Ayla Nereo & Wildlight at Boulder Theater
Brandon Antony • December 14, 2016 • Art •
On Friday Dec. 9 the Boulder Theater played host to a cascade of sounds, energy and motion, transforming the theater into sacred grounds for a communal family. Ryan Herr opened the night with Scott Nice following, setting the stage for Ayla Nereo and Wildlight. The muses of old were invoked. The vocals were beautifully poised. The beats shook the floor. The only thing left to do was “get down” like it was our last night to dance.
The feeling of community was the structure which pervaded the dance floor, as a beatific vision was cast into our bodies, hearts and minds. The evening began with Scott and Ryan individually opening and helping build the energy for the night. They warmed the room with their own sense of character, which shone bright through their choices for magical instruments, from acoustic guitar elegancies to tribal-beach-rhythm beats. Throughout the evening, Scott and Ryan (who helped work on Wildlight’s album The Tide) would accompany both Ayla and Wildlight to unfold the magical events throughout the evening.
As Ayla took the stage the crowd gathered to listen to her invocation of the High Priestess. An ancient feminine archetype standing as moderator between the individual experience and the inner mysteries, Ayla dedicated the opening to Mother Earth and our ancestors who paved the way. The delightful chill which crept through my spine was felt by all, as Ayla began to serenade the crowd with poetic cadence and mystical mantras caressing our senses. The rhymes and rhythms began to build, from spellbinding soul-cappella to full band. The Code of the Flowers, Ayla’s newest album, began to blossom and fruit. Not only was her vocal spectrum spot on, her ability to control a stage showed her performance ability, another sign of her mastery. She is an artist with a message not only spoken outwardly but ingrained so deeply it oozes forth into a confident prowess. Voice strong and clear, Ayla sent dedications to the Trees, the Water, and to social issues such as the events unfolding at Standing Rock, as well as playing favorites from her previous album, Hollow Bones. We were here to create together. This night we would dance for fun and community, but also move with a sense of purpose and power.
The feeling of anticipation for Wildlight was incredible. Everything experienced up to this point was the foundation for what came next. Wildlight describes itself as, “the space between the notes, the earth’s undulating pulse, the modern echoes of ancient rhythms. It is the sound that will spark your soul into flight.” Ayla called David Sugalski (The Polish Ambassador) to the stage to form the other half of Wildlight. The crowd exploded into dance and an understanding of how two people with a dream can come together to help create a movement. Ayla, with her prowess of performance and care of vision, manifests a voice which we can all relate to. David creates soundscapes which echo a mystery from the center of the earth. Each beat, sound, and movement orchestrated to perfection, moving the soul on its own accord as each body within the sacred grounds of the theater understood one thing clearly: When we move, we move as one. We were introduced to David through the Polish Ambassador construct, yet we can see how far he has come, transcending his identity and melding it with Ayla into Wildlight.
The two throughout the evening could be seen flowing in unison as she engaged the crowd with enchantments and bard-like precision, while he culminated the next engaging crest and trough with beats and bass, which swam through the crowd, turning everyone into a movement of ecstatic dance. The balancing act of old energies with new ways of thinking are what brings people of all communities together, as Wildlight juxtaposes the ways of nature and Mother Earth with the age of evolutionary progress and information, transmuting this alchemical mixture into something we can all stand for.