John Shiurba on the 4th Annual Memorial Festival

it’s amazing to me that so many amazing artists show up for no other reason than to contribute to a sense of community and higher purpose; to pay tribute to not only matthew but to what it means to make art in a communal way. i know matthew would have loved that. this is the most clear and obvious demonstration of the fact that art and music can connect human beings and their communities to the upper partials of existence on this planet, and perhaps beyond. i know that i did my best as one of the organizers of the festival, to foster an atmosphere of appreciation and respect for each player, and to acknowledge the fact that the music of each of the participants expresses some meaning, the elucidation of which lies well beyond my capacity. my reflection on matthew’s life and work and life-force has inspired in me something beyond the obvious need to strive to be a better musician, namely to strive to be a better member of the community. in that sense i feel this year’s festival was a true success. and of course the music was incredible.