Archive for 2008-03

Stood on my head…

02008-03-31 @ 16:03

and listened to the new album. Sounded great. I guess I am done.
Made last (?) changes to four of the songs this morning…

Car Stuff…

02008-03-31 @ 16:03

Luigi Colani tells it like it is – in German. I think he is right. Will the German car industry listen?

Well, and then there is this German car… although I am telling everyone who is willing to listen that we need to get rid of cars altogether.

By the Way, I’m No Longer in Houston | Beyond the Beyond from

What a nightmare. Removing Cars from People – America Ends its Affair With Autos
All things must come to an end, and so apparently it now is for America’s love affair with the automobile. Swept off her feet more than 100 years ago with promises of freedom, comfort and status, Ms. America has now had a change of heart. “The oil addiction, the misguided foreign affairs, the skyrocketing bills… it’s just gotten to be too much,” said Lady Liberty in a recent statement.

The sooner we start rethinking our towns the better.

Click opera – Against “hypocrisy”
100 people in a room: There are 100 people in a room, all doing A Bad Thing. They know it’s a bad thing, a thing that will damage the room and everyone in it, but they can’t stop. Suddenly a Visionary makes a powerful and moving speech. “We must stop doing The Bad Thing!” he says. His speech is effective: everyone stops. Except the Visionary himself, who keeps doing it. This, however, is a minor detail: the room is a better, safer place. Instead of 100 people doing The Bad Thing, only one is doing it. Suddenly a Commentator gets up. “Suckers!” he shouts. “You’ve stopped doing The Bad Thing, but the man who made you stop still does it! You’ve been had… by a hypocrite!” Soon everyone in the room is doing The Bad Thing again.

But tell me, please, who has damaged the room more, the Visionary or the Commentator? Who has the best chance of helping the room?

‘more dangerous than smoking’

02008-03-31 @ 16:03

Mobile phones ‘more dangerous than smoking’ – Health News, Health & Wellbeing – The Independent
Mobile phones could kill far more people than smoking or asbestos, a study by an award-winning cancer expert has concluded. He says people should avoid using them wherever possible and that governments and the mobile phone industry must take “immediate steps” to reduce exposure to their radiation.

Massive ice shelf collapsing

02008-03-28 @ 16:03

Photos: Massive ice shelf collapsing off Antarctica | CNET
Scientists are citing “rapid climate change in a fast-warming region of Antarctica” as the cause of an initial collapse of the Wilkins Ice Shelf. The damage got started at the end of February when an iceberg dropped off and triggered the “runaway disintegration” of a 160-square-mile portion of the 5,282-square-mile shelf.

Thanks C.


02008-03-28 @ 15:03

Walking from the studio to the house barefooted for the first time this year is nice. Sitting on the ledge in the photo below is nice. Photo was taken a while ago, today we had sunshine and blue skies. Right now I am waiting for a new CD to burn.

Had lunch in town and visited a few galleries. TAI shows a few of Seiju Toda’s photographs:

Seiju Toda created a series of 33 compositions called Heian, a term meaning peace and serenity. In a meticulous process that took several years, Toda both assembled the pieces using plain wood and living creatures – birds, fish, insects, reptiles – and photographed them with careful consideration for the natural elements.

You can see more of the images here. Bought the book Heian, which is sold at the gallery.

Another gallery had this sign inside, which looks like the OL logo turned about 45 degrees:


02008-03-28 @ 12:03

• The Best Par30 LED light bulb with a very pleasant color, AND also the least expensive.
• Peak 6.0 has some bugs, but is a great upgrade!
• I love the felt laptop sleeve I bought at Working Class Heroes.

Beyond the Beyond

02008-03-28 @ 08:03

I am in downtown Houston | Beyond the Beyond from

I am in downtown Houston
By Bruce Sterling EmailMarch 28, 2008 | 8:18:41 AM
I bet these skyscrapers used to be really impressive before the Chinese and Arabs got going.


Yep, I went back in…

02008-03-28 @ 07:03

Yesterday morning I went to see Michael Motley in town. The album artwork is coming along great.
In the evening, under the cover of darkness, I went back in and made adjustments on four mixes. Changed the roll-off on this EQ, adjusted that reverb by a shade… you know, these are the things I might not even notice a couple of months from now. Correction: I will not even notice a couple of months from now… :)

It’s Friday morning and I am drinking tea and… yes, listening to a CD of the album in my kitchen – an activity also known as the cheap speaker test. Answered an email from Stevo just as his wonderful electric guitar solo on “Silence” came on the speakers. I am listening to song #7 now and haven’t heard anything that bothers me. Glad nobody can see me playing air-guitar. Does Paco play air-guitar when he is alone in the kitchen? I bet Stevo plays air-guitar and makes great faces doing it. There it is: 10 songs with a total time of 74 minutes and 29 seconds. Maybe I should change that to 74:25? I am not going to say that the album is finished, because it is finished when it’s on the way to the manufacturer…

Two Years Ago

02008-03-27 @ 06:03

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.


02008-03-26 @ 22:03

The record being finished I cleaned up the studio and opened the skylights, which I keep shut during the mixing process. The jury is still out on the mastering. A few people were given access to two versions of three songs, and were asked to give me their gut-reation to them. Tomorrow I will go into town to work on the cover with Michael.

Here is the SSRI CD-release schedule as it looks right now:
15. April: In the Arms of Love
20. May: Up Close (the binaural album)
17. June: The Scent of Light

Smile, you’re on Ele-vision

02008-03-26 @ 19:03

Smile you’re on ele-vision: How a camera attached to an elephant’s trunk captured amazing jungle views | the Daily Mail
He noticed how gently the forest elephants carried firewood to their camp and wondered if they’d be as delicate with a camera.

“And they were,” he enthused. “Elephants do not see tigers as a threat, and tigers are comfortable with elephants. So we had the perfect team.”

Bats Perish, and No One Knows Why

02008-03-26 @ 19:03

Bats Perish, and No One Knows Why – New York Times
In what is one of the worst calamities to hit bat populations in the United States, on average 90 percent of the hibernating bats in four caves and mines in New York have died since last winter.

Tuesday Morning

02008-03-25 @ 06:03

Up early at 5:30. Enjoyed the moon. Thought that I like the moon even better before or after it is full, full being too perfect somehow.

Yesterday Jon let me know that he heard a digital noise in one song and an acoustic noise in another. The man has great ears, because I investigated and found a couple of regions that weren’t edited properly and the other song had a noise that happened after I stopped playing guitar. Fixed those and in the afternoon Jon came by to pick up the revised 24 bit files. Jon and I are both mastering the album and later this morning we will compare.


02008-03-24 @ 07:03

The last 47 seconds of Streetlight…

more Scent of Light visual ideas…

02008-03-23 @ 17:03

The Scent of Light - Ideas - 5
The Scent of Light - Ideas - 4
Brown ink in water.

Light and Scent

02008-03-23 @ 08:03

The halo of the moon,
Is it not the scent of plum blossoms
Rising up to heaven?
– Buson

Moonlight, reflected by the river, with birds conversing and a train crossing the iron bridge.

Street Light. The yellowish light of street lanterns, reflected by wet cobblestones. Clouds of cigarette smoke, the sound of footsteps nearby and car-horns in the distance.

Unscented beeswax candles nevertheless have a certain scent.

Firelight. Shadows dancing. TV for the stone age. Stare into the flickering shadows and create your own story.


02008-03-23 @ 06:03

The table cloth IS the table…


02008-03-22 @ 18:03

Listening to: silence
Currently reading: Assassin’s Cloak

Momus did it 2 years ago and wrote about it for Wired.

I did it today.

If a person wants to find out about my music or touring schedule they can enter my name in that little google search window.

Good-bye thousands of friends…

The Royalty Scam

02008-03-22 @ 18:03

The Royalty Scam – New York Times
The musicians who posted their work on are no different from investors in a start-up enterprise. Their investment is the content provided for free while the site has no liquid assets. Now that the business has reaped huge benefits, surely they deserve a dividend.

Good article by Billy Bragg in the New York Times. Also see this blog on CNET, which carries the following quote by Nick Carr at Rough Type:

“Exploitation is exploitation, no matter how lovingly it’s wrapped in neo-hippie technobabble about virtual communities, social production, and the gift economy.”

Obsession is funny…

02008-03-22 @ 06:03

This fine Spring morning I put on my antique Burton jacket, the one with the controls on the sleeve that work with my antique iPod (the one before the video iPod – 3G?) and walked to Ohori’s for coffee. When I woke I thought I should give my ears a rest, but then I had to listen anyway… It’s an interesting obsession with detail. A year from now I won’t hear the details that are driving me crazy now. I remember a story about Steely Dan including a song in a greatest hits compilation they had flatly rejected a couple of decades ago, saying they had no idea why they rejected the song in the first place. And while I know that, I am driven to make these small changes that won’t matter a decade from now.

Got my coffee mug filled and walked to Downtown Subscription. Ordered a green chile croissant and found a seat outside.

Walked back and went back into the cave to make adjustments. Almost done. Final stretch.

And to answer Steve’s question left in the comments yesterday. AIF files contain location code and will spot into the right place. And I if send a file of a certain length and the other musician sends me back a file of the exact same length (in samples, not in minutes and seconds) they will synch also.


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