Archive for 2005-04

iTunes News

02005-04-30 @ 14:04

Music: Transit – Jon Gagan

Good News: the complete La Semana album, including the Limited Edition Bonus Track Market Day, four songs from nouveaumatic, and Jon’s album Transit are now available on iTunes. Yeah!

Bad News: La Semana is credited to Luna Negra & Ottmar Liebert and Transit is credited to Jon Gagan & Ottmar Liebert

I have requested corrections, but I have the feeling that will take a while. Concerning digital distribution Epic Records, Higher Octave/EMI and AWAL have all been asked to list all of my music just under my name. I think that will simplify the process and make my music easier to find. I mean, who would think to search for Luna Negra when they are looking for Euphoria, when the name Luna Negra is nowhere on that album cover.

In the future I will retain the three different color bands at the top of the SSRI releases, but with the following changes:

Instead of using different monikers, like Ottmar Liebert + Luna Negra (with the red band at the top), Ottmar Liebert’s Euphoria (gray band), and Ottmar Liebert (blue band) – every album will simply be credited to Ottmar Liebert.

The back of future SSRI releases will still carry the color-coding explanation.


02005-04-30 @ 10:04

Stefan's Butterfly
My brother sent me this photo of a butterfly on his cherry tree.

The scene is the same whether you’re strolling by the river or trudging through open fields of flowers. If there’s an ample supply of flowers, there are butterflies. And this year, experts say, there are more of the critters about because of increased rain and snow totals across the Southwest and northern Mexico.

From the New Mexican newspaper.

Winter Roses + Rituals

02005-04-30 @ 09:04

Music: Winter Roses – I am listening to the whole CD for the first time, working on flow and sequence…

From the time I was six, one of my responsibilities was to wash rice. It was a ritual of childhood and first cooking experience.
Later, I had to cook the rice after school. I remember hearing the pot lid make sounds while it boiled, watching the steam as it simmers and rests, seeing the windows steam up and the smell of the cooked rice.
In this method of cooking rice on the stove, the “koge” is sometimes formed. Koge is the rice that has browned on the bottom.
The first rice is offered to family butsudan, always. The new rice cookers are the best invention and make perfect rice/sushi, etc, but does not offer the entertainment of the sounds and aroma of the old.

In Italy there are basically two different ways to make risotto. The first method involves constant stirring of the rice and broth and the second method, which some people believe to be superior, suggests that one leaves the pot to cook on low heat without stirring. The rice at the the bottom browns or even burns and is discarded (I wouldn’t want to be the one who has to scrape that pot) but the rice above that layer is perfect.

It seems to me that it is beautiful and maybe even important for us to pick certain little rituals that re-connect us with life, whether that is making rice the old-fashioned way, or grinding coffee by hand, or shaving with a double-edged razor. If it makes you be completely present for that time, then it is working.

Damn, this is a fine record… reminds me of the Dreaming CD from the Opium album, but with a couple more upeat songs thrown in, a richer guitar sound – mostly due to recording digitally instead of analog… and how great does that Lakland bass sound! I am thinking of adding a hidden 13th track – hidden means that it won’t show up, but if you let the CD play through the end of the 12th track it will find the additional piece…

Clean Car

02005-04-29 @ 23:04

After twelve years of reserch and development, Guy Negre has developed an engine that could become one of the biggest technological advances of this century. Its application to CAT vehicles gives them significant economical and environmental advantages. With the incorporation of bi-energy (compressed air fuel) the CAT Vehicles have increased their driving range to close to 2000 km with zero pollution in cities and considerably reduced pollution outside urban areas.

Thanks Victor

Musicians Earplugs

02005-04-29 @ 21:04

This is for E.N., who likes to crank the music…

The ES49 is the earplug of choice for the performing musician or concert goer. Whether you are into Mozart or Metallica, the flat attenuation (noise reduction) characteristics let you hear your music accurately but at a safer level. The ES49 is a canal only earmold that is very small and unobtrusive. With a choice of either the ER9, ER15 or ER25 filters, the ES49 is the choice for the most discriminating performing musicians or music lovers. Because impressions of your ears must be made in order to build your custom earplugs, you must contact a hearing healthcare professional to get started.

I have been using these for over a decade now, going to concerts or a club, sleeping on a tourbus and always on airplanes. Unlike earplugs you buy at the store, these earplug are sophisticated and remove 9, 15 or 25db across the spectrum, and that means you can still hear the flight-attendant asking you for your choice of chicken, beef or fish. I highly recommend these for anyone who wants to keep their hearing.

And those are not antennas, that’s what you pull on to get them out of your ears and you can trim them back…


02005-04-29 @ 15:04


House Red - 1
These two photos just showed up in the random selection of five pictures from my Flickr account you find on the top right side of this diary. Wouldn’t it be great to have a bunch of frames on the wall that would select photos at random like that Flickr bar?


02005-04-29 @ 15:04

Practice Thing 2
I posted a photo of my no-brand Practice Thing a while ago. Victor found this similar device at LeTechnique.

It is much fancier and you can actually tune it, which is very nice.

Which company or individual was the first to join two words together as seen in the title? Was it Apple with their PowerBook or does it date much earlier? Is it a little trick to get something trademarked, like intentionally misspelling a word?


02005-04-29 @ 15:04

Two weeks ago I made a post called Perfect Shave, which I had picked up from that morning. It referenced this piece on MSNBC. Well, the article made a lot of sense to me and I ordered some of the items that were recommended: the Merkur Hefty Classic double-edge safety razor, a DOVO Travel Brush, and the Proraso shaving cream – the web site for the shaving cream sucks, but go here and select Proraso from the list on the left. I spent a little more on the brush than necessary, but what can I say, I wanted something to travel with, and brushed steel does it for me…

The shaving cream is fantastic and so is the brush. It is astounding how much water a good brush can hold!

I like the razor as well, but I will like it even more once I master it. The first shave was a bit of a blood bath, on the second occasion I sliced through a little bump on my chin, which had been there for decades and should have been remembered. Today there were no gashes, just a few minor slices, which means I am making progress. A lot of it has to do with undoing years of bad habits like pushing down hard on a disposable, whereas you have to handle this razor lightly, very lightly, and show it the respect this little weapon deserves…

All in all it feels like one of those great manly rituals, right up there with properly removing a champagne cork… I never learned shaving like this from my dad, because he and grandpa loved their Braun electric razors. But he taught me how to uncork any bottle without spillage!!

To sum it up: I am sold on this way of shaving. My skin gets less irritated and feels much better afterwards, and I especially like the fact that shaving has changed into an art rather than a chore.

Ottmar on Wikipedia

02005-04-29 @ 14:04

Check this out. Somebody replaced the cover art for Higher Octave’s compilation Surrender 2 Love with the letter of surrender of Bangla Desh by the Pakistan Eastern Command. Funny!
Thanks Robin!

Rice Cooker

02005-04-29 @ 08:04

I am thinking of buying another Zojirushi Rice Cooker. I had one for a few years, and it worked perfectly until it broke down from all of the abuse. The new ones cook brown rice as well, which I think is a big plus. This should be one of the greatest devices known to mankind, especially for people who hold down regular jobs. Put rice and water into the cooker in the morning, hit the cook button and leave. Perfect rice will be waiting for you when you return. For something different, cook the rice with broth instead of water. Or add other grains. I sometimes added cardamom to the pot, which makes for very nice fragrance and exotice flavor.

Summer Tour Update

02005-04-27 @ 12:04

We added a show at the Performing Arts Center in Lodi, CA, on June 30th. Click on above title link for our complete schedule. We are still working on one or two additional shows and the complete schedule should be up next week.

And the Denver and Boulder dates switched. Boulder is now on the 6th and Denver on the 7th of July.


02005-04-27 @ 10:04

Music: Winter Roses – new mixes from last night

Window Reflection
The other day I was standing outside my house and noticed this reflection in a window. Combining inside and outside…

Did more mixes for the Winter Roses album last night. A new favorite is the piece Les Roses d’Ispahan by Gabriel Faure (and here) , which we recorded with Jon playing the lead melody during the first half and me soloing during the second half. It is luscious, dreamy, rich and creamy…

Official U.S. time

02005-04-27 @ 00:04

Pick your time zone…

Tibet White Paper

02005-04-26 @ 15:04

T-Mobile Coverage Check

02005-04-26 @ 07:04

T-Mobile now provides an estimated coverage map down to the street level, taking the location of their cell towers into consideration to give you a better idea of what to expect where you live.
(Via Gizmodo)

Great idea. This map will come in handy on tour as most of us are on T-Mobile and we can look up the coverage rather than stumbling through the area with an eye glued to the signal on a phone…

Monday + Butterflies

02005-04-26 @ 07:04

The scene is the same whether you’re strolling by the river or trudging through open fields of flowers. If there’s an ample supply of flowers, there are butterflies. And this year, experts say, there are more of the critters about because of increased rain and snow totals across the Southwest and northern Mexico.

More rain on Sunday and last night. A beautiful slow, drizzly rain that soaked everything. We discover grass everywhere, and weeds that we had not seen in years. The lilacs are about to bloom and the cherry trees are full of blossoms.

Have you ever smelled cherry blossoms? It’s a devine scent, a lovely, sweet and fragile promise of the fruit to come. Our two trees are still very small, but like last year we are hoping for one cherry pie. Funny, I can’t write or think the words cherry pie without hearing Sade sing sweet as cherry pie in my mind.

Digital Distribution

02005-04-22 @ 21:04

Ole wrote: Since you finally have La Semana on iTunes – congratulations – does this mean you won’t have as much trouble getting them to carry Winter Rose?

It appears that way. I signed with AWAL – Artists without a Label – and they will digitally distribute all SSRI releases, and not just via iTunes. Next up will be Winter Rose: Music inspired by the Holidays and then Jon’s Transit 2.

Silicon Watch Gears

02005-04-22 @ 21:04

Frothy prose aside, it’s extremely interesting to see that Patek Phillipe, the centuries-old watchmaker, has entered the Jet Age by using Silicon wheels that are punched out of a wafer—just like high-tech computer chips. The silicon apparently wears better over time and doesn’t require the regular lube jobs mechanical watches require.

For more than fifteen years, Patek Philippe has been interested in a particular domain: the development of new materials that don’t need lubrication.

They may not need lubrication, but you’ll still have to wind them up.
Patek Philippe, tradition points to the future [EuropaStar]
(Via Gizmodo.)

I love mechanical watches. And no, you don’t have to wind most great mechanical watches, they wind themselves – using the movements of your arm.

Handheld GPS

02005-04-22 @ 20:04

I bought the Garmin etrax GPS unit from amazon. I think it is not the latest and greatest model and therefore inexpensive – on sale for under 90 bucks! Works fine and accuracy seems to be between 15 and 40 feet depending on location. I also downloaded the TerraBrowser, a program for Mac that interfaces with the USGS maps of the USA and shows you exactly where the Waypoint is – on a topo map or a satellite photo. Very useful for those of you who will participate in our GeoCache game this Summer. I am sure Google can help you find PC equivalent software.


02005-04-22 @ 17:04

I am told that all of La Semana, including the Limited Edition only Bonus Track Market Day, 4 tracks from nouveaumatic – that would be the four for which I own the publishing: Twilight Rain (Red Moon Version), Sao Paulo (Bass in my Pocket), In the Arms of Love (1982 Fragment Version), and Quiet Dawn (Spacedrops Version), and Jon Gagan’s Transit will be up on iTunes within a couple of weeks.

Those of you reading this Diary for a while know that I have been working on this since June 2003, when I tried to get nouveaumatic on iTunes. I am pretty excited about this finally happening!!

The work in the studio is going well, and I am right on schedule. Winter Rose is almost done. I need to do one guitar solo and then fine-tune the mixes. I am glad I am engineering this album by myself, as I did with La Semana, because there is one song that makes me break out into spontaneous dancing every time I work on it…


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