Rocking the mallets at Lucidity Festival 2012

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.

Raoul’s lucid dream

I kind of want to dedicate this set of dispatches from Lucidity Fest 2012 to Raoul, a little, 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, “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.

Lucidity Festival 2012 – All about inner light

Now that was a hell of a thing.

XyloVan is all packed away and my ears are still ringing with the music you all made together – with us and throughout Lucidity Festival 2012.

There are plenty more photos and video where this came from (and still to come) but I’m too shagged (and back-to-work!) to sit in front of the computer for long so let me say this: Lucidity was birthed in a mighty, muddy burst of noise, electricity and water, and gained consciousness as we brought our collective minds and hands together in the gorgeous surroundings of Live Oak Camp to make something clear-eyed and good. And I’m delighted the van and I could be part of it.

Thank you all for bringing the joy. Stay tuned.