Ambient sounds and amiable atmosphere in Big Sur.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
The Tonalism all-night ambient music happening at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur has a unique objective: to put its attendees to sleep – or at least into a heavy state of relaxation. All those attending the all-night event are encouraged to bring pillows, cushions, blankets or sleeping bags.
The low-toned, artistic atmosphere of the event was inspired by the ambient work of avant-garde musicians and composers like Terry Riley, John Cage and Yoko Ono.
Dublab, an L.A.-based nonprofit Internet radio station that started the happening in 2006, collaborates with folkYEAH’s Britt Govea on the event.
“Tonalism has a punk approach to the regular ambient music festivals,” says dublab’s Ale Cohen. “It’s not just about electronic and ambient DJ music; there are no boundaries.”
There will be more than a dozen live DJ sets and live bands playing for more than 12 hours over a six-speaker surround sound system, all under a canopy of magnificent redwoods.
“The sound system is one of Tonalism’s trademarks,” Cohen says. “It’s important that the music comes from every direction.”
Some of the notable DJs include: Andy Cabic, the guitarist for the indie-folk outfit Vetiver, dublab’s DJ Turquoise Wisdom and a special surprise guest, who Govea says Animal Collective fans will greet with delight.
The bands performing span many genres, from new age to minimalist to jazz. Windy & Carl – a husband-wife duo from Michigan who rarely perform live – will play their special blend of spacey rock and drone music. Also performing is Pacific Grove native singer-songwriter Matt Baldwin and the smooth jazz of The Nick Rosen/Brian Green Duo.
Three projectors will also cast artistic images onto big screens and the trees.
“Big Sur is a magical place as it is,” says Cohen. “You almost don’t even need the music to relax.”
TONALISM happens 4pm-5am Thursday, at Henry Miller Library, Highway 1, Big Sur. 667-2574. $20.