Sarvaan, the organiser of the Festival (5-8 July), tells us the story how it all came together.
“What have I gotten myself into now?” This was the thought that ran through my mind after the excitement wore off. Several minutes before, I was on the phone with Vasanti and Michel, the owners and stewards of Corfu Buddha Hall, working out an agreement to bring a music and meditation festival to the island.
This discussion had been going on for several years – how to make a festival happen at the Buddha Hall? With all the building projects going on, no budget to speak of and the magnitude of the task, it seemed a big mountain that no one truly wanted to climb.
This last summer, however, I began to feel very strongly – ‘The time is now!’ So I approached our team. Everyone loved the idea, but the consensus seemed to be – ‘Let’s wait another year or two…’
So in late December the topic came up again and I shared my certainty that it could be done, not next year but this summer. Fortunately, Vasanti and Michel decided to put their faith in the project, but if I could make it work during the three open days in July, then the mountain and all the risks that come with it, was mine to climb.
The Festival was born.
We wanted the festival to embody the spirit of collaboration, togetherness, equality and exchange, while offering an extensive range of performances, processes and activities. We quickly realized that this would only be possible by attracting musicians and facilitators who were already going to be on or near the island, or at the very least open to coming from afar after all the great things they have heard about our growing community in Corfu.
So with the start of new year and driven by inspired energy, I began to manifest this vision with the help of my partner Eva. Our first intention was to identify a small group of facilitators and musicians who were nearby and resonated with our music and meditation theme. Then we began to contact them one by one. Many we knew personally but many we did not. I felt a little anxious when I contacted certain well-known names, elated when I received a positive response – and disappointed when I got turned down. Yet we were pleasantly surprised to find that, overwhelmingly, the response we received was a ‘Yes.’
From the beginning, the festival seemed to take on a momentum all of its own. Incredible synchronicity and a certain magic started to surround the event. The sheer number of people, from all backgrounds and modalities, who responded with enthusiasm and support for this project, deeply moved us. Early on we were ‘forced’ to add an extra day so that we could fit in some incredible people whom we just could not say no to.
Within one month, we had almost completed what has turned out to be an intense schedule, with wonderful therapists, excellent musicians, accomplished artists, and a room full of healers. Along the way some beautiful stories emerged. Eva discovered our lovely festival image (girl with the dandelion during a bright orange sunset) and contacted its owner, an accomplished Serbian photographer who will now join us in Corfu as our official snapshot artist! Or my chance meeting with Istvan Sky, a Hungarian multi instrumental wizard who lives in his musical ashram, just 20 kms from where I took a retreat this winter.
There are far too many stories of improbabilities and synchronicity to share here, but they all point towards the readiness for this festival to happen this summer in Corfu. At the time of writing this article there are more than 35 contributors, and counting, as we are still coming up with more creative ways to add depth to our Silence and harmony to our Sound.
While there are still some surprises we are now ready to reveal some of the festival highlights:
Group Therapy: Path of Love (Turiya Hanover & Rupda Ji), Tantra (Radha Krishna), Primal (Deva Roshan), Breathwork (Krisana Locke) BioEnergetics (Prem Agostino) and Cosmic Play (Leela Isani)
Musical Performances: Five nights of concerts, everything from ancient mantras to modern trance – Singing Celebration (Kalyan and Mae), Songs of the Heat (Peter Makena), Healing Sounds (Istvan Sky) Shamanic Closing Circle and Gong Bath (Elea) and one surprise…
Dance Workshops & Body Awareness: Trance Dance Ritual (Kiran), 5 Rhythms (Rani), Gurdjieff Movements (Vasanti), Chi Gong (Aloka) and Vinyasa Yoga (Amrita)
Art Workshops: Each afternoon art workshops will be held in the olive groves – Stone Painting (Shivanada), Sculpturing (Ajit), Nature Artistry (Chantal), Photography (Dejan & Aleksandar) and Jewelry Making (Yamini)
Coffee Talks: Our new and spacious “Satori” Café will host several talks and meditations each day – Understanding and Transforming Guilt (Prem Agostino), Human Design (Nisarg), Voicing Improv (Niskriya), Poetry & Play (Madhuri), Ambrosia (Chinta), Enneagram (Pepe) and Don’t Hold Back (Nityanando)
Healers & Session Givers: We will have more than a dozen practitioners on site offering Shiatsu, Psychic massage, Thai Massage, Ayurveda, and much more…
Active Meditations: Each day guests can expect a mix of Osho Active Meditations and music-silence satsangs…
A few activities stand out and are worth mentioning. We will host an open mike gathering called Poetry & Play, where 20 selected will have five minutes to perform a song or poem, do a comedy routine, tell us a story or show us their unique talent. Our multi-talented musical artist Elea from Ibiza will offer a Gong Bath in the peaceful olive groves and Prem Jivan will lead an intense 3 hours of Humaniversity AUM.
However, we saved the best for last, as we will all make our way down to the beach for a Shamanic Closing Circle to give thanks under a moonlit sky. We will enjoy a musical collaboration between our performers before handing the night away to Elea who will lead us into a Psytrance beach party. A couple of nice surprises will be revealed before the night is over…
We could never have imagined that such a beautiful creation could manifest in such a short time, but it speaks for the readiness of this event to come to our little corner of Corfu, a place with a welcoming, loving and peaceful Buddhafield and a thriving music scene.
It’s finally happening and the time is right. Where it will go nobody knows, but our dream is to have this vision grow to encompass the entire village and the other four retreat centers, working together to create a Sound & Silence Festival we can all build on and find joy in.
Nowadays the Mountain doesn’t seem so imposing…
The Sound & Silence Festival will be held from 5-8 July 2014 at the Buddha Hall, Arillas, Corfu, Greece
Credit for dandelion photo: nakicphotography.com