The Transformation of a Man

A decade ago in Manhattan, KS, I saw Kyle Klipowicz at a fraternity party, distancing himself from the meat market dance situation that fraternity parties tended to be. He was in a thrift-store windbreaker, dancing in the crowd to electronic music. I thought he was one of the guys, until the drunken crowd around him dispersed outward, making it clear that he danced among them until he danced alone. The crowd around him grew angry because they assumed the 5’5” math major to be a threat. But it was just an experiment for him to see what they would tolerate.

They didn’t tolerate him, nor his electro-rave beats. Neither jived amid the recurring music of Dr. Dre and Dave Matthews Band – two extremes always featured on the same mix tape. Klipowicz was too different. Wearing what was to become the uniform of adversity and new-neo-wave twee, he was the reflection of a culture that the fraternity crowd wasn’t ready for. Though he danced alone, he was merely looking to find a group who would follow his lead.

His curiosity of social groups began to blossom at Kansas State University. He resurrected the Ionian Society – a 1930s arts and literary women’s club that met every Saturday, before football became an overpowering pastime. He attempted to awaken the soul of the club and congregate all the like-minded rebels. As the organizer who held these rebels accountable, he designed his two-hour radio slot as the outlet for people to contribute stories and audio recordings every week.

To know him how he is today, since the days of his undergrad rebellion on the dance floor or on the radio, is to know that he is now a conduit for art and culture. He won’t call himself a leader because egos emerge and then no one follows, which is something he learned very young.

At four-years-old, he began harboring a fear no one would follow him. His mother invited local neighborhood children over to their wooded, Ohio backyard for socializing and playtime. She set up an obstacle course and appointed Klipowicz as the “leader”. On the first pass through the course, everyone followed him. On the second pass, everyone sped past him. He became so upset that no one was following the “leader”, so he had a tantrum and his mother had to put him in his bedroom for the rest of the day to sulk.

Twenty-six years later, he’s found his crowd. He’s found his music. And he rebels in unison with the crowd he has helped create. Now at the age of 30 he’s reached the idea that his salutation and greeting is Goddess Love – a peace sign to the world – of which he trumpets to the Logan Square community with a clarion call of modesty and optimism.

Klipowicz no longer cares for rave parties or programming electronic music. He has transitioned from existing behind-the-scenes where he once modified his personality to blend in, to embracing his eccentricities in the Chicago DIY underground music scene.

While he has always flirted with the idea of doing things digitally, in person he appears earthly and grounded. In Logan Square he stands as a tree, planting roots in a transient, fast-paced evolving world and extending his branches to find gravity. His signature Irish bushy, handlebar mustache combs through music venues and yoga sessions, looking for musicians, artists, goddesses or any human being with an open mind. Similar to a social honeybee navigating for nectar, he finds his nutrients and cross-pollinates ideas to other intellectual realms.

His bedroom is still his thinking space. Every morning he meditates in his space, designing ways to change the world through music and collective thinking rather than lambast all the negativity. He doesn’t accept the world as it is, so he generates his own mythological universe to play in, oscillating as the cosmic nucleus, while seeking for members to shepherd.

Klipowicz has always existed as a magnetic sponge of his culture. He absorbs, reflects and pushes for new directions. First, he studies the culture and then he makes the music. Since 2006, he’s been writing songs, which gives him more freedom to express himself, beyond what he could find in programming electronic music. When Klipowicz performs, he is the solo acoustic guitar act Bowl of Dust & Co. More recently, he is working with a fellow kindred spirit and songwriter, Muyassar Kurdi of The Humminbird – reminding him why he loves to collaborate because he can’t build a universe alone.

As the herald of humanities, he doesn’t create movements; he watches for trends and makes movements happen. Facing his ultimate challenge – a large population of people – he manages to access everyone by spreading his Goddess Love at local music shows, while transcending boundaries and evolving his state of being.

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Author: Jen Mosier

Noble Creatures is a 2012 split release by The Humminbird and Bowl of Dust & Co

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