Category: PDF

Playa del Fuego

Fire Spinners around the Pony Burn, originally uploaded by vees.

Photo by Rob Carlson

I’m beyond words about this spring PDF…. it was absolutely amazing, and I want to be back….

Photo is my first time in the conclave for PDF – it’s not choreographed like the one Burning Man, but I usually end up drinking the night of the big burn and never participated before this.

Oh, and to top off the incredible weekend, my art proposal for an installation in center camp at Burning Man was accepted!!! Wheeeeee!!!

Danny and Bo


5-25-07 spring PDF 094, originally uploaded by k8et.

Some of you at Spring ’07 Playa Del Fuego may remember the guy with a piano, a truck, and a dog… Danny is selling his house and possessions to raise funds for a trip to bring music and love to everyone he and Bo meets, and eventually get to China! If you can’t support him financially, please keep him in your thoughts and send some good wishes his way. Below is his request for help and information. Thanks!

In Friendship,

This is a request for support.

For those of you I have not yet met, I am Danny Kean the Traveling Piano man. I “Bring the Beat to the Street” working as an individual with no commercial, organizational or political affiliation. The Traveling Piano brings music to people. It’s about inspiring. It’s about encouraging and empowering people to express themselves freely through music. The Traveling Piano delivers the gift of creativity, a lift of spirits, friendship and respect for communities and people from all walks of life.

For over 20 years I have had the fortune of being able to work with a full time career performing piano from the back of a pickup truck. I have called my entertainment property Raggin’ Piano Boogie. I have had repeat bookings yearly throughout the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York states of America. Engagements have been mostly for community special events and business promotion. Whether for a huge audience in the hundreds of thousands or for small intimate groups… one thing has never changed. I am constantly thrilled by the relationship that is created when people get together and share music. A sense of community ensues and to feel the vibration, the energy, to see the smiles… these experiences validate for me time and time again how truly music is the language of the soul.

What is the most significant difference between Raggin’ Piano Boogie and the Traveling Piano? Raggin’ Piano Boogie paid the bills with performance and fees. There are no costs or fees for the operation, talent and expertise of Traveling Piano. How has life’s ongoing bills been paid? On a wing and a prayer, I could use a little more security in this area… 🙂 I am determined to continue sharing spontaneous musical performances. This is what I do best and what I most have to offer for the world. It is wonderful to experience thousands of strangers coming together as one… in friendship… though music.

A large part of what I now offer is to share the piano on the truck for others to play… especially for those who have never before tried to create music on a piano. Personally, while sharing and creating connections with people through musical listening experiences, these are the most blessed moments for me. Most of all I am blessed to share the love and joy that piano dog Boner has to offer. He is the best buddy ever! Bo hangs out on top of the piano with me and is coming on 14 years of age.

I am on a mission, a journey… the Journey of Peregrinating Musical Exploration! The present plan is to ship the Traveling Piano overseas to China. My dog Bo and I are out to create musical fun, friendship and respect, with no cost for anyone and especially for rural areas where musicians rarely visit. Upon returning to the United States, Alaska will be the starting point where we will continue the musical empowerment and inspiration throughout both the rural farmlands and urban cities of America.

The catalyst for Traveling Piano’s present focus is all about piano dog, Boner. As a partner with Bo, I have come to know him as a complete lover of people and life. Together we have always enjoyed every opportunity to experience and share our love and joy. We want to continue doing that with as many people as possible while we are still together as a team. I have a dream for the world to meet Boner before he retires.

Support is needed for this journey! Please become a patron whether it be financially, in-kind, in spirit, personally or with influence. We need help logistically and with communication, volunteerism… assistance on every level and for every aspect of this venture! I have done my part to raise funding through the sale of my home and the offering of my worldly possessions.

From the past almost three years throughout America and Mexico there is a daily musical log with extensive writings and pictures to explore from the Traveling Piano see… … The month of March 2008 is dedicated specifically to the most memorable experiences to date. More information can also be found at… is a fundraising site where you will find thousands of personal items I am presenting to share with you in the hope that you’ll participate in, be part of with contribution to the Journey of Peregrinating Music Exploration. Please contribute financially and also help empty out my house! On the websites you can also find two recent television interview links… one from the Associated Press… the other from NBC10 News. These will help you to know us better.


Danny Kean

Where I’ll be…

Stealing this idea again from people on tribe.  I’m always trying to invite all my friends to things I do, but I assume some people are on the same lists I am, or I forget that someone expressed interest in joining me…  So here’s important dates coming up, where I’ll be, and whether you can come too and how ;o)  Don’t tell me I never tell you about these things!

Saturday April 19th – Backyard Burn in Northern NJ. I’m not recruiting for this LMAO anymore than I have. If you are on the NJ burner email list or friends with the hostess on tribe, you know about it and how to get more info.  I hope to see many familiar faces there!!!

Sunday April 20th – (private) – Baby Shower

Sunday April 20th – evening – Possibly BPAL Will Call out in PA…. Anyone want to go with me? I don’t want to drive alone.

Friday April 25th – Morristown Critical Mass Bike Ride and Happy Hour – out on the town, I believe this time.

Saturday April 26th – privatish – Housewarming up in Lake Hopatcong! (privateish in that I could bring a friend, but can’t publish the details for the world!)  I MAY do Ag Field day beforehand, need to find out what time the housewarming starts.  

May 1 – Wildfire tickets on sale

May 10th – PEX Phoenix Rising! One of only 3 PEX parties in Philly this year, in a new location, LIMITED IN ATTENDANCE!!!!  You MUST check out the PEX tribe on and send in your invite request ASAP!!!! (If you are stuck and need an invite, let me know.)

May 22-26 – PLAYA DEL FUEGO!!!! Tickets still available!!!!

June 12-16 – WILDFIRE!

July 12 – NJ Burner Beach Bash

July 18-21 – TRANSFORMUS!

August 9 – PEX Compression Party

August 25-Sept 1 – BURNING MAN!!!!  Where I will be performing in the fire conclave with Aish Tamid, a Philly fire conclave group, if we get accepted!  We’ll also be doing the performance at PEX’s camp earlier in the week.  I’ll be camping with my friend from Reno again (with the yummy home brews!) but will be spending much more time in Camp Jersey and PEX than before.  If anyone needs a place to stay in Reno, my friend’s house is open to any burners.

September 5-7 – privateish – Lhiapalooza (silly girly slumber party with lots of drinking!)

October 9-13 – PLAYA DEL FUEGO!

October 18-19 – Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival – I’ll be taking an out of state friend up and we may get a hotel for the night.

October 25 – PEX Decompression/Halloween Party



Welcome Home

Last year, I wrote and posted the blog entry below on Tribe and Myspace… I want to share it again, with some additional comments.  To shift focus from some drama on Transformus discussion lists, people have been sharing their favorite memories.  I haven’t been before, but I can share why I’m going.

Like a drug, I’ve become addicted to this amazing community of people called “burners”.  I’ve come to realize that term is misleading, because many people belong in this group who have never heard of or attending Burning Man or any other “burn”.  And so, this is the Year of the Burn for me – I have a summer packed full of PDF, Wildfire, Transformus, Burning Man, and who knows what I’ll do after that but I think I’ll always return to PDF no matter what.

Over time, I’ve been working on not keeping this part of my life segregated from my mundane life.  I’ve come out of the burner/fire artist closet to people at work, to my parents – I held back on the fire spinning because I knew my mom would worry!  I’m trying to realize that in this world of “muggles” (forgive the overuse of quote marks, but it’s hard to convey this in written tones sometimes) that not everyone is the close minded, judgemental, prejudicial, conservative stereotype that they can appear to be at times.

The burn community is not about events, it’s about the people.  Charlotte Martin wrote a song/album titled “Stromata” – by definition, “The connective tissue framework of an organ, gland, or other structure, as distinguished from the tissues performing the special function of the organ or part”.  But to her it was more a representation for the networks that connect us to each other as humans.  (I want to quote her more but I can’t access my old interview with her, at work here (Shhhh) the browser crashes each time I try – you can read it though, hopefully, here. ;o)  Burning Man and other burns are our stromata, our connections, woven like a spiderweb – we are always together and never alone. 

And that’s what my favorite memory of any burn is – the people.  Not the ticket process or bickering online.  Not the bad weather or good weather.

My favorite memories include: Hugs from new friends and old, especially when I’m feeling the most fragile.  Meeting amazing people that are now part of my life.  Sharing the gift of fire performance – watching it, learning it, teaching it. Spontaneous performance art.  Sharing camping supplies and food.  The gift of music.  A soft place to rest.  Support to become a better person.  Artwork that inspires and touches.  A caring shoulder to cry on.  Glitter when your world is lacking it.  Fire when you feel cold or passionless.  Laughter.  Memories.  Possibilities. 

I do not yet have a favorite moment from Transformus, but I know I will.  Already I look forward to meeting someone from across the country that I spoke to on Tribe, and have been welcomed to camp somewhere puffy and yellow.  Most importantly, I know I’ll be at home at Transformus, because that’s what any burn is to me.

BM home 

Welcome Home (Written July 2007 – after attending BM05, PDF 06 S&F, PDF 07S, Wildfire 07S, and PEX 777 party)
Forgive me for the sappiness, I may still be running on too little sleep and too much caffeine. But I have some ramblings in my head that need to get out. ;o)

As we turned around a bend in a road, for the first time we could see our destination in the distance. Rocky mountains and desert brush gave way to a wide flat area where a temporary city had been built. A black smoke ring rose from the city and floated up in the air, above the dust trails from cars and the city of tents. Inching closer, we could see the figure of a wooden man standing taller than anything else in the city.

At this moment, I remember thinking, what have I gotten myself into.

I am in the middle of the desert in Nevada, traveling with someone I only met in person two days ago. I’m usually a pretty self reliant traveller, but she is providing my transportation and lodging, and there’s no escape route if I need to run away to civilization, a shower or air conditioning. Oh, and I’m not that much of a camper either.

Luckily, my hostess and I hit it off better than I could have ever hoped for. We know each other from an online community, and while I had met some wonderful friends from that source it was a risk to spend so much time with someone I never met. While shopping for supplies and driving from Reno, we felt an immediate kinship.

So as I feel sudden dread at the sight of our home for the next week, she asked me what I was thinking. I said something along the lines of feeling like I was going down the rabbit hole and not knowing where it would lead me. Excitement overcame the nervousness and we were greeted at the entrance to Black Rock City with a hearty “Welcome Home” by a guy wearing a hat and a messenger bag, and…. nothing else. He dared me to roll on the playa (the dry lakebed that hosts the city, an alkali dust that WILL get everywhere) and not one to turn down a dare, I made a playa angel.

As it was my first time, I was able to ring the virgin bell and proclaim my arrival to my new home. Did it ever feel like home? It felt like a wonderful magical world, which I knew would never last — thankfully, somewhat, because I am not nomadic enough to live without modern conveniences. It was like running away and joining a circus, as I sat in Center Camp watching performers just having fun. It was better than Cirque du Soleil!

I entered another world for a week, another planet, or galaxy. When we left it was with mixed feelings of sadness and anxiousness to get back to real world comforts. It took a long time to get used to going back to work, and not seeing crazy unexpected things at every corner. Like waking from a dream that you try to go back to, and never quite can succeed.

I started looking into regional events closer to home. Playa del Fuego (PDF) was a regional burn closest to me, held twice a year in Delaware. I went the spring after my first Burning Man, not knowing a soul, but after a week stuck in the middle of the desert, how scary can a weekend 15 minutes from a Dunkin Donuts be? I volunteered as a greeter, camped with Camp Jersey (a loosely organized group of people from New Jersey), and got to know some camp neighbors.

Greeters at PDF also say “Welcome Home” when you arrive. But it was still all so new. I thought I “got it”, but I realize I still felt like I only had a traveler’s visa to this strange country.

I made new local friends, and started doing more things with them. From parties in the summer and at New Years, to the fall and next spring PDF, the mermaid parade in Coney Island, any excuse to dress up and have fun. I started to be interested in poi, or fire spinning (although if you asked me a year ago I would have said I’ll NEVER do fire, just the glow toys!) and drove to Philly to take poi classes. This spring, I took the plunge and spun fire for the first time, and went to a weekend of fire arts classes and fun called Wildfire.

It used to be really hard for me to go out and meet large groups of people I didn’t know, but I started to get used to expecting the unexpected, and knew at these events that there were no strangers, only friends who haven’t met yet. It started feeling comfortable, less like this was a one week event in the desert, and that it could almost be a full time way of life.

Despite going to Philly for poi classes and some spin jams, I had never made it to their large parties. I’m not a raver, and oontz-oontz music was never my thing. (Although since Burning Man, that sound, like tarps in the wind, is not a nuisance but nostalgic!) So when I planned to go to their 777 “Recompression” party, I half expected that it would be fun but not really my scene, but there’s always fire performers to watch and drinks to drink!

I helped a little with set up, and was the first greeter of the night as people in costumes started showing up at the door. About every ten minutes, someone I know would arrive, and there would be hugs and kisses and spankings for those who love them, and people I didn’t even know greeted me by name. While I’m getting used to seeing the Jersey folks more often, I don’t see the Camp Sexy Rochester crew except for PDF, or Chad and the other Boston people that I just met at Wildfire. With a friend of mine that I’ve known for years (who is a burner at heart but never attended any kind of burn event) standing by me, I felt like my various worlds were colliding. (You know that feeling when people you know from work, high school, college, etc. suddenly are talking to each other at a party you throw? That kind of feeling.) And it felt good.

It makes sense now. Yes, at BM and PDF, you are welcomed home, and those events are starting to feel like a home not a vacation.

But the true meaning of the word home is the people. This “new” home is not a place, it’s not an event that you buy a ticket to get into, and leave when you pack up your car. You carry it with you where ever you go.

My home is this amazing network of friends and friends who I haven’t met yet, who delight and surprise me at every turn, who accept and support me, who are genuine and good and amazing authentic people. Whose hearts burn bright with love, not of just a wooden man in the desert, or an annual camping trip. But a love for the amazing connections between all of us, who are, and what we can be.

Welcome home. We’ve always been here, even if we didn’t realize it.

Plans for 08

Cross posted from Myspace:

OK so sometimes I promise I’m going to tell people about events and then forget who I promised… heehee…. Here are some big events coming up that I’ll be doing, if you have any interests in joining then you can contact me.

Feb 8-10 – Wicked Faire in Edison NJ although the site is wonky lately. I used to do henna there. I’m not working there this year. I’ll be attending (probably Saturday afternoon only) to do some shopping cause I like some of the vendors.

Feb 16 – PEX “Heartburn” – party in Philly. This Philly Burning Man camp puts on a kick ass party, all kinds of music, performances, fire dancers…. Invite only, I MAY have some spares or be able to get you some quickly so let me know if you are interested. goes from 10 pm (I get there earlier to help set up and will be volunteering on the ice luge 10-11) until after dawn. It’s $20 with costume, $50 without. So dress your ass up!!!! (Anything fun and obviously not street clothes/jeans is prob. fine)  Sign up on their mailing list if you want to hear about future parties (I think it’s about 3-4 a year?)

May 23-26 – PDF (Playa del fuego) in Delaware. Our regional “burn” event – tickets will go on sale March 22 and April 2 and may sell out almost immediately. I’ll try to grab ones for you if you know you are going.

June – most likely either June 6-8 or 13-15 – Wildfire – fire arts weekend with classes on poi, staff, hoop, breathing, etc.  Location not final, probably 45 minutes south of Boston. Ticket sale date not announced yet.

August 25 – Sept 1 – BURNING MAN! I’ll hopefully be performing in the philadelphia fire conclave the night of the big burn! (the conclave needs to be accepted but it shouldn’t be an issue) Tickets on sale now, and will only go up in price. they MAY sell out, and they will NOT be selling any at the gate regardless of whether they sell out.

I don’t have many other things planned.  After Burning Man, there’s Fall PDF, and maybe, MAYBE fall wildfire. 

 The veggie board retreat, I may or may not be able to go, depending on whether it’s driving distance and whether I have enough vacation time.  Same for any paloozas (for those who don’t know, it’s a nickname for parties with friends from a private message board) — Lhia’s is for sure, anything in NJ/NY/CT most likely.

From the end of February until mid August, I’ll be driving to Philly most Sundays for conclave practice.  (So – those in or near that route, if you ever want to do lunch or something let me know! I have to be in North Philly from 4-6 pm those days.)

Money probably will get tight for all these things, but the more pressing issue is time.  Vacation time.  We’ll see what happens.  Spring PDF, Wildfire, and Burning Man are definitely going to happen, one way or another.