Archive for 2010-02

Sunday in Santa Fe

02010-02-28 @ 20:02

Tonight will be a full moon.

Whatever we wear,
We look beautiful,
When moon viewing.

– Chiyo-ni

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Wine from the Priorat, swirling:

Makeshift drip-catcher at the Jon’s studio this past week… right above Michael’s head. It turned out to be the skylight, which was fixed in the afternoon.

More snow this Morning:


My orchids keep blooming:

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BBC News – Whaling worsens carbon release, scientists warn
Whales store carbon within their huge bodies and when they are killed, much of this carbon can be released.

US scientists revealed their estimate of carbon released by whaling at a major ocean sciences meeting in the US.

Dr Andrew Pershing from the University of Maine described whales as the “forests of the ocean”.

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From an email conversation about creativity:

I feel that there are two major movements, one towards more (complexity, dispersion, entropy, more of everything, less is bore) and one towards less (simplicity, essential, wabi-sabi, less os more)… and creatively we move back and forth between those poles. The Scent of Light, for me, was more, and this new album may be less.

It’s like a great movie, switching from a macro detail to an amazing overview, from the anthill to the cosmos… and back. From a detail to the grand picture.

It’s one of the really big parts of all creativity, whether it is in poetry or film or music.

In zen, it’s considered very important to be able to switch perspectives with ease, and that switch from complexity to simplicity and back is an important one.

A good soup is not made with just one ingredient. Many different things have to come together, herbs, spices, vegetables and meat. Maybe the onions are sautéed in oil first and then stock is added – meaning that even making a soup may be a mix of different techniques: sautéing followed by boiling.

There are times when we can’t see how these parts fit together. In a way we ARE the combination of different parts and interests. There isn’t one thing. It may seem convenient to be or have one thing, but that would be an illusion anyway.

Two Years Ago: Beauty

02010-02-28 @ 06:02

He who seeks Truth
Shall find Beauty

He who seeks Beauty
Shall find Vanity

He who seeks Order
Shall find Gratification

He who seeks Gratification
Shall be Disappointed

He who considers himself as the servant of his fellow being
Shall find the joy of Self-Expression

He who seeks Self-Expression
Shall fall into the pit of Arrogance

Arrogance is incompatible with nature
Thru the nature of the universe
and the nature of man
we shall seek Truth

If we seek truth we shall find Beauty

Moshe Safdie, Architect

Saturday in Santa Fe

02010-02-27 @ 09:02

Japan in the late 19th Century:

More information about the image, and the Italian photographer who captured them, in this article.
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This is a must-watch. Amazing, captivating, exhilarating, terrifying!

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Do they dream of Hell in Heaven?

Read on one of the pieces in the current exhibit at Site Santa Fe.

SITE Santa Fe: Exhibitions
Artist, playwright, and musician Terry Allen examines an episode in the life of the similarly polymathic artist Antonin Artaud. Throughout his life, Artaud suffered a number of psychological crises, resulting in his repeated and lengthy institutionalization. In 1937, Artaud went to Ireland to return to the Irish people what he believed was the staff of St. George. He was involved in an altercation with the Dublin police and was subsequently deported. Because of his deteriorating psychological state, he was chained to a cot in the hull of the ship Washington for the seventeen-day journey back to France. This journey serves as the inspiration for Allen’s Ghost Ship Rodez, which will be presented in One on One.

Taking its title from the French mental institution “Rodez,” where Artaud spent a number of years after his deportation from Ireland, this exhibition will consist of room-sized multimedia works blending sculpture and video. A portion of the exhibition will invoke the physical environment of the Washington. Another will include a larger-than-life-size figure that refers to Artaud and the “Daughter of the Heart to be Born,” an archetype representing all the women in Artaud’s life. Although these works allude to the physical realities of Artaud’s life, their video components explore Artaud’s mindscape, giving form to psychological space. Allen invites us to take a journey into the depths of Artaud’s mind as he sees it.

And, yes I would think so, because without Hell Heaven is incomplete.

P-O-P

02010-02-26 @ 08:02

Playing around with fonts on my laptop last night:




Maybe I will look for a traditional calligrapher in Santa Fe. It would be nice to have this written/designed by hand. In my mind that would fit with the music, which eschews many of the modern recording techniques.

Friday in Santa Fe

02010-02-26 @ 08:02

Yesterday: breakfast at CC, followed by HD Recording session #2. We started the session with a ballad, tentatively entitled The Long Goodbye or The Long Farewell. While we were playing the song I had this image of a person not being able to tear themselves away from another, and then I remembered how the Japanese often wave goodbye until the leaving party is completely out of sight… and should they drive or walk around a hill and become visible again on the other side of that hill, their hosts will still be waving at them. Jon reminded me that the staff from the Blue Note in Tokyo waved until the small bus we were traveling in had completely disappeared around a corner.
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Disappearing acts: Master calligrapher Paul Antonio | Money | guardian.co.uk
Master calligrapher Paul Antonio demonstrating ancient skills with pens, ink and paper in his studio in Clapham, London

Wonderful audio slideshow about a London calligrapher, one of maybe fifty professionals in the UK.
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15 House Plants You Can Use As Air Purifiers
Here are 15 plants that could clean your air for just the price of a few drops of water each day.

here is a little homage to my rubber plant:

It looks like the rubber plant is tickling Miles Davis’ nose in the photo above…


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BBC News – Singing ‘rewires’ damaged brain
Teaching stroke patients to sing “rewires” their brains, helping them recover their speech, say scientists.

By singing, patients use a different area of the brain from the area involved in speech.

If a person’s “speech centre” is damaged by a stroke, they can learn to use their “singing centre” instead.

And what happens when you don’t even teach singing or music in schools?
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A Key Concept for Neurodiversity: Niche Construction
When I suggest that neurodiverse individuals, such as those with autism or ADHD, might have been labeled gifted in other times and in other cultures, the quick retort is:  “Well, we don’t live in other times or cultures.  People have to adapt to the culture they’re in right now.”  So what does the person who is a round peg have to do to fit into a square hole?  Answer: Shave off enough of its wood to fit, uncomfortably, usually, into the square hole.  That’s one solution.  The other solution is to round off some of the square hole so that the round peg can stay a round peg and still fit in.  That’s niche construction.  In other words, I’m saying that people with neurodiverse brains can create special niches for themselves where they can be their unique selves.  An example would be a person with ADHD in a job that requires novelty, thrills, and creativity.  Instead of suffering in a 9 to 5 desk job (an example of poor niche construction), they create a career for themselves that allows them to be who they are.  Another example:  a person on the autistic spectrum who has keen mathematical skill working as a computer programmer in Silicon Valley, instead of wasting away in a group home somewhere. Niche construction is what animals have done for eons:  the bird building a nest, the beaver building a dam.  They’re modifying the environment to suit their unique needs.  We need to make niche construction a key tool in improving the lives of individuals with autism, learning disabilities, ADHD, mood disorders, schizophrenia, and other neurological conditions.  Yes, there will always be the need to adapt to the way the world is, and there are medications, behavior modification programs, and other adaptational programs that can help accomplish this.  But let’s not lose sight of the fact that we can also help neurodiverse individuals be who they are and still fit in. 
(Via Neurodiversity – The Book)

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Temple Grandin spoke brilliantly on that theme at TED. Check this out:

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Listen with headphones! You might also watch this film at Vimeo, so you can watch full screen.

(Via Music Of Sound)
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Consider the Germans
Come on: Is the West really in such decline? Yes, we can sit here on our island continent and gloom about the rise of China, as our elite now like to do. Or we can go out into the world and start competing like the Europeans. For here’s a strange fact; since 2003 it’s not China, but Germany, that colossus of European socialism, that has led the world in export sales or at least been tied for first.

Germany has somehow managed to create a high-wage, unionized economy without shipping all it’s jobs abroad or creating a massive trade deficit, or any trade deficit at all. And even as the Germans outsell the United States, they manage to take six weeks of vacation every year. They’re beating us with one hand tied behind their back.
— Thomas Geoghegan in Harper’s magazine
(Via Nikola Tamindzic)

Neurodiversity

02010-02-26 @ 07:02

A Key Concept for Neurodiversity: Niche Construction
When I suggest that neurodiverse individuals, such as those with autism or ADHD, might have been labeled gifted in other times and in other cultures, the quick retort is: “Well, we don’t live in other times or cultures. People have to adapt to the culture they’re in right now.” So what does the person who is a round peg have to do to fit into a square hole? Answer: Shave off enough of its wood to fit, uncomfortably, usually, into the square hole. That’s one solution. The other solution is to round off some of the square hole so that the round peg can stay a round peg and still fit in. That’s niche construction. In other words, I’m saying that people with neurodiverse brains can create special niches for themselves where they can be their unique selves. An example would be a person with ADHD in a job that requires novelty, thrills, and creativity. Instead of suffering in a 9 to 5 desk job (an example of poor niche construction), they create a career for themselves that allows them to be who they are. Another example: a person on the autistic spectrum who has keen mathematical skill working as a computer programmer in Silicon Valley, instead of wasting away in a group home somewhere. Niche construction is what animals have done for eons: the bird building a nest, the beaver building a dam. They’re modifying the environment to suit their unique needs. We need to make niche construction a key tool in improving the lives of individuals with autism, learning disabilities, ADHD, mood disorders, schizophrenia, and other neurological conditions. Yes, there will always be the need to adapt to the way the world is, and there are medications, behavior modification programs, and other adaptational programs that can help accomplish this. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that we can also help neurodiverse individuals be who they are and still fit in.
(Via Neurodiversity – The Book)

Temple Grandin spoke brilliantly on that theme at TED. Check this out:

Thursday in Santa Fe

02010-02-24 @ 20:02

Here are a few photos I took near my studio yesterday. Still plenty of snow:

But it’s melting:

Can you tell me what this is and why it is a very important element of a recording studio?

Wednesday Music

02010-02-24 @ 15:02

Here is last week’s rehearsal of a, still untitled, tune. We performed this in Saratoga last fall, in Japan in November and in Florida in February. And still no title! On the setlists it was identified as Nu Bm Rumba, but it seems more like a funk-pop thing with just a little bit of rumba… Who knows! I realized last week that I have no idea where this music we are rehearsing and recording came from!

Audio MP3

You can download the 320kbps mp3 file here. Please do not distribute in any way. By all means, do share it with your mother or partner or closest friends, but please don’t make it available on the internets…

I just came back from our first recording session. It went well and we laid down several versions of four different songs. We’ll continue tomorrow and Friday and finish up Monday and Tuesday. Normally I would be listening to the music right now, but since my DigiDesign 192 (analog-to-digital converter for Pro Tools) is at Jon’s studio for these sessions, that will have to wait until next Tuesday. Hopefully we will have good takes of each piece by then.

For Victor: today we started out with the M-149 about 13″ away from the soundhole, but moved it further back because I was clipping at the 35db setting – maybe another 4″ back. As you know, the Martech MSS-10 changes mic gain in increments of 5db, so it’s best to move mic a little than to lose 5db. I am usually aware of how hard I strike the strings and can stay within a given dynamic range. It is easier when I record rhythm and melody parts separately than when I record everything at once, as we are doing now, but it’s turning out nice sounding.

Self Moving Vehicle

02010-02-23 @ 15:02

From Neo Bohemia:

neo bohemia – bicycle

Two bicycle sticker designs that I have been working on. Clear stickers with the kanji in either black or white with my red stamp. Thought that they should be presented today.

And here is what the sticker looks like on a biycle:

Self Moving Vehicle

02010-02-23 @ 11:02

neo bohemia – bicycle

Two bicycle sticker designs that I have been working on. Clear stickers with the kanji in either black or white with my red stamp. Thought that they should be presented today.

And here is what the sticker looks like on a biycle:

Monday Music

02010-02-22 @ 10:02

This is a repeat from last year:

Audio MP3

You can download the 320kbps mp3 file here.

Here is what I wrote last year:

Here is a Lava recording from 1995. The box of the old 2 inch multitrack tape says T-Rex #3 is the title. Musicians: the usual suspects… OL, Jon Gagan, Carl Coletti, Mark Clark and featuring Eric Schemerhorn, fresh from tour with Iggy Pop. Technical info: recorded in my Santa Fe studio on a Sony 24-track, 2 inch machine. Transferred to digital (24/48k) in 2003 and mixed this week.


Oh, and the sound (((identified as Solo Gtr on the track sheet))) that starts about a minute and a half into the song and develops into something that reminds me of the sound of a large propeller plane in the middle of the night, was made by a guitar, played through the wonderful Eventide H3000…

tonenot-noteton

02010-02-22 @ 09:02

TONE and NOTE are the exact same letters, rearranged. In fact, if you discard the “e”, NOT is TON backwards. In my opinion one could not, should not be without the other.

Victor commented on February 19th, 2010 at 12:37
Hi Ottmar would you mind sharing about how far the mic is from your guitar or hand when you are recoding? Just wondering as I saw a pic of John measuring mic distances. Love the way your guitar sounds and how you capture the beauty of your playing.

Thank you, Victor. No, I don’t mind at all, because the secret of my tone lies not in the distance of the microphone to the guitar, nor does it, I believe, lie in the model of microphone or pre-amp I use. I also don’t think the guitar itself or the brand of strings is most important. To be sure, all of these items add to the sound, and have been carefully selected to either bring out certain qualities of tone I like or make the playing of the instrument more enjoyable.

Since I don’t have a fixed distance between the guitar and the microphone, I will measure the distance once we are set up for recording in HD, next Tuesday. I generally use a greater distance for solo recordings, and move the microphone closer for band recordings. I’d say the mike is about a foot away from the soundhole, and maybe a foot and a half for solo recordings.

Jon suggested also doing that for my solo concerts last fall, since I don’t have to compete with other instruments and the P.A. only amplifies my guitar. We moved the microphone, which is normally just a few inches (((I’d say between 1 and 2 and no more than 3 inches))) from the soundhole when I play with the band, to a distance of about a foot away from the guitar and it sounded very nice and natural.

Short list of my equipment, pretty much unchanged since 2002:
Lester DeVoe Flamenco guitar (1 Negra and 1 Blanca)
D’Addario Composite strings for the 3 bass strings and D’Addario Titanium for the 3 treble strings
Shure KSM141 microphone (live) and Neumann M-149 (studio)
Martech MSS-10 microphone pre-amp (was only studio, but I will also use it on tour this year)

I think the most important part of my gear is the shape of my fingers, the shape and thickness of my nails and how I touch the strings. I think because of the HD recording quality and because it’s just a trio (((no rhtyhm guitars or percussion to distract))) one will be able to really hear on the new album how I constantly change my hand position, from playing by the bridge to playing over the soundhole and near the neck.

Hope that helps. More next Tuesday, and please remind me on Wednesday if I forget to post the distance.
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PS: (updated on Monday)

steve commented:
I believe it was Jaco Pastorius who said, “the sound is in my hands.”
If one listens to Jaco on various recordings, no matter what bass he plays, it sounds like Jaco.

Very true.

Brenda commented:
Would you share a lttle more about your first paragraph? Thank you.

In the first paragraph I was wondering whether there is a linguistic reason for the fact that the words “Note” and “Tone” contain the same letters. After all, they are equally important for making music. Even on the piano, which, unlike the guitar or trumpet, is a mechanical instrument, one can often distinguish the touch of different pianists.

On many instruments the tone-creation is an essential element of the perfomance. It does not matter how well you can play the notes on a saxophone or trumpet if you can’t produce a pleasant tone – who wants to listen if you have an ugly sound.

Then there are synthesizers, a relatively new instrument. It’s quite a tricky instrument. Some very accomplished pianists sound terrible on a synth, because while they have great technique, they have no ear for programming a nice sound on a synth. Then there are keyboard players like Brian Eno. He does not have much of a technique or training, and yet he produces marvellous synth pieces that rely on gorgeous sounds.

The guitar, I feel, lands somewhere smack in the middle. There are plenty of guitarists who play the notes well, but produce a rather ugly tone. I find that practicing one’s tone-production is just as important as playing the notes.

Saturday in Santa Fe

02010-02-20 @ 08:02

Making lemonade… will have to check this show out.

Hasan Elahi: Tracking Transience
After new media professor Hasan Elahi was falsely accused by a neighbor of being a 9/11 terrorist accomplice in 2002, the Bangladesh-born American underwent six months of scrutiny from the FBI. Turning the tables, he personally documented the minutiae of his everyday occurrences now on view in a project called Tracking Transience at the Santa Fe art space SITE.
(Via Cool Hunting)

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Oxfam: Tajikistan on the Brink from Climate Change : TreeHugger
The already harsh life of Tajikistan’s large population of rural poor will be “dealt an even harder blow” by extreme weather and water shortages in the coming decades, according to a new report by Oxfam International on the Central Asian nation, which the World Bank had previously named the region’s most vulnerable country to climate change — and the one with the least capacity to adapt.

How long before international courts are chocking from the barrage of lawsuits initiated by stricken countries, (((countries with grand-scale crop failures or islands that are disappearing under water))) desperately trying to get help from the countries that have contributed the most to the emissions that have lead to climate change? I’ll give it five to ten years.
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Very funny.
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Friday in Santa Fe

02010-02-19 @ 12:02



Yesterday I finished a very good book, The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Safak. I very highly recommend it. (((I read the Kindle edition on my iPhone)))

Elif Safak is doing a book tour in March and you can find the dates here. She is a brave woman – see this wikipedia entry:

Safak’s second novel written in English is The Bastard of Istanbul (a literal Turkish translation of the title would be “The Father and the Bastard”), which was the bestselling book of 2006 in Turkey. The novel brought Safak under prosecution by the Turkish government for “insulting Turkishness” under Article 301 of the Turkish Criminal Code. The charges stemmed from a statement made by a character in her novel, who characterized the massacres of Armenians in World War I as genocide.

In response, Safak noted that “the way ultranationalists are trying to penetrate the domain of art and literature is quite new, and quite disturbing.” The charges were ultimately dismissed.

Maybe you are wondering what connects this book to the above images I captured early on Friday Morning? The photographs were taken at the Santa Fe monument commemorating the internment of Japanese-Americans during WW2. (more info: Justice Department’s Prison Camp Remembered and Executive Order 9066)

I think there is this very interesting thing that happens with history… we have to remember, in order not to make the same mistake again and in order to gain perspective, but at the other end of that rememberence can lurk racism, among other dangers. I mean, one can’t seem to meet a person of Armenian heritage who doesn’t hate the Turkish without ever having known a Turk or ever having been there.

I want to remember those moments in our collective history:
the Armenian massacres in Turkey in 1915
the Nanjing massacre from 1937 (also known as the Rape of Nanking, it refers to a six-week period following the Japanese capture of the city of Nanjing (Nanking), the former capital of the Republic of China)
the holocaust in Germany 1938-1945

No, I am not going to list them all… it would take too many pages…

So, how do we hold this knowledge in our heart without letting it poison us… The unbearable lightness of being… Bearing witness without letting it stain any present or future relations. Difficult, for sure, but also important, I feel.

I visit the Santa Fe monument that commemorates the Japanese internment every year. If I lived nearby I would also visit Auschwitz and the Nanjing Memorial Hall regularly.

I also realize that these things are in our lives every single day. On a different scale, to be sure, but it shows in how we treat each other, how we think of one another.

Thursday in Santa Fe

02010-02-19 @ 12:02

Another new piece, from Wednesday’s rehearsal:

Audio MP3

My world at Jon’s studio:


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Very useful tool:

SPL Meter | Andrew Smith
SPL Meter is a professional-grade sound level meter, also known as a decibel or dB meter, for your iPhone or iPod touch. Modeled after a traditional analog SPL meter, we have faithfully reproduced all the characteristics and qualities found in those meters, including the ballistics, ranges, filters, and decay rates. But don’t compare us to a Radio Shack meter, ours is much more accurate! We have also included a small digital LCD display, as shown in the picture, to make this the best SPL meter on the store. And this is something that the old analog meters never had!

And:

Select 40dB to 120dB in 9 ranges. Whatever range is selected, this is the value at the 0dB mark on the meter. Don’t worry if you peg the meter, you won’t bend the needle.

Ha!

Wednesday in Santa Fe

02010-02-19 @ 12:02

Edge 312
Dyson continued to articulate his vision for a new age of biology in a related article (“When Science & Poetry Were Friends”) in New York Review of Books in which he wrote:

“…a new generation of artists, writing genomes as fluently as Blake and Byron wrote verses, might create an abundance of new flowers and fruit and trees and birds to enrich the ecology of our planet. Most of these artists would be amateurs, but they would be in close touch with science, like the poets of the earlier Age of Wonder. The new Age of Wonder might bring together wealthy entrepreneurs like Venter and Kamen … and a worldwide community of gardeners and farmers and breeders, working together to make the planet beautiful as well as fertile, hospitable to hummingbirds as well as to humans.”

That could become interesting: amateur genome artists/experimenters. And then? Genome biotech kits recommended for ages 15 and up. Look ma, I created a mouse with 8 feet! Isn’t that cool!

However, I do like the notion of bringing arts and science closer together.
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A History of the California Cycleway
The following article, as printed in the November 1901 issue of Good Roads Magazine, was originally published in from Pearson’s Magazine: California’s Great Cycle-Way, by T. D. Denham

During the 1880’s, 1890’s, and the first few years of the 20th century, the Bicycle Craze prompted many innovations that would soon be adapted for the automobile. One innovation was described in the following article about a bicycle freeway, built before the term “freeway” was coined.

The South California towns, Los Angeles and Pasadena, are now connected by the strangest and most interesting of links-a magnificent, elevated cycle-way, with a smooth surface of wood, running for nine miles through beautiful country, flanked by green hills, and affording views at every point of the snow-clad Sierras.

On this splendid track cyclists may now enjoy the very poetry of wheeling. At Pasadena they may mount their cycles and sail down to Los Angeles without so much as touching the pedals, even though the gradient is extremely slight.The way lies for the most part along the east bank of the Arroyo Seco, giving a fine view of this wooded stream, and skirting the foot of the neighboring oak-covered hills.The surface is perfectly free from all dust and mud, and nervous cyclists find the track safer than the widest roads, for there are no horses to avoid, no trains or trolley-cars, no stray dogs or wandering children.

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Poetry expressed as architecture. Spanish architect Calatrava designed a beautiful railway station in Liege, Belgium.

You can find photos here and here (Wikipedia).
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Helmet cam!!!

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Nikola Tamindzic
“ Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I’ve ever known.
— Chuck Palahniuk

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Kawamura Ganjavian – SCENTER
One particular scent can bring back more memories than a thousand pictures. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to store smells the same way we store photographs? SCENTER is a depository of scents. Concentrated personal fragrances can be stored inside compact cartridges, their scent being released through a nozzle upon pressing the bellows thus evoking the memories embedded in them.

I love the photos. How delightful! I can picture Y. carrying one with her 24/7 and adding little vials of scent-memory.

Tuesday Afternoon

02010-02-16 @ 21:02

This afternoon we met at Jon’s studio in Santa Fe. Michael brought the kit he wants to record with. Drums were unpacked:

Drums were set up:

Microphones were set up:

A DM-View of a mike-cable in front of the kick drum (((not a good place to pass out)))

Drums were tuned:

I love hi-hats and Michael has an especially nice pair (((and is a great hi-hat player!)))

Another DM-View. Agua, sin gas for him, con gas for me.

View through the control room door, while Jon was recording a bit of the drumming.

Michael’s back, as he was listening to the sound of his drums. He was pleased. Jon used only 5 microphones and it sounded excellent. Strong and yet very natural.

Two out of those five mikes were trained on the kick. Gotta hava a great kick sound, especially in a trio!

Finally, successful microphone placements were measured and recorded.

Icicle

02010-02-16 @ 21:02



Monday in Santa Fe

02010-02-16 @ 12:02

Carnival in the Netherlands and carnival in Brazil. (from a Boston.com slideshow)
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Clive Thompson in Praise of Online Obscurity | Magazine
Then, in 2007, she began a nifty project: tweeting recipes, each condensed to 140 characters. She soon amassed 3,000 followers, but her online life still felt like a small town: Among the regulars, people knew each other and enjoyed conversing. But as her audience grew and grew, eventually cracking 13,000, the sense of community evaporated. People stopped talking to one another or even talking to her. “It became dead silence,” she marvels.

Why? Because socializing doesn’t scale. Once a group reaches a certain size, each participant starts to feel anonymous again, and the person they’re following — who once seemed proximal, like a friend — now seems larger than life and remote. “They feel they can’t possibly be the person who’s going to make the useful contribution,” Evans says. So the conversation stops. Evans isn’t alone. I’ve heard this story again and again from those who’ve risen into the lower ranks of microfame. At a few hundred or a few thousand followers, they’re having fun — but any bigger and it falls apart. Social media stops being social. It’s no longer a bantering process of thinking and living out loud. It becomes old-fashioned broadcasting.

The lesson? There’s value in obscurity.

Socializing does not scale. Funny, we knew that didn’t we? It’s one of the lessons we learned in grade school.
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I always enjoy, when it appears as if the camera floats.

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How to Raise Racist Kids | GeekDad | Wired.com
And what are they learning? Here are a few depressing facts:

* Only 8% of white American high-schoolers have a best friend of another race. (For blacks, it’s about 15%.)
* The more diverse a school is, the less likely it is that kids will form cross-race friendships.
* 75% of white parents never or almost never talk about race with their kids.
* A child’s attitudes toward race are much harder to alter after third grade, but a lot of parents wait until then (or later) before they feel it’s “safe” to talk frankly about race.

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Nice interactive 2009 holiday card
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Crowfoot – Wikiquote
What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

Crowfoot‘s last words, 1890

Beautiful. Reminds me of Japanese Death Poems.

East-West

02010-02-14 @ 09:02

East and West collide and madness ensues as pink postcards and confetti rain down from the sky, while Tigers roar and fireworks explode in every corner…

foodconsumer.org – Chinese New Year 2010
The first day of the Chinese New year 2010 is Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 – the year of the Tiger, according to the Chinese Zodiac.

The Chinese New Year does not follow the western calendar and the fist day of the Chinese lunar new year can be any day between late Jan and mid-Feb. It is said that the Chinese Zodiac which designates the lunar new year cycle was introduced by Emperor Huang Ti in 2600 BC. Thus the year 2010 on the western calendar is the Chinese lunar year 4708.

Happy Valentine’s day and happy new year. Welcome the year of the tiger.

(Thanks for the reminder Y.)

And, speaking of tigers…

Tiger Farms in China Feed Thirst for Parts – NYTimes.com
Shrinking habitat remains a daunting challenge, but conservationists say the biggest threat to Asia’s largest predator is the Chinese appetite for tiger parts. Despite a government ban on the trade since 1993, there is a robust market for tiger bones, traditionally prized for their healing and aphrodisiac qualities, and tiger skins, which have become cherished trophies among China’s nouveau riche.

With pelts selling for $20,000 and a single paw worth as much as $1,000, the value of a dead tiger has never been higher, say those who investigate the trade. Last month the Indian government announced a surge in killings of tigers by poachers, with 88 found dead in 2009, double the previous year. Because figures are based on carcasses found on reserves or tiger parts seized at border crossings, conservationists say the true number is far higher.

 


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