Sixth Annual Quiet Music Festival, A Photo Journal

Ambient Digs Make QMF 16

Only one music festival turns off the loudness button for a weekend.

Stephanie Leet and I split coverage of the QMF, she attended on Friday and I went on Saturday. It was Steph’s first time and reading through her notes on the evening, it was an imaginative experience for me — she was in The Jungle Book for one set, “Twin Peaks” for another. She caught Lee and the Hannafin duo, and Mary Gaitskill which left her unable to take photos, “mesmerized” by the essayist’s reading.

The festival site stays consistent each year, which helps establish it as a tradition, even if you’ve only gone to three. Blankets, lamps, and pillows make Disjecta feel like a campground of blanket forts that maybe you made as a kid. It is a space for grown ups that manages to be family-friendly, as several kids were in the audience.

Chris Johanson says he started the festival so people could enjoy going out to hear music in a less busy and loud environment that is most rock shows. Even though I wasn’t moved to sleep like in previous years, it was still quiet, in that this setting is closer to how I like to enjoy music. It is all about each artist’s world of sound here in the quiet space, with very little distraction.

Of the three QMFs I’ve been to, Saturday night’s program was the loudest I’ve heard. The performances this year kept your attention, rather than serving as backdrops for your own psychedelic inner worlds to play for a while in a public space. Like A Villain is stirring, so you want to be completely awake, to be with her. Sunfoot is funny, like a variety show — you want to watch their every more. Virginia Dare tells great stories with her songs that you want to hear them, maybe reap some advice from her experience.


Friday, June 24th

Lee and Hannafin duo
The act of the evening was Catherine Lee on the oboe and Matt Hannafin on an array of percussion instruments. Their music is enjoyable, peaceful and meditative. I felt like I was in the Jungle Book at times, before Shere Khan attacked.

Larry Yes featuring Nate Lumbard and Michael Hurley
This three-piece led by Larry Yes is a lovely, folky experience. They had painted Love and Yes signs adorning the stage — for sale for 20 dollars. All proceeds will go towards recording their record. Larry’s lyrics were uplifting and positive, but he’s also quite the funny man. Their performance also included a light show by William Rihel in which he used a projector and various colored oils and water to make a pretty great 70’s vibe.

Juan Wauters
This may have been my favorite performance sheerly because he seemed to not know he was at a quiet music festival. His vocals were quite loud in the beginning and when they turned him down, he stopped his song and got confused about why they would do that. He had some sweet moves and pretty awesome lyrics like “when I learned not to think of thinking.” Thoroughly enjoyable.

Peg Simone and Mary Gaitskill
This performance was more of a spoken word piece with accompaniment. The words were haunting and intense. I loved Mary’s first piece, about hell and a little girl who walks down clean steps to get there. This was done with Peg on the synthesizer. Then Peg switched to guitar and Mary went into a song. This part of the performance made me feel like I was in Twin Peaks. It felt other wordly and I can’t really explain why. I didn’t even take photos, I was so mesmerized.



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