There is an area on my home island of Maui called Polipoli...located at around 6,000 feet elevation on the slopes of Haleakala, this is one of my favorite places on Earth. I don't use the term 'majestic' very often, but anyone who has been there, breathed the eucalyptus forest air, felt the timeless energy, and gazed onto limitless peaks during the day (or the infinities of our galaxy at night) can attest to, this term applies. This is the kind of place that makes you at once feel grateful. As it were, this also happens to be one of the first places I used to DJ with my friends at the full moon parties we used to have back in the 90's. Everyone would dance around a bonfire, and whomever lasted through the sometimes freezing temperatures would be treated to one of the most spectacular sunrises imaginable. There are certain records in my collection that always remind me of those moments whenever I play them.
I was fortunate enough to visit Polipoli one recent morning, and this mix was the soundtrack on my iPod as I drove up the switchback roads, above the cloud line and towards the sky. I forgot that I had even recorded it...it was from an afterhours at my loft last November...I think a group of us had just returned from the Visionquest party @ Output. Nearly 5 months later and 5,000+ miles away, these 2 moments in time had unexpectedly connected.
As I slowly pulled into Polipoli and parked the car, I walked towards the fire pit and stood exactly where we used to set up the turntables...soaking up the moment, and giving thanks. What happened next was fantastic...a paraglider that had been standing about 100 yards behind me suddenly ran by at full speed, barreling towards the edge of one of the switchback cliffs. At the very last moment, he vaulted into the blue, briefly dipped, then caught a nice updraft that shot him out and sent him forth on what must have been quite a trip.
The path of this mix (of which I posted the middle 100 minutes from) reminds me of the paraglider's flight that morning...it really is all about the journey, and with no specific destination in mind. It ascends and descends at the whim of prevailing currents, wanders into the clouds, dips towards the sea, and evokes the force of nature...yet effortlessly soars free. There's a constant amalgam of genres and emotions at play that I feel keep the spontaneous selections I made engaging and unexpected.
Some time after his launch and deep into that morning's flight, a massive thermal was caught, and peak trajectory was reached. A moment later, a gentle, melancholy return to earth began....and another moment later, he faded into the horizon. Although I could no longer see him, I knew he was not lost. Sometimes it really feels great to just let go and see where the winds take you.