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Monday, August 4, 2008

Beyond The Borders 2008

Saturday's second-annual "Beyond The Borders" Music and Arts Festival was so deliciously elemental, my dear Watson! The morning began with some clouds and showers but the afternoon was the perfect mix of sunshine, scattered clouds and refreshing breezes, just right for an outdoor concert at the Longbranch Improvement Club.

I was a little late to the party, arriving just as the first act, Mooncoyne, was wrapping it up. There were many friends to greet, including my dear Gigi, fellow Blog-Squadder Kim, with her kids and her lovely mum, Marilyn. Together we went into the shade of the Hall to peruse the beautiful artwork on display by Two Waters artists.

The drumming circle began to play on the indoor stage and would continue to entertain between each outdoor act of the afternoon. I tell you, the energy in the room really pumped up when Kim's son Justin hit the floor with his t-shirt-waving warrior dance! The rhythm started to pull me by the second and third Chakras, into a spell, into the dance. This was the Fire of the day, hypnotic and hip-pulling. Gigi and I danced every time the drums played, heating ourselves up again and again.

©Mark Runions 2008The next performer to begin on the outdoor stage was Lora Chiorah, accompanied by Leif Totusek on guitar. Lora is a beautiful Mother of the Earth, from Zimbabwe. In her voice was the drifting dust and rooted people. The collar of her dress was layers of bright orange cloth petals and she was an African Lotus, blessing the Earth we all stood upon, within her songs and movements.

Lora sometimes played an "Imbera" (guessing at the spelling) which is a thumb-piano mounted inside a hand-drum. She used it when singing a song about the coming of Westeners. Between the vocals, instruments and foot-stomping, you could close your eyes and see the wagons, see change coming. Leif Totusek's guitar rang out like life through a rippling heat-mirage. Music this deeply-rooted in the earth pulls a sweetness, even into struggle and pain.

The next group to take the stage was "World Sounds," a six-piece eclectic mix of instruments and moods, led by flutes, other wind instruments and vocals. Here then, the third element of Air added itself to the afternoon. As a Native American wooden flute was played, the breeze cooled our dancing fire and carried dragonflies above the stage.

Abrace (which means embrace in Spanish and Portugese) was the last performance of the afternoon. Four incredible women who sing intricate harmonies make up the group, with a gentle man who provided most of the percussion to back them. Here my favourite element, Water, began to pour through the sound. Their voices rushed like a river and happily tumbled together over wild falls.

©Mark Runions 2008

Samia Panni was "Yemaya" herself, the Universal Mother of the Ocean. This wonderful group is a deep dive into the current that life flows in. I'm so glad they returned for the second year. Their beautiful song "The Storm Is Passing Over" stays with me in its hope for Humanity.

With the generous help of Two Waters Arts Alliance, the Angel Guild and lots of great volunteers, Mark Runions has now firmly established a summertime tradition. A sweet and humble magician, this year he stirred the Four Elements to bring the world to Longbranch. Well done Mark, thank you for a wonderful "Beyond The Borders" Festival!

My friends Gigi and Soi Bec - havin' a great time!

Picture info:

1 & 2 are ©Mark Runions 2008
3 is ©Lorraine Hart 2008

Sorry to say I've had some computer problems today and have been unable to include pics!

eta: got my computer wiz to sneak past the trolls.. hopefully there's pics!


VW said...

I don't think it's you. I can't upload any pics either. Blogger is burping, me thinks.


Lorraine Hart said...

Hi there VW, this is Anna, Lorraine's daughter.. affectionately known as 'TES' in this house, 'The Electronic Secretary.'

Blogspot is indeed experiencing troubles with their picture uploads -- but everyone can still use a free online photo album (such as or to host your images and use the following HTML code (removing the *stars*) to insert pictures into your posts:

<*img src="URL of image"*>

If you want to have a picture hug the right or left, add the following:

<*img src="URL of image" align="left"*>

(or align="right")

Or if you want to center your picture:

<*center><*img src="URL of image"*><*/center>

Hope this helps!

I also wanted to add, the photos above are courtesy of Mark Runions and are under his copyright.

Take care,

Stephanie Frieze said...

Great post, Lorraine. Thank you for sharing your vibrant community with the Neighborhood. The South Sound is rich with culture and events that are accessible to everyone. It would be easy to dismiss out-of-the-way places as being cultural wastelands were it not for people like yourself and Tracy keeping us abreast of what' happening outside of the city!

I hope Anna tames the trolls.

Kim Thompson said...

We sure did have fun didn't we? I love Key Pen!

Lorraine Hart said...

Just found out that Lora's instrument is spelled "Mbira," thanks to Samia. Look for Abrace on MySpace...

Mizu Sugimura said...

I wish that I could have made this memorable summer reunion. What wonderful pictures! What wonderful writing - as usual - Lorraine you always hit the right notes!