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Sample Track 1:
"New Generation Temple Step Project Remix (feat Darpan)" from Desert Dwellers
Sample Track 2:
"Crossing the Desert (Kalya Scintilla Remix)" from Desert Dwellers
Sample Track 3:
"La Tomba" from M.A.K.U. Sound System
Sample Track 4:
"MND" from M.A.K.U. Sound System
Sample Track 5:
"Aloha Ke Akua" from Nahko
Sample Track 6:
"Shabaz Featuring Riffat Sultana & Sukhwat Ali" from Riffat Sultana & Party
Sample Track 7:
"Julay Lal" from Riffat Sultana & Party
Sample Track 8:
"JaaneJaan" from Riffat Sultana & Party
Sample Track 9:
"Desert Dwellers New Generation" from Temple Step Project
Sample Track 10:
"Truth and Grace" from Temple Step Project
Sample Track 11:
"Embrace The One" from Temple Step Project
Sample Track 12:
"Distant Temple" from Temple Step Project
Sample Track 13:
"Heart of the Whole" from Temple Step Project
Sample Track 14:
"Distant Temple Remix" from Temple Step Project
Layer 2
Beloved Sacred Arts & Music Festival 2013 Devotion: Oregon’s Beloved Festival Unites Beats and Roots, Global Sounds and Elevated Electronics

In a stretch of some of Oregon’s most pristine coastal forest, there’s a dancefloor. It pops up for just one brief weekend when the rains relent to hosts thousands of jubilant music fans and seekers. They may be congregating around a DJ, set up smack dab in their midst. Or they may be standing rapt, discovering music from New Zealand, Belize, India, or Zimbabwe.

There, young women shaking up the electronic/DJ scene (cellist/electronic artist Rena Jones and stunning vocalist/EDM artist Sasha Rose) share the stage with bands that speak to and of indigenous peoples’ struggles worldwide. Heroes of the Pacific Northwest (the soulful Nahko & Medicine for The People) and roots-music heavyweights play back-to-back, as the vibe shifts from contemplative to celebratory, from daybreak musical meditations to intense late-night DJ sets.

This year, rarely heard global sounds and elevated EDM abound at the Beloved Sacred Art and Music Festival (August 9-12, 2013; Designed to bring together two disparate but deeply connected musical worlds—the broad-listening, tradition-based ethos of global music and the bass-loving, ecstatic club music—the festival has gained such a devoted following in a mere five years that more than three quarters of the tickets have already been snatched up, before a single act has been announced.

“Originally, the festival was supposed to be a dance party that also had traditional music and could introduce more live music to people who were coming to the all-night dance party,” explains festival founder and organizer Elliot Rasenick. “But that wasn’t even half of the audience, in the end. I’m constantly hearing from people who have heard Saharan blues or an Indian sarod for the first time, and that it really changed them. Part of the experience at Beloved is knowing there will be incredible music.”

Featured artists include Zimbabwean Afropop legend Oliver Mtukudzi, the swaying and moving music of Belize’s Garifuna Collective featuring Danny Michel, and Australia’s exploratory one-man-band Xavier Rudd. DJs include the bass-loving atmospheric Kiwi Opiuo, icons of the ethnodub underground Desert Dwellers, and hometown EDM darling Phutureprimative.

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Beloved was sparked by a disappointment: Gaudi, an electronic artist who pioneered a striking merger of dance music and Sufi devotional qawwali music, the tradition made famous by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was slated to come and remix a qawwali performance in real time, on stage in what promised to be an amazing show—but things fell through (Gaudi was tapped to judge a season of the X Factor).

“I was just heartbroken but he loved my enthusiasm,” Rasenick recalls. “He said, ‘Don’t worry! I’ll come back in August.’ I told him there was no way I could do a club show in Portland in August and he asked me why we couldn’t try something open air. His words clicked, and a few hours later I was done plotting out a lineup and a budget, and had started to look for land.” Now, Gaudi is returning to the festival, this time with the dubbed out rootstronica of southern Oregon natives Indubious.

Rasenick’s spontaneous inspiration soon flourished into an annual, sustainable event in the lush coastal rainforest of Tidewater Falls. It expanded far beyond mere music performance and enjoyment, to embrace a full range of personal exploration and creative engagement with spirituality.

This year includes opportunities to learn about the powerful role of fire in ritual from magician Jeff McBride, or to relish the gorgeous devotional singing of Madonna backing vocalist-turned-yogini Donna de Lory. Every facet of the festival is designed to tread lightly on the earth and honor the site (right down to the solar panels, temporary dancefloor, and multi-use tableware), as well as bring people together through the uplifting force of music. The spirit that unites everything from roots music to pounding bass, from bonfire-lit frolics to communal yoga sessions: devotion.

“We frame it as devotion, but that’s a way to encompass all the ways, as a community and as individuals, we can come together and engage the spirit,” Rasenick reflects.