Night Vision

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Have You Seen My Mind? - Musings on House Music, Jesse Rose, and Losing Your Inhibitions

[Due to the personal and offbeat nature of this post, we’ve decided not to attach the author’s name to this article. For a lot of you out there it’s going to be apparent who wrote this, but we know they’d appreciate it if you kept it on the DL :) ] – the Night Vision Team

The Fractal Forest at Shambhala, Photo by Michael Benz

The Fractal Forest at Shambhala, Photo by Michael Benz

“Have you seen my mind? I think I’ve lost it.” This was the question I repeatedly asked my companions during Jesse Rose’s set at Shambhala this past year. You see, it was my first time at the festival and I was really feeling it. “Feeling what?” you may ask. Well, allow me to explain.

Surrounded by strange friends and friendly strangers, I was stumbling upon parts of myself I hadn’t yet met — parts of me that had been left undiscovered, unacknowledged, and tucked away until that night (or was it morning?) in the Fractal Forest. Simultaneously, I was having what seemed like endless epiphanies on the nature of house music and my understanding of it. What does a high-level enlightening like this look like? Well, for me, it apparently involves a lot of unusual dance moves and generally acting like a complete nut. It is remarkable how good it feels to leave insecurities behind and fully invest in “the moment.” Inhibition, as it turns out, can be a real drag.

By being in a musical setting which embodies these ideas to the extreme, I was able to obtain a fresh perspective on myself, music, and the relationship between the two. Why did I need a reminder of such a seemingly basic tenet of the human experience? In part, I believe it’s due to the detached nature of how we communicate and consume information in our day-to-day lives. Many things lure us in on the promise of connection and intimacy (often via the press of a button or swipe of a thumb), but frequently leave us in a worse place than where we began. I am, of course, as guilty of this as anyone; guilty of rejecting the simple and honest nature of the present in favour of the shiny memories of the past and alluring potential of the future. And am in a constant struggle to free myself from the temptation of doing so.

This is why house music is so important to me; it's the antithesis of detachment. It’s pure awareness of the present. Honesty and uninhibitedness are at the very core of what house music represents. A major insight for me was that, until then, I had been creating, playing, and listening to music I didn’t fully understand. It was only after being around someone who is so clearly a master of the craft, in a place that warrants no judgements, that I was able to garner some notion of what it all means. I had, of course, been to parties, clubs, and soirees all around the world. But oddly enough, it’s in an obscure mountain valley in Western Canada where I began to really get it. It’s a common thread, this moment that artists experience — a moment of discovery, of breakthrough. A moment when they finally get it. Mine just so happened to be while I was decked out in my finest furs and tightest tights.

I saw many great DJs over the Summer, but Jesse Rose’s set was where all of my experiences came together. Connected with my peers and immersed in quality music, I had an experience that left me with a newfound appreciation of house music and a big dose of perspective that I didn’t realize I needed. Going forward, I'm still riding a wave of inspiration from that day that never ceases to subside. And I hope it doesn't subside any time soon because I've been able to find unprecedented honesty and inspiration in both my productions and performances.

For that, I thank you Jesse. Thank you for being the final push I needed to be honest with myself and for helping me gain a clearer understanding of how to continue on my outlandish journey of producing and performing music. It would appear it sometimes takes losing your mind to learn something about it.