“Yanaguana” is Coahuiltecan for “sacred waters.” I learned the phrase from Yakona, Paul Collins’ amazing film about the San Marcos River. What's now the city of San Marcos is the oldest continuously inhabited site in North America, with an unbroken archeological record dating back perhaps 18,000 years…and we can thank the river’s crystalline spring water for its hospitality. The headwaters of the San Marcos – which now flow through the Texas State University campus, after burbling up from the aquifer at Aquarena Springs – make the area a truly, obviously sacred place.
That first mile of the river is also the home to numerous endangered species that live nowhere else – including Zizania texana, or Texas Wild Rice, the only wild plant I know that has a festival named after it. This was the second year I got to play at Sewell Park on the banks of the San Marcos in honor of this place and its inhabitants.
The Texas Wild Rice Festival, a public free event thrown by my friends to raise awareness of the river and the creatures it supports, is just as magical a moment as you might imagine. For someone whose career is basically a quest for gorgeous spots to play, it’s hard to find a more inspiring venue.
Everything in this half hour you’re about to hear was improvised with one guitar, one voice, and fifty pounds of pedals – no software and no pre-recorded sounds – everything a live response to that specific place and time. The music, like the river, flows continuously from one moment to the next, a stream of thoughts and feelings, sometimes wide and languid, sometimes turbulent, and always headed on toward the sea…
For fans of Boards of Canada, The Books, Four Tet, Kaki King, Ratatat, Nicolas Jaar, Zoe Keating, Tycho, Tortoise
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