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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.

Sincerely,

Anonymous