Crazy Vibes of Quantum Sonic Energy
Published on 09/13/2023
Quantum Beat’s mix deck glowed omnisciently, his newest big room house track finally starting to come together. His hands flowed over the used Pioneer CDJ-2000 Nexus without any distinction between sliders, buttons, and his own fingers. His last track had gone viral, a first for him.
“I’m not gonna be just another one hit wonder” he said to himself as he leaned forward to re-mix again. Such a focused burst of energy was needed to power through the night, recording and re-recording to smooth out the new flaws that emerge every time. He didn’t want to lose momentum now, it had already been a few weeks since he dropped his last track, but even the smallest flaw must be fixed. Time had long disappeared on this late night turning early morning jam session. Quantum sat back, his chair slid out slightly as he stretched his arms and tilted his head back gazing up at the ceiling with a long exhale. He shook his arms slightly and sat normally again.
“Got it, I finally got it” he said out loud, this new track is perfect he thought.
He dropped his new track early on Saturday morning, and crashed out. Rejuvenated by deep slumber, and with the weight of unfinished music lifted from his shoulders, he headed out to the club that evening. His friends were there, dancing carefree, music flowed through him even more freely as he joined in, dreaming about his next hit. After the drop faded, he made his way to the bar for a drink to both relax and celebrate. He couldn’t remember having a Moscow Mule that was quite so refreshing; he couldn’t remember such a crazy vibe as the crowd on that night either. Looking out on the dance floor, glow lights jumping with the beat, one girl seemed to be floating, intoxicated by music itself.
It’s gonna be my song soon he thought, They’ll all be drunk on my beats when my next track explodes on the scene. He leaned back, enjoying his Mule, when he felt his phone buzzing in pocket.
Woah he thought, sitting up straight as he pulled his phone closer to his face. Posts and re-posts, likes and comments, all going off faster than the laser lights beaming out from the club DJ’s show.
Perfect, absolutely perfect – I knew it! he thought, scrolling through his feed. Comments were mostly bright and bubbly, hearts and thumbs-up, party hats and music notes. Then a longer mention popped up.
“Great track but sure did take long enough” with a laughing emojii.
“Yeah let’s hope the next one drops this century” replied another fan.
Quantum slammed down his copper mug with a “bang!“.
“Girl problems?” asked the bartender.
“No, no, nothing like that, uh … I’m fine” Quantum said with a forced smile.
“OK man, just let me know when you’re ready for the next one” the bartender said, and moved on to a couple at the other end of the bar.
Don’t people know that good music takes time? Quantum thought as he continued scrolling through his phone, Time and practice.
He set his phone on the bar and leaned forward, hovering his face over it with a slightly snarled lip as he continued to scroll. His mind began to drift, thinking back over his life. Ever since he could remember, all he wanted to do was to create music. Not just any music, but beautiful, inspiring, world-changing music. But that takes time and practice, lots of practice. He remembered his first high school recital, after practicing for weeks he was still so nervous he dropped his guitar half-way through. His dad even told him, “You should practice more, just like your brother does.”
A gentle pat on the back shook him back to reality.
“Oh, hey what’s up Alex” Quantum said to his friend, sitting up straight again.
“Congrats on your big hit!” Alex said, sitting down next to him.
“Thanks, yeah I’m really happy with it. It’s even better than my last one.”
“Well it oughta be, took ya long enough”
“Yeah of course man, the perfect track takes time”
“I know I know, I get it. You know, you should try performing live, it’ll help you to think quick on your feet.”
“Nah, live shows aren’t for me bro. Take this DJ for example” Quantum said, looking over at the club DJ with a slight hand wave, “I mean he’s really good, I love his show, but he’s made tons of mistakes already. I need to do better than that. And if I make any mistakes live, there’s no chance to recover”
“Passion over perfection my friend. Listen, I’m hosting a small party at my loft next Friday. I want you to DJ for us.” Alex said, putting his hand on Quantum’s shoulder, ”You’ll be among friends, no pressure man. Besides, we all loved your music long before you ever went viral, let’s make it a special night to celebrate your latest drop.”
“OK-OK” Quantum said, ”Alright, I’ll think about it” He couldn’t believe he was actually considering a live performance, must be the vodka talking.
The night before the party, a new melody popped into Quantum’s head. He unconsciously hummed aloud, gently swaying to his own rhythm as he looked out the window over his mix deck. The city vibe coming alive under a clear sky’s sunset infused him with an extra burst of creative energy. Sliders and switches felt lighter than usual, flowing swiftly under his expert command and he had the main track laid down within an hour. After a few more minutes of mixing, re-mixing, and playback, muscle memory was burned in and his new track was ready for the party. Sitting up straight with pride, he closed his eyes to visualize the party tomorrow, imagining his friends gathered round dancing to his new beats, it’s going to be perfect he thought.
The next night at Alex’s loft, Quantum was among the last to arrive, greeted by friends new and old. The small group under expansive open windows and skylights made the room feel bigger than he remembered. A full moon competed with the string lights over Alex’s own mix deck that was setup and ready to go under a main window overlooking the bay. The realization that he was about to play a live set began to sink in as Quantum made his way through the room, but no one noticed his increasing heart rate between hugs and high five’s. He took to the decks with seasoned familiarity, and kicked off with an old-school LoFi track.
“Let’s get this party started” he announced, looking across the room with feigned confidence.
The small audience of friends drew in close around the deck, intently focused on Quantum’s movements and style, they were all familiar with his music but no one had actually seen him spin before. Pressing buttons and adjusting sliders with firm precision to hide shaking hands, he ramped up the BPM’s progressing into a cover of a popular dance track. Music flowed through the party, enjoying live beats a couple faded towards the middle of the room for some space to dance. Others joined in, and from behind the deck Quantum raised his hands with a “whooop” as he let the track run. As the drop ran out, energy in the room compelled Quantum to try out his new song. His friends kept dancing. His new song vibed like an all time classic, some cheers rang out when the drop kicked in as if they were at a global rave. Energy from his friends dancing to his newest beats surged through him as he spun, pressuring him half a step back off the deck, and a finger slipped on the crossfader. Instant terror shocked him back into control, he quickly readjusted the crossfader to perfection and kept his head down for the rest of the set.
He finished his song, and looked up again surprised to see smiling faces, some hands raised high, some eyes still closed.
“Thank you, thank you … I, I love you” he said over the applause.
Air seemed to sparkle in reverberating energy as he walked across the room to grab a beer from the bar. His friends were gathered around the bar too, “Amazing set bro!”
“Yeah, loved it” another friend swooned.
“Thank you, pleasure was mine” Quantum said, “Listen, I’d like a moment to myself for just a bit” and he walked back across the room to look out the main window behind the mix deck. He leaned his shoulder up against the corner of the window frame, and gazed out over the city lights reflecting on the bay. Laughter, commotion, clinking glasses from the other side of the room all felt muted by the pressure in his head – Man I knew it, I knew, I know that no matter how much I practice it’s never gonna be enough, I’ll never be perfect he thought, almost dropping his bottle as his grip lightened in despair. I’m never gonna risk a live show, that’s for sure.
“Perfect night for dancing” said a pretty girl, newer in this circle of friends, who came over to enjoy the view with him.
“Yeah, for sure” she continued with a giggle, “That last track was amazing, I think we transcended the universe in that moment”, her long hair flowing as she shook her head gently, eyes closed.
“Well we all had the music in us didn’t we, felt like it was you guys energy powering the deck tonight” Quantum said with a slight hand wave towards their friends over at the bar.
“Haha, yeah for sure, cheers” she said, glasses clinking.
When Quantum got home that night, he couldn’t sleep right away, but it wasn’t the glow through his windows from the still bright moon keeping him awake. He laid flat on his back in bed, ruminating on his performance that night.
I guess Alex was right about playing live he thought, reliving that moment of friends dancing to his music while he drifted off to sleep.
A few days later, Quantum bumped into Alex at the club, sitting at the bar with the new girl from the party.
“This is Gina, you probably remember from the party.”
“Yeah of course, but I didn’t get your name before” said Quantum, nodding over a warm handshake, “Nice to meet you Gina.”
“Nice to see you again as well, yeah that was a great show you put on for us!”
“Thanks” Quantum said, smiling softly.
Alex looked at Gina, “Well, why don’t you ask him?”
“Ask me what?” said Quantum.
“Well, my dad is managing the EDM festival this summer” Gina said, twisting to and fro on her bar stool, “I played your song for him, and he said he already knows your music. I told him you are even better live”
“Really” Gina continued “He wants you to headline at his next concert.”
“Well that’s a whole nother level.” said Quantum, looking off to the side.
“C’mon man” Alex jumped in, “You were amazing at my party. Think about the opportunity, you’re never gonna go big just releasing one track a year from your apartment man”
“OK-OK” Quantum said pulling his hands back slightly, “Listen I think better when I dance, let’s get out on the floor for a while, I’ll think it over.”
“Promise me you’ll think about it.”, Gina’s ice rattled as she leaned forward “Seriously”
“OK, yes … yes I, will.”
Quantum barely left his apartment during the week leading up to the festival, except to take out the continuously growing piles of trash from food delivery bags and boxes. Energized by the dream of large crowds dancing to his beats, he woke up every morning earlier than he used to, and hit his deck to practice for the show. Windows split the morning sunlight into a rainbow on the opposing wall, powering his imagination of the festival atmosphere as he practiced his existing set. In the afternoons he worked on composing a new song specifically for this festival.
He dropped the new song, titled Beatrush Odyssey, two days before the festival, and focused even more of his time on practicing. It became easier for him to wind down in the evenings with a new routine of herbal tea and focused breathing to help him mentally rehearse his set.
It’s gonna be perfect, absolutely perfect he would think to himself as drifted off to sleep each night. The night before the festival he went to bed early, I need all the energy I can get he thought.
Quantum’s nerves constrained his chest to shallow breathing from backstage of the Festival the next evening. A few minutes before showtime, he peeked out through the curtains to get an idea of what he was in for.
Thousands of fans lit up the lawn of the open air amphitheater with their glow-lights and neon garb complimenting the lasers and strobe lights beaming out from the stage into space overhead. The buzz of conversation and anticipation felt far off, echoing between the amphitheater’s natural stone walls and expansive forest behind. A cool summer breeze rustled through the bordering treeline before carrying aromas from food trucks up to the stage, as if to boast about a party that Quantum wasn’t invited to.
It was time, he came out on the stage to rousing applause, cheers and bursts of color. Quantum had never seen a show from this perspective, it was crazy but he loved it.
“Thank you! Welcome, welcome, so happy to kick off my first live show with all of you here tonight”
“Whooo-hoooooo” from a loud fan half way back over-powered the entire crowd, then cheering continued.
He took to the decks and started off easy with a cover of his favorite house classic, the crowd synced immediately into a groove of familiar beats. Energy flowed onstage from waves of dancing fans, his breathing opened up as he kicked up the BPM’s into a progressive dance track. Dancing accelerated with the pace – synergy of the audience was like a third waveform display extending off the mix deck. The crowds’ cheering got louder and louder, morphing into chanting, “Beatrush Odyssey! Beatrush Odyssey!”
Woah Quantum thought, unconsciously lifting his hands off the deck, I just released it two days ago.
Head down, Quantum pulled off a perfect crossfade into his newest hit, then looked up again to see the crowd still dancing, hands in the sky, some girls in the front row jumping to his new beats. With his fingers driving the deck from memory he tilted his head back a bit more to soak in the moment, stars seemed closer, his music gravitated fans and the universe to harmonic astral perfection. He was floating in melodies of his dreams when the drop came in, and then by mistake his finger brushed over the cue button jumping the track back to the drop again. His feet double-tapped the stage like a hypnic jerk, but he kept the flow in sync with the beats. The audience kept dancing, further energized by his songs climax. Summer night’s breeze was still flowing steady, instantly evaporating sweat off Quantum while he also danced, mixed, jumped – it became a full body performance for him. He played out the ending of Beatrush Odyssey to perfection, and a crowd of crazy strangers now felt like friends.
It’s like all the crazy music fans in the universe are right here with me he thought as he started into his next track.
Time evaporated as he spun into the night. He woke up the next morning not remembering the concert ending, or even how he got home. Laying in bed with eyes half closed as if his vis vitalis was still back at the amphitheater, it took him a moment to realize this wasn’t all just a dream. Two years later, in an interview with Rolling Stone, he would say that when writing new music he could always recall this festival as if he was there live on stage. He slept most the rest of the weekend to recover.
The next time he sat down to compose a new song, just a few days later, his mix deck became a mirror reflecting his passion. Reverberating energy reinforced his beats, and his song came together like it was writing itself. It wasn’t magic, he still needed need to put in the hard work to get the balance right and edit minor flaws, but fears of imperfection had faded out of memory.
Quantum continued on a summer tour of the festival scene. He was met with massive crowds at every show, new people dancing, more autographs to sign, and fan vids all over his socials powered his prolificacy during the in between days. His performances throughout the summer weren’t always perfect, but his fans were always crazy about the vibe of his passion.