Our journey to Tibet was stunning, heartbreaking, and inspiring in all the ways. A blog piece will be forthcoming on Patagonia's website ("The Cleanest Line" blog) - and I'll alert you when it's up!
"Loved the music, the scenery, the food, the overall experience. It moved into the top three of all the trips we taken over the years." - Jan Eller, Guest
"Truly one of the highlights of the year for me." - Heather Robb, Musician
"Combine gorgeous and spectacular surroundings with outstanding staff making delicious food and setting up the perfect campsites, with exciting white water rafting, with loving and interesting fellow adventurers, with sacred places filled with breath taking music and you have only an inkling of how wonderful my time was on the Snake River with Winding Waters River Expeditions and Kai Welch" - Chrissy Washburn, Guest
"Kai is the best. He was so fun to play with every night and so fun to raft with every day. We played old-time tunes on an abandoned pioneer porch, performed on a rock cliff before diving in, and Kai blasted out trumpet solos while rafting us through rapids. His sense of humor had us giggling the whole trip. The rest of the staff and the guests were also great. I loved my trip along the Snake River!" - Laura Veirs, Musician
MUSIC FOR WILD PLACES MISSION STATEMENT:
Music For Wild Places seeks to bring music and wilderness together. We curate and facilitate multi-day music excursions into parts of the world that are as-yet untouched by man and retain the magic of wilderness. The outcome is an experience that defies categorization; part adventure, part concert, part vacation. Participants discover summer-camp bonding, meditation-retreat quietude, and behind-the-scenes access to artists. Both musicians' and audience's lives are enriched, and their awareness and appreciation of wild places is heightened. Proceeds benefit wilderness conservation work.
I grew up with the wildernesses of the American West. Steadfast and mysterious, they've always felt like a patient friend who's outside waiting for me. My oldest memories all have as their backdrop the granite and sub-alpine fir and huckleberry bushes of Eastern Oregon. Growing up, my first taste of freedom came by way of backpacking without my parents, sneaking beer into the high country and skinny-dipping in the icy lakes of the Wallowa mountains. And over the years, wild country has always brought me back. It never fails to provide me with a sense of peace and well-being that transcends all the distraction and frustration of our crowded, hyper-connected, light-speed world.
Where I grew up, none of this is all that exceptional. But I've learned that to most people, it is a foreign or at least an outdated concept. As a culture, we think of wilderness as either scenery or untapped resources, and of our jobs and cities and highways and infrastructure as "real life". But what if we could flip that paradigm? What if we cast "real life" as the life of the ecosystems and the environment that keeps us all alive. What if a deep appreciation and respect for the sanctity of untouched land became a cultural norm? I believe that inhabiting this kind of change could change all of our lives for the better, for our own preservation and enrichment as a species, but also for the benefit of life on the whole, as a planetary system.
Finding a real connection with the wild fulfills spiritual needs that are a basic part of being human. Regardless of religious beliefs, of where someone's from or what they're into - I've yet to see a person leave a true wilderness unaffected.
I started Music For Wild Places after spending many years on the road as a touring musician. I loved the places music was taking me, the people I was playing with, and the explosions of color and culture that made up the music scenes, festivals, clubs, and concert halls. But I found that more and more, I was missing the the rootedness and the inspiration that only being out in a true wilderness can bring. So I had the very simple idea of bringing the essential elements of the concert hall or the music festival out into a river canyon or up into an alpine meadow.
And that's what Music For Wild Places aims to do. Having teamed up with Winding Waters River Expeditions based in Joseph, OR, MFWP offers music-based float trips, backpacking trips, videos and recordings. Proceeds go to benefit The Western Rivers Conservancy.