October 21, 2016

There is always a song. One song that defines my Burning Man experience. One song that encapsulates my emotions of that Utopian week in the desert. It floats among the dust, entices me into a trance and touches me softly until it has wrapped its chords fully around my being, forcing me to face its intrinsic significance.

This was my fifth Burning Man. And it wasn’t my favorite. But i didn’t realize why until the weeks that followed our return home. This was my longest burn. 14324323_10153903072258601_3726925072320884505_oThe trip was lengthened even further with our decision to drive the 2,246 miles there and back. My husband and i drove a campmate’s 4Runner, hauling a box trailer with our camp’s gear and infrastructure. By the time we arrived on playa, i was exhausted from the four-day drive, wondering how i was going to survive camping for nine days in Black Rock City. Overall, we were gone for three weeks.

It was midweek when the song came wafting towards me. i was already emotionally drained. Already physically drained. Cuddled up on a giant camp chair, i faded in and out of reality, out of consciousness, while the chorus repeated over and over:

If you want me
If you need me
I’m yours

It wouldn’t stop resonating within me, each repetition crescendo-ing into an emotional ballad. At one point my husband came over to check on me, unaware of this defining moment, and i burst into tears. It was what i wanted to say aloud, not just to my husband, but to all of our campmates. i felt lonely. Unwanted. Unneeded. But there i was, waiting to be there for someone. Anyone.

At the time i could not recognize this. I only knew i was feeling anxious, focused on why no one had made the effort to make time for us, to place a higher value on spending time together than going about their own plans. Why did it always seem like while i was looking forward to spending time with everyone, no one else reciprocated that feeling? i was absorbing the stress of our working campmates and feeling jealous of those who only came to party and enjoy the freedom of the openly self-expressive culture.

While in the default world i am an independent person who often needs time alone, at Burning Man, i crave social interaction. It’s the one place i feel comfortable being myself. But how can i demand of others that which i have not attempted? i understand now that had i spoken up, shared what i was feeling, i might have had a different experience. But i am constantly fighting the fear of vulnerability, afraid of exposing my true thoughts and feelings.





December 19, 2012

i am lost. wandering around with no answers.  i don’t know what isn’t there, and i don’t know how to find it.  we poured our honesty onto the warm pavement, watching as it crackled and burnt the edges of our love.  i cannot hide my feelings, though they are like pin pricks to your skin.  i have caused pain and doubt to creep into your innocence, ripping away your belief that i was good, forcing you to face the evil in my heart that i never wanted to show you.  and now i am broken, paralyzed with indecision, wishing for an escape back into the safety of the light. but i am doomed to forever be swallowed in darkness.

Where I Was

November 15, 2012

I keep going back.  Back to that secret place.  A place  i can’t describe, only feel. A place of immediacy. A place i was both happy and sad.  A place that evoked inspiration.  A place that, in that moment, made sense.  Felt true.  Like fire, flames licking my back, keeping me alert and alive.

I am waiting for your hand to find mine.  Waiting at the edge of the cliff.  Waiting for a slight breeze to sweep me into the abyss of unknown.  Waiting for the free fall.  Ready to leave it all behind.

Say You’ll Remember

September 12, 2012

i found the song.  the one that carried us across the desert into the mountains. the one that made me feel invincible, like i was living a dream—at the edge of the earth, unafraid of the free-fall.  we were survivors of a utopian apocalypse, heading to a dusty promised land.  the cold, clean air awoke my sense of the now, the past fading in the sunset, the future unfolding in front of us—whispers in the wind.  i flew along, arms outstretched, submerged in the scent of pine.  i held on tight, pocketing each second, keeping secret an anonymous consciousness.  waiting for the wink of the transcendental eye to tell me it was the end of time, that we had reached eternity’s ring road and would forever circle the stream of life bathed in purity.  but i lost you in the dust, slipping into a disorienting trance, awakening with no recollection of our origami allegory.

Movement Festival 2012

June 11, 2012

Check out my review, on GBITS, of this year’s Movement Festival, held May 26-28, 2012 in Detroit, MI.

Discovered on TV

December 15, 2011

There are many places from which i glean interest in new music.  Sadly it is not the radio, because frankly, they play crap.  For the most part it’s via friends, but i’d say a good majority are from tv shows and commercials, which have small clips of something that catch my ear and want to hear more, thereby initiating an all out dog-sniffing search to find the artist and song title.

Until recently, it has been a long time since i found myself interested in any television series.  The last show i watched religiously was The X-Files, which ended nearly ten years ago.  And before that it was Twin Peaks.  When my boyfriend and i started dating, he introduced me to the latest Doctor Who series.  I always had fond memories of this show as my father and i used to watch the 70s version.  All of these shows have influenced the electronic music scene and i have many  theme song snippets and remixes.

This last year i found myself interested in many shows (The Walking Dead, Glee, Once Upon A Time, Community).  With sites like hulu and some adroit googling skills, you can find almost any series online.  This is appealing to me in many ways, cuz let’s face it, i am never home at the same time on the same day in any given week.  I refuse to let tv run my life, plus i hate waiting each week for the next episode.  Online viewing often allows me to watch an entire series all at once.

In catching up with the latest Grimm episodes, to my delight, one opening scene featured an abandoned warehouse, rave music blaring while teeny-boppers in furry hats and glow stick apparel jumped around screaming the name of a dj—DJ Retchid Kat—who appeared to be a knock-off version of Deadmau5.  Instead of wearing a mouse head, he had a paper-mache-looking, bright pink costume cat head.  Regardless of this obvious thievery, i was excited to begin my search for the music in this episode, hoping they would at least pay homage by including a Deadmau5 track.  They did not.  However, i did find a few gems.  One by a fav of mine DJ Dan who i last heard at Opulent Temple on the dusty grounds of the playa.  My special find in this show was The Terror by Designer Drugs.  Wolfgang Gartner also deserves a special shout-out for his contribution.

There’s no denying the musical influence that’s accompanying visual entertainment.  I wish those in the biz choosing the music in these avenues would give some advice to the radio producers who feel it necessary to repeat “top 40” songs over and over.

Saam Farahmand, Visual Genius

November 24, 2011

Have you heard of Saam Farahmand?  You should.  He’s a genius. And we could all do with a few geniuses in our lives, even if we don’t know them personally. His visual creations should be (dis)played in a digital art museum.

I happened upon his work after a night of web surfing that began with the quest to discover the artist of a particular sound clip from a random dubstep remix.  I could say it began in the Philippines as this was where i was first given the mix.  While balancing work and my thirst for travel i met many great people in Manila, one of whom sent me home with a hard drive’s worth of music, video clips, and movies.  It wasn’t until later that i heard the Project Dubstep (NAZA) mix, burned a CD for my car and listened to it over and over, memorizing the time stamp at which the song was nestled in the mx, backtracking over and over to replay it.

“I can’t give it up.”  This was the lyric i repeated in my head until i couldn’t sleep one night and attacked my lappy with curiosity.  After discovering the line came from the song Infinity by The XX, i kept googling, and there on a webpage an umpteenth link from where i started was Saam Farahmand.

See, i didn’t forget about him.  This man’s perception for visual art is enlightening.  Different and weird enough from the norm it immediately sails to the top of my awesome list.  He takes music to a whole new level.  Music alone is powerful, but another layer of depth is added when accompanied by a [good] visual display.

Farahand’s videos all tend to have a somewhat repeating image or theme behind them, causing you to look closely, squinting eyes so as not to miss the secret.  His cinematography conveys so much emotion.  His most recent work is for radio soulwax, a 24-hour visual and music carnival that recently came out with an app, which is just as every bit as musically and visually pleasing as the site….and hilarious.

I encourage you to do your own googling and find more of his work.  I hope you are wowed as much as i am.  And who knows, perhaps you will find your own genius hidden in the depths of the interwebs.