Those first few years, I frustrated quite a few artist and organizer friends. They could not understand why a guy with so little experience would not listen to them. And of course they were all right. They had thousands of concerts and hundreds of festivals of knowledge and experience to draw from, while I had none, not as an organizer or as an attendee. In fact, I had never even been to a festival before I created Sound & Silence.
I was so lacking in experience that I didn't even know what a sound engineer was or how to book a venue. I didn't know the first thing about organizing events and what I was attempting to do.
I just knew that I was guided to create something unique and build something beautiful, and I trusted that I would learn everything I needed to know along the way.
And while I didn't have any experience, what I did have was a clear dream and unshakable faith in the vision, as well as the courage to jump into the unknown, and the determination to keep going through all the painful and often embarrassing mistakes and mishaps.
And when advice came in, as it often did, I would politely say no, thank you, and then keep doing my own thing. I was always grateful, if not graceful, and I sometimes experienced regret for not taking their sound advice, and often wondered if I was wrong to not accept their sagely suggestions.
In retrospect, however, I'm glad I didn't. S&S is, in itself, a living and breathing work of Art. It's an evolving tapestry, being woven into a magical carpet for those of us who wish to ride its transformational waves. The uniqueness of S&S is a direct result of not being influenced (in any way) by anything done in the past.
As with any artist, I did not want to recreate what others have done. There are already thousands upon thousands of festivals in the world today, I did not wish to add another carbon copy to the list. I was driven by a desire to blaze a new trail, and I wanted to redefine and revolutionize the way people experience festivals and artistry.
In the end, I believe Sound & Silence did just that.
It has not been easy, and after four years we are still trying to find our way through the dense forest of festival madness. But one thing is for certain:
There is no other event on earth like Sound & Silence.
It has become celebrated by our guests not only for the beautiful and often breathtaking artistry they witness, but because of the sweet intimacy, deep resonance and powerful connectivity we experience as a group.
It has become a gathering celebrated by artists not only for its high level of artistic talent and exquisitely curated program, but also for the way it supports spontaneous creativity and improvisation, encourages collaboration, and ultimately gives birth to new artistry.
In the end, S&S is celebrated by all for its loving, authentic and highly creative community, and by those who are looking for those rapturous experiences which takes us all beyond the music.
And while it's open to everyone, we understand that it's not going to be for everyone, and that's OK too. Nothing ever is. Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. However, for those dear souls who are resonating with this particular frequency and dancing on our S&S wave, we want you to know that we are waiting for you to answer the call to reconnect with your soul family, and that we will be together again very soon. I can't wait to hold space for and hug each and every one of you as you walk through the gates of our sound & silence gardens. <3
Alexander is the founder and creative director of S&S Gatherings, and he loves to write! Here is a collection of some of his writings, musings and sharings. Feel free to leave a comment, we would love to hear from you!