Archive for 2005-11

Recording for Echoes

02005-11-30 @ 13:11

Jon and Davo getting ready for a recording:

Davo under Chandelier - 2


02005-11-28 @ 14:11

Regarding THIS post from last week: Eric H. suggests Trackmap, which looks interesting, but requires downloading or creating a track, i.e. series of waypoints. I want to be able to add GPS waypoints as I find them – e.g. a new venue every day.


02005-11-28 @ 13:11

New York Daily News – Entertainment – 5 Live
He’s your basic German-born Fabio doppelganger with a Chinese-German father and a Hungarian mother who has introduced the world to an entirely new way of thinking about flamenco guitar. You know the type, right?

Hm, no I don’t…

Monday: Shiny vs better

02005-11-28 @ 12:11

Reflection of my Camper/Wabi shoes in the dirty Chrome of the bus.

While our bus drivers were washing the salt off the busses this morning we talked about chrome and shiny… My suggestion is that this culture/society needs to change it’s visual preferences from shiny chrome to something that is easier to clean – or does not show dirt as much. The reason for that is that to keep chrome shiny you either need to expend a lot of energy or you need to use harsh chemicals that find their way into air or water. More Wabi-Sabi – less shiny!
HERE is another post regarding Wabi-Sabi.

Sunday Morning

02005-11-28 @ 11:11

Sellersville, Pennsylvania – sounds like a name from a movie!

Boris and Adam came to last night’s show at the Westhampton PAC. They got to see and hear the difference between playing short sets at B.B.King’s in a noisy environment (kitchen staff and waiters yelling, bad sounding P.A. etc.) where the musician’s can barely hear themselves – and performing in a nice theater with good sound and without time constrains. I am glad Boris didn’t come all the way to the USA from Bavaria to go home with only the B.B.King’s shows in his memories…

I don’t particularly enjoy performing at B.B.King’s, but the New York audience is always fantastic and makes it worthwhile. So if you are from New York and you were at the show on Friday – thank you!

So, today Sellersville. Two shows – a matinee and an evening show.

Flow vs Concentration

02005-11-26 @ 11:11

Conversation in the dressing room after the second show at B.B.King centered around the flow of awareness during a musical performance. I explained that in my view consciousness naturally flows and does not rest in one activity, that in fact concentration is not effective for a performance.

Attention flows from that harmonic is a little off – try to bend the note to the lights are hot in the back of my neck to I cannot hear the bass clearly enough to that cajon is funky etc. Now, if one were to concentrate on the melody only, one’s rhythm might be off, if one were to focus on the bowing of the string, the flow of the melody might be off etc. If one gets stuck on just one aspect of the music (rhythm, pitch, melody, sound-production etc.) the result will sound wooden and not musical. In other words, letting our attention naturally flow between all of the different elements of making music is better than concentrating. Concentrating is what we have to do when we learn to play an instrument, or when we learn a new piece – but it is not the way to perform music. This flow-concept is something I feel can be applied to everything from creating art to cooking to parenting.

Another example where we use this flow on a daily basis: when we learn how to drive we concentrate so hard on releasing the clutch without stalling the car that we might rev the engine much higher than is necessary – which we suddenly realize. After a while we learn to let our attention flow naturally between checking the rearview mirrors, looking at the distance to the car ahead, checking the RPM based on hearing the engine, shifting, breaking, steering… The worst thing we can do is stare at the blacktop ahead – that is exhausting. Much better to let one’s eyes and attention flow to where they are needed.

This morning I taped a one hour radio show for NPR called The Song is You. The host, Bonnie Grist, played some music from Winter Rose as well as some music she allowed me to pick – Jimi Hendrix, Brian Eno (from On Land), Bjork (from Vespertine) – and we talked about music. It was wonderful to talk with a radio person who loves music and is knowledgeable and passionate about radio – rather than a commercial radio jock who reads the name of the next song in rotation from a playlist on their computer screen…

When we were done with the recording of the show Bonnie asked whether I had ever considered doing my own radio show, saying that I have an interesting eclectic taste and something to say. I said that it had crossed my mind and that I would love to do something for either Public radio or Satellite radio. Eclectic music – some world music, flamenco, latin, ambient etc. Call me, let’s have lunch and talk about my radio show.

Friday Morning

02005-11-25 @ 11:11

Jon and I are sitting on the bus in New Jersey with a view of the Manhattan skyline, which is ablaze in glorious sunshine. It is cold, but not as cold as it was last night. Toronto was 13F when we left. Luckily our driver decided to leave earlier than planned, because Buffalo received 11 inches of snow right after we came through.
leaving Toronto
This is a photo Steve took as our busses were leaving the hotel in Toronto.

Looking out of the window of the bus as we were leaving the hotel, I noticed a person apparently attempting to sleep on the sidewalk in a cardboard box – at 13F! I wonder how many homeless people die of exposure in cities like Toronto, Buffalo or Chicago each winter.

I had a nice Oryoki Thanksgiving in Toronto. I had decided to celebrate the holiday by eating “just enough” (that’s the translation of the Japanese word Oryoki) and had only one meal, a wonderful lunch at Terroni. It felt more like a “Thanksgiving” than the big traditional meals.

Google vs Writers/Publishers

02005-11-24 @ 12:11

David’s Journal: Current
Our tools we’ve developed, language included, deal with the parts of our brains that have allowed us to achieve a lot, but it is not necessarily the part that most often moves us and motivates us to action, love, hatred, fear, ambition and awe. The part we know and are comfortable with seems to be the part we use to justify those actions, but it is not always the originator.


Paraphrasing Wittgenstein, my thoughts are limited by my language, might be only half true – there are other languages out there that we use every day, comfortably, fluently and effortlessly, but they are beyond the reach of Google and binary bits, so far.

Excellent post by David Byrne on Google vs writers/publishers. The book publishing industry is not very different from big music biz and I suspect we will see a lot of changes in the near future.

Thanksgiving Lunch

02005-11-24 @ 11:11

Very nice lunch at Terroni on Victoria Street today, not far from the Winter Garden Theater and our hotel. HERE is the menu and HERE is a map. I enjoyed the Segrato Rosso wine by Planeta very much also. Unfortunately the coffee was not illy although there was an illy poster on the wall. Nice restaurant and good food!

Toronto last Night

02005-11-24 @ 07:11

Winter Garden, Toronto
You can click on the above photo to view Just Me’s slideshow of photos from last night’s performance in Toronto, a performance I enjoyed very much. The venue was beautiful and sounded great and the audience was as wonderful as I remembered Toronto audiences to be. We were having some gremlins in the monitor system, but the performance transcended those.
Winter Garden, Toronto - Ceiling1
Photo of the ceiling. About the Winter Garden Theater:

Designated a national historic site in 1982, the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Centre is the last “double-decker” or stacked Edwardian theatre facility in the world. Built in 1913 as the flagship of the famous Loews chain of vaudeville theatres, the 1,500-seat Elgin theatre (downstairs) is a sumptuous affair with royal boxes and exquisite gilded plaster details. Upstairs, however, is the magical Winter Garden, named for the trompe l’oeil paintings of vines and pastoral, and the fabulous simulated fire-proof garden that hangs from the roof, including thousands of beech boughs. Multi-million dollar renovations mean that for all the ambiance, these two theatres are state-of-the-art.

Toronto Soundcheck
Steve’s photo of the soundcheck.

Water Bridge

02005-11-24 @ 07:11

A Bridge of Water

Check out this more than half-mile long water bridge over the Elbe River in Germany. It joins the Elbe-Havel canal to the Mittelland canal near the eastern town of Magdeburg.
(Via Biz Stone, Genius)

How does a ship cross the river?

Rome’s Pantheon

02005-11-23 @ 12:11

Rome’s Pantheon: A Grand Survivor in a Timeless City – New York Times
Not even the best photograph captures the mysterious interplay of light and darkness. To begin with, the Pantheon is a perfect space; the diameter of the rotunda is the same as its height: 142 feet. It is one of the only Roman structures to survive intact since antiquity. Perhaps the invading Barbarians were so overwhelmed by the monument that they didn’t take it apart brick by brick, as they did so many others. Although the Pantheon was consecrated as a church in 609, Christianity has only a tenuous hold on it. This cavernous space, the umbilicus of history, speaks of something so much older and deeper.


02005-11-23 @ 11:11

After an hour and fifteen minutes at the border we are on the road to Toronto. Load-in will be a little delayed, but we’ll be fine.

Wednesday Morning

02005-11-23 @ 10:11

It is 10:00AM and we just arrived at the Border. Coming from Boston, where we played 2 shows and could not leave until way past midnight, we hit bad weather and that is why we are a little late. We have 2 hours to cross the border and to make it to the venue in Toronto for load-in, which should be enough. Touring in Winter is different for sure. I am looking forward to performing tonight, since we have not played in Toronto in about five years! I haven’t a lot of time, but will catch up with my Diary today and tomorrow.

New York Morning

02005-11-23 @ 09:11

Good thing we decided to leave Toronto a little sooner. Right after we made it through Buffalo they got 11 inches of snow. Here in New Jersey the sun is shining and the skyline of Manhattan looks glorious. Soon we will cross over to “the city” to face the black friday traffic – busiest shopping day of the year.
Toronto was 13F and we saw a person on the sidewalk, apparently attempting to sleep in a cardboard box. I wonder how many of the homeless die of exposure in cities like Toronto or Buffalo every winter.

Boston, Day 2

02005-11-22 @ 13:11

It is raining. My crew is setting up on the tiny stage at Sculley’s downstairs. I left while they were wondering how they would get all seven of us onto the stage. Steve (Lighting Director) looked at the handful of lights hanging in front of the stage and was probably wondering why he had gotten up out of bed this morning…

Some people like seeing bands here – one man told me yesterday that he had driven up from Kansas City (or was it Kansas?) to see us at Scullers. Two shows in one night can be a compromise and in this case tonight the shows will run only 75 minutes each.

I forget to set up my foot stool for the first set and my foot keeps falling asleep. That stool really works great!

They charge $10 for internet at this DoubleTree Hotel. Why don’t they charge for electricity, water, heat, TV? It makes no sense to me. Makes me wonder: right now I am paying $50/month for highspeed at my house, another $20 to T-Mobil for HotSpot while I am traveling and probably another 20-40 in daily fees at hotels… seems to me a phone company/internet provider that could deliver highspeed via a wireless card would be very successful.


02005-11-22 @ 08:11

Google Map Rome
Maybe this exists already? If it does not, it just seems like something Google should do. A web site that allows a person to map their travels according to GPS locations or points – see above Google Map that shows a point I took while staying in Rome last month. This would be a great way to share locations with people.

The interface would be a map of the world that would show points and annotations of those points. These points would be tagged/labelled – i.e. restaurant italy rome etc. – and some of the points would be public while others could remain private (friends or family). Then one could search: show me all of the restaurants Ottmar tagged in Rome and their exact locations. And then one could map the easiest way to get there from hotel xyz.

Over time one could view one’s travels as lines across the globe, a different color for every year.

What happened to Sony?

02005-11-22 @ 08:11

Sony’s rootkit infringes on software copyrights
Close examination of the rootkit that Sony’s audio CDs attack their customers’ PCs with has revealed that their malicious software is built on code that infringes on copyright. Indications are that Sony has included the LAME music encoder, which is licensed under the Lesser General Public License (LGPL), which requires that those who use it attribute the original software and publish some of the code they write to use the library. Sony has done none of this.

The evidence against Sony is compelling, and this further reveals the hypocrisy of Sony’s actions. Sony claims that it needs to install dangerous, malicious, underhanded software on its customers’ computers to protect its copyrights, but in order to write this malware, it has no compunction about infringing on the copyrights of public-spirited software authors who make their works available under free software licenses like the GPL.

(Via BoingBoing)

Update – and now Sony/BMG are getting sued by the Texas Attorney General because of the spyware contained in the copy-protection of the CDs.

This is a couple of weeks old already, but won’t go away. Sony made a mistake and I would guess the Japanese HQ is upset over this loss of face. Was it a terrible mistake to purchase Columbia Records and Movies in the Eighties? What has happened to that great and very innovating company that was so influential in the Seventies? Apple is the new Sony some people say. I don’t own any Sony stuff anymore. It’s been replaced by other brands who innovate more.


02005-11-21 @ 12:11

Boston Common Park + Hawk - 1
Beautiful day for walking. A cab dropped me off at the park and as walked into the Boston Commons I noticed a hawk sitting on top of the black statue.

I lived HERE 25 years ago. See note and links to a couple photos from 1980.

wabi shoe
Bought this shoe at Camper on Newbury Street. Incredibly comfortable inside and even in the Toronto cold! From the horrible Flash web site of Camper:

Less Components. Most other footwear and trainers need about 40 operations and 60 elements to make them. WABI shoes use a minimum of operations and only 3 independent components, which are easy to recycle and form part of a more sustainable process.

Sunday Morning

02005-11-20 @ 13:11

Manhattan Reflection
Manhattan reflected in our bus.


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