Paul and Kitty have frequently related over the years that high energy dancing is their favorite form of exercise. Since discovering them in December 2006 at the first rave we attended, we have enjoyed the music presented by the DJs who are part of Overmind Works, operating out of the greater Phoenix area. We have attended several of the indoor and outdoor events that they have produced and/or been a participant in and always greatly enjoyed our experience. Some of these other events were recorded by Kitty and can be seen on other photo pages. The young people who are directly part of Overmind Works or their associate groups, and most of those who attend their events, are outgoing with many expressing appreciation of our presence - even though we definitely are atypical of psytrance music/dance attendees. And we definitely don't stand or sit around; we dance most of the time we're at any event.
Xeric Nation took place in the low desert of central Arizona, with directions provided only to those who had registered their desire to attend. It was far away from anyone who would object to all night loud music and lighting effects. Most of those attending planned to spend the night, so had their tents set up long before sundown. The event was open for all ages, so there were some children of the adult attendees and a sizable number of us gathered dried wood - and there was plenty of it - for a fire after dark. What really made Xeric Nation unique was that it was pulled together in about 4 weeks, after Kitty asked at the Overmind Works tribe group, if anyone knew of a trance event scheduled/planned for the Easter weekend, the last few days that Olafur and Egill Olafsson would be visiting us from Iceland. The reaction was spectacular and within a few days an event was in the making...
As the photos below show, there was a lot of equipment needed for the audio and visual effects of this event. Our value for value in anticipation of another great event was 5 gallons of gas to run the generator for this equipment.
One of the 3 highlights of this event was the light towers, a special creation by Chris LIT just for Xeric Nation. Kitty was fascinated by its changing colors and intensity, and photographed them numerous times at slow shutter speed from various angles.
This photo (at left) had Kitty wondering at first, but she quickly realized after taking it that the light streak was the result of a headlight worn by one of the attendees as she walked by.
Taken over 3 minutes, the full moon really is beautifully framed by the changing light of the towers - even more spectacular in person.
The 2nd highlight of the event was fascinating visual effects created by Kevin Hackett, VJ Moabyte, on 2 very large screens with a variety of images he coordinated with the music - immediately reminiscent of scenes described in J Neil Schulman's Rainbow Cadenza.
The great music - the third highlight and the one absolutely essential - came from the selections played by the DJs, in their own specially decorated tent (compliments of visual artist eNdo), lending more ambience to the event.
The large camp fire off to one side is where most of those congregated who preferred to view and listen (or converse) rather than dance - or maybe take a break before getting back into action.
Olafur and Egill ("Ace") took some video clips during Xeric Nation and have made them available on the Internet. Per Olafur's description: "The first one shows Paul dancing. He can be seen pretty clearly. Kitty is also in the forefront just to the right of Paul but because of the dark it is almost impossible to see her. But she definitely is there I can tell by her dancing style. The second video shows...the whole setup. That video is taken by the fire facing the DJ. That video gives a good picture of the quality of the setup." "
The last desert event that we attended in the Winter-Spring 2008 was "Bloom", also hosted by Overmind Works, on the weekend of April 19-20. As usual, Kitty and Paul arrived early so that we could enjoy the area in the daylight. And this was a beautiful area in the eastern Superstition Mountains of central Arizona. Other events have been in this general area and even here, but this particular spot was new to for us.
Before heading out to gather dead wood for the later fires, we took our pre-meal supplements (the little bottles on top of the car) so that we could start right in eating our single long meal on our return. A bare DJ tent is up in the chosen location at the left, soon to house the necessary equipment for a weekend of psytrance music and decorated for added effect. As we did for Xeric Nation, we brought 5 gal of gas to help run the generator, and provided our efforts to collect firewood. There was plenty of fallen and standing dead wood which we collected into large piles next to the trail up the rise from the event area. We brought a couple back down with us (leaving the rest for others to carry later) after we did a bit of exploring.
The climb to the top of the rise required some care due to lots of loose rock but the view was great. The site looks empty at this time, but had numerous vehicles and tents a couple hours later.
Several of the attendees are fire dancers and used this event to practice their art. Their group, Stage 6 Productions, performs in many locations and for various events. While all are technically very good, a couple are truly mesmerizing. Kitty especially enjoys watching those who make good use of the music with their routines.
Dancing on dirt with various sized rocks is not a pleasure, so early on Kitty and Paul raked off a good-sized area in front of the DJ booth. The music was good as usual and we got in plenty of dancing.
Special bon fire effect was made with wood arrangement fabricated earlier that day by Yardz, a fire production aficionado.
Switching to flash, and dancers Jessi and Stephanie/Nyogen show up clearly. Cyberlocks (sometimes spelled "cyberlox") worn by both (and made by Stephanie) have fascinated Kitty since she saw these curls worn by several attendees at our first rave, Unity6.
Here's a photo of OMW at Unity6 Kitty found on the web (can't remember where, so if someone recognizes it, please notify her). A wearer of these great locks is in the center; Kitty is dancing off on the left with just the right side of Paul showing.
Our last dancing for the season was done on Sunday April 20 (day after Bloom above) at South Mountain Park in Phoenix where DJ Phox had hosted another one we attended last Fall. The music was a mix of different electronic genres, but sufficient of what we consider enjoyably danceable to have a good time. This photo was taken near the end and the full moon can be seen rising over the mountains housing many broadcast towers. (Much to everyone's annoyance, Park cops closed things down 30 minutes before the time specified in the permit.) And, yes, that blur is Paul in shorts dancing to the very end.
During the months November to April we danced almost every Wednesday (at Karamba in Phoenix followed by Switch Wednesdays hosted by DJ Tranzit at Carumba in Scottsdale) and also some Saturdays at various clubs in the Phoenix area. Then there was the super special event "Karuna" on February 9th in Tucson produced by Nyogen and BJ. And there was a fun afternoon and early evening of music and dance at the park adjacent to the Phoenix Zoo, also in February. (Our dancing in AZ as exercise.) But this South Mountain Park party was the last, since after that we were greatly involved in preparations for the drive back to rural south eastern Ontario, which unfortunately is a desert when it comes to dance events.