Archive for 2006-03


02006-03-31 @ 23:03

Carol sent me an interview I gave to MOR in 1994, I believe. I think I came from recording in Singapore in March and flew to MOR in Florida a few days later. You can download the clip HERE.

Google Fight

02006-03-31 @ 21:03

Google Fight : Make a fight with GoogleFight
Fun. What a party game.


02006-03-30 @ 14:03

this will make you happy |
chevrolet recently decided to launch a similar contest, but i guess they haven’t actually checked the entrants, as evidenced HERE.

Truthful advertising – at last!
Thanks DK.


02006-03-30 @ 12:03 | 03/30/2006 | She’s just so bad, and we love her for it
If you’re a man, she’ll make you crazy for her. Make you leave your fiancée for her. Make you desert the army even. So she can love you, and oh, how she can love you. Until she grows tired of you. Or gets hot for another guy. Why? Because . . .

Bumper Stickers

02006-03-29 @ 08:03

Digital Digressions: Life Observations in a nutshell: Best bumper stickers
The box said Windows 2000 or better. So I installed Linux.

Many more where that one came from.

Tibetan & Himalayan Digital Library

02006-03-29 @ 08:03

The Tibetan & Himalayan Digital Library
The Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library is an international community using Web-based technologies to integrate diverse knowledge about Tibet and the Himalayas for free access from around the world.

Breakfast with Basho

02006-03-29 @ 07:03

The intersection between no preference and making wise (and other-wise) choices. It needs to flow naturally is all I can say, because we need both sides of that coin. There is no absolute separate from the relative – and I prefer the word relating to the word relative… unity and duality are forever intertwined… The trick, then, is to be able to flow from resting in no preference to jumping into action and making oneself useful.

Visited Countries

02006-03-29 @ 07:03

create your own visited countries map

Tuesday Evening @ Upaya

02006-03-28 @ 23:03

Tonight I had the honor and privilege to play guitar in the Upaya zendo for participants of the Being with Dying professional training program in integral end-of-life care.

The room was filled with physicians, nurses, healers. Truly beautiful people who see, and deal with, a lot of pain and suffering. I started with This Spring release 10,000 Butterflies, continued with Silence: No more Longing and The Longest Night, and finished up with Snakecharmer.

Roshi called for an encore, which was some kind of Bulerias, interrupted several times by impromptu tuning of strings which didn’t cope well with the rising temperatures in the room. That in itself was an interesting lesson. At which point do other people than myself realize that the B-string is out-of-tune and I should stop to tune it? Also, how to get back into the swing of the piece after the interruption of tuning…

I do know that I enjoy this solo guitar playing very much. It does not replace the palette and power of a whole band, rather it is a completely different beast altogether. A small drawing, rather than a big color painting. A personal, intimate story, that can constantly be adjusted, rather than the big movie with a cast and a crew… I do want it both/all.

Speech Accent Archive

02006-03-28 @ 22:03

Speech Accent Archive
The speech accent archive uniformly presents a large set of speech samples from a variety of language backgrounds. Native and non-native speakers of English read the same paragraph and are carefully transcribed. The archive is used by people who wish to compare and analyze the accents of different English speakers.


02006-03-28 @ 22:03

Jon is like a lightning rod for me. I have a lot of ideas around that man and it’s always fun to knock around ideas with him. Today we were talking about how looping musical parts has become so easy and as a result so boring that much of the music is just a few bars repeated over and over. Anybody with a laptop can do it. Now, what would be more interesting is to contrast very open “timeless” improvised sections with very tight loopy groove sections. Yes, Jazz musicians do that a lot – improvising open parts, BUT they don’t usually enjoy a pretty chorus anymore. So, the idea would be to contrast improvised group recordings with very tight, and yes, predictable chori. Imagine walking out on thin ice and then finding a path, then floating on ice and then finding a bridge. Wilderness/Home/Wilderness/Home. Searching. Finding. Repeat. Following a verse that stretches time and melody, we arrive at a chorus that beckons and seduces and is comforting and familiar. Naturally, because different recording methods would be used for verse and chorus, the instruments would sound different from section to section, but I don’t think that would bother me. It would add to mystery. This would truly be digital recording. The medium is the message. I mean working with a beat/bar grid is obviously something digital, but it’s kindergarten digital rather than advanced digital. I am talking about a hybrid technique of recording that combines the quality of making music in the moment (no grid) with the comfort of a pop chorus (grid). Using both instead of one OR the other.

I suspect that grids and loops might be the sort of thing people might not enjoy as much 20 years hence. Those were the barbaric early days of digital recording, they might say then. They had discovered grids and loops and it took 10 years for audience and musicians to get sick of that and move on.

There are some radio stations that play exclusively grid and loop music and you can nod your head to same beat for hours… like a clock…

By the way, a little while ago Jon showed me the intro for a Transit2 piece that keeps playing in my mind. He contrasted human drumming with drummachine bits and had fieldsounds and synth floating over and behind it… some parts were changing as a filter slowly modulated the frequencies. Very very cool. Transit2 will be an amazing album.

PS: Full Disclosure. The album La Semana, which I still consider to be one of my finest moments, is a grid and loop recording. After my son was born I was withdrawn and did not want to deal with an engineer or with musicians – except for Jon of course, but he is family – and so I did the entire album by myself, except for the bass performances. All of the percussion tracks you hear were recycled and looped from earlier performances, mostly Dave from The Santa Fe Sessions, but also other stuff from my 15 year library of sounds (everything from 1990 on has been digitized and is available to me in 24/48 quality). In order to make the percussion loops less obvious I did a lot of new palmas and made many thousands of small edits to the loops in order to have enough variation. It was an incredible experience making that album, from the depth of lost to the joy of finding.

Tuesday Morning

02006-03-28 @ 14:03

Last night Stephen Duros sent me the stereo mix file of a beautiful song for his new album via YouSendIt. I will play a solo in my studio this week and send it back. Musical collaborations in the 21st century. His new album will be very very nice.

Jon came by this morning and brought new parts for an opium-ized version of Dreaming on the Starlight Train and Quiet Dawn. Several new bass and synth parts. Very trippy. My electric guitar solo on Dreaming on the Starlight Train is holding up very nicely. Decided that instead of re-working ITAOL I will work on a Euphoria3 CD. This album would re-work slow material from In the Arms of Love, La Semana, and Winter Rose – plenty of nice slow material there! A re-working of Bells for example could be very appealing. So ITAOL 2007 is now morphing into Euphoria3, which will be very down-tempo, dreamy, and multi-layered. We are adding lots of field-sounds, new ones as well as some old ones from my extensive mid-nineties sound-fishing + field-recording expeditions. A discovery album.

Ideas for follow-ups to Tears in the Rain include an album called Duets (that’s just a working title), for which I would play/improvise with several of my favorite musicians. I could imagine a few songs with Rahim playing oud, some with Jon playing fretless electric bass guitar or upright acoustic bass, some with Dave playing percussion, and some with Robby playing Kora or Cajon or Djembe (or one of the many other instruments that man plays – I hear he gets great sounds out of a silver knife and spoon as well!!).

My current take on recording is this: I prefer the quality of uncompressed 24/96k for solos or duets, but for band stuff compressed 24/44.1 or 48 is fine. 24/96 is just so many bits wasted on band music… Once I have a bunch of instruments plus percussion, the dynamics have to be lowered via compression or parts will get lost in the mix. But for the solo or duo stuff a greater dynamic range is wonderful and useful.

The Bounty of Rome

02006-03-28 @ 10:03

The Bounty of Rome – New York Times
Say Rome to me and my first thoughts are not of the swirling traffic around the marble wedding cake that is a monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, nor of the eaten-out stone melon that is the Colosseum, nor of the ‘Dolce Vita’ set as immortalized by Fellini. Rather, I think first of the creamy foam, or spuma, that tops lightly sugared espresso at the always jammed Sant’Eustachio around the corner from the Pantheon, the coffee bar that I still consider this city’s best.

Yes, indeed.

Women’s Brains

02006-03-28 @ 08:03

pashmina blog – women’s brains and developing intuition
The New Feminine Brain : How Women Can Develop Their Inner Strengths, Genius, and Intuition – by Mona Lisa Schulz

This book is stunning! Every woman needs to read this book, because not only does the author present us with groundbreaking research (easy to understand, btw) on our brains, but also she tells us what this means for us in our daily lives. If you have ever wondered about your own MOOD, ANXIETY, MEMORY or ATTENTION than this book will give you many valuable answers.

What I found most fascinating is that health problems we are facing as women today are affected by the dramatic shifts in women’s roles, responsibilities and lifestyles. And these changes are only as recent as 60 years old. Our brains are entirely different from our mothers, and grandmothers, because we’ve had to adapt to a very different world. This has made our bodies (that don’t evolve as fast) a sensitive and reactive landscape to compensate for the changes in deep patterns and structures going on in our brains.

Music Farm

02006-03-27 @ 12:03

RAI – Music Farm
Nel 2002, dopo diverse partecipazioni alla trasmissione televisiva di Rai Due, Tops of the Pops. Leda pubblica il singolo Mamasita, che anticipa il terzo album la cui uscita è prevista per la primavera 2006.

I hear that Leda Battisti is participating in an Italian reality TV show called Music Farm. Her third album apparently is scheduled for this Spring. She told me that they will release my version of one of her songs which was supposed to be just a bunch of my guitars, a very funky bass (Jon recorded it in the backlounge of the bus during our last tour) and Dave’s percussion with her voice. I write supposed, because I while I asked for no synths or additional production to be added, you never know.

Music Everywhere

02006-03-27 @ 12:03

Click opera – Ubiquity is the abyss
Music is a good thing. Of course it is. I’m a musician, I’ve dedicated my life to it, and I know few better things. Music can be sacred, mysterious, otherworldly, intimate, moving, extraordinary. But, increasingly, music is the opposite of those things. It’s profane, banal, public, shared, irritating, ordinary and ubiquitous. It’s in every restaurant and every cafe and every car and every office and on every computer and on every website. It’s in each ear, snaking in on a thin white wire. You listen to music all day, every day. Time without music is downtime. It’s the triumph of music! Or is it? Maybe ubiquity signals quite the opposite; music’s defeat. For music, ubiquity is the abyss.

I have thought about this many times. What was it like when any bright color could send a person into a different state of mind, because in their daily life they encountered mainly muted earth-tones. What was it like when the sound of a musician playing his instrument made everyone in a village drop what they were doing to run and listen? When everything sacred becomes profane and banal, does it mean that nothing is sacred – or does perception simply shift. Maybe it is how we become more sophisticated. We hear ubiquitous music and quickly determine whether it is banal and irritating or mysterious, intimate or extraordinary. When music is everywhere, music with more depth and mystery has to be created in order to move us.

Restaurants like to create an atmosphere by playing music over speakers. It is a quick fix designed to take attention away from other problems. I generally do not enjoy music in restaurants. To me it feels like bringing dinner to a concert. It is equally disturbing. That said, it seems to become harder and harder to find restaurants where the music is played softly and even harder to find restaurants without music altogether.


02006-03-27 @ 10:03

Arab-American Psychiatrist Wafa Sultan: There is No Clash of Civilizations but a Clash between the Mentality of the Middle Ages and That of the 21st Century.

(Via c4chaos – formerly known as coolmel)

Beach Property – cheap!

02006-03-27 @ 09:03

Faster melting of polar ice dampens future of Shore –
Scientists underestimated rise in sea level, studies say.
Polar ice sheets are melting faster than most authorities realize and could eventually submerge coastal communities worldwide, according to a pair of studies released today. Researchers from the University of Arizona and the National Center for Atmospheric Researchers noted that sea levels rose 20 feet during a warming period 129,000 years ago – and said the waters could rise just as high sometime after 2100 if global temperatures continue to climb. Maryland would be hit harder than most areas, with the Eastern Shore particularly vulnerable, said J. Court Stevenson, a professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences at Horn Point, who was not involved in the studies published today.

‘We’re talking about our grandchildren having to face this,’ he said.

I read that 22% of Americans are certain that the world will end within 50 years with the second coming of Christ. Another 22% are not certain, but think that this scenario is very likely. If those numbers are correct we are looking at 44% of Americans not really caring whether these shores will be under water by the end of the century.

If, on the other hand, you feel like I do that we should always aim to leave this world in a better condition that we found it in, we have our work cut out for us.
Thanks Salma


02006-03-26 @ 19:03

Buddhism’s alleged an-iconism, much proclaimed during the Prophet Muhammad cartoon frenzy, took another hit last week, when a truly iconoclastic Buddhist in Thailand took a hammer to one of the country’s most beloved shrines. Before twenty-seven-year-old Thanakorn Pakdeepol could completely demolish the revered statue of Brahma in Bangkok’s Erawan Shrine, a mob seized him and beat him to death.

A Buddhist shrine with a statue of Brahma? A Buddhist lynchmob? Click on title link to read more.


02006-03-26 @ 16:03

The Vortext
Along with gunpowder, clocks, and noodles, the Chinese are said to have invented paper. As is the case with many similar generalizations, a great deal of truth actually stands behind that notion: while the Mediterranean world was still drawing on papyrus and etching with styluses on wax tablets and the Incas were conveying messages with knotted ropes, the Chinese had a fifteen-hundred-year head start writing on the cheap and versatile medium of paper—and even printing on it.

Less than an hour southwest of Hangzhou, fifteen minutes shy of the city of Fuyang, an organization still produces paper the same way it has been made for millennia in the region just south of the Yangtze River, and prints hand-bound books of ancient texts on it in the traditional manner.


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