Archive for 2009-02


02009-02-28 @ 22:02

Friday morning I had coffee with a friend and checked out the roof of his building on the corner of the plaza. My plan was to shoot photos for a timelapse-video from the roof around sunset.

I spent the early afternoon in the studio working on a LAVA track I am remixing. I hope to upload it to Ottmar-Friends for your listening pleasure in April.

In the late afternoon I drove back into town and climbed onto the roof to set up my camera on a tripod and start shooting. The view was quite beautiful, but it was very windy and I could tell the camera was moving a little bit in the wind and so I abandoned the shoot.

Letters to a Young Musician – 3

02009-02-28 @ 21:02

Dear Friend,

How should you find your sound?

Well, every hand is different, every nail strikes the strings at a slightly different angle. So, if you play long enough, your sound will eventually emerge somehow. There are rules, but they can all be broken. For example, I file my nails to a shape that is “wrong” according to some experts.

I think there are two elements to “your” sound. The first is the sound-production itself, how your fingers strike the string, where they strike the string. Many guitarists don’t make use of the many different sounds one can coax from the nylon strings and the box. That length of guitar from the fretboard-side of the soundhole all the way to the bridge is rich with different sounds. This can also help with the tuning of the guitar. Sometimes plucking the string in a different position will sound more in tune. (I recently watched a Julian Bream video and was impressed at how he would bend this note in a chord here and that note there… he was always aware of the pitfalls of a fretted instrument and the well-tempered scale)

The second element is what you play. Some guitarists are instantly recognizable, like Carlos Santana for example. Others have a more chameleon-like approach and it takes a while to hear their personality. One is not better than the other. Just different.

Finding your sound is a little bit like finding what you should do for a living, or finding your place in life. It seems to come to us of itself, almost sneaks up in the dead of the night. One day we wake up and from then on we wear our heart in our melodies. Maybe finding your sound has a lot to do with finding yourself and finding yourself comes out of being natural. In the West natural refers to whatever humans have not manipulated, controlled, or despoiled. That’s a dualistic view. It separates humans from nature. In the East, what is natural is what exists according to its true nature. There is no separation, no dualism. That also means that there is no despoiled nature devoid of humans to return to.

What is your nature? What does your nature sound like?

I discovered that at the core of my melody is a slightly melancholy feeling. Even when I am expressing happiness you will find a few notes that speak of longing. But, that is as much a part of me as my crooked right index finger – it turns to the right and because of that turn the nail is perfectly parallel to the string. A flaw may become a pearl in time.

Don’t forget to practice. And keep thinking about what your nature sounds like!

The Six Days Bicycle Races

02009-02-27 @ 20:02

I was waiting for a review before I was going to order the DVD. I read and laughed and ordered the movie.

Guys Who Cut Their Own Hair | Blog | Detail | I See saId THe blInd Man As He reacHed For hIs Hammer And Saw
Eventually I got sleepy and paused the film so I could continue it later with a fresh eye, but I can say without reservation that anyone who has ever thrown a leg over a track bike, or better yet, knows the dizzying sensation of turning left in a pursuit of triumph should absolutely procure of copy of this themselves to bare witness to the originators of the craft.

As one who enjoys the abuse of substances, I was taken with the stories of performance enhancing supplements such as a blend of Cognack, sugar water and Ether to aid in the participant’s quest for domination. As a matter of fact, just so I could fully enjoy the experience of the film, I mixed up that very concoction for myself, but before long got distracted and found myself in the corner of my living room attempting to gnaw through a garbage can lid.
At any rate, I whole heartedly recommend any and all lovers of the two wheels and the fixed cog to get this movie if for no other reason than to see first hand where they came from.

Read the whole review here.

Related: Six Days


02009-02-26 @ 18:02

Rode my fixie to Counter Culture for breakfast. Left a little late and fell back into old messenger habits, you know, running stop signs and a couple of lights. I have to admit it was great fun, though.

Afterwards I rode to Stone Forest and looked at their collection. Impressive and definitely worth a visit if you come to Santa Fe. From there my path went to Ohori’s to check when they open in the mornings. Am visiting a friend early on Friday morning to check the view from his office or the roof of the building overlooking the Santa Fe plaza. I think it might be a great place for a time-lapse, especially for the hours between night and day.

The afternoon was spent in the studio, where I had loaded the multi-tracks from the 1995 LAVA recordings into the computer using data backup tapes. The LAVA music was mixed on an analog machine in the nineties and today I had fun working on new mixes in the digital world. (((before we sold the analog 2 inch recorder we recorded all of the analog tapes into Pro-Tools))) It sounded amazing, amazing.

Sao Paulo 3.4.1

02009-02-26 @ 10:02

Jon Gagan’s remix from 2003. Unreleased. Exclusive. Groovy!

Audio MP3

You can also right-click / control-click on this link to download the song (“save as…”) This  is a 320kbps mp3 file, 17MB in size. (Link expired)

Yesterday’s Tweets

02009-02-26 @ 00:02
  • If the Pope were to tell Christians to use public transit & bikes, would they leave their cars or would they leave the church? #

the thank you finger tap

02009-02-25 @ 20:02

the thank you finger tap on Flickr – Photo Sharing!
how to say “thanks” quietly at the dining table.

“When someone is pouring tea, you will often see the recipient tap the table with three fingers three times. This is a polite form of saying thank you and has its origin in an incident from Chinese history.

Legend says that during the Qing Dynastyan emperor wanted to see how the common people really lived and decided to inspect his lands by going incognito and pretending to be an ordinary traveler. While visiting South China, he once went into a teahouse with his companions and in order not to arouse suspicion to his special status, took his turn pouring tea for his courtiers.

His shocked companions wanted to kowtow (ritual bow) to him for the great honor he was doing them, but this would reveal his identity. Therefore, the emperor told them to discretely tap three fingers on the table. One finger represented the bowed head and the other two the prostrate arms. This is the origin for the custom of discreetly ‘tapping-your-thanks’ whenever someone pours you a cup of tea. Likewise, when offering a match or light for someone’s cigarette they may tap the back of your wrist also signifying thanks.”


02009-02-25 @ 19:02


02009-02-25 @ 10:02

Spotify – A world of music. Instant, simple and free

A new music service out of Sweden, home of The Pirate Bay. Hm, I generally think we can get two out of those three. If it’s instant and simple then it isn’t free. If it’s simple and free, it ain’t instant. And if it’s free and instant, it won’t be simple… But, we’ll know more when the service comes state-side. I have noticed some positive reviews on the interwebs.

The name sounds ugly, doesn’t it? Like a disease, or something Charles Bukowski came up with.

No mind

02009-02-25 @ 10:02

the music of sound » No mind
“The river has no shape, but it takes on the boundaries which it carves out for itself,
so is the mind boundless, until it creates a prison for its own thoughts.”

Can’t find the original source of that quote, but it’s a good one.

Why Iggy’s not covered

02009-02-25 @ 10:02

Why Iggy’s not covered
But why not insure Iggy? “It’s a very common to take occupation into account when assessing risk,” says Tina Shortle, marketing director at Swiftcover. “We won’t insure people in the entertainment industry, because historically the cost of [injury] claims is much higher among that group.” Other exclusions include models, professional sports people, gamblers, bailiffs and bodyguards.
(Via Guardian Unlimited Music)


02009-02-25 @ 09:02 – The Copenhagen Bike Culture Blog: Copenhagenizing Copenhagen & Denmark
While the U.S. Congress debated whether to include less than $1 billion in funding for Amtrak in the stimulus package, the Danish parliament has put all its economic stimulus eggs in one basket: transportation. The small Nordic country of 5.4 million people will spend 94 billion kroner, or about $16 billion, by 2020 to improve transportation. Two-thirds of that money will be used to make public transit even better than it already is.

The government will invest billions in high-speed intercity trains that will cut travel between northern Jutland and Copenhagen by a third, install light rail systems, expand the Copenhagen Metro, and widen and
lengthen city bike lanes.

“We are making public transit a lot more attractive with massive investments to increase capacity, improve on-time performance and lay brand-new railroads. We are also making the biggest push to promote cycling in recent memory,” said Transport Minister Lars Barfoed.

For Copenhagen, already one of the world’s most bicycle-oriented cities, that is a very tall order. The oil shocks of the 1970s inspired Denmark to build a vast network of bike lanes in the hope that Danes would start driving less and biking more. Three decades later, the strategy has borne fruit in Copenhagen, where a third of the inhabitants, or more than 500,000 people, now bike to work every day.

Walk, Baby, Walk,
Cycling for Everyone


02009-02-24 @ 21:02

Warm day. 60ºF. Felt like a Spring day, like April. Took a walk and should have left the jacket at home.

Practiced guitar for a couple of hours. Didn’t mean to play for that long, but it felt great. Played the Villa-Lobos piece from Leaning into the Night about a dozen times. I am getting to an interesting place with it. I haven’t listened to other guitarists’ performances of the piece in a long while, because I am trying to let the music develop in my hands.

Amazing Race

02009-02-24 @ 15:02

Seed: The Amazing Race
The Linguists depicts a round-the-world race to make audio recordings of dying languages, giving us a glimpse of how technology can promote language diversity.

For M.C.

Luna Negra

02009-02-24 @ 14:02

Since the last post was about formulae…

40% new quintet.
And, 50% of the new members played with us before… years ago.

The Formula That Killed Wall Street

02009-02-24 @ 14:02

Recipe for Disaster: The Formula That Killed Wall Street
David X. Li, it’s safe to say, won’t be getting that Nobel anytime soon. One result of the collapse has been the end of financial economics as something to be celebrated rather than feared. And Li’s Gaussian copula formula will go down in history as instrumental in causing the unfathomable losses that brought the world financial system to its knees.
(Via William Gibson)

Emotional Clockwork

02009-02-24 @ 13:02

Matthew Schoening performs his composition “Emotional Clockwork” live. Sam Roden captured the live performance, and layered the images in accordance with the sonic layer…

You can find Matthew’s music in our ListeningLounge.

Thanks Y.

Evolution of Music

02009-02-24 @ 12:02

Edge 275
In this EdgeVideo, evolutionary biologist Armand Leroi reports on his art/science conversation and collaboration with musician Brian Eno which began when the two sat next to each other an an Edge dinner in London. The dinner discussion began with evolution and music, proceeded to the evolution of music, and led to the following question: has anybody attempted to reconstruct the history of human song? People around the world sing in different ways. Is it possible to retrieve that history. Can we do for songs what we’ve done for genes, for language?

Cycling for Everyone

02009-02-24 @ 10:02

Cycling for Everyone | Momentum – The Magazine For Self Propelled People!
In spite of their affluence and high rates of car ownership, countries in northern Europe have achieved a high overall rate of bike shares in their urban travel; ranging from almost ten per cent of trips in Belgium and Germany to about 20 per cent in Denmark, and 30 per cent in the Netherlands. What is equally impressive is Northern European women cycle as often as men, and all age groups make a considerable percentage of their daily trips by bike. That is quite a contrast to Canada and the United States, where only about one per cent of trips are by bike, and most cyclists are young men. Two important aims of cycling policies in North America should be to raise the overall bike share of trips while simultaneously making cycling safe, convenient, and feasible for women as well as men, and for all age groups.

Read the whole story. And then there is this news item. Maybe we can connect the dots. Bikes are healthier than cars. I would think it is in the best interest of health-insurance companies to assist in creating the infrastructure that will make more people want to cycle. One beer company is already promoting bicycles: one and two.


02009-02-23 @ 15:02

Collecting ideas for videos.


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