On A Mission From Om
By Aimee Spanier
Sometime during the course of the evening, the dining room was
transformed into a dark, pulsating rave, the "Ambient Room."
Though the dishes are cleared and a DJ is spinning discs by your
favorite techno-amibient artists-Tricky, Underworld, Deep Forest, even
a dreamy, slowed-down version of the Macarena-the crowd in this
upstairs lounge, now illuminated by blinking, swirling lights, is still
embroiled in post-meal business conversation. Cards are exchanged and
meetings are scheduled. For all the pulsing beats and colored gels,
this is still an industry gathering, not a tribal one.
That's not to say the entire crowd is here to deal. There are plenty of
young, hip rave-types. Every so often one ventures out on the dance
floor and grooves for a moment, until they notice they're the only one,
and non-chalantly walks back into the chattering crowd. Anyway, the
really cool stuff, the reason why we're here, is one short
flight of stairs below, back in the demo room, where the music drifts
down to provide a fitting aural backdrop to the virtual world on the
But wait! Before you leave! An earthy woman with ruby lips hands you a
flower-a slightly wilted, pungent purple stock-and asks you to "please
join us for a meditation."
She's impressively good at roping the Armani men and Vintage women onto
the dance floor and into a circle, where they join hands (a little
reluctantly), as spaced-out music dreamscapes the room. The spinning
lights slow to a gentle twirl as the circle is led in a group "om." The
mood is almost broken by a young pierced man leaning into the circle,
who yells "What the fuck! Is it a full moon or something?" When no one
responds, he sheepishly mutters, to himself more than anyone else, "I'm
a little buzzed. That was funny, huh?"
Not funny enough to stop the chanting, which gradually builds into a
loud cheer. The circle breaks and everyone hugs everyone else. All of a
sudden, the smiles seem more genuine, and the conversations resume, but
the focus has shifted from work to play and personal. Mission