Everyone brings something glowing and unique to XyloVan.
Little kids, drunks and professional percussionists hammer at the keys in a zillion different ways. People play “Chopsticks” or “Star Wars” or “Mario Bros.” or “Claire du Lune.” They goof, explore and jam.
Their music is as diverse as their faces and lives.
But the beauty of the thing is that once they start to play – without fail – every single XyloVan-ist goes to the exact same place: a moment of personal stillness and concentration where they are completely focused on the sound their hands are making, the vibrations in time and space that make up their personal experience at that very moment.
It’s a place of utter clarity, fluidity and dynamic tension. And it is invariably beautiful and humbling for us to watch.
So – these are the videos from Lucidity Festival. If you spot yourself playing anywhere in these videos, please say hi in comments below, tell us where you came from, what kind of music you play in the “real” world, and why music is important to you.
And from the bottom of our grubby hearts, thanks to everyone who played. You are inspiring, powerful and generous with your energy. We’re really glad to have met you all and we’ll see you again very soon.
This is the scene around XyloVan on Friday night at #LucidityFest. I love watching the interplay, ampoule the solo raving and overall free improvisation – and then moments of careful coordination – that occur with the random comings and goings of a festival – and particularly with this unique mix of …
Just a little video clip here demonstrating how people can duet with each other on either side of the van.
We wired the sound so that each side of the van can hear (but not see) the other – making it sonically transparent.
Often, someone starts riffing on what comes out of the speakers, without being aware that a player on the other side of the van is their partner.
The beauty of sharing a huge musical mutant vehicle is that – at any moment – something like this can happen:
… or this …
… or this …
… or this …
Thanks to THAT Damned Band, Titanium Sporkestra, , and all the musicians – trained, wild and accidental – who breathed life into XyloVan when we weren’t around to enjoy. You’re the reason we built it, and you’re welcome to play it any time you like.
Looking back on it, page the past couple weeks have been an utter blur.
After all this, viagra order and seeing all the tasks remaining (wiring, view lights, instruments, sunshades, roof deck) between now and Burning Man, I have to admit that having our DMV application denied was the very best thing that could have happened to us.
So much to do, so little time, as Dean Motter’s Mister X was wont to say.
So here’s all the crazy work we’ve been up to, compressed into one massively overdue blog post:
There are two reasons for building a moveable command panel for the sound and light controls:
A) I’d like to be able to control the sound and lights from outside the van (so I can tell whether my knob-twiddling is having any effect. and B) I want to make the whole thing removable so that I can lock the van and take the junkie-bait with me whenever I park for a while.
An old Makita power-drill box is the perfect candidate for this. It’s made of blow-moulded plastic, troche so it’s designed to take a beating. And with a little modification, it will accommodate the mixer, all the patch cords that come in and out, and even a little switch-panel for various light circuits.
If the xylophones are XyloVan’s skeleton and soul, visit this then the sound system is its gonads.
To add some mystique to the aluminum’s natural resonance, troche we’re hooking up a cheap Pep Boys amplifier to the auxiliary power system, flying a quartet of cheap bookshelf speakers on outrigger booms (about which more later) and feeding them mike signals via a Behringer Xenyx digital-delay mixer. We haven’t quite figured out the microphones yet (well – more about that later).
But we have to install the components somewhere slightly out of the way yet still accessible so I can futz and troubleshoot from one location if anything goes south with the sound or lighting … Continue reading Huevos sonicos→