Back to Ängsbacka

 



I leave the path once more to backtrack to another festival; Ängsbacka in
Värmland.

first visit for me at a festival that holds an unchallenged place as the number

one alternative festival on the market in Sweden. A mixed assortment in the
colours of the rainbow; from tarot to tantra, from maya to mantra.

It is open, it is curious and let me say it from the start: I like it.

You buy in to it even if there’s sometimes techniqal problems, the schedule is
constantly stretched and the organisation is showing all the problems a flat
organisational structure with lots of cooks can display. But you buy in to it
because of the athmosphere where all the senses are made wide open for all possibilities,
creating exciting meetings and miraculous magic.
It is a sheer pleasure to work in such an environment and most of the artists
appear for free. You can go safe to your workshop knowing that once it starts
you can hand over to the sovereign direction of the now. In this spirit of
participation and creativity all pieces of the puzzle fall in place without
preparation. New nuances and refined forms take shape in this celebration of
life in all its manyfacetted manifestations.  
And as a ”customer” – as a consumer of conserts and workshop-shopper you have plenty of opportunities for growth
and widened views. But of course there are pearls in the presentation that
glitters more than others when you summarize your impressions. I meet Irene
from Italy, living in India who dances and sings her way through the global
festival-calender. A bit tired from a week of input from this diversified and
somtimes glossy carnival she says that at last she has heard something that
made her heart wide open. She picks out two artists that stand out and I cannot
agree more. And it comes with a bit of pride as they both stand close to me and
are gracing the program of ”The Path” summer long.
Zifa and Jennifer Ferguson.
Both have found their artistic selves in the meeting between Africa and Sweden. Zifa
has moved from Sweden to Africa and totally convincingly landed the best
afro-fusion band in the country in a hot mix allowing him to be both Zifa from
his childhood village Semendoa in Congo and Mikael Eriksson from the Stockholm
suburb. He is whole and totally convincing in both roles. At the same time. New
music is being born out of this. A hot and lovely catharsis. We dance along and
feel understood and understanding at the same time.
And then Jennifer who has moved from Africa to Sweden and found the acoustic room
her big voice deserves. An acoustic that reverberates from echoes of Swedish
pastoral calling and Hildegard von Bingen. Mix that with some South-african
township and agitprop and you have also something totally new and healing.
And both of them have that which great artists own: a letting go to the now that
takes care of the timing. A presence – a gift – allowing all of us for a moment
to be present on stage where it is happening. The sharing of the secret of the
graal – the mystery of the holy communion; the gestation of the unity of all.
The purpose of the stage is really but one: to have something to step down from. To
remove all illusions of hierarchies and distances. That is what good artists
are good at. Unconver reality as it is. That we all are one.
The audience and not leasts the media will do anything to make artists forget their
role and the only role of the stage by lifting them up and then dragging them
down.
May these two continue to grow in their understanding of their task. As priest and
priestess of the liturgy of the now and the here.


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