For over ten years, Telesma, a multi genre group of musicians have been captivating fans with their unique style of sound. Telesma‘s genre-defying music includes, but is not limited to, trance, tribal, psychedelic, spiritual, rhythm, and dance. This year the band will be headlining the 10th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration with Conor Brendan and The Wild Hunt and J Pope and the HearNow. This years show will also feature visionary artist Adam Scott Miller. We spoke with Brian Jones of Telesma about this awesome event. This years Winter Solstice Celebration will be on Saturday, December 16th at The 8×10 in Baltimore.
What inspired you to start this event?
All of the members of Telesma feel a deep connection with the energetic power of celebrating celestial events with our community. The Winter Solstice felt like the perfect time to come together and usher in the transition back towards the light with music, art and dance. We had heard of festivals, mainly out on the West coast, where diverse music was enhanced with live art, projections, costumed performance artists, etc. Nothing like that was happening in the Baltimore scene at the time, except for a few small scale underground events, so we decided to tap into Baltimore’s vast artistic community and produce the event. We had a lot of help from so many talented people and it really was a collaborative effort to achieve our vision. In essence we just wanted to create a space for people to be surrounded by art and music, to interact or spectate, and to offer the opportunity for people to explore whatever experience they wanted to have at the gathering.
How has it evolved over the years?
The first year featured visionary artists Alex & Allyson Grey painting live during the Telesma performance. We were fans of Alex’s art, and his work actually inspired founding member Ian Hesford to form Telesma. Alex brought down about a dozen banners of his art work and we wrapped the entire inside of Sonar nightclub with it. The event featured multi-screen video projections created by Jeremy Opio, which at the time was relatively uncommon. There were bellydancers, performance artists, jugglers, magicians, acrobats, body painters, and 3 rooms of music (including EOTO). Alex even body painted our didgeridoo player, Ian Hesford, before the set started. We made a 5.1 surround sound DVD of the Telesma set called “Hearing Visions Live” which was released in 2010). Telesma worked with the Greys for the first 3 years of these Winter Solstice events, including one held at CoSM (Chapel of Sacred Mirror) in New York. The following years we changed the featured artists and have scaled back the production but the vibe and intention of the event has stayed the same. Our hearts are heavy this year due to the loss of our brother, John Suntiger, who began collaborating with us in 2014 with his visual projection artistry. For this event we’re honored to have Jeremy Opio back on the show to create visual content as well as incorporating some of Suntiger’s work.
“Egyptian Sun” live at Telesma’s 1st Annual Winter Solstice Celebration – featuring Alex & Allyson Grey
Video with Alex & Allyson Grey about how the 1st Telesma Winter Solstice event came about.
How long has Telesma been in a band and how have you all been doing recently?
Telesma officially began playing in 2004. We’ve played coast to coast at many different kinds of festivals and gatherings. The past couple years we’ve been busy with other projects but we do perform Summer and Winter Solstice events in Baltimore and several regional festivals.
Up to anything new or exciting?
This Winter Solstice event will be the last show before we go on official hiatus to write new music.
How did you choose the other two bands to join you for this show?
For our Solstice events we like to keep with the original idea of involving artists that capture the spirit of creativity and offer diversity to the experience. Baltimore has a myriad of talented musicians from all kinds of backgrounds and influences. There is something for everyone here, as well as artists pushing the envelope of experimental music.
Can you tell me a little bit about their music and how they contribute to the overall vibe?
J Pope and the HearNow is a hip-hop and soul band that brings a high energy positive funk/groove element to the lineup. I saw them at Artscape this past summer and they really made an impact. Opening the show will be Conor Brendan and The Wild Hunt. They are a progressive folk rock project with an inspirational message reflecting on the issues we all face in the world today. Together with Telesma these bands will get everyone’s hearts, minds and bodies ready to transition from the dark to the light as we celebrate the upcoming Solstice.
Besides music, you will have visual artist Adam Scott Miller. How did you meet him and can you tell me a little bit about this art?
We started working with Adam Scott Miller at our 3rd Winter Solstice Celebration in 2010. He had been an art student at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) and our co-producer has seen his work and thought it really fit what we were going for in terms of the transcendental visual element of it. Adam’s work is psychedelic and explores spirituality and human consciousness. We quickly connected with his art and worked with him on several live events and festivals all over the East coast. He created a painting titled “Condewsync” for our “Action In Inaction” album (see attached) in 2012. We became even closer with Adam Scott Miller because he was a part of our Visionary Gathering 4.20 in 2012 where Ian Hesford collapsed onstage due to a sudden cardiac arrest. Once Ian recovered, we began working with Adam to create two videos for our songs “Chain” and “White Lotus.” Soon after, he moved to Australia to open a visionary art gallery, but we’ve remained family ever since. It’s going to be great to have him at this special show.
“Chain” video by Adam Scott Miller
“White Lotus” video by Adam Scott Miller
How did you link up with Angela Rockstarr who will be doing the blessing?
We met Angela at a local pagan gathering, and then again one of the first fairie festivals that we performed. She immediately connected with our music and began coming to shows. As we got to know her we realized we all shared a similar connection to nature and spirituality, and asked her to give the blessing. Each of our Solstice sets begins with this blessing, or meditation, to really connect everyone in the space to each other and the moment. This opens the conduit for the musical and artistic energy of the night to flow and touch everyone is the room. It’s a powerful feeling when hundreds of people who may or may not know each other join together in chanting “OM” while holding hands after absorbing the words of the solstice blessing. And Angela’s energy and message is such a powerful way to kick off our set.
What intentions should we bring to this event?
I’d say that people should bring whatever intentions they want to experience the gathering. We’ll open the cosmic door through music and art, and they can decide what they need. Whether its inspiration, community, dance, reflection, or just hearing some good music with a few hundred amazing people 🙂
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/487939348247704/
Adam Scott Miller’s Website: http://adamscottmiller.com/
Doors open at 8pm