February 20, 2011

Event Report: Conscious Life Expo 2011

Last weekend, February 11th-13th, I attended the Conscious Life Expo at the LAX Hilton, in Los Angeles, CA. It was my second time attending and I was very excited to be there. I didn’t necessarily have an agenda, or game plan, going in. Rather, I decided to follow my feet and see what caught my interest. It happened to be two of my loves, film and music, that held my attention this time around.

So Many Things to See, Only One Me!

Of course, there were plenty of other things going on…lectures from all manner of speakers, a man with a famous, and much sought out gaze named Braco (braht-soh), workshops galore, vendors, awesome food, networking, hob-nobbing and elbow rubbing. I did catch some of that, but I would like to have gotten more. If only I could duplicate myself…well, maybe next year, that’ll be possible! Who knows, with technology advancing so fast these days!

I stared my adventures off with the Transformational Media Panel on Friday evening. I was so drawn in and interested in learning more about the Conscious Life Film Festival, that I decided to make it my main focus for the weekend. 

The media panel was enlightening, I saw (parts) of five different films and attended the party and awards ceremony on Sunday evening. You can read all about it in my article: Event Report: Conscious Life Film Festival 2011

Familiar Faces

I met up with some friends, one of them being Michelle Anderson, whom I met at Leaders Causing Leaders last November. She and some friends were having a mid-day pow-wow, it seemed. My friend and client, Rachelle Manzano, and I had lunch in the lobby on Saturday. There were people I recognized from last year’s event. One of my favorite surprises was seeing Elijah Ray, whom I had met back in May at the Cafe Gratitude Workshop in L.A.! I’ll tell you more about him and his Band of Light, later on.

A Pleasant Surprise

I had marked my schedule to be at the film screenings on Saturday at 2 and I thought that I’d be seeing a film called “Tapping the Source”…I arrived a bit late and, after a while, I realize that I had made a “mistake” and was, instead, watching Happy: The Movement the Movie. I LOVED this film and am awaiting its release with anticipation! To the right is a very happy crew!


Alright, you may as well know that I think everything happens for a reason. I met Kataka Gara on the escalator (yes, the escalator!) when I asked if anyone wanted the extra program I somehow acquired. She was so engaging and friendly and she invited me to her concert the next day, where she would be playing an unusual, flying-saucer-like instrument called the “hang”. I’m a musician and I had never heard of this instrument! I was definitely intrigued and made a point of being there to experience her music.

Listen to the Music

Kataka took the stage with her band of 4 (to start) hangs players, and then a fifth joined in a while later. I kept looking for a piano or some kind of sound system, kind of in disbelief that these instruments could create such an wide range of pitches! Apparently, it’s quite rare to have more than one hang being played at a time, considering that they are such rare instruments. Each one is tuned separately, so it’s amazing that they all sounded good together!

Kataka invited people sit or stand in the front, because the hangs create a vibrational resonance that it best experienced close up.

Integrative Music

Kataka plays over fifty instruments! She is also a reiki master, mixing energy work and music to the effect that one might experience a chakra clearing from being in the “sweet spot”. I would describe the music as both lively and meditative. The hangs produce a kind of sound that one might sway to, like the women to the right.

Community Activation!

The audience was a bit sparse in some of the film screenings. So, I decided to take action and together, Gail Kowatch and I set out to get people in for the screening of her short film, “The Right Friend”.

Kataka was playing at the time, and she generously made an announcement to her audience, saying it’s only 15 minutes and when you’re done watching that, come back and we’ll still be playing music for you.

When I returned from my mission to feed my belly (yummy samosas!) and rouse an audience, with two ladies in tow, I was please to see the “theatre” at least half-filled! That was a HUGE improvement and Gail’s film recieved recognition, partly due to our efforts! Yay communitay!!!


Dance CRAZE!!!

When Elijah Ray took to the stage, his music roused so much energy that a dance party spontaneously errupted! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:

Music Powerhouse!

It’s amazing how much energy one man, with a synthesizer, a microphone and a guitar, could generate all by himself! It was really astounding. I LOVE his music.

He brought J Brave up onto the stage with him at one point. It was quite an experience, hearing positive, inspirational rap. It certainly shifted my view of what’s possible with that type of music!

A Picture Worth A Thousand Lyrics

While all this mad crazy music making was going on, Elijah’s sister was painting a picture inspired by the music, on stage!

Thanks for joining me on my journey! In case you missed out on the action, I hope you feel like you were there and consider joining in the magic and the fun next time around!

Claire Amber is a writer, life coach, musician and artist. She can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] and can be found on twitter as healingmagicart.

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