes I’ve been watching on the news are horrifying. Best wishes for you and everyone affected by this fire. It may take a long time to recover, but in the end, music and community is something a a natural disaster can’t take away from you.

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

Thank you, Conical bore.

Posted by .

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

AB the community is one of the best bits isn’t it? If there are things we can provide from out here in your virtual music community let us know. We aren’t there to help you rebuild but I’m thinking about you all and looking forward to hearing that you’ve had your first session back.
It’s frightening how quickly things are gone. Our community just came through a series of unexpected major floods and it left us reeling. Lots of great community music for fundraising though.

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

There is a saying that goes……coming events cast their shadows before….but in this recent tragedy no warning was given…..I sincerely hope that normality will return for you soon….I hope you will soon be playing music again with your friends.

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

Dear Ben
Kind thoughts and prayers to you and yours and all the community afflicted in these incredible events

Keep safe and well

All the best
Brian x

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

Oboemeg, there are some good hugs happening down in Chico. It is such simple comfort but it can be
the gentle way to connect when words don’t express enough. What I’m learning is when adversity comes rapidly
keep your head and help your neighbor. Once everyone is safe share some hugs. Especially when it helps to
express love and community. Thank you for asking about how our virtual community (thesession.org)
might help members of my trad community.

I trust some of you are already helping, given the wide coverage of this event. But the best thing anyone
(not in the immediate area) can do is keep your head and weigh any information (twitter feeds, news oulets,
Facebook, etc.) so as not to absorb everything to the extent you become overwhelmed nor be so complacent as to
tune it all out. In the long term my community has a vital drive to keep music and art alive. Though, at this moment, many are in a surrealistic state of limbo &/or exhaustion. I have spoken with musicians who have lost all their instruments, others who have saved them and still others who do not yet know.

For those who might be near to where I live (or near Malibu/Thousand Oaks) here are some links which I have found today and I hope a few of you find them useful.

American Red Cross ~ https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php
California Fire Foundation ~ http://cafirefoundation.org/

Ben

Posted by .

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

Brian, I appreciate hearing from you. The best to you and yours as well.

Posted by .

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

Hello, Pat. Yes, it was a day which began as any other day and people in Concow and on Paradise ridge were flying on the seat of their pants. But I cannot say theirs’ was no foreshadowing of what might have happened. Many here knew the potentials far in advance. The only thing we did not know was when. The inevitable
for us is now. In many ways I am grateful for the knowledge we had beforehand. I think that helped.
We yet have a far way to go before we are comfortable enjoying the joy of a community united through
music & the dance which is life.

Posted by .

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

Thinking of you and your people, Ben. Even though I’m not in California; many of my university friends are from there, and my brother is living about 20 miles from one of those fires. I know for myself, I would desperately need music in a time like this. Playing my fiddle and my trumpet helps me get through times good and bad and gives me guidance. I know it seems wrong to play an upbeat Irish reel, for example, if I were in that situation. But I probably still would, because my mind, my body, my whole being, would need the catharsis and the therapy that can bring. My fiddle may be old and beat up, but it’s been in the family and I would be devastated if I’d lost it.

Best of luck to your musician friends who have tragically lost this privilege for themselves, and best of luck in the long and difficult healing process.

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

Sorry for all you’re going through. Thinking of you - will say a prayer.

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

Hey Ben,

Best of luck to you there! I had just found out through facebook that some friends of friends didn’t make it out. It’s a scary time. I’m glad to hear that you are all putting up a fight for your community. If there is anything good about disaster, it’s that it tends to bring people together in ways that wouldn’t happen any other way. (Sept. 11 comes to mind, on a larger scale. Too bad we couldn’t keep the sense of community we felt after it for very long…)

But tragedy also helps reaffirm who our real friends are. And thank God for music and the community of friends we have, both near and far!

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

It’s hard to imagine the sheer devastation and terror that must accompany these terrible fires, and I send my heartfelt condolences to those who have lost family members, friends, homes, animals.
To those left to deal with the consequences, I hope you do get suitable aid to rebuild your lives, and that music will be a comfort to you in this process.

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

Thank you, Daniel, Mollie, Reverend and Trish!

Posted by .

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

I appreciate anyone who has been following this thread. Those of you who want to know if you can do anything to help, can you message me (?) and I’ll do my best to piece together what I know. Until then keep your local music alive and share with your neighbors. That’s the best thing I have to offer tonight.

Take care,
Ben

Posted by .

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

I can’t begin to imagine how devastating the loss is for everyone- music can be healing - both playing and listening, and offering a musical event can be a conduit for collecting donations that will help those who have lost so much.

Thinking of your community and wishing you well.

Sharon

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

Ben, I met an expatriate Californian working in a local store yesterday, he was telling me about his kin near LA
and ‘Frisco and how he’s skyping everyday to see they’re ok - then I saw what was left of Paradise on the TV news last night. Can’t imagine it, our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

A new wildfire erupted just last night, in SoCal. My brother had to evacuate his house because of it; thankfully he and his house are fine, and he was able to return this morning. But I’m thinking especially of everyone in California tonight. Stay strong.

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

I hope all is well with you, my cousin used to live in Chico and my son lived in the bay area for a number of years, so I know what beautiful country it is out there, and can only imagine how horrifying the whole situation is. I had this notice come across my FB feed and thought I’d share it, I don’t know if you’ve ever come across him, Radim Zenkl, he’s a friend of a friend. "Mandolin virtuoso and good friend Radim Zenkl lost his home in the fires in Paradise, California. Radim is safe, but lost many instruments, recording equipment, his complete music library, manuscripts, and much more. We hope that you will join us in supporting Radim in any way possible through this devastating loss. Please be generous! ”

https://www.gofundme.com/y8v5qt-radim-zenkl

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

I met Radim probably 14 years ago. He’s a great guy. I thank you, Boots, for posting information about a fellow musician. It’s a mess, what can I say. We have the best & the worst of times in Butte Co.. Session tonight.

Ben

Posted by .

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

I’m travelling now. Everyone has wished me a good adventure. The past week & a half has been enough adventure for me. Thanks for everyone’s concern and support. I know you all have good communities which you love, as you should.

If any of you are familiar w/WUI (or if you’ve never heard the acronym) you might want to share this with anyone who lives in the wildland-urban interface.
http://www.readyforwildfire.org/

Most important though, always (even when the shit hits the fan; especially when it hits) remember your neighbors, your community, the great things you will do together. Express your feelings for them, with them. You know how to do that. But give people some space too. We are a strange animal.

Have a good night, or morning, afternoon whatever time it is where your are. Have fun but be careful too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOqiqBWAqcs

Posted by .

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

Posted by .

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

I’ve just read this Ben.

I’m so sorry to hear it. I hope the coming months are filled with love and support for all those affected - and especially yourself.

You’re a proven key community member- if your neighbors are anything like you - you’ll be in very good hands.

David

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

I am not in northern California over the Thanksgiving holiday. But I am keeping in touch with my friends who are still there. Also checking the news about peoples’ experiences, what’s lost, what’s left, who is where, etc.

Here’s something I found when searching for information about surviving dogs, horses, donkeys, ducks, chickens, etc.
http://useventing.com/news/support-displaced-horses-camp-fire

https://thesession.org/recordings/94

Posted by .

Re: Expressing love and community through music and the dance of life

"Hosted by Tess Vigeland, veteran journalist and former anchor for American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” “After Paradise” is dedicated to post-Camp Fire recovery information. Each weekday, Tess and the NSPR News Team will bring you the latest from government officials, rescue organizations, financial planners, trauma experts and local reporters."
http://www.mynspr.org/programs/after-paradise#stream/0

also on Soundcloud ~ https://soundcloud.com/user-393070142

Posted by .

Re: Expressing love and community through *bump* and thesession.org of life

;)
Greetings from the semi-lovely limbo/Paradise we fondly think of as a community looking for itself. Hello!
Music is the best thing we have & it cannot be taken from us because it’s very resilient. Peace & love!
https://soundcloud.com/user-393070142

Posted by .