COOS COUNTY — A piano isn’t something you’d expect to see in the Elliott State Forest.
Hearing the sound of a saxophone while travelling on gravel forest roads isn’t something you’d expect, either.
However, that’s what attendants of Saturday’s concert, which aimed to raise awareness and advocate for issues surrounding the forest, experienced.
Portland musician Darrell Grant organized the event, which he said came together in a matter of a couple weeks. He sent out the word on Facebook and from there it spread.
“A number of my friends, fellow musicians and artists drove down to do this,” Grant said.
Luciana Proaño was one of the artists who drove down.
The Peruvian makes her own elaborate costumes and displayed some of her creations while dancing Saturday.
One outfit involved something akin to a luchador mask, with feathers protruding out of the top.
Another involved a cloak of bells accented by a feather headdress, in which she danced to a Stevie Wonder song.
One of the more impressive feats of the event was simply transporting the piano, which took dodging potholes with a U-Haul.
But Grant accomplished it, and had an eclectic gathering of around 40 people to witness the combination of music, poetry and interpretive dancing.
Twila Jacobsen was responsible for bringing the event to fruition, she got in contact with Grant after she saw him on a PBS special.
“I thought why not send him an email and see if he can find a way to connect on this issue,” Jacobsen said, “I mean, this was in my wildest dreams, really, what this event was today, and he made it happen.”
She said she felt like the Elliott State Forest issues needed a broader spectrum of interest.
“It seemed like the political and the strategy side is there, but there’s the heart. The heart side was not being represented and to me the heart of the issue is to connect more with music, art and poetry and the need that we have to have spaces like this,” Jacobsen said.
Grant said when he initially put the idea out on social media, he got a lot of responses. Some were more involved and time intensive, but he felt like a concert was something he could do at the moment.
“Obviously for me, to me all these incredible people and artists to bring the community together and that’s what art is supposed to do,” he said.