Art Every Day 098: A Summer Memory on A Winter Day

I’m enjoying listening to “Everyone Deserves Music” by Michael Franti and Spearhead this weekend. I’ve known of MF since hearing a feature about his group, The Disposable Heroes of Hip-Hop-risy, on “Prime Time” – an enjoyable survey show about pop culture that I loved on CBC Radio One back in the nineties. Prime Time was my favourite show.

I used to volunteer in the Hospitality suite at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival: washing and drying dishes, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, tidying, cutting cheese, making cookies and poached eggs and coffee and tea, and providing local advice and information to the performers as needed. According to the Meyers Brigg type test, I am INTP, an extreme introvert, and I usually feel less uncomfortable at events if I feel I have a reason to be where I am other than simple enjoyment. Like everything about me, it’s a little complicated; I am almost pathologically unable to have fun unless I feel that I am working, so I volunteer.

The first time I attended the Vancouver Folk Music Festival (VFMF) was in July 2000. It was a first date, and that night, just after dark fell, the full moon rose over the main stage and there were fireworks on English Bay, unseeable on the other side of the barrier that separated us from the people on the beach. After the show the lantern procession led us all out of the park. It was one of the best first dates ever, and I decided it would be okay to see this person again, and to volunteer at VFMF. The person turned out to be important to me, on and off, for the following ten years, and I started volunteering at VFMF in summer 2001. VFMF turned out to be one of the best of volunteering experiences, and I continued with it through 2009. I am fickle and lose interest easily, and when it comes to volunteering, I usually last about three times before I decide it isn’t right for me and stop going, so my continuing to volunteer for eight years says a lot good about the experience.

In 2008 Michael Franti and Spearhead performed at the Festival; I went to his afternoon set at Stage 6, and I had danced and I had cried, and I had thought, “Wow, there’s a lot to be said for a performer that can make you dance and cry in the same set”. I had fallen in love with his righteous love and his righteous anger.

At almost dusk while walking through the backstage area, I saw MF getting ready for his set on the Main Stage. I wouldn’t normally disturb a musician preparing to perform, but I called his name and he looked at me. I said, “Your music is like sunshine to me. Thank you” and he said “Thank you”, and put his palms together in classic prayer position, and bowed to me. And I bowed back to him before walking away.

The album he released in 2010 was titled “The Sound of Sunshine”, and I like to believe that my statement may have inspired him. Maybe a little…

~ by thiscassandra on Monday 9 December 2013.

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