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The Dance ..

Sometimes you party .. sometimes you just do what you do!

26 Jun 2003

I arrived on site at two .. with the key to the gate.

At the gate waited Kevin who was a master of his own world as you will discover.

The first order of business was to pace out the dancefloor. Having taken on the task of organizing the Sound System... I figured I should do something 'interesting' and get it right.

So here I was wondering around a paddock, contemplating events and visualizing a dancefloor. This I can say is a wonderful experience for me; I believe the process can define or destroy an event. I intended to create a floor that embraced and included the audience no matter what their context to the sound was.

Well there is only so much pacing out an empty paddock that one could do, so I headed off to give Kevin a hand with the fire!

It started with a moderate pile of wood that had been drawn from the grounds in the surrounding forest by Eudemony members the week before, which we dragged toward the fire pit.

There was a bit of chin scratching as to the amount of wood we had, however we found a whole tree buried in the long grass less than five meters from the pit.

This and another trailer load of wood from off site created one of the most'est superb fires I have yet experienced.

//

Just at this point Ice Audio turned up and it was time to place the PA. Now I always find it amusing when I set up sound, because I usually do something different. For solstice I wanted to create a 'hug' of sound. So the end result was a crescent shape of four stacks.

The PA company certainly struggled with the concept, because they expected a square. Also some Dj's that were sifting on-site informed me I was all wrong and I didn't know what I was doing. Being diplomatic I told them to 'get lost'

With the PA stacked I trundled on to set up the booth.

Eudemony has a beautiful concept of putting Dj's in a tent with limited visibility of the floor, and vice versa. While some people struggle with the concept... others strive. There was no table so we fab'ed one out of road cases, which proved solid enough to cause no bumps in the night.

//

As luck would have it... on the completion of the main PA, Andy turned up from CHCH with his bits and pieces.

Step one was the Chill out zone! We had a fair amount of punch for the systems in four subs and four top boxes, but it certainly confused the Dn'B Dj's, who turned up, when we told them it was an ambient zone.

Anyway they sorted themselves out, hooked up their shiny Vestax decks, and promptly started dropping some psy trance. I couldn't think of a better way to start a chill out zone.

//

From here I moved out to set up the 'third layer'.

This was an invention of my own cause and was purposed to be a slight mystery for the party on the whole. The objective was to create an audio space that carried you from the ambient tent through to the main dance floor.

This system consisting of four speakers was to run from a multi-stack Cd player on random repeat. I had created some compilations of micro-sound and atmospheric sound bodies, which were to loop continuously through the night creating an area of 'noise bits' in the sound spill between the two zones.

Not all the sounds in the third layer were entirely pleasant, some sounded like a walkman in a microwave, others though were soothing and eclectic.

The speakers were hidden slightly in shadows and hollows of the landscape, while one was keeping a generator company.

I think the end result was proven when I found a young man trying to kick the crap out of one of the speaker boxes. I also overheard some confused conversations about crickets, and stern declarations that under no circumstance should you 'trust that speaker'.

//

So anyway... at this point with all systems up and running and Dj's pumping tunes in all directions, there was not much left to do but enjoy.

Despite attending Dance parties for years it did take me a while to figure out what to do at them?!

Sure you can dance all night but my knees get sore and often I can get a little bored, not so much of music and dancing but certainly from trying to combine the two. Often I find my self swaying randomly forgiving rhythm with randomness, so at this point I often try other things like 'fire'.

Dr. Chop was on the case this time around with a rather large bucket of exceptionally good Pegasol, which is a clean burning fuel.

Dr. Chop is a fiend on the fire clubs and can rip absolute mayhem out of thin air on his clubs. I meanwhile tried not to set my self alight while indulging in one of my more personal pastimes of spinning single fire poi.

This among other things is great for losing yourself under the stars and wishing away time in the moonlight.

//

As dawn crept a little closer and the chill snuck back in, I felt it was time to check out the fire pit again.

Kevin had created a fire worth applause for its warmth and control.

I watched as he gently ever so, placed one log at a time to provide maximum burn and minimum sparks. All this achieved to amazing results of grace and drama, all the while never a stray waft of smoke or unpleasant shift of heat.

Perfect down to the last ash when everything was covered over and left as if nothing had ever burned.

//

Somewhere around here a faithful friend and party trickster dragged me away with a large box towards a loan cabbage tree on the hill.

Contained within the box was a small collection of colored lights and one huge mirror ball. The name of the game was to set up everything then run back down the hill with 50m of extension cord and light her up!

Everything 'almost' went to plan, but the result was a whole new dimension to the party at four in the morning. A few people had to check with others that they hadn't totally failed to see the setup earlier in the night, but most people figured out it was a new addition.

//

By now I was getting very sleepy, and with records to play before I had a chance to really sleep again, I felt it was time for a snooze.

The chill zone had become much more of just that, so I curled up in front of the heater and went to sleep.

Dreams flow easily sometimes, as conversations flip and quibbled through my half state as early morning kids drifted off the dancefloor for moments by the heater.

//

Upon arising I spent the morning wandering around, shuffling tired feat and wallowing in the continual wash of minimal beats.

parties are unique in their application of sublime striped down dubbed up techno'ish sounds; many of which are home made or collected carefully from among much louder and busier records.

To me it is beautiful, relaxing, and charmed.

They usual fanfare of dance culture is no where to be seen. The Dj is out of sight and to a point out of mind, and you are left remaining with the things that really matter the dancefloor and the people.

You can dress how you like, dance how you like, just avoid the small children who run through the legs of dances and snooze wrapped in woolen blankets in the expanse of the dancefloor.

This is a place I grew up, where I wore my ego like tiger stripes. This is a place where sound became alive and ate my heart with vibrant bites. This is a place where I came to collect my fears and scatter them into the wind.

So now six years later on the same dancefloor with many similar faces new and ancient, all at once I feel at home, alone, together, a part of something special, and important. Not by my deeds or achievement but purely by being me.

This is why I dance, and the reason why I do things for the dancefloor. If I look back this is always what it was about for me and certainly what it is about right now!

Anyway, it was my turn to play some music, so I gathered up my toys, plugged some extra bits in and sorted through a few tunes.