Archive for 2006-02


02006-02-28 @ 10:02

Vic2rsBlog: The Spiritual Trinity
First, Buddha-Dharma-Sanga, simply translated: Inspiration-Process-Community, or Example-Guidelines-Empowerment. Well, it seems to me this ‘trinity’ must be some sort of basic spiritual truth because it can be seen everywhere. How many ways can the same ‘trinity’ be expressed? How about: Goal-Plan-Action, or even more basic Love-Wisdom-Power.

It is true that we see trinities everywhere and we certainly find them in many religious or spiritual teachings. But, could it be that the trinity is simply a basic reality of the brain? That this way of looking at our world might be influenced by the basic structure of our brain? This is an item on MIT News from two years ago:

While computers process information using a binary system of zeros and ones, the neuron, Liu discovered, communicates its electrical signals in trinary – utilizing not only zeros and ones, but also minus ones. This allows additional interactions to occur during processing. For instance, two signals can add together or cancel each other out, or different pieces of information can link up or try to override one another.

On the other hand – we might say that our reality, the world, is simply constructed with threes at its root and of course our brain had to be structured in the same way… Let’s chew on that for a few days.


02006-02-28 @ 09:02

Let’s make our own – or – bridging the gap!

We are selling more CDs than we are selling downloads and our ListeningLounge is ahead of the curve. That is not surprising. On the other hand we will be ready when the curve approaches! I get very excited when I see downloads purchased from exotic locations around the globe and have no doubt that this is the way we will buy all music in the not-so-distant future.

The other day we had a request for 25 CDs from a company and I started thinking. What if we could offer a couple of CD compilations using my own, Jon’s and Steve Stephen’s music from the ListeningLounge? What if we could manufacture any of these CDs overnight? What if we acquire a simple CD duplication/printing system that allows us to manufacture small runs of 50-100 CDs ourselves? You have a celebration and want every one of your guests to go home with a CD commemorating the event: we manufacture 100 CDs and ship them to you the next day…

Then I thought that this might be the perfect bridging-the-gap between CDs and downloads solution: we could manufacture Jon’s upcoming Transit2 and my next album ourselves in small batches…

We might have to come up with a “unique” packaging idea – something that makes our product stand out a little more and something that travels/ships better than the damned jewel case…

I imagine the little machine would run for several days in a row to manufacture all of the CDs for a tour – or we could burn CDs while we are on the road, even… We could manufacture CDs imprinted with the date, venue and city of the next concert – the perfect take-home memorabilia.

Drawings of Leonardo

02006-02-28 @ 08:02

moleskinerie: The Drawings of Leonardo Da Vinci
The Drawings of Leonardo Da Vinci

Believing preceeds Knowing

02006-02-28 @ 08:02

Some thoughts regarding the book The End of Faith by Sam Harris, which I already mentioned HERE and HERE.

I am still not quite finished with the book. Either I am a slow reader or I am reading too many books at the same time. Probably a little bit of both. Well, overall I am very glad that I read the book because it gave me a lot of food for thought, but I find the author’s writing a little smug and even angry. There is a lot of data and more than just a little of it seems presented with an emotionally charge, which is understandable given the subject, but not necessarily useful. However, I still highly recommend the book. In fact it should be used as reading material in school/college.

I think there are two elements to Faith. For one faith/believing is a basic default action of the brain. Faith and belief and pre-judice are all part of the same action that creates a perceived order in the brain. Order feels good to the brain and releases feel-good hormones… This default action of he brain is not a bad thing as it can save time, but it is one that needs to be questioned. Example: you walk down a street and in the distance you see a man who seems to be drunk as he is not walking in a straight line. Your brain might “believe” that the person could be a potential threat and at the very least would waste our time and suggests that we cross the street. On the other hand you could ignore that suggestion and encounter the man, and find out that he is a poet and a great guy. You might even help him call a taxi.

Simply put, believing is faster then knowing. Knowing anything takes time. Believing is like falling in love – we know nothing about a person and yet we are hopelessly in love… knowing somebody means that we have put in time. We hear a certain instrument and fall in love with it, believing that we want to learn more. Knowledge and mastery of that instrument comes from countless hours of confronting that instrument and ourselves in relation to it – years of practicing and playing.

Believing is at the beginning of the journey, not the end. From believing grows determination and practice. From practice grows mastery and knowledge. From mastery and knowledge grows understanding and compassion.

It seems to me that the problem is that too many people are happy to believe and don’t move on through practice. Believing is easy. Practice is hard. As Victor pointed out in his comment, at the beginning of any practice is the belief that the practice will improve one’s life – but therein lies the difference: can you make the shift from believing that a certain practice will improve your life to actually practice for years? Not an easy shift to make in our culture.

I am still working on these ideas and my mind is going a mile a minute connecting dots…


02006-02-27 @ 11:02

The Mediaburn Radio Weblog
TRANSIT by Jazz / World Composer Jon Gagan
Jon Gagan’s Transit is a synthesis of timeless jazz and world sounds. Jon’s artistry as a bassist and composer really shines on this cool voyage through 13 tunes.


02006-02-27 @ 06:02

French Word-A-Day
Une ville sans cloche est comme un aveugle sans sa canne.
A town without a bell is like a blind man without his cane.
– Jean Fischart

And from the liner notes for The Time of Bells 2 by Steven Feld:

After twenty-five years of recording rainforest soundscapes in Papua New Guinea, I’ve started to listen to Europe. I’m struck by a sonic resemblance: bells stand to European time as birds do o rainforest time. Daily time, seasonal time, work time, ritual time, social time, collective time, cosmological time – all have their parallels, with rainforest birds sounding as quotidian clocks and spirit voices and European bells heralding civil, festive, and religious time.

Dented Cone

02006-02-26 @ 16:02

Dented Cone
Any ideas how I could fix this dented cone without opening the speaker?


02006-02-26 @ 16:02

Tetsuya’s – About Tetsuya
Arriving in Sydney in 1982 with nothing more than a small suitcase and a love of food, Tetsuya landed his first job as a kitchenhand at Fishwives in Surry Hills. A year later he was introduced to Sydney chef Tony Bilson, who was looking for a Japanese cook to make sushi. It was there at Tony’s kitchen at Kinsela’s Tetsuya realised that he wanted to cook, and that he could indeed cook very well. Here also he learnt the classical French technique which forms part of his style today.

‘I made a lot of things up along the way, and luckily for me, people like the way it tasted.’

It’s looking more and more as if we might tour in Australia this Summer. And that means Sydney and Sydney means Tetsuya, arguably one of the finest chefs in the world and my personal favorite. I arrived in the U.S. from Germany at the afe of 20 and became a musician and Tetsuya arrived in Australia from Japan at age 22 and became a cook. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to seeing him again.

Unpimp your Auto

02006-02-26 @ 08:02 / design magazine resource
Vee Dub, Reprezenting Deutschland
Volkswagen: Un-pimp Your Ride. Part I, Part II, & Part III

Oh man, that is very funny! Thigh slapping, laugh-until-it-hurts funny. I like You Tube – it is better than TV!


02006-02-25 @ 11:02

Last year, the Lady Tennant Stradivari violin broke record by selling for $2.03 million. This May, once again at Christie’s, another Stradivari violin may well break that record. The violin, known by the indelicate name of the ‘The Hammer’ after the 19th century Swedish collector Christian Hammer, has been given a pre-sale estimate of between $1.5 million and $2.5 million. ‘The Hammer’ was made in 1707. This is significant because 1700 to 1720 was the master’s ‘golden period.’ The Lady Tennant was created in 1699 so The Hammer may bring in a little more money than that violin.

I am glad I play guitar… I wonder whether these valuable violins are loaned to top players or whether they languish in some temperatur and humidity-controlled safe somewhere. I imagine a violin is like a guitar or any instrument – if it does not get played it deteriorates.

Fun with Notes

02006-02-24 @ 22:02

How Evil Are You?

02006-02-24 @ 17:02

Blogthings – How Evil Are You?
How Evil Are You?

Check all that apply to you
Thanks E.No


02006-02-24 @ 12:02

Widescreen Moleskine! I bought a few of these for China/Tibet this Fall. The extraordinary Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos was said to occasionally have held a piece of paper to the window of his place in Rio de Janeiro to trace the line of the mountains onto music paper. That would then become a theme for his next composition.

I will take these widescreen (actually reporter-notebook) moleskine books with me to make notes, but will also draw some of the “skyline”. Maybe I will write music based on themes drawn from the Tibetan mountains and maybe I can make a whole album based on the experience.

My dream would be to create a whole experience based on my notes, music and photos. That could be a huge downloadable file or torrent, a DVD, or a book of writing and photos with an enclosed CD of music.

Worked on some scales taken from Iraqi music today…


02006-02-24 @ 11:02

But what is happiness? Here’s a man who thinks he has some answers: ‘People in the West have got no happier in the last 50 years. They have become much richer, they work much less, they have longer holidays, they travel more, they live longer, and they are healthier. But they are no happier. This shocking fact should be the starting point for much of our social science.’ The speaker is economist Richard Layard (Lord Layard to his peers). Layard believes that ‘happiness depends on a lot more than your purchasing power. It depends on your tastes, which you acquire from your environment – and on the whole social context in which you live’. Layard compiled data collected in the US by the General Social Survey and the Gallup Organisation which asked people to rate their own levels of happiness. The results are shown in the diagram. Broadly similar results were found in Europe and Japan; despite a 6-fold rise in income per head, the Japanese show no change in happiness levels since 1950.


Students were asked to choose between two imaginary worlds; in the first they would earn $50,000 a year while the average for everybody else would be $25,000, while in the second they would earn $100,000 against an average of $250,000. Conventional economics would suggest that any rational individual would choose the latter option since they would be twice as well off. Actually, a majority plumped for the former; they were happier to be poorer if that meant they were higher in the pecking order. Interestingly, the same did not apply when the researchers looked at holidays. In one world, students would have two weeks off while others had one week’s vacation; in the second they would have four weeks off and everybody else would have eight. This time only 20% of the students plumped for the first option, suggesting that they valued extra leisure more highly than they valued extra income.

(Via Click Opera) Continue reading HERE.

If you knew you were going to die in a year, which would you value more highly – money or time? What if you had a month or a week? What if you have 40 or 50 years. Does it make a difference how long you have?

I am not surprised by these findings, but I don’t necessarily agree with Lord Layard’s reasons for happiness. Taste, which we acquire from our environment – and the whole social context in which we live? I don’t think so. I think happiness is more personal in nature. Influenced by the social context for sure, but not necessarily a result of it.

Stay Back!

02006-02-23 @ 11:02

Stay Back! Jessica’s in Aisle 4 | Jessica Simpson :
Before shopping at Wild Oats organic food market, the actress (who’s been in New Mexico filming her role as a Wal-Mart cashier in Employee of the Month) called ahead to let management know she was coming. Store employees were asked not to approach her and were told to make sure she wasn’t bothered while making her selections. And while she was there, her entourage surrounded her so that she could stroll through the store without being approached.

I heard about this today. What a moron! At least I had a laugh while fixing my nails with Krazy Glue so I can get back to practicing.

Current Listening

02006-02-23 @ 10:02

In the past weeks I have been listening to a lot of oud music, inspired by Rahim AlHaj’s show at GIG.

Art of the Oud – Munir Bashir
Second Baghdad – Rahim AlHaj
Iraqi Music in a Time of War – Rahim AlHaj
Astrakan Cafe – Anouar Brahem

From Rahim’s bio:

Rahim studied under the renowned Munir Bashir, considered by many to be the greatest oud player ever, and Salim Abdul Kareem, at the Institute of Music in Baghdad, Iraq.

Munir Bashir’s album Art of the Oud is fantastic, but it also shows what an innovative artist Rahim is. Rahim is bringing a lot of new vocabulary to the oud. When we talked before his performance at Gig I commented on his ability to play chords on the fretless oud and he said “Yes, I play a lot of chords”. That is something you won’t find much on traditional oud recordings. At times Rahim’s playing reminds me of a full circle. Flamenco owes a lot of its character to Zyriab. From Wikipedia:

Zyriab was a gifted pupil of Ishaq al-Mawsili. He had to leave Baghdad when his skills as a musician surpassed those of his teacher. He moved to Córdoba in southern Spain and was accepted as court musician in the court of Abd al-Rahman II of the Umayyad Dynasty (822-52).

Abd al-Rahman II was a great patron of the arts and Zyriab was given a great deal of freedom. He established one of the first schools of music, introduced the oud into Europe, and made changes to the structure of the oud adding more strings. He was supposedly a great virtuoso on the oud and an amazing singer.

Besides his musical achievements he also introduced into Europe other elements of Middle Eastern culture, including etiquette, cooking, fashion, and toothpaste among others.

Paco de Lucia even named his album from 1992 Zyryab.

Well, I hear some Flamenco in Rahim’s playing. Full circle.

Pigs and Latin Music

02006-02-23 @ 09:02

Pigs at the SEYF

Multimedia presentation by the Star-Banner in Florida, using Steve’s excellent piece Miranda.

Just remember: if you are making a movie or a slideshow, go ahead and download a piece of music from the ListeningLounge for your multi-media presentation.


02006-02-22 @ 13:02

Weekly Words of Wisdom
Sometimes there would be a rush of noisy visitors and the Silence of the monastery would be shattered. This would upset the disciples; not the Master, who seemed just as content with the noise as with the Silence. To his protesting disciples he said one day,
“Silence is not the absence of sound, but the absence of self.”

~ Adyashanti

Yes, but… better to have pair of Bose Noise Canceling headphones or Sensaphonic (this is what I use) or Westone ear plugs/filters at the ready…


02006-02-22 @ 12:02

Copyright office head denounces “big mistake” of extending copyright
The head of the US copyright office has accused Congress of making a mistake by extending the length of copyright in America, calling the term ‘too long,’ and saying that Congress made a ‘big mistake.’

The remarkable admission came at the tail end of an event held at the UNC Law School on November 2, 2005, when Mary-Beth Peters, the Register of Copyrights, and a panel of copyright scholars, lawyers and bureaucrats convened to deliberate copyright in public.

(Via BoingBoing)

Alright. Go Mary-Beth Peters! Couldn’t agree more.


02006-02-22 @ 07:02

Anais Nin: – The Quotations Page
We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.
Anais Nin


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