Honoring The Sea - World Festival of Sacred Music, 1 October 2011
Los Angeles Electric 8 with Peni Candra Rini @ LACMA, 2 October 2011


Lisa and I attended our fifth World Festival of Sacred Music event, the first one in 1999. The festival always kicks off with an Honoring The Sea ceremony at Santa Monica Beach.

This photo was a photo that I took at the Honoring The Sea ceremony during the last festival in 2008. It was subsequently used by the World Festival of Sacred Music in their email blasts for a couple of years.





Was this going to be the last World Festival of Sacred Music? That's what the staff photographer indicated. Lisa and I had attended all five of these, which started in 1999. People retiring, grant money running out.

Honoring The Sea at Santa Monica Beach, shown here with Halau Keali'i O Nalani with Halau O Lilinoe, blessing the ocean to kick off the World Festival of Sacred Music.



Judy Mitoma, Director of the World Festival of Sacred Music, addresses the crowd, mentioning global warming and the cultures that are endangered by the rising oceans. This was the first time I could remember anyone for WFSM making a political statement.

Swing Brazil Tribe with Viver Brasil at the Honoring The Sea Ceremony at Santa Monica Beach. Two years prior to this, Lisa and I had attended a candomble event in Salvador, Brazil, and the Brazilian dances and Afro-Brazilian drumming brought that back to mind.

Honoring The Sea.

One of the main people of the event, I recognized her from previous Honoring The Sea ceremonies.

The Agape Choir of Santa Monica, Los Angeles.

Halau Keali'i O Nalani with Halau O Lilinoe.

Rickie Byars Beckwith, director of the 160-voice Agape International Choir, belts out.

The rapturous singing of the Agape International Choir.

Rickie of Agape Choir holding an offering to the sea during the setting sun. Each group honors the sea as the sun sets in their own manner.

Making an offering to the sea.

The setting sun in Santa Monica.

More offerings.

These women began weeping as the sun melted into the horizon. No, I'm not sure why. Each group honored the sea in their own manner.


All photos above taken with a Nikon D90 and 18-200mm VR lens.


2 October 2011:

I attended another event, a performance with the Los Angeles Electric 8 performing for the first time with Javanese gamelan singer Peni Candra Rini at the Bing Theater at LACMA (Los Angeles County of Modern Art). But arriving early, we went to the exhibit of modern art first.

A good evening. First, a bite to eat in Merkato in Little Ethiopia. Then, meeting up with friends and wandering through the modern art exhibit. Then, the show. Afterwards, more modern art. A good way to spend a Sunday.

The Los Angeles Electric 8 with Javanese gamelan classical singer and rebab player Peni Candra Rini. They sounded really great together. I especially enjoyed the more Javanese gamelan-oriented pieces by Lou Harrison and Mantle Hood, with the eight electric guitarists creating gamelan orchestra-like interwoven textures.

In fact, let's let the group describe the rest of the show:
Featuring music by Charles T. Griffes, Lou Harrison and Mantle Hood, the program encompasses a century of American composers whose life’s work found spiritual connection to the subtle melodies and complex rhythms of Indonesia.

Beyond re-imagining the traditional, the classically-trained guitarists of Los Angeles Electric 8 are devoted to playing new music and revealing their instrument’s versatile potential. The group includes Hugo Aguayo, Philip Graulty, Chelsea Green, Marc Nimoy and Felix Salazar on guitars; JohnPaul Trotter on baritone guitar; Kai Kurosawa on bass guitar; and Tom Farrell on mandolin. With a repertoire that spans the late Renaissance to the present day, their fresh perspective on sacred music is nothing short of electrifying.

Peni Candra Rini is one of few vocalists in Indonesia who performs sindhen, a female solo accompanist to a gamelan orchestra. As a teacher in Java, she is strongly committed to preserving the musical traditions of her country. Rini is currently in-residence at the California Institute of the Arts on a six-month grant from the Asian Cultural Council.


One of the outdoor exhibits at LACMA.

Chris Burden's orchard of 1920s and '30s-era lamps, now in the entryway to LACMA. Nearly all of Burden's cast-iron lamps once lighted the streets of this region All their parts are original, collected by Burden over seven years. He found his first lamps at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in 2000, scoring the pair for $800 each and restoring them and all the other lamps in the exhibit.


All photos at LACMA taken with the tiny but mighty Leica D-Lux 4 compact point-and-shoot.

Ken's photos of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as photos of Peru, Burma, India, Morocco, China, Thailand, Ghana, Ecuador, and elsewhere, have appeared in many books, magazines, websites, and galleries.  Visit the Ken Lee Photography Website. Some of Ken's select photos may be purchased through his Imagekind Store.

Buy Ken's art at ImageKind.com.

Honoring The Sea - World Festival of Sacred Music,1 October 2011
Los Angeles Electric 8 with Peni Candra Rini @ LACMA, 2 October 2011
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