The Ritual Project at San Francisco World Music Festival 2010

The Ritual Project” will be broadcast live November 19-21, 2010. It is an innovative music production designed to bring artists from many diverse traditions together through the exploration of ancient rites and rituals, in an effort to find balance among the increasingly complex global forces affecting individuals and their communities today.

The event includes Tibetan shamanistic rituals from the Himalayan and Pamir Steppes, ancient divination practices based on the profound Chinese oracle, the Yi Jing, the initiation rites of the West African and Carribbean Santería, the land rituals of the Humaya Singers and Dancers of the Costanoan, Rumsen Carmel Tribe of Ohlone, the Aramaic rites for the dead within the Jewish tradition, and the deeply spiritual classical musical traditions of India.

Addressing Social Causes Via Music

At a time where there are profound shifts in international perspectives, especially within the political, economic, and cultural spheres, there is more than ever a need to understand our evolving obligations to our growing global community,” notes Artistic Director Michael Santoro.

Combining live performance with live streaming technology, and in partnership with Be The Match: National Marrow Donor Program, “The Ritual Project” will also project onto the stage a real-time “face montage” of marrow transplant patients who have passed as well as those who have survived a transplant.

It will also provide live web casts of the three day performance ritual to select hospitals around the San Francisco Bay Area, and offer audience members on-site donor stations to register with Be The Match, so that people with diseases that can be treated by marrow donation and cannot find one in the registry can increase their odds of finding match.

Working with Be The Match is about harnessing the power of music to ignite the human spirit and inspire social change,” explains Music Director Jim Santi Owen, who lost his partner Bay Area dancer Liza Matlack to leukemia three years ago. “For every music project we undertake, we also offer social activist options for the different communities drawn together by that project’s music.”

Bringing Traditions Into The Next Generation

This year, the indigenous people from San Francisco’s Ohlone tribe (specifically the Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe of Ohlone) will open the festival with a welcoming song and dance. Door Dog Music Productions is collaborating with the “Ohlone Profiles Project”, which documents the tribe and organizes events bringing the tribe back into the cultural life of San Francisco.

The tribe’s ancestors left the Mission Dolores in 1834, eventually working their way down to Pomona, in Southern California, where 2,000 members reside today. The tribe is seeking support from San Francisco for an Ohlone-led cultural center for Native American performance, ritual, and economic development. But their main goal is to be able to sing and pray over their ancestors in the many sacred sites, burial grounds, and villages that lie unmarked beneath San Francisco’s surface. “The Ritual Project” will integrate the Ohlone Humaya (Hummingbird) singers and dancers into its ceremonies on all three days of this year’s festival.

During one night of “The Ritual Project”, Door Dog Music Productions will employ live satellite streaming to broadcast in real-time onto the San Francisco stage Thao Indigenous Elders of Taiwan performing their ancestral “pestle music ritual.”

Indigenous Thao shamans of Taiwan
According to UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage website listing endangered languages of the world, the number of speakers left for the Thao indigenous people of Taiwan is 10 as of year 2008, and there are only 600 Thao people left in the world. Although the majority of them are still in Nantou, Taiwan, living and working at the Sun Moon Lake Resort as tourist guides, tourist shop vendors and tourist stage performers, their culture, music, language and traditional way of life are fast disappearing as their youth continue to leave their village for work elsewhere.

The Thao Indigenous Elders of Taiwan are extremely concerned and believe their culture and people will not survive pass the next few generations as outside societies and modernization of their lands continue to erode their traditional ways of life.

Tune-in live to to experience a live-stream of the ritual project…

TUNE-IN Times:

November 19: 8:00pm (PST)
November 20: 8:00pm (PST)
November 21: 7:00pm (PST)

November 19, 8:00 pm
Program A: Offering

November 20, 8:00 pm
Program B: Entering the Fire

November 21, 7:00 pm
Program C: Feasting


Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
3200 California Street
SF, CA 94118

Festival Pass: $35
All individual events:
$12 Members
$15 Public
Children under 12 Free
Seniors Free
Groups of 10 or more get 15% off ticket price.
Purchase Tickets via Phone: 415-292-1233

Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central


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