Archive for 2005-01

Revenge of the Right Brain

02005-01-31 @ 21:01

Scientists have long known that a neurological Mason-Dixon line cleaves our brains into two regions – the left and right hemispheres. But in the last 10 years, thanks in part to advances in functional magnetic resonance imaging, researchers have begun to identify more precisely how the two sides divide responsibilities. The left hemisphere handles sequence, literalness, and analysis. The right hemisphere, meanwhile, takes care of context, emotional expression, and synthesis. Of course, the human brain, with its 100 billion cells forging 1 quadrillion connections, is breathtakingly complex. The two hemispheres work in concert, and we enlist both sides for nearly everything we do. But the structure of our brains can help explain the contours of our times.

Nice article by Daniel Pink. Two things come to mind:

1. Why choose between Left and Right when you can have both. Meditation creates connections between the two hemispheres and two halves make a whole…
2. The school system is taking kids down the wrong road. Parents have to demand art and music classes, because that is how one gets kids to engage the right hemisphere. Use it or lose it.
Thanks Eric N.

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Treo 650 GSM

02005-01-31 @ 19:01

Unlocked Treo 650 GSM on Ebay and somebody has bid US $1,025.00. Since it will be available from Palm for around 600 in about a month, this person is paying about 400 extra bucks for 30 days of bragging. Hey, that’s cheaper than a Lamborghini, right?

PS: Does that bid look stupid now! I just purchased an unlocked Treo 650 directly from PalmOne – for $599!!


02005-01-31 @ 16:01

In 20 minutes, I’m getting in a car to go to the airport to fly to Sao Paolo, to fly to Chicago, to fly to San Francisco, to get in a car to go home. It has been an insanely intense few days in this astonishing place.

This morning’s panel was packed in what seemed to be an old factory. The room was overflowing with at least 1,500 people, and a panel of 5. Manuel Castells began, with a careful and extremely interesting diagnosis of the net’s development. I then described the remix culture culture has been (legal and free) and the remix culture culture could be (amazing and diverse) and the blocks to that new culture coming about (law). Christian Alhert told the story of the BBC’s Creative Archive. And JP Barlow gave one of the most intense and powerful speeches I’ve ever seen him deliver. This place is personal to him.

Then Gil spoke. Needless to say, the warm up acts were just that. He electrified the audience, delivering a written speech as poetry slam. He promised more support for free software, and free culture. And he again embraced the Creative Commons movement in Brazil, which is exploding everywhere here. Again he took questions. Again he answered critics, directly, and passionately.
(Via Lessig Blog.)

You should read the whole post. Brazil is making a lot of the right steps to become a powerhouse in the near future – one or two decades, if it takes that long. You should also check out this post.

Symphonic House

02005-01-31 @ 15:01

The Wege House
wege.jpg image

…all you must do at The Wege House must do is don rosin-powdered gloves and have at it on any of the house’s integrated instruments. The House architecture becomes the resonating chamber of the instruments, with strings precisely lined, allowing you to be completely surrounded by the music.

We have chosen to explore in our time on Earth an idea: Could we increase the size of the instrument and walk inside? To walk inside the instrument and play the instrument is to feel the sound in your body, within your bones and within your mind.

Symphonic House
(Via Gizmodo.)

Random Live Webcams

02005-01-31 @ 15:01

Fantastically boring, or boringly fantastic?


02005-01-31 @ 13:01

The emirate of Dubai has bought $1bn of DaimlerChrysler stock and is now the company’s third biggest shareholder.

The shares now belong to Dubai Holding, a company set up by the Dubai government in October to oversee the Gulf emirate’s economic development projects. Dubai now has around two percent of the company’s shares. Deutsche Bank owns 10.4% and the government of Kuwait owns 7.2%.

No wonder DaimlerChrysler designs mostly gas-guzzlers, eh? Makes me wonder what percentage of all the large car companies is owned by Arabic Oil nations?

Will Ackerman

02005-01-31 @ 10:01

In recording Returning my primary objective was to be sure that every note I played would have a real emotional connection to it. If I played well, but failed to find the emotion I would scrap it. The songs proved to be surprising to me.

I just read Jamie Bonk’s December interview with Will Ackerman, founder of Windham Hill records. It is a great interview and makes me wonder whether it was actually easier for Will to be that open (click on the title of the post and read more!) using email as the medium? Jamie Bonk does good interviews.

Tangent: around 1987 or ’88 I made a cassette tape of my music and sent it to Alex DeGrassi. He was kind enough to to send me a letter, basically stating that I needed to become more original. A year or two later I recorded another cassette that contained Heart Still/Beating, Barcelona Nights and Waiting 4 Stars to Fall and led to Frank Howell asking me to do the album Marita: Shadows and Storms, which became NF. To me the seeds of NF where right there in that cassette I sent to Alex DeGrassi…

In case you are wondering why DeGrassi? I remember hearing an album of his at a friend’s house. I liked it, but I still don’t own any of his recordings. Strange, isn’t it?

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Leonard Cohen speaks

02005-01-30 @ 08:01

As you get older, the braincells associated with anxiety die.

Well, there is always that to look forward to. Beautiful interviews with Cohen.
Thanks Yumiko

Fashion Sampling

02005-01-30 @ 07:01

On January 29, 2005, the Norman Lear Center will hold a landmark event on fashion and the ownership of creativity. Ready to Share will explore the fashion industry’s enthusiastic embrace of sampling, appropriation and borrowed inspiration, core components of every creative process. Presented by the Lear Center’s Creativity, Commerce & Culture project, and sponsored by The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising/FIDM, this groundbreaking conference will feature scholarly debate, fashion shows, multimedia presentations, the clash of perspectives and the cross-fertilization of ideas.
(Via BoingBoing.)

I think there might be a qualitative difference between digital music sampling and sampling as it pertains to Fashion and Fine Art. We are talking about two kinds of sampling here that are very different in character. One is hearing a cool musical phrase and learning to play it on your instrument. The other is to simply record or sample that phrase and use it.

When you talk about sampling in fashion you always talk about the former, i.e. seeing something and finding a way to re-create that look. In other words, Tom Ford does not go out, buy an Armani jacket and stitch a Gucci label on it – but he might see that Armani jacket and love the fabric and the cut of the pocket and re-create that. That kind of sampling has existed in music and art for thousands of years. It is how popular music spreads.

I think to compare the two kinds of sampling is like comparing apples and oranges – it does not work. To learn to re-play an inspiring phrase on ones instrument is mountains away from simply hitting record on your sampler – and as usual BoingBoing does not seem to see that.

However, I do think people need to discuss different types of record-sampling. In the Fine Arts, if you take somebody’s image and cut it apart and make a new collage containing elements of that image, it is considered a new copyrightable work. Similarly there has to be a difference between record-sampling a sound and record-sampling a whole phrase. The rule of thumb used to be that up to four seconds was OK, but a court ruled last year that any length of record-sampling was infringing on copyright, which I find ludicrous.

Personally I would advocate legalizing a certain sample length, measured either in time (4-6 seconds?), in note value (equivalent of two whole notes?) or beats (quarter bar?). While the first measurement is absolute, the other two would relate to the music and tempo.

Pouring Light

02005-01-30 @ 07:01

Aliens of the Deep: Wallpaper

Amazing photo!

Supper with Stars

02005-01-30 @ 07:01

Supper with the Stars is a UK-based company that lets you book former celebrities to come to your house and have a little chat. Remember the band ABC? (‘Poison Arrow,’ ‘Look of Love’). In return for a fee the trio will Martin Fry, ‘come to have dinner and talk through the old days.’ The only other celeb I recognize is Limahl, lead singer from Kajagoogoo (‘Too shy’). ‘Limahl will talk extensively about his experiences in the music industry and perform many of hit hits in a karaoke style. He will also take part in after dinner party games.’

Fees for each celebrity are negotiated on a case-by-case basis, but costs range from £300 – £5,000 for a dinner, depending on the celebrity (assuming that a dinner sitting will last one and a half hours). The fee does not include travel expenses incurred by the guest (which need to be reimbursed separately).

(Via BoingBoing.)

Can one request no whining?


02005-01-29 @ 10:01

(Via Ben Hammersley’s Dangerous Precedent)


02005-01-29 @ 07:01

Music is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, music is just the ash.
Leonard Cohen

Well, he used the word poetry instead of music, but I like the fit.

Chair – A Happy Ending

02005-01-28 @ 16:01

The highest bidder decided to make a donation to the Santa Fe Rape Crisis Center anyway and therefore I am shipping the chair off to a specialist in L.A. who will clean the chair and then ship it to its new owner. A happy ending.

Bald Guitarist

02005-01-28 @ 16:01

Matt Callahan said…The beard suits Jon. Will you be playing the role of the bald guitarist for awhile?

I started meditating when I was 15. When I was 17 I saw myself as a monk without a monastery or religion and shaved my head. When I was 19 I considered living in a Zen temple in Japan, but decided to stay in the world and be a guitarist. I have shaved my head many times in the last two decades. Sometimes I shaved to mark an important moment for me, and sometimes just for the hell of it. I shaved it in Singapore in 1994, which is why my hair was still quite short on the cover of Viva! I shaved it in 1997 in Pompano Beach, just before a performance with the 9 piece XL band. I shaved it a few times during the last few years, but usually let it grow back a little before touring.

Now I shave it every five days – like the monks in a monastery. I don’t shave it smooth because I don’t much like shiny objects. Doesn’t seem very wabi-sabi – more on that concept here, here + here. I use a Panasonic beard trimmer without the guide-comb attachment, i.e. as short as it will go. Another reason for not shaving smooth is that my skin is quite sensitive and gets irritated easily.

This shaved head marks two occasions for me. One, I have found my Roshi and am a practicing Soto Zen Buddhist. Two, I want to shake off all compromises in my work. No longer will I keep songs short for radio. No longer will I consider anything other than my inspiration. I am working for a great record label now and my boss is 100% behind me…

I am afraid I haven’t answered your question at all, have I?

PS: I am adding some information about the term monk as it means something different in Japan than in the rest of Asia. Many Buddhists in Asia do not consider japanese monks monks… The first reason is this:

Saicho, an important abbot of a large Tendai Buddhist monastery and head of the Tendai movement in Japan at that time, petitioned the Emperor in the 8th century asking for permission to ordain monks using only the Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts instead of the 227 Patimoksha Precepts that were ordinarily used.

And for female monks there were originally 348 Precepts! I personally find that one needs only two:

1. Be Mindful
2. Act appropriately

And the second reason is this:

After Japanese ports were finally opened to foreign ships in about 1868, the Japanese government mounted a campaign to establish a state religion to help prevent foreign religions from entering the culture, and the indigenous Shinto religion was chosen over Buddhism. The authority of Buddhist monks at that time was undermined and eventfully Buddhist monks were allowed and even encouraged by the government to marry. This is why in Japan today, most Buddhist clerics tend to be priests living as householders taking care of temples where lay people practice rather than living in monasteries as celibate monks.


02005-01-28 @ 11:01

I love these little notebooks/sketchbooks and always carry one with me. In the time it would take to start up a computer, I have finished writing and drawing my idea. My grandfather always kept one on his night stand. He claimed all of his best ideas came in the middle of the night.

I prefer to use a pencil with these.

Mexican Colors

02005-01-28 @ 10:01

Music: Pieces in a Modern Style – William Orbit

Flickr slideshow: Mexican Colors…

China Truck

02005-01-28 @ 10:01

JC sent me this photo today. No harmful emissions – they can be used as fertilizer in your yard.
Thanks James.

Nouveau Sound

02005-01-27 @ 15:01

Lexington Herald-Leader | 01/23/2005 | NOUVEAU SOUND

Even before he says hello, orchestration soars through the phone line as Ottmar Liebert commences conversation.

Studio Floor

02005-01-26 @ 14:01

Ordered six samples of carpet for the studio from Flor today. I think the advantage of using carpet tile will be that I can easily make the rug-area larger and smaller, depending on whether I want more or less reverb reflections in the room.


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