When I was 16 years old, my dad drove me from Sarasota to Miami to drop me and a friend off to go to a festival called BANG. I was just recovering from a flu, or at least what I thought was the flu at the time. We got to the show just in time to buy a couple t shirts and get up close to what we had come to see- Daft Punk.
We waited an hour or so while Tiesto DJ’d somewhere over to our left. Having spent most of my time in high-energy rock/pseudo-punk-emo crowds in the past, I felt comfortable and relaxed with the space around me. Enough to move and breathe easily, yet still undoubtedly surrounded by thousands of people.
I have no memory of what I did with my body or how those around me reacted. Instead, I am left only with a haze of a flashing pyramid and a couple of robots. It was then that I realized that I had witnessed the next level. I experienced firsthand what made those around me fly from California and all over the country to be in Miami that night- a modern audio-visual phenomenon that left an audience captivated, inspired, and moved on every level, without so much as a word from its two robot controllers. This is what I wanted to do with my music. I set off immediately on a course of ideas- a road map toward my own “space ship”.
Four days later I was in the ICU at Sarasota Memorial. My flu, it turns out, was the beginning of a new life for me- as a type 1 diabetic. Many of us by now have had moments in hospital beds to consider that we owe the remainders of our lives outside that hospital to the “miracles” within it. This close encounter with mortality left me with a strengthened sense of existential purpose- I was and am alive on time borrowed from the society of scientists, doctors, etc that allowed my human body to survive an endocrine catastrophe like that. With this borrowed time, I drew an arrow towards a recent goal- I am going to build a spaceship. I am going to bring people together with music, the same way music brought and continues to bring me to people.
I tell this story now because Saturday night, for the first time, I will be playing behind what I consider to be my own legitimate “space ship”. Whether or not you’re at this show, or the next show, or if you don’t like my music, or you think “electronic music” sucks, or whatever- I think this is a nice little circle of thoughts.