Archive for August, 2005

Shamans dance

Thursday, August 4th, 2005

Sunrise and the music beckons, thunder in the mist with horns of heaven blaring across a sleepy valley. We arrive at the farm and walk through orange groves to find a cacophony of trance devotees, each disconnected but somehow acting as one frenzied crowd, dancing under a pale blue dawn.

The music reminds me of John Hine’s wife’s description: units of monotony. But there’s something infectious, something vital and energising about the disharmony. We’re swept up in the crowd and find ourselves becoming part of the greater animal. The dust of the dancing makes patters of light stand out as te sun starts to filter through the trees. I can feel other thoughts slipping away as the shaman’s trance sets in, a general unwinding of everything Launchpad in favour of the primal focal points of movement, sex and rhythm.
I don’t know how long we stay in the mix, hours perhaps, but at some stage the spell is broken and I find myself drifting away from the jangle, looking for something different. Exploring the rest of the farm is surreal, with the thump of the music reaching out into farmish places full of farmish animals that seem utterly unmoved by the dancing imperative. Cows chew, donkeys wander. I find a bamboo thicket that seems otherwordly, an ancient copse of thought groaning slightly in the breezy, a grinding bark-on-bark sound that seems timelessly patient, bamboo copses have been groaning forever. There’s a tangerine tree that’s growing accidentally in the midst of it all and I carry the scent of it’s fruit back with me to the crowd.

As we gather forces to move on from the party, we find a clump of sugar cane and take one section with us to the car – it makes a delicious diversion as we head to the waterfall for the afternoon.