If the music industry has struggled to respond to the logistical problems imposed by venues, music itself can still see a way forward, judging by the subtle and strangely beautiful Pathway festival in Auckland’s Grey Lynn, on Sundays June 19 and 26th.
A low-key, low-budget affair, Pathway stations a series of performers in the natural environment, timed around twilight. Audiences of all ages will be free to roam the free, socially-distanced and un-ticketed late afternoon event, encountering music that evokes a conceptual riverside pathway.
Grey Lynn Park covers part of a system of waterways that pass beneath the streets, through Hakanoa Reserve, Bayfield Park and Cox’s Bay/Opoutukeha where the Opou stream flows out to the sea. In pre-colonial times, the neighbourhood was a place of fishing, flax-gathering and gardening.
Pathway’s offerings will be largely instrumental and unamplified, drawing upon a diverse range of scenes and traditions, offering audiences an experience of contrast, fascination and surprise.
Artists to encounter include found-percussion duo Big Box Men (Jeff Henderson and Chris O’Connor), as well as an intimate set by the Dadsonic-Harkness duo of iconic NZ composer Phil Dadson (From Scratch) and multi-instrumentalist/producer Darryn Harkness (New Telepathics, King Ketchup and Loud Ghost). Mutant stomp/party band Drorgan (Ben Holmes and Hermione Johnson) will perform, taonga puoro meets electronic music with performances by M4uri M4sta (artist Abigail Aroha Jensen) and Hasji, deep improvised electronica from Big Fat Raro, and the uncompromising music of underground psychedelic pioneer Kraus.
Acclaimed American instrument inventor Neil Feather will appear, there will be a set of mysterious synthesizer music from Diamond Blazer, and for dancers the Steel’n Beats ensemble will provide a set of steel pan music at Grey Lynn Park playground - drawing on Trinidadian classics and pop - plus for trad music fans, there’ll be virtuoso old-time, country and blues from the Shindig duo of David Ward and David Khan. The festival will be completed by the the gaudy delights of the Saxobros - kiwi pop classics by way of New Orleans-style marching band, (plus low-budget LED lights).
The event will run continuously from 4-6pm on both Sunday 19th and 26th June. The event is zero-waste, and audiences are encouraged to bring weather-appropriate clothing for the walk, which takes approximately 60 minutes. Buses are available on both Williamson Avenue and West End Road, with numerous facilities for car parking along the way.
A downloadable programme/map of the Pathway festival will be available from the official website.
Pathway Festival is supported by the Local Activation Fund Programme, administered by Tataki Auckland Unlimited on behalf of the NZ Government.
FEATURING, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, IN NO PARTICULAR PLACE AND AT NO PARTICULAR TIME:
DRORGAN - mutant party stomp
KRAUS - effervescent psych wonderland (June 19 ONLY)
STEEL’N BEATS - the glory of steelpan (June 19 ONLY)
BIG FAT RARO - deep electric improvisation (June 26 ONLY)
M4URI M4STA x HASJI - a wilderness meeting of taonga puoro & electronica
SHINDIG - old time is a good time (June 19 ONLY)
DADSONIC/HARKNESS - intimate percussion dialogues (June 26 ONLY)
SAXOBROS - deliciously gaudy kiwi honkfest (June 19 ONLY)
BIG BOX MEN - top-draw found percussion faceoff
NEIL FEATHER - "The American Instrument Inventor is Not Dead"
DIAMOND BLAZER - the mysteries of synthesizer