Ayla & Lydia @ Red Rocks

Come join the “Music as Medicine Tour” for an intimate retreat on Orcas Island Jan. 21st 2017!

Lydia Violet (of Ayla Nereo’s Wildlight) will be hosting an all-inclusive workshop, farm lunch, & evening concert with Pepper Proud at Orcasong Farm.

Hosted for the past couple years with Rising Appalachia & Mamuse, this day-long workshop has been transformative for many participants…

More info below:


  • 8:30-9:30am   YOGA

  • 10:00-1pm  WORKSHOP

  • 1:00-2pm  FARM LUNCH

  • 2:00-5pm    WORKSHOP


  • 5:00-7pm     POTLUCK

  • 7:00-10pm    CONCERT

***Come for the day, the evening, or both!

***Potluck & Concert included in costs.

***Pepper Proud opening Lydia’s concert!


As we face together the impending inauguration of a figurehead who represents greed, injustice, racial/sexual bigotry, and a relation to Earth as resource & sewer, we must gather to reclaim our own community values and commit to practicing them, as we create a future that works for All.  Our grief and praise are both holy, both signs of profound care for each other and the Earth.  We honor all this and more, while many march in the streets, through intimate group exercises and song.  The revolution comes in many forms.  See you soon! ~us


Lydia Violet (of Ayla Nereo band and Wildlight) will lead us through an intimate experience with the Work That Reconnects (WTR), a dynamic, interactive body of work developed by Joanna Macy, a scholar and respected elder in systems theory, deep ecology, and Buddhism as well as 50+ years of international activism. Together we’ll learn tools, meditations, and concepts (deeply steeped in music making) that we can rest into and organize with, in our desires to be effective allies to both planet and people.

Singing in a council of friends is one of the most healthful, encouraging, invigorating, and nourishing things that we know. Hearts opened by grief and celebration want to sing their songs of longing, despair, belonging, reckoning, valiant warrior-ship, and gentle loving kindness. It’s our birthright (and a deep need of today’s world) to engage in this culture-creation together.

In past workshops Lydia has partnered with different artists and music groups such as Rising Appalachia, MaMuse, and singer/songwriter Ayla Nereo. We explore songs passed down through generations to uplift and nourish, while drawing from international cultures, the Civil Rights movement, medicine songs, and improvisational experimentation.

***This workshop is open to music-makers of all levels…

“I have great confidence in Lydia Harutoonian as a facilitator of the Work That Reconnects, and am delighted that she is bringing her many gifts to helping people find their strength in addressing the global crises of our time.   Having known her both as a student and a colleague in this work, I can testify to her acuity of mind, moral strength, and depth of intuitive wisdom.”   ~Joanna Macy, Ph.D.

We look forward to joining with you in song & spirit come January!!!


Orcasong Farm is restoring the land we steward on Orcas Island using ecologically regenerative practices.
Guided by the wisdom of nature, we are committed to local resilience and social change.
Our mission is advanced through holistic education, conscious arts & event programming, environmental advocacy and interwoven farm-based enterprises.

Orcasong’s gallery space (pictured above), will be the main venue during our time together.  Morning yoga, class time, and the evening’s concert will be held here, in the warmth of a wood stove fire.   Meals will be served in the adjoining art/conference room.  We use outdoor composting toilets, but they’re close to the event space.  Potluck food can be stored in our walk in fridge.

You are welcome to arrive anytime after 8am for the optional (donation-based) 8:30 yoga class by _____. An organic farm lunch will be catered by songstress Pepper Proud! (who will also be adding into our day’s workshop, and opening for Lydia’s concert!) We ask people who aren’t staying at Orcasong to be on their way out by midnight or so…

Orcasong cannot house people overnight at this time, unless you want to camp in the cold : ( There are however, many great options on the island, including cheap Airb&b’s and the Outlook Inn’s cheap rooms. Actively looking for islanders who can host participants!!! (Free admission for you? Small payment by participants?) Let’s talk soon! ~ben@backtolife.org

$60 – yoga, full day workshop, organic farm lunch, potluck, & concert
$15 – only coming to potluck & concert
donation – for morning yoga drop-ins

– child care needed? (1)
– setup/breakdown/flow (2)
– island housing for participants (?)

– comfy clothes
– potluck dish for dinner (we have fridge space)
– personal dishware!
– musical instruments
–  a willingness to learn and push your edges
– anything to bring you comfort and joy!

It appears that we’ll secure onsite childcare with a trusted local.
This will be offered at no extra cost, but donate if you feel so inspired : )

***No dogs please.
***Smoking outside the fence only.
***Click “going” on our FB event page! https://www.facebook.com/events/709626982521016/

***Contact ben@backtolife.org with any questions, or to request scholarship…