Music and Zen: Fischer’s Mill Music Festival joined by Zen Garden market event

July 2018 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Columnists & Opinion, Community, Food & Drink

By Nancy Jennings

The second annual Fischer’s Mill Music Festival kicks off on Saturday, July 21, 1 to 9 p.m. Seven bands will take the stage in Silverton’s Old Mill Park, located behind Silver Falls Library.

Co-organizers Victor Madge and Corey Christensen are excited for the community to gather at the earthen amphitheater and enjoy day-long music.

An eclectic mix of local and regional musicians from Silverton, Mount Angel, Eugene and Portland will perform in one-hour sets, including: Goshwood, The Crying Eyes, Prineville, Beggars Canyon, The Filthy Skillets, Nick Champeau, Reckoned With and The Rock Band Academy. While the event is free, there is a $5 suggested donation.

“We want to keep the music light and ‘family friendly,’” Christensen said, describing the styles as Country/Gospel, Americana, Dark Bluegrass and Folk Rock.

Each man acknowledges the other’s contribution to getting the music festival off the ground and into the community for its second year.

“If it wasn’t for Corey’s company, ‘Soundstream,’ and his contacts, it probably never would have happened,”
Madge said.

“If Victor hadn’t flattened out the ground outside and made a stage, this wouldn’t have happened. It was very serendipitous,” Christensen said.

As to Madge’s involvement in the transformation, the architect recalled walking through the “ideal spot” for a performance stage during his many strolls on the path. “I would be walking out there for years thinking ‘this is such a beautiful venue, but there’s no space to set up a band.’” With help from volunteers and some donations of materials, Madge made his vision a reality – and the community amphitheater was born.

“We teach music here (at Soundstream) and have a couple of recitals per year, from students ages five through 99,” Christensen said. “Eventually, I’d like to use the amphitheater in August during the week for summer camps and have lessons on the lawn.”

The festival’s second year will be complemented with the advent of another new event.

The first Zen Garden Marketplace will be open from
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The outdoor home/garden marketplace will partner with the Fischer’s Mill Music Festival giving shoppers an opportunity to browse vendor booths while enjoying tunes from the festival.

Assorted food carts, and craft beer from Silver Falls Brewery Ale House, will be available on site, too.

Marketplace coordinator Lori McLaughlin, former owner of the White Oak Gallery, is hoping for a turnout of at least 15 vendors. Otems will include jewelry, garments and indoor/outdoor art pieces to decorate yards and gardens.

“Especially here in Silverton, there are many artists who create pieces that are not just intended to be inside, but outside as well,” she said. “The Northwest is special in that we really do appreciate and long for the springs and summers.”

Having been involved with art for 30 years, McLaughlin currently teaches classes at Chemeketa Community College. “I’ve taught all levels: children, middle school, high school and college.”

“Now that the gallery is closed, I still want to be involved in creating something for the vendors,” she said, adding that some of her own “Raku” art pieces will be for sale. The very old Japanese art form consists of combining earth’s basic elements.

“You start with rich glazes that you paint onto your vessel. Then you fire up the kiln, pull them out when they’re red-hot and drop them into a trash can with either newspaper or sawdust. It’s an oxidation process. When you remove the oxygen, the glaze comes alive with different colors and textures,” she explained. “Art is wonderfully therapeutic because it touches people, both those who create it and buy it,” she said.

McLaughlin would like to see the Zen Garden Marketplace to become an annual summer event. “My hope is that each year it grows stronger and has more depth and dimension. It’s under the wonderful canopy of leaves and branches of the park.”

Saturday, July 21 events in Silverton’s
Old Mill Park (behind Silver Falls Library)

Fischer’s Mill Music Festival
Eight, hour-long music acts in the amphitheater, 1 – 9 p.m.
$5 suggested donation

Zen Garden Marketplace

10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Outdoor home and garden artisans and vendors

Food for sale, beer provided by Silver Falls Brewery

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