LIVERMORE FALLS Fran Szostek’s passion for music, sounds and people was the impetus for a three-night festival called Frantasia that features people making up their own music, he said.

The seventh annual Frantasia Festival will begin Thursday, Aug. 19, from 7 to 11 p.m. , at Treat Memorial Library auditorium at 56 Main St., and continue nightly through Saturday, Aug. 21.

Billed as a “festival of out music and arts,” Frantasia is “music on the edge, experimental music outside the box, not your mainstream performance,” said performer Ken Goss of Bangor, who plays harmonica and sings.

It’s not all music, he said, explaining it can be different forms of instruments, electronic sounds and expression, or it can be poetry, performance art, improvisation or dance.

“It’s an expression of artistic talent that doesn’t fit into a category. It’s out music, wonderful and creative,” Goss said. “It’s not something you’ll hear on the radio, it’s not cookie-cutter stuff, but a mixture of surprising, creative art that is sometimes impromptu.”

Frantasia joins two other similar festivals on the East Coast, one in Lowell, Mass., and the other in Baltimore; but this quiet, little town in Maine offers the largest of the three, said performer Noel Walsh, also of Bangor.

“It’s a movement happening. Can’t categorize it — it’s outside the box, but it’s big in Europe and a few places in America are doing it,” he said.

Walsh, a professional singer-songwriter, came to the first Frantasia to experience the event, but not play. Someone canceled and he was asked to perform. He got up and played some of his own original folk music, but was told “it was not out music,” he said.

He has returned each year with something different and experimental to join nearly 60 other performers who come from Sweden, Germany, France, Canada and several American states to appear over the three-night span in front of a packed house.

“It’s an amazing mixing pot of dancers, musicians, poets and artists,” he said. “It’s auditory art mixed with dance, poetry and noise.”

Besides giving them a chance to present their creative pieces, the festival also provides a chance for artists to meet other artists and exchange ideas, Goss said. They also enjoy meeting and talking with audience members.

“It’s great to meet people and exchange ideas about art and performance. There’s a lot of networking and communication,” Goss said of the festival that continues to grow each year.

The festival also offers an electronics workshop on Saturday and a poetry workshop on Thursday and Friday. For more information on the workshops, festival and schedule of performers,  call Walsh at 735-8650 or Szostek at 897-6158; or visit www.frantasiafestival.com.

abryant@sunjournal.com

Martin Chartrand is among the nearly 60 artists who will take part in the seventh annual Frantasia Festival in Livermore Falls. Billed as a “festival of out music and arts,” the event will run from Thursday to Saturday, Aug. 19-21, at Treat Memorial Library auditorium.


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