It’s a fall day. People at the Vernonia Lake Park stroll around the lake. Colorful signs to point you to the path that leads from the circle around the lake to the roofless ruin that once was a mill. Along the way there are beverages served, perhaps beer and wine. Healing artists have booths as well. Someone outside of the door at a desk greets you, sells you a ticket, and lets you in.
Woodchips are spread on the gravel floor along a path. In some corners musicians have set up a few instruments (gongs, bells, didgeridoos, flutes etc,). There are risers against the wall on the opposite side. There are no amplifiers.
People walk in and out of the space freely along the wood-chipped path. To each side of the path there are chairs for listening and mats and blankets on the ground (or cots) (zero-gravity chairs?) at healing stations. Each person in the audience can stand anywhere they like and close their eyes to absorb the sounds. Many are standing, including the performers. In fact it’s hard to tell who is performer and who is not. At the outset it’s totally mysterious.
Healing Deep Listening immersion #1
Where are the performers? A musician walks to a set of gongs and begins to fill the space with sound. Their partner is nearby also with an instrument, inviting people to lay down and sit nearby. After a while, perhaps a healing ensemble forms with other musicans. Toning throughout the room, I hope the audience will join in. It ends when it ends.
Then a group of men emerge from the audience and stand on the risers. As they sing ‘O Fortuna’ (it is NOT Carl Orff’s!), Fortuna, wearing a long white sparkly gown walks up to a riser by a spinning wheel and welcomes you. She introduces the singers. Then she spins the wheel to determine what will be sung next from a group of newly written chants by Cascadia Composers. The order of chants will be chosen by Fortuna at her spinning wheel. Many spots on the wheel will indicate to resume the healing sounds (as the singers on risers will disperse into the crowd.). Fortuna will go on spinning the wheel when and as long as she likes.