VJ Yantra (NL): “‘Eh, ma’am, are you the VJ?’”

VJ Yantra 2013
One of the people I met in The Recycle Lounge Gallery Club in Amsterdam is VJ Yantra. Not soon after that she told me about her first VJ gig. “Would I be able captivate the crowd’s attention all night long?”

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

The Recycle Lounge Gallery Club in Amsterdam is a good place to meet interesting and nice people. One of them is VJ Yantra. She often does the video mapping during club events in the Lounge. Not soon after we met in 2015, she told me about her first VJ gig. “Would I have enough material to captivate the crowd’s attention all night long?”

“It was a cold winter night, about ten years ago. Armed with my laptop and my freshly purchased beamer, I arrived at the Westergas Terrace in Amsterdam for my first gig. I didn’t know techno-organization Building Pressure Parties, nor was I, before the booking, acquainted with this musical genre.”

VJ software

“I had no idea what was in store for me, but I prepared myself at home as well as possible. I had listened to lots of techno and uploaded relevant video in the VJ software. Of course, I also practiced at home. Would I have enough material to captivate the crowd’s attention a whole night long?”

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The nicest guys

“When I entered the venue, I noticed a few people from the organization. They were a group of youngsters that I estimated to be half my age. ‘Eh, ma’am, are you the VJ?’ one of them asked with a look that was interpretable as: ‘Oh dear, it’s an old bag, but since she’s all we’ve got, this will have to work’.” (laughs) “In the end, they turned out to be the nicest guys.”

Spaceships

“Resolute I hung up the beamer, turned my laptop on and the party could begin. The audience was a mix of young people and some older hippies. Everyone was dancing enthusiastically. I didn’t know a soul. Fortunately, my projections were checked out a lot. I let spaceships fly over the screen, and geometric shapes, landscapes and abstract contours and hoped that they would connect with the music and the crowd’s taste.”

Gazing beyond the horizon

“And yes! Some visitors dreamt away in the fracal-zoom videos and were dancing in front of the screen, gazing beyond the horizon. Sometimes I still use these films. Through advancing techniques and computer power they’ve become much better.”

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‘Sooooo beautiful’

“Every now and then, someone came up to me to compliment me, they thought it was ‘sooooo beautiful’. I was happy, because that’s what it’s all about. Time flew and the evening and night passed so much faster than I had anticipated. Before I knew, the party was finished.”

“At the end of the night, when I was done with collecting my gear, one of the guys from the organization sat down next to me and said: ‘Well, you are definitely a cool broad’. ‘Ma’am the VJ’ was pretty happy with that…” (laughs)

This article is originally published on DJMag.nl on Thursday June 18th 2015.

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