Published: August 22, 2013
Photos by: Ryan Patrick
Story by: Adam Epstein
In Logan, Ohio at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains exists a transformational gathering known as Rootwire Music Festival, where hundreds of devoted artists come to share their gifts and become part of something greater than themselves. The altruistic feeling found here is of course represented by the imagery, but also by the quality of the musical performances. Alongside Papadosio the leading acts Dopapod, Jimkata, Bluetech (Evan Marc), Eskmo, Karsh Kale (featuring Jamie Janover on hammered dulcimer) are not your typical headliners by any means. What’s even more impressive than this eclectic list of main stage shows is the standard for locating undiscovered acts like The Main Squeeze, Turkuaz, The Malah, Broccoli Samurai, Indigo Sun, The Coop & The Heavy Pets, among many others, that remains exceptionally high. Over a very short period of time Rootwire’s production staff has become renowned for drawing in unheard of talents and providing them with the opportunity to shine.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Rootwire music & arts festival is the culture which supports it. It has been said that “culture ascribes to what is necessary.” The late great theorist Lewis Binford related this expression as “man’s extra-somatic means of adaptation.” It seems as though many creeds and codes collide to found this completely unique crowd. The feeling which Rootwire invokes is an existential culture comprising of a mass inter-spiritual link brought about by the abundance of artwork, meditation, yoga and artisan workshops in addition to the wide array of informational presentations and panels focused on educating one-another. Not in any conventional sense, but in the grand scheme of thing it is a catalyst for understanding that exogenous components serve as a single mental connection to each other.
Music has an energetic unity, which spurs additional arts and through this reciprocity derives endless inspiration. By creatively summoning this energy and vast network of information circulating us this aspiring group of young artists, musicians and presenters at Rootwire brings a multi-dimensional appeal to their work. From this phenomenon they have developed a unifying realignment across all walks of art. The entire festival comes to life as a gallery of art installations and unique people who create a life-sized collage representing a collective mindset.
Each and every one of us has been blessed with an opportunity to share our skills and it is becoming of all. A Taoist proverb states that “not every artist is a special kind of man, every man is a special kind of artist”, essentially this tells us to embrace the unique creativity embedded within. Part-way through Saturday night’s Papadosio set Anthony Thogmartin (keys, guitar) relayed to the crowd how the festival began as a gathering with several painters who would listen then, in turn they could create together. Now the seed which was planted four years prior has evolved into something bigger than a single weekend. Instead it has blossomed into a much more powerful entity with the ability to inspire countless others. This transition is attributed to cultural synchronization seen throughout the festival. The beauty of these implications is in coherence to the meta-physical. The stream of this infectious energy connects every interpreter’s rhythm, thus creating a single ambiance.
Certainly our age of information has given way to something beautiful. The resounding flow of our long-lost spiritual conscious has provoked a renaissance of unimaginable proportions. Though it may be intrinsic to Rootwire, this notion is not exclusive, it can be found everywhere if the festival is encouraging. Our society’s infatuation with status and monetary gain has caused not only individual, but collective solidarity among people of all backgrounds. A vast transformation such as the one found at Rootwire will not occur overnight (or three for that matter), but subsistence of this mentality will rely on enlightened thought and open minds. What truly separates this pervasive shift in thinking is that there is no archetypal figure, each and every member is encouraged to embrace their unique variance; eventually resulting in the end of social ambiguity. In essence, we are all one.
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