Archive for 2009-11

Monday Alegria

02009-11-30 @ 13:11

This is the unreleased version of Alegria Arabe from 1995/96. I recorded two versions of this piece and then decided that they weren’t different enough to both be on the Opium album.

Audio MP3

The 320kbps mp3 can be downloaded here.

The FLAC version can be downloaded here.

Sunday in Santa Fe

02009-11-30 @ 13:11

I am told that HD Tracks will start carrying 24/96k FLAC versions of One Guitar and Up Close starting later this week sometime. Sometime in January they will also start carrying my other SSRI albums in CD quality.

What are we looking for in a city, and what makes a city more livable? Monocle magazine voted Copenhagen the most livable city. Here their editor explain why:

5 Amazing Journeys On A Penny Farthing
Penny Farthing bicycles are dangerous and uncomfortable to ride but this did not stop these 5 maniacs from achieving incredible feats on these machines.

Gulf stream collapse could be like a disaster movie
The Gulf Stream carries tropical heat from the Caribbean to northern Europe but is already being disrupted by meltwater pouring from the Arctic as global warming intensifies. One day it may switch off completely, say scientists.


02009-11-29 @ 14:11

The German language has a beautiful way of saying East and West: Morgenland und Abendland – in English that would translate into Morning Land and Evening Land.

I remember cruising in a small ship on the Bospherus in Istanbul one evening in December of 1996. One bank of the river is Morgenland and the other is Abendland.

Istanbul will be one of the 2010 European Capitals of Culture.


02009-11-28 @ 12:11

It appears that SoundCloud has changed their rules overnight and disabled downloading of the tracks from Under the Rose. We are looking into an alternative – and I would also like to offer a lossless download option.

Problem solved: 16/44.1 FLAC and 320kbps mp3 versions of the album can now be downloaded from the Under the Rose webpage.

File under lame…

02009-11-28 @ 11:11

It appears that SoundCloud has changed their rules overnight and disabled downloading of the tracks from Under the Rose. We are looking into an alternative – and I would also like to offer a lossless download option.

PS: I uploaded to zipped folders. One contains the ten songs in 16/44.1 FLAC format, and the other contains the songs in 320kbps mp3 format. The links will be added to the webpage soon.

The FLAC Folder is shared here (281 MB)

The mp3 Folder is shared here (114 MB)

Friday in Santa Fe

02009-11-28 @ 09:11

In the evening I stepped outside to view the moon. I thought snow had surprised me, but it was the silvery light of the moon that had made the ground look so light. As I looked up, coyotes were starting a concert nearby, their many voices sounding like processed electronic sounds in an echo chamber. If I had recorded the sound, you might not believe it was created by a group of coyotes.

As suddenly as the concert started, it stopped again, and after a moment of taking it all in, I walked back inside. I’d like to tag the memory: 2009, november, cold, night, moon, silver, concert, coyote, santa fe, processed, electronics,

Beautiful short film about Louis Kahn’s Exeer Academy Library.

Some great insight into the music-biz today: lists, popular music, nothing new in the naughties (21st century), sound itself…. very interesting:
Video: Paul Morley talks to Matthew Herbert
And more by Paul Morley on the subject here.

November Slideshow

02009-11-26 @ 20:11

Ottmar Liebert – Photos (02009-11)
Moonlight, Northern California and Japan.

Thursday in Santa Fe

02009-11-26 @ 14:11

Happy Thanksgiving!

Grass Like Tousled Hair – Jan Chipchase – Future Perfect

Tilt-shift perspectives for under a buck? TiltShift Generator for the iPhone.

While we were in Japan I read The Painter of Battles: A Novel
by Arturo Perez-Reverte – I read the Kindle version on my iPhone. At one point he writes about the lines that cross to bring people together or diverge to keep them apart. The net of interaction. What a Buddhist might call Karma, I suppose. The other day a friend asked about my photography. I wrote:

Photography, and much of art in general, is about making associations, that is, seeing, or rather recognizing, lines, diagonals, shapes, colors in a landscape, seeing some kind of order in a landscape that tells a story. As such photography is no different from cooking or making music. It’s all about using reference points and infusing them with some kind of meaning or emotion.

Each culture has their own reference points. What an American would consider pop-food, middle of the road, palette-pleasing, a Chinese or Japanese person might find strange or even inedible – when asked which Western food is the most digusting, Chinese school children overwhelming elected uncooked mushrooms – and there are of course dishes in Japan and China that are very challenging to Euro-American tastes.

The same is true in music, of course. Bebop or very traditional Flamenco, modern classical music – they might all require a little getting used to, just like a bowl of really hot green Thai curry. Jazz that isn’t challenging enough for a Bebop fan might be much to complex for a Jazz n00b.

Food that might be considered too spicy in the USA or Europe, might not be spicy enough for people in South-East Asia. So, references are culture-dependent, although those references are becoming more globally understood – even in Italy one can now find Chinese, Thai, Japanese restaurants.

It seems to me that art is about linking. The linking of a landscape with geometry in a photograph. The linking of a new dish to the flavors of a season. The linking of a melody to a tradition or a style. The linking of poetry to an emotion, or a season – and possibly without mentioning the emotion at all. And therein lies the difference between art-linking and internet-linking. Internet is about literal hypertext. Art, whether it is a painting, photography, poetry, music or cooking, is about poetic linking. A poem about momiji leaves falling from the tree in Autumn is not about linking to the species of tree, but might be about the brevity of an individual life. Or, it might be about the sadness experienced when leaving friends.

What I like about my solo concerts with slideshow is the fluid linking that occurs every time. Linkage between the photographs themselves, linkage between the photos and the music. Linkage between what is going on onstage and the members of the audience etc….

Speaking of linking: I bought Robbie Williams’ new album “Reality Killed the Video Star”. You are surprised? Well, I didn’t buy it for the music, I bought it to play the meta-game, to find all of the references and to check out the production. Williams brought in the old A-team: Trevor Horn, Stephen Lipson, Anne Dudley etc.

The Meta-game starts with the album title, actually. The producer of the album is Trevor Horn, who produced many hit records in the Nineties, including Seal, Grace Jones, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and others, and who had a big hit in the Eighties with an album called “Video Killed the Radio Star”. So, reality killed the video star, who in turn killed the radio star…

The sound of the music is terribly compressed, but I imagine the orchestration sounded quite lush before mastering. Anyway, I hear John Lennon, Elton John, The Beatles, Kraftwerk, OMD, David Bowie and many others. A cornucopia of sounds from the Eighties.

PS: I really enjoyed The Painter of Battles: A Novel, although, maybe enjoy is the wrong word. Not an easy book, but I found it very rewarding.

PPS: Of course, literal linking could be just the start, just as poetry started with literal descriptions, e.g. I am sad because Summer is over and you have to leave before turning to less direct imagery. A meta-story could appear on the interwebs any minute, something that links noises, music, images, poetry to a text. Moving toward complexity, life does (((Yoda-speak))).

Tuesday Edit

02009-11-24 @ 13:11

Fresh from the studio, the edit I mentioned last week. Not sure which version I like better.

Audio MP3

The downloads are still uploading… will edit this post when they are ready.

Here they are:
You can download the 24/48 FLAC here.

You can download the 320kbps mp3 here.

Files can be downloaded for two months.

Monday in Santa Fe

02009-11-24 @ 12:11

Ottmar Liebert World HDtracks high resolution audiophile music downloads
No album added yet. One Guitar and Up Close should become available as 24/96k FLAC soon.

The beauty of simple things, little things, overlooked things…
Watercolor paperclips on Flickr.

iPhone translations:

I wonder how much more likely it is that a person understands a sentence when they can see the mouth move. How important is lip-reading in daily life? I imagine it is more important than we might think.

Saturday in Santa Fe

02009-11-21 @ 19:11

This is wonderful! Autumn Leaf Art:
Bio-Diversity – Abstract City Blog –

Found this today:
There are various utensils used in the preparation and service of the tea ceremony. Especially utensils made of pottery hold an important place in tea utensils. I have been making them for a long time for my mother who is a teacher of the tea ceremony. Homepage

December 10th:
Digital Dharma preview in New York. An intimate evening of art, music and ispiration.

Click here for more info.

I donated some of my photos to the movie and will perform solo with a new slideshow of my Tibet photos.

Digital Dharma in Manhattan

02009-11-21 @ 18:11

December 10th:
Digital Dharma preview in New York. An intimate evening of art, music and ispiration.

Click here for more info.

I donated some of my photos to the movie and will perform solo with a new slideshow of my Tibet photos.


02009-11-20 @ 16:11

A few photos from the Nezu Museum:

Wednesday in Tokyo

02009-11-20 @ 12:11

A full day. As almost every Morning (((had a bowl of soba noodles on Saturday Morning))) I started with a Japanese breakfast of rice and pickled vegetables. Then we took the Metro to the largest Muji store in Tokyo (((that probably means the largest in the World, unless the one in London is bigger))) to buy a few gifts.

Lining up a bunch of Metro handles for a photo:

I like Muji. Check out their message:

Doesn’t that sound a little like Oryokijust enough?

I got the feeling that the aquarium was a personal subway beautification project of one of the Metro employees in the nearby booth.

Then we rode up to the top of the Tokyo Tower.

Built in 1958 and standing 1,091 feet tall, it is taller than the Eiffel tower by 12.5 meters and almost twice as tall as Seattle’s Space Needle. Tokyo, Tokyo as far as they eye can see. Mount Fuji, in the distance, was covered in clouds. (((I nearly always use a 50mm lens on a full-frame camera, so this is not a wide-angle)))

A new Tokyo Tower, now called Tokyo Sky Tree, is supposed to be finished in 2011 and should open to the public in the Spring of 2012. It will be 634m (2,080 feet) tall! Here is another view from the Tokyo Tower:

My shoes matched the tower. This is a window in the floor at 250m / 820 feet:

In the afternoon I visited the Nezu Museum, which has a very nice collection of tea bowls and utensils and a lovely garden, but that should be a separate entry…

Tokyo Coffee

02009-11-17 @ 18:11

Terry sent me this link and we might try to go there today.

Fresh or aged, the coffee is kicking at Satei Hato | The Japan Times Online
Willingly, you take a seat at the 12-meter-long Oregon pine counter, where you are greeted with all the deference due visiting royalty by manager Toyoshi Taguchi. Spirited away in 1989 from a Shinjuku kissaten by Satei Hato’s owner and namesake, Taguchi has since been diligently helping to redefine what coffee should be in today’s world of designer froths and foams.


The most obvious would be the collection of over 300 dazzling coffee and tea cups, including Wedgewood, Herend (from Hungary) and Meissen (from Germany), as well as some choice beauties from the kilns of the Arita masters.

No two are alike, giving Taguchi ample opportunity to choose cups he feels best suit the customers. All of them are pricey, so while you might be flattered by what Taguchi feels “matches” your personality, it’s best not to ask what they’re worth until you’ve successfully placed your cup in its saucer for the last time. Taguchi claims he keeps a stiff upper lip when someone drops a 190,000 yen Arita-yaki original. While they are in the room, he utters a polite shoganai.

“When they leave,” he says, deadly serious, “I cry.”

Tokyo Fixies

02009-11-17 @ 07:11

Blue Note Soundcheck

02009-11-16 @ 21:11

Tokyo Fixies

02009-11-16 @ 21:11

Monday Music

02009-11-15 @ 18:11

Here is another Lava track. This one has the unromantic title Reel 2 Song 1. Such a pretty piece deserves a nicer title, a more evocative title… well, pretty except for the freakout towards the end.

Anyway, I am NOT done with this piece. I just got started. There is more cleaning up to do. If you listen closely, you hear the hum of amps and other stuff. I usually clean up the individual tracks a little, cutting out the hum when an instrument is not playing, because if the quiet is more quiet, it creates more space and clarity and dynamics. So here is a first mix, with another one to come in a couple of months. I am also contemplating doing a version without that loud section…

Audio MP3

You can download the 24/48k FLAC here.

The 320kbps mp3 file can be downloaded here.

Thoughts on Packaging

02009-11-15 @ 18:11

Last week I emailed Terry at Travertine Spa and complained about his new packaging for the Shea Butter. The product itself was actually improved and my favorite hand cream is even better now, but the new packaging is larger than the old, and doesn’t appear to be recyclable. Terry wrote back that he knew I was going to have a problem with the packaging, but that small companies like his do not have a lot of choice when it comes to packaging. The volume is too low to create custom packaging and the stuff that is available is unfortunately very un-green. I suggested doing a glass container with an interior shape (where the Shea Butter will be) that fits a tea candle. Glass means easy recyclability and the tea-light shape means that some people can actually use the container once it is empty of Shea-butter-goodness. Terry complained that glass would increase the weight and make shipping more expensive.

My second idea was for Travertine Spa to collaborate with Nambe and Santa Fe Candle Company to create a package that contains a Nambe design filled with Travertine Spa Shea Butter and, on the side, a beeswax tea-light from the Santa Fe Candle Company. I would like to see a nice bowl that has an interior shaped for a tea-light-candle, with a top, a lid that seals in the Shea-Butter and, later when the Shea-Butter is used up, extinguishes the candle and protects the candle when traveling. I would design the exterior of the bowl to contain one criss-crossing line that would serve to hold a string in place that would be used to tie the lid to the bowl. The string could even be a rubberband that slides into the criss-crossing lines to hold bowl and lid together, in which case the lines might not be a criss-cross, but a parallel. A bit like the Furoshiki in Japan… to tie up and protect the content. What a great gift this would make!!

I think packaging is a fundamental problem that we need to work out.


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