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Life is like DJ'ing
With a forthcoming dj set at Space nightclub in Miami, the absolute pinnacle of clubbing, I wanted to nail the set more than anything and as such, started preparing more than a month out, taking the time to go through my whole computer looking for forgotten gems.
On the eve of the gig, I found myself looking at a folder with some 300 tunes I’d narrowed it down to that, under the right circumstances, could all work. 1800 minutes worth of music for a 90 minute set.
A little overwhelmed with all the possibilities, I started to think that maybe it would have been better to just prepare the perfect 20 songs with the perfect order and be done with it, safe in the knowledge that I had a plan.
But then I caught myself. Things never go as planned.
Rigid attachment to how a set will go means the set will almost certainly fall flat.
DJing is all about reading the crowd then responding. Playing the right track at the right time, over and over. A great dj doesn’t have a pre-planned set, they simply have the ability and confidence to know that they will be able to reach into their record box and have the right song for that moment.
And that’s why I had 300 songs in the folder not 20.
Another way of looking at this is through the lens of what we call adaptation energy.
If we only have 20 songs and those 20 were all chosen on the basis that the club would be pumping for our entire set, we could say we have a very low adaptation energy in the event that the club is a bit slow when we start to play.
Life is like this.
Rigid attachment to specific timings and outcomes means we will be trying to play our peak time set, even though the crowd is only slowly making their way to the dancefloor.
What we want is the adaptation energy that gives us the ability to read the situation, and respond to it accordingly.
For a dj, what gives them adaptation energy to nail any kind of dj set, is the diversity of their music they have available to them coupled with their knowledge of that music.
For us humans, from my experience, the best way to build adaptation energy is via the twice daily practice of Vedic Meditation.
As for my gig at Space, needless to say, it didn’t pan out how I imagined it would - but it did pan out great nonetheless.
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