By v:shal kanwar

Meso Creso’s founding DJ reflects on the early days of our art collective.

v:shal kanwar dropping some daytime beats at PDF in Spring 2009.

Before the banging parties, before Nomadico, Meso Creso was just a small group people from all over the world — only a couple of us had already made the trek to the Playa and could call ourselves Burners. We were friends who wanted to bring some of our own cultural flavor into the mix– to infuse regional events with some ancient soul and a richer nod to the collective culture of the People of Pangea.

From a musical perspective, this was an easy fix for me personally — for some number of years, I had already been sharing my own sound around the country. The experiment for me in those days (and still today) was to explore how indigenous sounds from around the world can blend together into something universally danceable. It’s about breaking down the barriers and categorizations that limit most sound experiences, and replacing them with organic drums, the vocal expression of poetry in countless Mother Tongues, and the conversion of the dance floor from a traditionally sexually unsafe space into a temple where bodies and souls can collectively express our commonalities safely and respectfully.

And then of course there was the space itself which we created around our idea — more important than the notion of having a comfortable lounge where one can smoke a hookah and maybe make out with a hot new festival friend, our Bayt was from the very beginning an expression of the welcoming hospitality of homes in India, the Middle East, and Africa. These are places where guests are taken care of first and foremost, so that they leave having just experienced something extraordinary. Partly because of the cultural makeup of our founding crew, and partly because of perhaps more practical reasons, Meso Creso’s Bayt experience was born in the most authentic and organic of ways. So much of who we are is because of the cultural authenticity of our community — we strive to go beyond even Radical Inclusion.

An early incarnation of the Meso Creso Bayt.

We are a community which from its very roots was intended to promote world culture, global electronica, and the lush visual art of other, more ancient traditions. This foundation, as newcomers often tell us, is what allows people to feel instantly and naturally connected to Meso Creso.

I could go on for a very, very long time about this community — not all of it has been parties and smooth sailing. We are also an organization which agonized collectively in those early days on decisions which define our culture today. We agonized over how to make our space inviting, yet safe enough for anyone to express their sexual and social self. How to keep our music representative of the vast cultural diversity of our community, yet keep it accessible to everyone.

All of these are issues that could have derailed our experiment, and in many other communities, these are the kinds of things that lay waste to all sorts of plans. Yet somehow our community has always found the right way forward.

We are so proud to have seen Meso Creso’s community grow into what we are today. And we are proud to create Nomadico for the second time this June. It is a dream come true along a path where I see many more beautiful dreams coming alive in the future.

So, from a group of worldwide friends seeking a home and finding one under our Bayt, we welcome you to become part of the family.

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