On 22. April SSRI will release my two new albums. The music on these two albums is quite different, but one melody is present on both, as a bridge connecting the albums and a way to demonstrate the approach I took on each album.
Here are a few photos documenting the photo shoot for the three-oh-five cover.
Drawing the three-oh-five logo on the window:
The above photos are by Diane Small and the location was Shibui, Richard Yaski’s sculpture garden in Little River, near Mendocino, on the Northern Californian coast.
And here is the finished cover:
Yesterday our monthly (in reality more like 8-10 times per year) newsletter was sent out to our mailing list. The recipients received “secret” links and can listen to one song from each of the two new albums that are officially dropping in mid-April.
If you would like to be on that list in the future, you can sign up here.
In the book “Holy Sh*t – A Brief History of Swearing” I read that most speech originates from the cerebral cortex, which also controls voluntary actions and rational thought, while swearwords are stored in the limbic system, which is responsible for emotion, the fight-or-flight response, and the autonomic nervous system, which regulates heart rate and blood pressure. People who have lost the ability to speak, e.g. due to a stroke, often still have the ability to swear.
The book also states that test subjects were able to withstand pain, in the form of very cold water, longer, if they spoke swearwords rather than other words.
That got me thinking. Swearing is culture-specific and the words themselves frequently change according to society. Training starts very young in families with parents making clear which words are “bad” or forbidden. This training appears to write swearwords to a different section of brain.
Like swearwords mantras are culture-specific and can be learned at a young age. Many cultures use mantras, but India, Tibet and Japan come to mind. The Ninjas of Japan have a variety of mantras that are to help against cold, against pain, or to promote healing etc.
What I am wondering about is whether these mantras are also, like swearwords, “written” to a different part of the brain? It would follow that the embedding of the mantra into a section of brain is akin to writing software and invoking the mantra is akin to running the program.
In other words, for a person outside the mantra culture, e.g. a non-Ninja, it would be impossible to “run the program” because the software was not written into the brain – just as a foreign speaker who hears an American swearword will not grasp its meaning, nor would yelling the word be able to relieve any pain for him/her.
Have mantras been researched with this in mind? Can they be written to a different part of the brain? How long does it take to embed a mantra? Does a mantra in fact evoke a whole program?
Here is an amusing post from 1996 – I can’t believe I actually emailed Nintendo!
i am sitting in a hotel room in Kansas City… the concert in St.Louis was cancelled and we are on our way to Boulder, Colorado… while riding the tourbus from Atlanta to Kansas City i achieved a new high-score on the Gameboy version of TETRIS: 610,063 points!!!! could this be a world record? has anybody ever had a higher score??? inquiring minds want to know… a little after midnight we will set out for Boulder which we hope to reach by tomorrow afternoon, then Thursday evening off, Friday off and the last show of this tour on Saturday evening…
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 15:24:53 -0600
From: Nintendo Nintendo
Subject: TETRIS/GameBoy -Reply
It’s the highest one that I’ve ever heard of, but since we don’t keep track of high scores, I can’t tell you if it’s the highest ever.
Nintendo of America Inc.
I posted a few new images in my photoblog. They were taken at sunrise in Carmel, on the day of our concert there on February 13th.
Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra binaural: the Fritz Files
“I find the binaural experience much more natural than 5.1 or anything like that,” says Ottmar Liebert. “By comparison those multi-speaker arrays sound very artificial — and are expensive….”
(read the whole review at Culture Court)
(You may ask yourself, why do we sell the HD files for Up Close now? We found out that HDTracks.com apparently does not sell outside the USA and by making Up Close available in our ListeningLounge we are making the album available in this HD version to the rest of the world.)
I have always been a fan of headphones. We have been using in-ear-monitors on stage since 1994 and I have used Stax headphones when I work on an album for almost as long. Over the years I have accumulated quite a few headphones for listening to music when I am not in the studio.
But, I have a new favorite way to listen, and I have used this new setup a lot in the past six months, while I am finishing two albums to be released by SSRI this Spring.
This is it:
I put ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec – 16bit/44.1kHz) files on my iPhone. I bypass the iPhone’s digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and headphone amp by plugging the Lightning-to-USB cable into the ADL X1, a Japanese DAC + headphone amp. Finally I connect the Audeze LCD-2 headphones to the X1 and enjoy great sound. One can also plug a USB cable into one’s computer and in that case the X1 will work with files up to 24bit/192kHz.
The LCD-2 headphones sound really natural to me. I don’t hear the unnatural boosted highs and bass that so many headphones push out. The bass is rich, but not flabby or tubby. The treble creates a clear and beautiful image, but without that biting brightness that fatigues the ears, and the mid-range is luxurious. I can listen to these headphones for hours, and have many times. My new absolute favorite pair of headphones!
It is not exactly a cheap setup – I have seen prices for the X1 range between $399 and $645 and the LCD-2 seems to go from under a thousand to around 1,200 – but this can easily become a person’s only stereo system. These days I can’t imagine spending many thousands of dollars on a regular, non-portable, hi-fi system. Mobile is the way to go, I think, and with this setup I am not sacrificing anything!
A few people asked me for my German apple pancake recipe. Here it is:
2 apples – I love Pink Lady apples
150g (about a cup) all purpose flour + 60g (about 1/3 cup) semolina flour
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespons unsalted butter
Cut apples into thin (1/8-inch thick or smaller) slices. Soften the apple slices in a pan with a tablespoon of butter & some cinnamon. Set aside and let cool a little.
Whisk together the flours + salt in a large bowl. Add a cup of milk while whisking, then add the eggs, whisking well.
Heat a tablespoon of butter in a skillet (I use an enamelled cast iron pan from Le Creuset) over moderate heat, then add half of the batter, spreading evenly to cover bottom. Cook on medium heat and turn pancake over with a thin heatproof spatula, until golden on both sides.
As you notice, no rising agent (baking soda or baking powder) is used. I also do not add any sugar, and prefer to add a tablespoon of maple syrup (grade B or, even better, grade C) to the pancake on the plate.
© Greg Gorman 2013
On new year’s eve I redid three mixes for the new album “three-oh-five”. Then I sat down with a glass of wine and listened to the whole album using Audeze LCD-2 headphones – through an old Parasound DAC and preamp.
I loved every track and heard nothing that took me out of the experience, which means it looks like I was able to finish the music on the last day of 2013.
Now I can turn my attention to another album I want to release this Spring…
Feb 13 – Carmel, CA – Sunset Center
Feb 14 – San Juan Capistrano, CA – The Coach House
Feb 15 – Agoura Hills, CA – Canyon Club
Feb 16 – Ramona, CA – Ramona Main Stage