Oftentimes, the most random, unsought experiences can occur that alter the trajectory of one's life. Many of those occurred for me at the 2012 Burning Man event. From it, my ex-wife fell in love, came out of the closet, and re-married the woman she met that year, whom I introduced her to! They live in Berkeley now and are divorcing, but that was one of many monumental, life-changing shifts that occurred that year. For example, the gentleman behind me to my right in the photograph is Larry Welz. He is from Rosewell, NM. A comic artist I would learn later after he was already riding with me in my pickup to that year's event from NM. It was a 21 hr trip one way. We were both a part of the Circle of Regional Effigies project, or C.oR.E., designed to build communities of burners around the globe. He was the creator and artist who created 'Cherry,' an adult comic book that had actually found its way into my guilty hands when I was in my early teens. Now he was in my truck!
The project we took from New Mexico was Kokopelli Rising. It took six months to get that project, which was 25ft tall wooden effigy from NM to the Black Rock Desert. It was much harder than I could have imagined. I was one of the 5 project leads, helped galvanize the community around it, was in charge of transportation, and spent nearly every weekend for the previous 6 months in Albuquerque (a 3 hr one-way drive from where I lived in Farmington) to make it happen! There were probably 12 of us that mostly worked to make it happen out of the 60 that were associated in one way or another. of those 12, six of us were the driving force behind it.
One night (I have always been a first to arrive, last to leave kind of guy), I could not find anyone willing to hang out. I finally gave up. I was going to go to the port-a-potties, then retire to sleep. Along the way, I passed this young man who was beatboxing along the side of one of the dusty "roads." I walked past him. I was interested, but it is effortless to get distracted at an event like Burning Man, so I kept on to the P.P... I happened to reach into the cargo pocket of my Utilikilt. I pulled out a digital recorder that I had desperately and unsuccessfully searched for, in vain, before coming to the event. The fact that it seemed to 'appear' in my cargo pocket, and that it was a recorder, and that the guy was freestyling on the side of the road was too much. I turned around and went back. What you hear is that interaction. Raw. When he began, he was looking directly into my eyes. It was intimidating and awkward, but he looked for all the world like he wanted me to join him.
I had NEVER beatboxed before or engaged in any musical improvisation in my life up to that point; however, I jumped in, and what happened was MAGICAL! You never know what will happen! It taught me to listen to my 'gut' more often and be available, even if I am tired and already rolling on other ideas.
You can look at a few pictures here
~Adrian P.Y. Bluimberg