I am back from a beautiful week up in the mountains above Espanola, New Mexico at the Summer Solstice Camp. I had a great experience (as I normally do). Just me and Narayan camping out with 1,300+ other people from all over the world. It was quite dry and hot this year so was more of a challenge dealing with the elements, but in the end it is the outcome of the full experience that really counts. As normally happens after the week of the camp I am processing (mentally) all kinds of stuff. The camp always has a way of re-connecting me in many ways. It’s hard to explain the feeling.
Anyways… I took some pictures (not a whole lot) and recorded some videos which I will start to share in the coming days, so that you can see some parts of the camp. I thought I would do a lot more (pictures/video) but it was too much with the dry heat, doing the camp activities, long days, and taking care of Narayan.
For the past few years at the Summer/Winter Solstice camps we have had evening/night music "jam sessions" titled "Yogi Tea Cafe" where any musician can perform to the camp attendees as we drink our Yogi Tea. At the summer Solstice camp the evenings are a nice time to relax, get relief from the day of dry heat, and just hang out and talk with friends (or make new ones).
This year we had a fun new event at the Yogi Tea Cafe which was an event organized by Spirit Voyage Music. This is the music company that produces Snatam Kaur’s CDs and sells lots of great spiritual music and related products. The event was called "Spirit Voyage Idol", which is a twist on the TV show "American Idol" (though it was very different than the TV show in all respects). Over the course of the week different musicians who signed up for the event performed outside under a huge tent and the audience was given ballots to vote for a certain number of their favorite musicians. First two days we voted for 3 out of something like 7 people. The winners from the first rounds went to the semi-finals which we had to then vote for 2 out of 6 people. The last day we had to chose between the two musicians who made it to the finals. It was great fun hearing all the different styles of music and how many of the participants supported each other by providing backup musical roles for each other.
The final night we had heard music from Sat Purkh Kaur (from Espanola, NM) and Dileep Kaur (AKA: Deep Kaur from Surrey, Canada). After their performances and everyone voted, it was such a close vote that they had to re-count the votes 4-5 times just to make sure of the count. Dileep Kaur got the most votes and won the Spirit Voyage Idol competition, which means she gets some prize cash and a $5,000 recording contract (meaning she’ll be producing a CD in the near future).
Here is the audio/video from the three nights that Dileep Kaur performed. I’ll post some of the other performances in the coming days.
Download Video (108MB)
Ong Namo Gurudev Namo
Sun Sajan Preetam Mayraya