It took approximately 14 hours to drive from Brooklyn to Asheville. We spent almost an hour and a half squeezing through Canal street in lower Manhattan to get to the Holland Tunnel, a decided improvement from our previous attempt, which lasted for almost twice that.
You might say we were headed for the middle of nowhere, and you'd be partially right. When we landed, we found ourselves surrounded by some 900 acres of empty orchard and forest. Of course, the valley's emptiness turned out to be an illusion; in fact it was vibrating and skittering with shrieking insects and frogs and jellyfish. Apparently the lake has its own species of jellyfish found only in that region. Birds had allegedly transferred the polyps from the ocean into the fresh water on their feet during migration.
The insects, particularly honeybees and spiders, feasted upon each other and the decaying, lichen-wrapped apple trees which resembled green skeletons that stretched up to the sky with many furry arms.
I call the scream tight because it came from the base of my spine and out the center of my forehead. It crawled up the back of my neck and burrowed into my cranium like a tick with a drill bit for a head. I wanted it to be full and loud but instead it shredded through my dehydrated throat and took to a whining register.
Asheville is a town where time slows down and pauses between words. Things can happen much more frantically above the Mason-Dixon line, where there is enough coffee and paranoia to fuel the next apocalypse. We had packed a jar of instant and some non-dairy creamer, but we didn't drink very much at all. The woods kept us awake.
The lineup disintegrated as an increasing number of acts fell through. A hive was discovered near where the second stage was staked out. Cinder said they needed to fill in some holes in the schedule, and my friends suggested I play my set after the invocation, despite the fact that I neither DJ nor play dark psy. Terrified, I obliged.
The set I had with me was about a year old. It was poorly mastered and in a direction more befitting a morning time-slot. Also, as I said before, it was not dark psy. Nevertheless I played the thing, or rather, Rod's computer played the thing, immediately following a ritual involving an altar placed in front of the DJ table. There was so much deliberation and so many accidents that brought me to press that single button.
I think future sets will involve prosthetics, sculpture, and visuals as a way to make the processes more transparent and direct. Jeramie seems really open to performative works, so we'll see where that takes us as well. I hope to have something worked out by the time I play again.
The triplets surely did us proud. Their set absolutely blew me away. The new material they played was impeccably produced, and Rod's custom software for granulation sounded excellent on the giant speakers. The textures they hit with some of their breaks were just gorgeous. Also, seeing all three of them behind the DJ table made me feel all warm and gooey. My back was messed up from writhing non-stop for hours, my kidneys keenly burned from dehydration, and yet I was completely transfixed. Actually, for their set I shook harder than I had the whole night. I had no choice really. They were like a team of nerdy biologists from some other planet, and we on the dancefloor and out in the Carolinian jungle were like their hapless, unsuspecting alien specimens. That was some twisted stuff.
At the time, I wasn't really expecting to let a scream like that out. My joyful head was just beginning to register the overwhelming recognition of being mangled to a pulp. It signaled as much pleasure as it did horror. My lungs pushed their hardest but the air shot right back at me from the cannons that were those massive subwoofers. While it was all I had left in me, I remained hungry and unsatisfied. I resolved on the 15 hour drive home to let another one out sometime in the near future.