On 12.11.21 we hosted a high-fidelity listening party in L&D's basement.
Adi & Aileen brought two Ojas hi-fi speakers, and a QSC speaker to create an immersive three-point listening experience. They also rigged a custom LED ceiling light installation, and vibed out the rest of the apartment with silver iridescent fabric and pink and orange light.
Inspired by Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin’s Planetarium party, we decided to make the basement a no-talking zone where guests could sit or lie on the floor, snuggle up in blankets and experience active listening. We sought to create an environment where listeners were given permission to be left alone to observe and just be, as well as a space where each DJ was encouraged to experiment and express themself in unexpected ways.
We provided sheets of paper and blue ink pens and invited guests to sketch “a friend, a plant, whatever,” and tape their drawings up on a blank wall. I was curious what images the environment would inspire and particularly interested in seeing how blue ink would interact with the changing lights.
We wanted to include a livestream element, but felt it was important for guests to be able to fully relax without feeling like they were on-camera; so we angled the webcam into a mirror tilted up towards the light installation. This resulted in a more abstract image of the space, silhouetting the DJ and any bodies moving through the space. We also placed the computer running the stream behind a curtain in the back of the DJ booth so that each DJ could pop in and engage with the chat as they wished, without creating any light pollution.
I was struck by how beautifully and accurately some of the sketches captured the spirit of the event. Notably, Garrett's portrayal of the end of the night, when the chill out zone became a dance floor. This has left questions in my mind around the different ways in which we might be able to document the dance music scene.
How do you capture the vibe of a dance floor if the very presence of a
camera ruins it? Is documentation even necessary? Is the experience of
dance one that is inherently ephemeral? Do anecdotes and the music