Thursday, February 01, 2007

It's All the Silent Rave

I'm intrigued by the idea of Silent Raves. In some instances, everyone listens to the same music broadcast to wireless headphones. But at other seemingly similar parties, each participant instead shows up with their own iPods and personal playlists in tow.

This former rave is both a party and a public service (for the neighbors), but the latter speaks volumes to the power of individually selected music: The members of this tribe may share the same dance space, but they certainly aren't dancing together, at least not to the same unified beat.

I wonder if raves of this sort can reach the same ecstatic highs as the former often do, if its participants aren't experiencing the same musically induced emotional ride at precisely the same time, the way a deft DJ can coax simultaneous and shared joy from a crowd thousands.

Individuality and personal branding are important elements in today's modern media centric society, but we also miss something if the singular intention to bask in the reverberations of our own message makes communication with others impossible, or even irrelevant.

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