Octave Alliance (which became the Green Music Network in 2006 and transited into Samavesha in 2010 ) held its first San Francisco Bay Area cave concert in 2002 in the Hawk Hill Tunnel, part of the seacoast fortifications of the Golden Gate Recreation Area (GGNRA).
The Hawk Hill Tunnel, part of a former military fortification in the Marin Headlands, overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge and the outer bay. Alan Tower, GMN Director, was producing a CD recording of an ensemble of four didjeridus in the tunnel. The recording, which took advantage of the tunnel’s cathedral-like acoustics, was intended to produce a transformational deep listening experience, for meditation, massage, yoga and other purposes.
As word spread about the project, many people asked to sit in on the session, anticipating an other-worldly experience. As a result, the didjeridu ensemble (consisting of Alan plus Barry Hall, Rafael Bejarano from Mexico, and Jusse Nayeli from South Africa) decided to stage a concert the week before the recording session, on-site in the tunnel to share first-hand with a small audience the experience of its deep acoustic resonance.
News of the concert was quickly spread via email and word of mouth. A tarp was erected at the tunnel’s seaward portal to hold back the west wind, and candles were collected to provide light for the tunnel’s black interior. On the night of the concert, over 100 souls showed up in the moonlight at the tunnel’s mouth, for what turned out to be a magical experience. An infrared video was filmed of this event and has been used in grant applications since then. The following week, the CD titled “The Eternal Presence” was captured in an all-night session in the same location.
Following the success of the inaugural “cave concert,” a mission arose in Alan Tower’s mind: to explore other seacoast fortifications, transforming them from former places of war to transcendent temples of sound and word. A concert series was launched under the name “Music and Nature in Concert.” It was clear from the beginning that the board wanted to involve speakers that would help cast the events in the proper ecological context. So the next concert was planned for Battery Wallace, an outdoor bunker overlooking the ocean where a large gun turret was formerly housed. This concert featured the duo of Mark Deutsch and Alan Tower, and included spoken word artist Drew Dellinger. It was another success, but also a learning experience in that the weather is not predictable enough for concerts held outdoors in unenclosed spaces. So the concert series was moved back to the tunnel, focusing on didjeridu and other acoustic world instruments.
Stephen Kent became involved with Alan Tower in the next few concerts and in 2005 brought a group of Tuvan musicians (Chirgilchen) into the cave with him for an epic performance.When performing with Stephen they are collectively known as “Karashay.” Randy Hayes from Rain Forest Action Network was the speaker. 2006 brought the Tesla Group into the cave (Mark Deutsch, Alan Tower, Stephen Kent and Drew Dellinger) for a remarkable sonic journey of the spirit. The cave was filled with 300 people and the journey was captured and edited on DVD by Sean Karlin, with sound mastered by Greg Hagel at Evo Sound. The DVD recording of this remarkable event is available on demand (email@example.com).
After nearly a decade producing a fantastic variety of concerts, the Green Music Network has come to a transit. The director, Alan Tower has moved on to related pursuits while other members of GMN have joined forces with our non-profit performing arts organization Samavesha, directed by Laura Inserra. The board of GMN has passed on the legacy to this energized and talented group of artists committed to creating multidisciplinary performing art events as a means of bringing together local and international musicians and artists of all disciplines. Much of the work of the GMN is now being continued by Samavesha, with the mission to bring more art, beauty and joy in your life.
Future Cave Concerts will be organized by Samavesha and will bring a broader community of artists and musicians into the journey. We are also currently raising funds to enable us to bring this evolving art form to other venues around the Bay Area, including Alcatraz Island. Please consider to help us by supporting the Cave Concerts!
The “Cave Crew” is a network of volunteers who have been fundamental in the success of the Cave Concert series. Cave Crew members help manage and support all of the activities on-site at the events. Heartfelt thanks go out to all cave crew members, past and future. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a calling to participate in a future cave concert in this way.
Past Cave Concerts:
- Into The Sound – May 18, 2013
- The Eternal Presence – May 5, 2012
- Kitka and Laura Inserra – June 25, 2011
- HANG Rhapsody – October 17, 2009
- Jai Uttal (Kirtan) – May 16, 2009
- Karashay – September 20, 2008
- Vibrational Masters – October 13, 2007
- The Tesla Group ( Earth Day) – April 21, 2007
- Tesla Duo (New Moon) – November 18, 2006
- Transformance – June 4, 2005
- Chirgilchin (throat singing ensemble from Tuva with Stephen Kent) – Saturday October 22, 2005