One of my favorite activities is playing DJ for a group of people interested in listening and maybe even dancing to the music I play. I love finding songs appropriate for any situation and sharing them with friends or strangers, who in turn provide feedback and requests, creating a playlist I could never have made on my own. It is as much about discovering music as it is about listening.
Tonight I was asked to curate the sounds for Ars Nova, an amazing little theatre that always throws great parties. They are committed to stimulating new work and recognize the importance of social exchange in this development, which is, I believe, why they offer their amazing penthouse loft stocked with free booze for these events.
I would love to watch time lapse footage of tonight’s party. It was packed to begin with and only a few interspersed bodies were shaking to the beats, which ranged from 60’s Soul to Indie pop. As the night wore on, though, and noticeably when the classic 80’s dropped, the crowd both thinned and found their groove, feeding itself with familiar beats and losing those awkward inhibitions that force us to remain rigid in the face of overwhelming funk.
As the dance floor came alive, so too did the song requests. As a DJ, it can be a risk to turn over song selection to the masses, but the duty would not be as fun for me as a strict dictator, so I entrust the ones convulsing on the floor with choosing the next song and manifesting their own destiny. Spotify provides the awesome power of instant gratification for any song jones, and playing a request is as easy as thinking of it. I see my DJ role as more facilitator than tastemaker. I like making people happy.