Antenna Cloud Farm’s six-part festival bringing ‘music that really stirs people’

  • An Antenna Cloud Farm concert at Peskeomskut Park in Turners Falls last year. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • Bombay Rickey performs at Antenna Cloud Farm’s Gill hilltop last year. Contributed Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 7/4/2022 11:17:31 AM
Modified: 7/4/2022 11:14:52 AM

Held at a time fraught with various social crises, Antenna Cloud Farm in Gill is looking to make “a slow transition from a music festival model to an institute for unlearning,” according to Creative Director Michi Wiancko.

“I think what it boils down to, really, is artists who are leveraging their talents and passions to address injustice in the world,” she said.

Antenna Cloud Farm’s six-part festival, which will take place in Gill, Turners Falls and Greenfield, begins with an inaugural “music walk” on Sunday, July 3, and concludes with a Sept. 10 finale concert. The musicians set to perform represent a diverse array of cultural perspectives that will be expressed through “innovative and exciting” music, Wiancko said.

“First and foremost,” she noted, “we’re always looking for people who are creating new music that really stirs people.”

Wiancko reasoned that Antenna Cloud Farm’s significance stems from “recognizing that ultimately, music has the power to change things” by evoking a “visceral and emotional response” from listeners.

“A lot of what I’m engaged in is addressing existing systems and structures, and seeing how they maintain a status quo of … hetero-whiteness,” Wiancko said. “It’s easy to maintain that because that’s the momentum with especially classical-based curation.”

Various ethnic groups, as well as LGBTQ+ intersectional identities, will be represented by musicians performing multiple genres.

“I just think that the more diverse something is, the more quality the experience,” Wiancko said. “I think engaging the variety and understanding the multitude of musical styles and artistic backgrounds around us is a beautiful thing that enhances quality of life and quality of art.”

The first part of the festival, the inaugural music walk, will take place in Turners Falls on Sunday, July 3, and will feature free live performances, a hands-on workshop and several Artist Discovery Listening Stations. The day will begin with a Taiko demonstration by Kaoru Watanabe at Unity Park at 1 p.m. I-Shea and Karim Sumun will then perform at Unity Park at 2 p.m., followed by a “Musical Fun for Children” segment hosted by Marcy Gregoire of Under the Tree Arts at 3 p.m. Nearby at 3:15 p.m., there will be a “Children’s Musical Costume Parade” that begins at Nice! Snack Parlor and ends at the Great Falls Discovery Center. Then, there will be performances by Matan Rubinstein at Spinner Park at 4 p.m., the Xy Marimba Duo at Peskeomskut Park at 5 p.m., Lily-Rakia Chandler at Peskeomskut Park at 6:15 p.m. and Kaoru Watanabe at Peskeomskut Park at 7 p.m.

“It’s like an experiment, but it’s kind of taken on a life of its own,” Wiancko said of the music walk. “It’s kind of like a big town takeover.”

Through a partnership with RiverCulture and Greenfield Cooperative Bank, all music walk concerts are free, although donations to the Nolumbeka Project — to benefit the ninth annual Pocumtuck Homelands Festival in August — are encouraged.

The second event, titled “Gravity Hill,” will take place Friday, July 8, and Saturday, July 9, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Pushkin Gallery in Greenfield. Co-presented by the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, it will include “place-based installations and performances curated in reference to the Pushkin Gallery,” including “immersive audiovisual interventions,” according to Antenna Cloud Farm’s website. Tickets are $25.

The third event, a performance of percussionist Matt Evans’ new project “Aquatic House,” will take place on the Antenna Cloud Farm property at 25 Green Hill Road in Gill on Saturday, July 16, at 6 p.m.

“Taking cues from interwoven organic species, entangled online networks and intersectional thinking, Matt uses drum-driven hypnotic soundscapes and embodied improvisatory performance to question the unknowable and absurd relationships between the human experience, capital-driven consumerism and ecological systems,” the website summarizes.

General admission tickets are $20, while guests 18 and under may attend for free.

The fourth portion will coincide with the Pocumtuck Homelands Festival, which celebrates Indigenous arts and culture at Unity Park. Educator and flute musician Hawk Henries will perform on Saturday, Aug. 6, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The fifth event is the first-ever “Experimental Institute,” a two-week retreat held from Aug. 15 to Aug. 28 at Antenna Cloud Farm.

“Conceived of and built collaboratively with artists and educators Mazz Swift, PaviElle French, and Ayane Kozasa, the institute is a multi-faceted, two-week summer intensive, in which an accomplished group of fellows and mentoring faculty will convene to collaborate, incubate new projects, build community, and engage in mutual learning and activation toward societal change,” the venue’s website reads. “The institute will also serve as a prototyping and seed-planting space for the creation of a radical new music conservatory built upon anti-racist and liberatory values, and centered on holistic approaches to artistic excellence, performance, personal wellness, decolonized academic study, career-building and the creation of new work.”

The final event will be a “season finale concert” at Antenna Cloud Farm on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 5 p.m.

“Helping to bring the summer season to a stirring close will be the magical musical offerings of Kamerin, a non-binary, trans singer, songwriter and teacher whose dreamy and introspective stylings combine a hauntingly pure, virtuosic vocal sound with electronics-based loops and tasteful beats,” the website reads. “Kamerin isn’t afraid to show their vulnerability on stage as they explore places of loneliness, nostalgia and heartbreak.”

For more information on Antenna Cloud Farm’s six-part festival, visit

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or


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