Guadalajara, Mexico

We performed on a raked stage in Guadalajara, Mexico, on September 29th. A raked stage raises up towards the back of the stage. This is where the terms upstage and downstage come from, downstage being towards the audience…..I think this was the only raked stage I have ever performed on and I could tell the difference because my back hurt after the performance from having to hold the guitar differently. Apperently there aren’t many raked stages in the world because too many dancers broke their ankles on them.

09.23 @ 775: Trapajon

Mark Clark plays a Trapajon made by Michael Manzanares of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Michael calls this instrument a Trapajon instead of a Cajon (Spanish for BOX) because of its Trapezoid shape. If you are interested in getting one of these fantastic drums you can contact Michael at demily@gateway.net

09.22 @ 837 (Internet Time)

The Swiss watchmaker Swatch has created what they call Internet Time. They devided 24 hours into 1000 “Beats”, which are each 86.4 seconds long. The clock starts at Midnight Central European time, which is GMT +1 Hour. Now two people living at opposite ends of the world don’t have to compare timezones and daylight savings time in order to meet on the net…..

You can download “Internet Time” for PC, MAC and Palm Pilot at www.swatch.com

This reminds me…..France used to have metric time once…a day was devided into 10 hours, each Hour had 100 minutes. Each Minute had 100 Seconds. I believe France operated on this metric time for quite a while until Napoleon made a deal with the Pope who wanted France go back to Church Time (24 hours of 60 Minutes)…I forget where I read that…..

Future

Harold will perform at the Jazz Festival tonight. He has loaded his laptop with the musical identity of many Jazz Greats by analyzing thousands of Blue Note and other Jazz albums. His computer holds the personalities of many historical musicians as well as detailed samples of many instruments. Harold can switch from personality to personality on the fly. Imagine a Charlie parker solo that changes to a John Coltrane solo in the middle of a song. Imagine switching the personality’s instrument…..Miles Davis playing saxophone or guitar for example.

Harold will improvise a lot during his show. He will switch between different personalities and instruments and create new combinations by asking the Keith Jarrett personality to play guitar with 25% of Chet Baker thrown into the mix. Or John McLaughlin to play oboe with a little Youssou N’Dour thrown in…….

I can see this happen at some point. It’s a natural step beyond the Disc Jockey of today. But that won’t change the fact that a real musician playing a real instrument in real time will still be a unique event that people will want to see. If anything it will become more valuable in the next century, because there is less music education in schools today than ever, and many people won’t want to invest the time it takes to learn an instrument and to become truly comfortable with it. I mean, it takes years to make a beautiful sound on a saxophone or cello……..who will want to take that time, when all of their friends can use samples of great saxophone sounds?? Or will all acoustic musical instrument become obsolete like the viola da gamba????

Eight Shows into the Tour

Eight shows are behind us now. The band sounds wonderful and everybody plays very well. Michael Chavez is coming up with some amazing Bongo solos and Kanoa is playing a fantastic solo at the end of Barcelona Nights!!

Here is something I don’t understand: Why do people insist on taking photos at concerts, even after being asked NOT to use flash photography? Those photos, taken with point and shoot cameras from a distance, will probably not look very good anyway and they do disturb the band. We are onstage trying to create a mood and suddenly there is a rude awakening and it feels like a press conference…..In Hanford it seemed even worse because people insisted on running up to the stage and taking pictures from a closer range. The music WILL NOT sound as good when we keep getting shocked with flash. NOT everything needs to be documented!

At our show at Humphrey’s in San Diego a couple of months ago I received a note from a fan whose son is studying the guitar. She gave me the name of her son’s teacher and mentioned that I would of course know him because he had played in my band. Hm, I do remember everyone who has played in this band, especially the four guitar players who played with us at one time or another. The son’s teacher, whose name doesn’t need to be mentioned, and who may indeed be very capable and a great guitar teacher, has never played guitar in this band nor do I remember ever having met him. There seem to be a lot of guys who have played in my band or know me personally that I have never met.