Burning Man Sound Camp “CYMATICA” Breaks Record for Longest Continuous Running DJ Set

MIAMI, JANUARY 31 – Cymatica Incorporated, a Florida non profit corporation and a Burning Man sound camp, shattered the record this past Monday morning for the longest running continuous set of DJs performing with a Burning Man style interactive open bar – running continuously for 61.33 hours. In collaboration with Miki Beach, Distrikt and Big Puffy Yellow, the record-breaking event was hosted at “The Love Burn” a Burning Man Regional Burn held on Virginia Key, an island just off of downtown Miami created by Quantum Glenn and Prosperity.

Cymatica whose mission is to support artists, music and community, was founded by five members: Bram Stoke, Jeannie Kelly, Jodi Darren, Nicholas Porras and Julian Uribe. Their dedicated hard work throughout the 61-hour event made all of this possible. This was the fourth Cymatica appearance at Love Burn. Miki Beach was founded by Dan Ruiz who shuttled back and forth to perform surgery while the event was happening. Deejay Kramer the founder of Distrikt – one of the largest and oldest sound camps at Burning Man was designated as a honorary witness of the record.

Cymatica whose theme this year of “Forbidden Garden” opened as usual on January 24th at 10:00 pm and played until their traditional sunrise close. Due to inclement weather, Miki Beach’s beach set, which was due to start 6:00 am, was relocated to the Cymatica’s Bus and sound stage. The one-of-a-kind bus is a DJ stage created from a 1955 GM SceniCruiser by Julian Uribe and Cymatica volunteers.

The collectible vehicle is #653 out of 991 produced and one of only 100 left in existence. Uribe’s creation was the first ever attempt to create a new genre of art car – accomplished by maintaining the outside appearance of a classic car while the inside is fully converted in a typical art car fashion. Cymatica’s set kicked off the record-breaking marathon and did not finish until 5:05 am Monday morning, January 29th.

This event also marked the unveiling of an Aphrodisiac Bar with nine different types of scientifically proven aphrodisiacs such as Yohimbe, Safed Musli, Damiana, MACA, Mondei Whitei and others, which were infused with various spirits and flavors to create a wide variety of custom cocktails. The Aphrodisiac Bar was managed by Lexi Raduenz who prepared the infusions and Chef Mark Fiori, Cymatica’s chief mixologist who was continuously cooking up more batches of his own creations before during and probably after the event.

Gino and Ashley Tozzi, the former owners of LMNT and members of Cymatica, gifted top shelf alcohol to be served throughout the duration of the event. Specialty cocktails concocted with Apple Playa, a liqueur inspired by a trip to Burning Man, was also available to anyone who visited the bar throughout the 61 hours.

Organizers credit Lawrence Salemme Cymatica’s executive chef for feeding all the volunteers and Marco Lorreto and his team with their instrumental contribution to the event’s success by handling various logistics, including providing continuous ice to the bar for the entire duration of the 61 hours. Megan Greenhaus managed the bar for the second consecutive year.

In spite of torrential rain throughout all three days, the set continued and the dance floor was almost continuously full. When the rain began, members of Miki Beach brought out their shade structure to cover the dance floor and keep the Burners dry, although many chose to dance in the rain.

During this time, live performances were provided by Kahill Head and Kerri Aultman. Ysiad Ferreira and Alex Green of Symmetry Labs, the creators of the Tree of Tenere at Burning Man, provided the Sugar Cubes for lighting. Claudia La Bianca, Cymatica’s artist in residence, and Louis Belhoste contributed their talents to set design and other décor.

When the founders of Cymatica were asked why they did this – all they would say is:

“we are Burning Man participants who align with the Burning Man principles and this our gift. By setting goals which are impossible for single individuals to achieve –a community is created. This forms lasting bonds and friendships that ultimately make the world a better place.”

DJ’S THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE RECORD:

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25th
1. 3:45-4:00 pm – Alan Epps
2. 4:00-5:00 pm – Luke Hunter
3. 5:00-6:00 pm – Sundance Kid
4. 6:00-7:00 pm – Dude Skywalker
5. 7:00 pm-8:00 pm – Jeremy Ismael
6. 8:00 pm-9:00 pm-Alice Iguchi
7. 9:00-10:00 pm – Adisyn
7. 10:30-11:00 pm – m.O.N.R.O.E.
8. 11:30-1:00 am – Nii Tei

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26th
9. 1:00-3:00 am – Alan Alan Epstein
10. 3:00-4:30 am – Meneer Van Helden
11. 4:30-6:00 am – Jeremy Ismael
12. 6:00-9:30 am – SPR Artists
13. 9:30-10:15 am – Dylan
14. 10:15-11:15 am – Von Funkhauser (Big Puffy Yellow)
15. 11:15-12:30 pm – Dtr
16. 12:30-12:45 pm – Alex Cecil and Deejay Kramer
17. 12:45-1:15 pm – Jeff Moreno b2b Mario Rosentahl
18. 1:15-1:45 pm – Burner Brothers
19. 1:45-3:00 pm – Grant Grosky
20. 3:00-4:30 pm – Crowd Controlol
21. 4:30-5:45 pm – Freak the Disco
22: 5:45-6:30 pm – Felipe
23. 6:30-7:30 pm – Vela Fjord
24. 7:30-9:00 pm – Iman Rizky
25. 9:00-12:30 am – Meneer Van Helden

SUNDAY, JANUARY 27th
26. 12:30-2:00 am – Mobad
27. 2:00-4:00 am – Deejay Kramer (Distrikt)
28. 4:00-7:00 am – Alex Cecil
29. 7:00-9:00 am – Catori
30. 9:00-10:00 am – Bryant Jensen
31. 10:00-11:00 am – Adisyn
32. 11:00-12:00 pm – VelaFjord
33. 12:00-1:30 pm – Deejay Kramer (Distrikt)
34. 1:30-2:30 pm – Iman Rizky 
35. 2:30-3:30 pm – Nii Tei
36. 3:30-4:30 pm – Mark Salner
37. 4:30-6:00 pm – Brian Cid
38. 5:30-700 pm – Freak the Disco
39. 7:00 -9:00 pm – Alan Epps
40. 9:00-11:00 pm – Iman

MONDAY, JANUARY 28th 
41. 11:30-2:30 am – m.O.N.R.O.E. b2b Adisyn
42. 2:30 am-3:30 am – Dude Skywalker
43. 2:30-5:05 am – Alex Cecil

For further inquiries contact Jeannie Kelly Cymatica’s CCO “Conscious Community Officer” at cymaticagroup@gmail.com.

2013 Burnal Equinox Followup

Kindergarten Kamp's Phoenix - photo by John William Fairclough

Kindergarten Kamp’s Phoenix – photo by John William Fairclough

by Whatsblem the Pro

Burnal Equinox came and went this weekend in Nevada City, California, and I’m still trying to stop smiling.

I told you this would happen, and boy did it ever.

I got to the Miner’s Foundry in Nevada City early in the day, floated around helping out where I could, and put up some art of my own — two short stories and an introductory graphic with the title SCIENCE WINS AGAIN — on a wall near the live music stage. Right about the time I was thinking I should get myself a ticket before the box office ran out, friends from BRAND UR ASS CAMP showed up and gifted me one in a sordid, perverse attempt to do me irreparable harm by exposing me to deeply corrupting influences (THANK YOU).

There were live musicians and DJs galore, but thanks to the layout of the venue, the music didn’t overwhelm everything else going on. The Miner’s Foundry boasts two big rooms with stages, other smaller and acoustically distinct spaces for all kinds of other activities, and an expansive outdoors area where theme camps set up booths and art and events, giving us the best of both worlds: choices in continuous sound, and the option to just hang out and converse comfortably.

My personal musical highlight was the kick-ass set that SNAIL TRAIL played; there were other, more high-profile acts on the stage Saturday night, but Snail Trail’s raunchy-librarians-meet-Pussy-Riot aesthetic made me want to get down on my wretched man-knees and service them.

KINDERGARTEN KAMP and the CONTROLLED BURN folks were in full effect out back, with major fire art lighting up the night and inspiring shock and awe in the locals who turned up to see what in the hell was going on.

Also amazingly fun was the Jedi Training, in which padawan learners armed only with toy lightsabers attempted to defend themselves against a vicious onslaught of electrically-lit frisbees thrown at them by the crowd. . . bravo to Coryon Redd for coming up with a featherweight idea that yielded a kiloton of fun, and for hitting me in the dick with an electric frisbee.

An amazing time was had by all, thanks to the skill and hard work of the organizers, the participants, and our hosts at the Miner’s Foundry. Even the local cops assigned to police the event looked like they were enjoying it thoroughly; I saw a pure grin worthy of the third grade lighting up one beefy face at the sight of a giant metal skull, wreathed in roaring flames that spilled from its eyes and mouth.

I spoke with Nevada City Chief of Police Jim Wickham the day after the event; Chief Wickham (stop snickering, you kids) expressed some concern over the noise we made after 2:00 AM, when the festivities were scheduled to end. The Miner’s Foundry is adjacent to a residential neighborhood, and residents called in to complain that while their expectations had been set by a well-organized flyer campaign, the noise went on well after two o’clock. I got the impression from the Chief that this is something we really need to focus on taking care of next year, if we want to continue being welcome in Nevada City.

There was so much to see and do, and I won’t even try to cover it all. . . just be sure and get your hot ass to Burnal Equinox next year, even if you have to make it yourself in your own town. I mean, I’d tell you more, but you unwisely chose not to attend the shenanigans, so now you’ll just have to wonder what else you missed out on (HINT: plenty, plus belly dancing).

You may now watch this wholly inadequate video while you rend your garments and gnash your teeth because you weren’t there. FOOLISH MORTALS.

The Apocalypse Has Already Happened: Burning Man and the Théâtre de Compost

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Allie’s Alley at 900 W. 5th Street in Reno, Nevada is an odd hybrid of a place: thrift store in front, theater in the rear.

Burner-owned and operated, Allie’s has lately become the new home of local playwright and Nevada Arts Council artist-in-residence Pan Pantoja‘s stage production 6:01 AM A Working Class Opera, which enjoyed a run at Reno’s Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts. The cast, the crew, and the staff at the venue are nearly all burners, and a number of them are past Temple Crew members.

It would be cheap and easy to dismiss the play – and the venue – as hopelessly lowbrow, amateurish, and lacking in production values; it is, after all, a play being put on in the back of a thrift store, in a theater reminiscent of something from an episode of the Little Rascals in the ’30s. Such a dismissal would be an error. It may seem random and ghetto, but what’s going on down at Allie’s Alley – the venue, and the material being produced – should properly be regarded as a whole new school of theater all by itself. It’s a school of theater for the world as it is, now. I call it “Théâtre de Compost,” and I expect some great things to come of it.

The basic assumptions of the last fifty years in theater and cinema have all been geared toward the idea that some kind of doom or transformation is imminent; 6:01 AM and the Théâtre de Compost approach are built on the assumption that the apocalypse we’re all tensed for has already quietly happened, and that there’s a life well worth living in moving forward and building something out of the ruins and artifacts around us. Not only is the set built out of junk and salvage as specified in the script; the theater itself is built out of junk and salvage, and the junk and salvage on sale in the thrift store at the front of the building serves as the theater’s prop and costume departments.

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It’s a very burnerly thing to behold. Give these people your cast-offs, your garbage, your chanceless, your rejected people and broken toys and worn-out tools, and they will gather and mix and turn and ferment and remix them. They will make fertile soil from your garbage, and grow a strange and bright new garden to cover the spent ruins they’ve inherited.

6:01 AM is a perfect fit for the Théâtre de Compost aesthetic. Unlike ten thousand plays that have come before, it’s not a worried warning of big trouble brewing, or a cynical condemnation of contemporary society and civilization; it’s more of an outright dismissal. The assumptions built into it are beyond the clichés of impending doom, and comprise an open recognition that not only is virtually everything about contemporary life in the First World already broken and derelict, but that this is self-evident and not a revelation to anyone. It’s a play for people who already understand that our civilization is, if not dead, mortally wounded; that mainstream culture is unsatisfyingly irrelevant; that in the vacuum thus created, our ways and means of standing together have been revealed as weak and corrupted.

The play is comprised of a loosely-connected series of vignettes in which the residents of a run-down apartment complex in Reno show us slices of their lives in intimate detail, sometimes delivering monologues directly to the audience. Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology and Bertolt Brecht’s school of Epic Theater come to mind. The actors’ lines are spoken or rapped in hip-hop cadences and often rhyme; the spoken word portions of the play are punctuated with full-blown outbursts of song at times.

 

If you can make it to Reno, don’t miss it. If you can’t make it to Reno, take some inspiration from the Théâtre de Compost. Work with what you’ve got, pursue your vision, and build what seems worth building to you, regardless of how obvious the decay around you may be.

 

Allie's Alley presents:
6:01 AM A Working Class Opera
through mid-February
900 W. Fifth St., Reno, NV, 89503
For show times and future events, call (775) 391-0278

Georgia’s Burning!

The Alchemy 2012 Burn Report

by Whatsblem the Pro

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Alchemy, the Georgia Regional Burn, has just released their 2012 Burn Report. Tolstoy it ain’t, but to anyone interested in the logistics that go into a good burn, it’s a fascinating read. Those of you planning large-scale art projects will also find some solid grist for your mills therein.

I for one am impressed. Alchemy 2012 came in nearly $7,000 under budget, and generated revenue of $49,727.33 for Alchemy LLC, the co-op that runs the event. The degree of willing transparency demonstrated by their sometimes very candid comments in their Burn Report stand as an inspiration to all of us to take responsibility for our shortcomings. For instance:

“We did not have enough Rangers to work perimeter. The back half was only watched by two members of APW and two Rangers.”

“During fueling of the Effigy someone with a lit cigarette was able to enter the Perimeter.”

“Paper lanterns were being set up by the crowd- there were blowing right at the effigy while it was fueled.”

“We had our first runner. He did not get very far in and was grabbed by a Ranger. He turned out to be a very intoxicated minor who snuck into the event. I rode with Officer Denny to return the kid to his home and we spoke to his father about what happened.”

You can’t fix things without acknowledging that they’re broken first, and our brothers and sisters in Georgia seem to understand that well.

 

The Alchemy 2012 Burn Report is also well-stocked with positives; Section III, Innovations and Improvements for 2012, is particularly instructive, and again, the candid nature and expansiveness of the comments are not only valuable for other event planners and project leads, they show a commitment to open honesty and constant improvement that we can all take a lesson from.

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Alchemy 2012 Burn Report