Sep 11 2012

Thursday night jam

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Mikaal, store Hunter and a friend get into a groove in Swing City:


Apr 17 2012

Rocking the mallets at Lucidity Festival 2012

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Everyone brings something glowing and unique to XyloVan.

Little kids, patient 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.


Apr 17 2012

Raoul’s lucid dream

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I kind of want to dedicate this set of dispatches from Lucidity Fest 2012 to Raoul, dosage a little, drugs sparkly-eyed older Mexican fellow who strolled up at like 2 a.m. Sunday and reminded me of the power of transformative encounters with new music.

He had never seen anything like XyloVan. He kept saying, information pills “This is … amazing” and shaking my hand – and basically he got sucked in so hard to the sounds that he could make with our van (little old him!) that he insisted on pulling up a patch of grass and trying to sleep with us.

He was super-sweet, and finally got up the courage to plink away at the keys for a few seconds. I didn’t see him for the rest of the event, and went looking for him among the late/early Dubstep stage crowd or the fire dancers, but he never turned up.

Anyway, his deep enthusiasm for the van and the music you all were making really endeared him to me. Thanks for showing me a new definition of joy, bro. Great meeting you, and maybe I’ll see you at next year’s Lucidity Fest.


Apr 17 2012

Chill time

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Had a little party on the van’s roof deck with Marty (left) and Crystal (right) listening to Nick down below playing keys in an impromptu jam with whoever that is on stage.

Calm, adiposity still, order reflective and in the end quite revelatory. This is the atmosphere for lucid dreaming.


Apr 17 2012

The hood trio

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These three had a fantastic time hammering away on Keyboard #4 and bending it to their will. The gentleman on the right with the flashlight seems to want to help …


Oct 23 2011

What is the sound of a XyloVan wash?

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It sounds a little like this:


Sep 7 2011

Music in the night

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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, sale Titanium Sporkestra, viagra sale
, 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.


Jul 18 2011

XyloVan –> JANUS – walkaround video

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Jun 13 2011

Back at the Egyptian – movie, art, glitz and Burning Man newbie orientation

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We returned to the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood for a screening of the new cut of “Journey to the Flames, stuff ” a travelogue/chronicle of one camp’s 11-year citizenship in Black Rock City.

As usual, remedy XyloVan attracted some wonderful music: Here’s a member of the Dirty Beetles art car crew just pouring himself into Keyboard 1:

Here’s a more experimental/contemplative approach …

And here’s how fabulous some of you all looked before, during and after the newbie orientation and playa fashion show. See you in BRC in a couple months!


Sep 13 2010

Post-burn chilldown

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Here are a few clips from XyloVan’s final hours on the playa – from just before the burn on Saturday night to just afterwards – and then a bit from Sunday morning before we began packing in earnest.

Seeing all these people play again while I was editing the clips (and I mean play, what is ed as curious, nurse rhythmic humans, not as professional musicians) – was deeply satisfying.

I’m in the first clip – and really very joyful, despite the glum exterior. Building this vehicle, bringing it out and igniting people’s passions with it has been simultaneously deeply fulfilling and raw, bareknuckled fun.

The second-to-last clip is one of my favorites, a view of the van from inside our camp, where you can hear – but not see – the people playing Keyboards 2 and 3 on the other side of the vehicle, as it glitters in the dark.