Solara have created a genre they call their own.
Born out of roots music, melded by passion with down-tempo electronica, the three eclectic and talented musicians who form the band have equal input on lyrics, melodies, and songwriting style.
Solara is one of the many musical acts lined up to play the inaugural Back to Earth Community Harvest Festival taking place at Lavington Park Friday and Saturday.
Solara consists of Evan Wilds on keys, acoustic guitar and hand drums, lead vocalist Kira Gosselin (of Earthbound fame), also on acoustic guitar, and percussionist Mark Greenhalgh, who is also in charge of the computerized techno beats which creates the Solara sound.
When asked to describe their music, Greenhalgh said “folktronica” comes to mind.
“It started off as a joke, but it truly best describes our music,” said the seasoned musician, record producer and mixing engineer. “We take world and folk then produce it with modern music making technology, getting more of a groove oriented structure with lots of deep bass.”
Working with loops, synths, hand drums, sitar, vocals, and two guitars produces a laid-back, very cool, soft and ambient, relaxing, positive sound that people resonate to, and as a bonus it carries an infectious danceable beat.
Solara (the name is derived from the sun) was inspired by a recent tour in Australia, where Greenhalgh says “there is a massive electronic/world music influence,” which he has loved since the ‘80s. While in Australia, Solara met up with the “Queen of Loops” Mihirangi, a long time friend of Greenhalgh’s. He was also involved in the production of her forthcoming new record, Somebody Shake The Tree, as well as mixing some live tour dates.
“Mihi’s music has powerful messages, is hypnotic and provocative, which re-confirmed our vision for the album (Solara, soon to be released),” said Greenhaulgh.
The Back to Earth Community Festival starts Friday at 6 p.m. Admission is free that evening with music by Little Isabel, 2Step Closer and Kath and the Tomkats.
Saturday admission is $5 with a donation to the food bank at the gate, which opens at 9 a.m. Performances include Our Kids Have Talent (Olivia Penalva, Trinity Routley, Bjorn Kriel, Better Than Average, Megan Lauridsen, Amistad, Gallon’s Corner, Jesse Mast, Shayle Routley and Beamer Wigley) who have all won the opportunity to play at the festival in this past year’s talent competition.
Others acts include The Ananda Dancers, Earth Sisters, Sister B & The Boyz, 4th Divide, Windfall, Solara, and The Jo Burt Experience, led by Black Sabbath’’s former bassist who has toured, recorded and performed with Jimmy Page, Freddie Mercury of Queen, and The Troggs, and provided vocals for Nona Hendrix, Melanie and Bryan Adams among others.
The festival will also feature more than 27 food vendors, artisans, and free sustainable workshops, including an intro to aromatherapy, bee keeping 101, Alba healing arts yoga, wild roots, Element Eco Design and drumming for the Earth.
A kidzone will feature a felt making workshop, face painting, dancing and singing with Kiki the Eco Elf, with the pool and playground area on site.
“It will all make for an amazing community spirited, giving back kind of harvest festival,” said festival promoter Kath Raeber and Kiley Routley, owner of Back to Earth Enviro Products, which is hosting the event.
For more information, visit www.backtoearthenviroproducts.com