No Ice Without Water

All sentient beings are essentially Buddhas.

As with water and ice, there is no ice without water;

apart from sentient beings, there are no Buddhas.

Not knowing how close the truth is,

we seek it far away – what a pity!

– Hakuin Ekaku Zenji

From the Upaya newsletter

Manhattan

Thursday Jon and I walked to lunch: 66 blocks down and 4 blocks across in an hour. At the pace we were walking it felt like playing a real-time video game with scent added… We saw this fabo new Benz, their first green vehicle ever.
At last: a Green Mercedes
more about our gigs at BBKing’s here and here.
On Thursday evening the bass driver of my left in-ear monitor stopped working right at the beginning of the performance, which made playing feel more like working… For the second set I had to use a different set of in-ears, but they felt unfamiliar and were coloring my hearing in a completely different way. The inner dialog was entertaining. “This doesn’t sound nice” “Shut up and play” “I really am not comfortable with this” “You can do this, so stop whining and do it”… … …

Scullers, Boston

I played the first show with abandon and the band had a groove on that was undeniable. Everything felt brand-new. Some of my best playing.

Before the concert Jon told Stephen that I was born to tremolo… it is true, my three middle fingers are almost of equal length – which makes them very suited for playing a tremolo or for pick-pocketing. When I was 3 years old, an old gypsy woman told my mother that I would either become a famous guitar player or a thief. Well, I chose the tremolo and used to practice it non-stop when I was a teen. I would tremolo a dampened guitar string while reading a book or while watching TV, although that’s where my family drew the line – no tremolo while others were in the room…

The club wanted two 75 minute shows and we had prepared a special, shortened, set. Because it was so much fun to play, we played too long – each song becoming longer than usual as improvisation took over. Alan used our in-ear monitors to tell us to cut several pieces and play just one last song… We played for almost 90 minutes and had only half an hour to eat dinner before the start of the second show.

Credit cards are the new jazz

Click opera – Credit cards are the new jazz
Ben had assembled some old cassette players fitted with wand-mounted VCR heads capable of reading — turning into gloopy sound — any kind of information stored on magnetic tape: the stripes on credit cards, the backs of metro tickets, old computer spools, and of course audio tape.