Tech Elites Recreate Burning Man Inside Their Living Rooms

Like a modern version of a medieval minstrel, a singer named Jess Magic is helping A-list entrepreneurs get in touch with their inner child in private "songversations."

To Jason Silva, the tech futurist and TV personality, her gatherings are a safe space for entrepreneurs who "sacrifice friendships, relationships and time," only to "realize that it's lonely at the top."

Tech elites who are looking for more than extra zeros in their bank statements are finding it in an unlikely place: so-called songversations, emotion-heavy gatherings that combine philosophical rap sessions with improvised music, run by a ukulele-strumming songstress who describes herself as a "heartist." [...]

Branded as "Soul Salons," they import the cosmic-explorer sensibility of Burning Man's dusty playa into the cozy living rooms of prominent entrepreneurs, where they sing freestyle on topics as diverse as environmental degradation and heartbreak. Think of it as a free-jazz equivalent of an Esalen retreat. [...]

Despite her wood-nymph aura, or maybe because of it, Ms. Magic has found herself in some button-down circles. In 2016, she performed at the Women Economic Forum in New Delhi and at a star-studded birthday party of her friend Ken Howery, a founder of PayPal, on Necker Island.

"I don't know if you'd call this a breakthrough," she said, "but I got Peter Thiel to sing along and Elon Musk to smile."

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11 Responses:

  1. Christoph says:

    If that allows a ukulele-strumming songstress to add a zero to her bank account... it sure won't hurt the zeros of the entrepreneurs.

    • Thomas Lord says:

      That's a sad world.

      • James says:

        Geez Tom, first you blocked me on Twitter for too much chemical engineering, and now you're avoiding the elephant in the room that there's a guy out there paying kids to transfuse him with their blood. How are the Nazis not vampires?

  2. Glaurung says:

    The only thing worse than a dot com billionaire sociopath is a dotcom billionaire sociopath with ambitions to be cool, hip, and in touch with his inner hippie.

    • E. says:

      I guess it's not easy being a soulless bastard; you have to try a manufacture a "Virtual Soul(tm)". And no doubt as they're leaving the "Soul Salon", they'll most likely phone the cops on any homeless or black people they see on the way.

    • Thomas Lord says:

      ambitions to be cool, hip, and in touch with his inner hippie.

      That's not what this is. This is people getting off at making money-thirsty people do f'ed up stuff.

  3. If anyone wants to crash one of these as a mud-person, fire clay powder from a ceramics supply shop is a good playa dust simulant and costs about a dollar a pound.

    • Steve Allen says:

      playa dust -- that was my double take on the headline. I merely stopped for gas in Fernley on the day after the burn, and it still took weeks to clean the playa dust out of my car.

  4. ennui says:

    LOVE/POWER

  5. SpookTowerDotOrg says:

    Pretty sure I hate the internet now.

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