Tradición, comunidad y folk del Norte

SANDRA MURILLO PAZ | CORRESPONSAL

Edmonton, Canadá.- Algunos dicen que el verano empezó tarde. Otros, que la primavera fue larga. El clima no ha sido tan amigable como en el pasado, este año se ha portado más necio e impredecible. La temporada comienza oficialmente el 21 de junio con el día más largo del año. Días cálidos, sin víspera de nieve por los próximos tres meses. Luz solar hasta casi las 11:30 de la noche. Con días como éstos, no importa si el verano trae consigo lluvia, viento, pleno sol o cúmulos de nubes.

Es tiempo de celebrar…

Con la explosión cultural y de entretenimiento que ha existido en la ciudad canadiense de Alberta, en Edmonton, durante los últimos tres años, es sabio considerar las opciones de conciertos que ofrece la ciudad. Los boletos sobrepasan los $100 dólares por el fin de semana completo o $55 por entrada al día; evaluar artistas y ponderar carteles de festivales, por tanto, resulta crucial en la decisión.

Sin embargo, el Festival de Música Folk de Edmonton es toda una tradición. Si no bastara tener en los actos principales a bandas como The Head and the Heart, Feist, L.P., The Avett Brothers, Neko Case, Delhi 2 Dublin y The John Butler Trio, los conciertos en los escenarios secundarios siempre han marcado la pauta en cuanto a talento local. Nombres desconocidos, o por lo menos no tan populares, hacen de la música colaborativa su mejor promotor.

En la presente edición, por ejemplo, Joe Nolan compartió escenario con Shakey Graves. Ambos, aún en periodo de introducción, pero con influencias sólidas y gran talento. Nolan es originario de Alberta, conocido en Edmonton y respetado por músicos independientes; Shakey Graves lleva consigo una guitarra y un bombo con pedal incrustados en una maleta. Él marca su propio ritmo; no necesita más. Nolan, por su parte, toca baladas con letras más emocionales y profundas; Graves cuenta historias de vaqueros con tempos impredecibles.

Con todo, la intención es vivir el festival con ánimo de celebración, independientemente de la talla de los músicos. La gente sabe de la trayectoria, reputación y calidad del festival, que es posible sólo gracias a sus voluntarios. Se conozcan o no los nombres artísticos, la garantía de vivir un fin de semana lleno de talento, comunidad y sorpresa.

Y es precisamente el sentido comunitario la característica principal del evento. Cada jornada, cuando las puertas se abren, la gente corre a situarse en un espacio específico frente al escenario principal. El orden ante todo. Carpas azules delimitan el espacio, mientras bastones con símbolos distintivos se usan para diferenciar el territorio propio del territorio del vecino. Marcado el espacio, la hielera, impermeables, e incluso zapatos, se dejan en las carpas para ir a explorar otros escenarios. Siempre con la garantía de que, al regresar, todo será encontrado incólume, tal como se dejó.

Shakey Graves

En el plano musical, sin embargo, uno de los sinsabores del festival fue la actuación de Feist. Originaria del sur de Alberta, su presentación había sido de las más esperadas. Tema tras tema Feist intentó obtener una mejor respuesta pero el público del Folk Fest simplemente no conectó; se mostró disperso. Del otro lado, inesperadamente, L.P., armada con su increíble voz, sus melódicos silbidos que parecen emanar de su cuerpo sin esfuerzo alguno y su ukelele en potencia, resultó en agradable sorpresa durante aquélla noche de viernes.

Asismismo, The Avett Brothers, a pesar de perder puntos entre la comunidad hipster por haber posado para un anuncio de GAP, ofreció un espectáculo cumplidor, energético; la audiencia del folk fest se permite perdonar. The John Butler Trio despidió la noche con su mezcla de rock alternativo con guitarras acústicas y un toque de instrumental. Atmósfera perfecta para contemplar la estación espacial que, después de años, pasó lo suficientemente cerca de la Tierra como para verse cual estrella móvil, deslizándose de este a oeste, sobre la carpa del escenario principal.

En una ciudad de casi un millón de personas, plataformas como el Festival de Música Folk de Edmonton son esenciales para la cultura de la provincia. Nuevos talentos tocando por vez primera con músicos más experimentados en el mismo escenario, grandes figuras de la escena independiente anglosajona; además, agrupaciones de música tradicional de otros países y culturas. Todo en conjunto para festejar la diversidad musical en Edmonton y en Alberta.

Un año más, sin decepciones.

| RMM | SMP | @sanmp_

Cold Specks

Tim Chaisson

Fotografía por Sandra Murillo Paz

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