Archive for 2010-04

Tuesday in Santa Fe

02010-04-28 @ 07:04

Rehearsal with Michael and Jon. So many songs! The new material was rehearsed, a tentative set list was created and tomorrow we will play the set in order.

My orchids keep on blooming. I’m fine with that.

Slashdot Games Story | How Nintendo’s Mario Got His Name
In 1981, tiny Nintendo of America was getting ready to release Donkey Kong. When the company’s landlord, Mario Segale, demanded back rent, Nintendo staffers named the game’s barrel-jumping protagonist after him. Almost thirty years later, neither Nintendo — which continues to crank out Mario games — nor Segale — now a wealthy, secretive Washington State real estate developer — like to talk about how one of video games’ iconic characters got his name and Italian heritage.h

Fantastic slow-mo of the launch of Apollo 11:

(Via Daring Fireball)

What Climate Change Means for Wine Industry | Wired Science |
All crops need favorable climates, but few are as vulnerable to temperature and other extremes as wine grapes. “There is a 15-fold difference in the price of cabernet sauvignon grapes that are grown in Napa Valley and cabernet sauvignon grapes grown in Fresno” in California’s hot Central Valley, says Kim Cahill, a consultant to the Napa Valley Vintners’ Association. “Cab grapes grown in Napa sold [in 2006] for $4,100 a ton. In Fresno the price was $260 a ton. The difference in average temperature between Napa and Fresno was 5 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Numbers like that help explain why climate change is poised to clobber the global wine industry, a multibillion-dollar business whose decline would also damage the much larger industries of food, restaurants, and tourism.

Very interesting article about grapes. I have long felt that nothing will really be done about climate change until the big corporations start seeing losses… should the flood waters come close to Disneyland, or the wine industry in Nappa fail, well, action will be taken then.
You want to buy a new bike. You don’t know which size frame would suit you best… there is an app for that:

SizeMyBike: iPhone bike fitting App
How to choose the right bicycle size?

Monday in Santa Fe

02010-04-26 @ 11:04

After a quick trip to the Phoenix area, where Michael and I played for a private party, we came home on Saturday. Rehearsals for the East coast run start tomorrow. Time to think up a set list.

Upaya Newsletter for 4/26/2010
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
— His Holiness the Dalai Lama

In Bavaria and Austria there is a commercial product called “Radler”, or bicyclist in English. It’s a half and half mix of lemonade and a blond lager:

The drink was invented in the Roaring Twenties by Franz Xaver Kugler, a fellow who is as home-grown a Bavarian as pretzels and lederhosen. Herr Kugler was a railroad worker turned innkeeper who opened his watering hole, the Kugleralm (meaning: Kugler’s alpine meadow), toward the end of the nineteenth century in a little place called Deisenhofen, some 12 miles outside Munich. When, after World War I, bicycle riding became a popular pastime in Germany, Herr Kugler arranged for the construction of a bike trail through the forest, from Munich straight to his establishment—only to get himself into trouble…almost. He had not planned for what businessmen call the up-side risk, when, on a fine Saturday in June 1922, some 13,000 cyclists descended upon the Kugleralm and demanded beer. They almost depleted Franz Xaver’s stock of brew.

The Kugleralm without beer would have been a catastrophe! But the quick-thinking innkeeper had a bright idea. He had several thousand bottles of clear lemon soda in his cellar, a beverage that had proven virtually unsaleable to his beer-loving Bavarian public. To save the day, and to get rid of what he considered some useless inventory, he mixed this lemon soda with his remaining beer at a 50/50 ratio and proudly declared that he had invented this concoction deliberately just for the cyclists so that they would not fall off their bikes on their way home. He called the mixture a Radlermass (Radler means cyclist in German, Mass means a liter of beer). In Herr Kugler’s case, need became the mother of invention.

More history here. Boris told me that this is also called “Alsterwasser”. The Alster is a river in the North of Germany (wikipedia entry) and wasser means water… and I just found an entry in the German Beer Institute North American website. I also found an entry for the best beer in the world.

Anyway, I had a few cans of Pellegrino Limonata and a bottle of Bohemia in the fridge and mixed to taste:


Thats was me, taking a photo on Friday Morning. Photo by MC.
Here are a few of the photos I took:

From neobohemia:

dewdrop world

This dewdrop world-
It may be a dewdrop,
And yet- and yet-


The second Great Buddha of Kamakura.  The first, made of wood and was damaged by a storm and later by fire.  Replaced in 1252 by this work in bronze which at one time was covered with gold leaf and only the ears have a big of gold still detectable.  The swirl on the forehead is made of silver.  It has endured earthquakes and tsunami.
(Via neo bohemia)

I visited that site in 1978 and took this photo:

(((this is a scan from a small print and on the left you can see the scotchtape which held it in a Journal)))
Armchair Travel:

(Via Pop Wuping)
Check yer logins and change your passwords, I suppose. Good luck.

Russian Hacker Selling 1.5M Facebook Accounts
A hacker who calls himself Kirllos has obtained and is now offering to sell 1.5 million Facebook IDs at astonishingly low prices — $25 per 1,000 IDs for users with fewer than 10 friends and $45 per 1,000 IDs for users with more than 10 friends. Looking at the numbers, Kirllos has stolen the IDs of one out of every 300 Facebook users. Quoting: ‘VeriSign director of cyber intelligence Rick Howard told the New York Times that it appeared close to 700,000 had already been sold. Kirllos would have earned at least $25,000 from the scam. Howard told the newspaper that it was not apparent whether the accounts and passwords were legitimate, but a Russian underground hacking magazine reported it had tested some of Kirllos’ previous samples and managed to get into people’s accounts.
(Via Slashdot)


Stephen Hawking takes the hard line on aliens | Leo Hickman
I’m with Stephen Hawking on this one. Even if we were show to them we can calculate pi to a billion decimal places, aliens are bound to be trigger happy when they meet us for the first time. And given our past form, who would blame them?
(Via Guardian Science)

Thursday Morning

02010-04-22 @ 09:04

Mark can read minds, it seems. Yes, we have been working on something like that. We want to make this exclusive offer to the subscribers, you:

As you know, the official release date of the new album is 2010-06-15. Our plan is to have a very simple order page, available to subsribers only, on 2010-06-01, two weeks before the release. Subscribers will be able to order the regular CD album as well as the limited edition HD-FLAC package and I will sign every album, should you want me to. There will be a comment field that will allow you to enter information so I can personalize the autograph with Happy Birthday Aunt Betty or something like that (((and Christmas is only eight months away…)))

This pre-sale order page will only be available for the two weeks leading up to the release date.

Wednesday in Santa Fe

02010-04-22 @ 07:04

Early Morning view:


I feel real pity for musicians sometimes | Beyond The Beyond
I feel real pity for musicians sometimes

*I mean, look at this mess. Listen to it. What the heck is left of them and their craft of music? Every aspect of production, distribution, socialization even, has been virtualized and network-distributed. Musicians have really been close to the fire there for a long time. And their troubles aren’t over, either, not by a long chalk.

*When someone chooses to halt this potentially endless digital process, a stream of ones and zeros reverberates out of a speaker somewhere. Although that artifact still strikes the human ear as music, it’s got about as much to do with analog music as an ocelot-patterned synthetic rug does with an ocelot.

I can dig that, but there is a satisfaction and joy musicians derive from playing old-fashioned analog instruments that I can’t imagine a writer to understand. Words are intellectual, they don’t contain the kick to the belly that a turn of melody or a chord change or a rhythm can give the musician. No sir, I’ll take struggling as a musician over hitting a typewriter any day. Your job is solitary, lonely, and you have no idea what it feels like to play in a group.

While it is true that music production and delivery has been digitized, that is only partially true for the actual making of music. Sure, there are plenty of all-digital keyboards and there are samples of french horns, but to actually play a french horn you still need training, experience, and lips that form the tone through the mouth piece. And while in many cases the digital french horn sample will suffice, often it does not and a player has to be called in to give a phrase life and meaning.

He ends with:

*Okay, fine. What’s done is done, right? But now have a listen to this — especially the sequence around and after 2:20. Do you hear how warm and flat and squinchy that music sounds — kind of stretched, somehow, and especially the very disturbing background rhythm under the drums, that is subtly drifting out of phase? That music could not possibly be created with human hands. That is Brian Eno manipulating analog tape loops. Yes, ANALOG tape loops, with STRIPS OF RECORDED PLASTIC. In 1974. You can still pick up an acoustic guitar and learn to play it, but you can no longer get THERE from here. The high-tech studio of 1974 is dead-media. You’re about as likely to find music of this kind now, as you are to find a jaguar stalking around downtown Mexico City.

Yes, true, but not a big deal methinks. Soon one might be able to use an iPad to control phasing-shifting. Originally phase-shifting was done by using two tape-machines playing back the same music. The proper term is actually flanging. If not properly maintained the two machines would drift apart and if this was done with studio tape recorders, the engineer might help the process by laying a hand on one of the reels, thereby slowing it down a tiny amount… I believe flange is an English term for the reel that contains the audio tape.

A great example can be found on the Roxy Music album In Every Dream Home a Heartache – the first side of the LP ended with a long phase-shifted guitar solo by Phil Manzanera. (((I watched this being performed live on German TV, with Eno using two Revox machines connected to foot-controllers that slowed down and sped up the machines. He was balancing on these foot controllers and I was marveling at Manzanera being able to keep playing with all of this happening…)))

Another thing worth pointing out is that flanging was a studio technique, not a musician-expression. It was an idea producers came up with.
If you have any interest in Apple products or smart phones in general, you might have heard about the 4G iPhone that was stolen and outed by that rag Gizmodo (((now deleted from my RSS feed))). The best summation of the events can be found on Daring Fireball today, though this article is also worth reading and I love this post about the design. Since I am a huge Dieter Rams fan, (((a genius and arguably the most influential designer of the 20th century))) I love the new design and look forward to replacing my “old” 3G with the new phone when my two-year contract is up in September.
There is more I want to write about, but I am running out of time. I am leaving at noon for a gig with Michael and will be back on Saturday. Won’t take my laptop.

Let’s celebrate the Bass

02010-04-21 @ 09:04

I think Jon’s bass-playing is fantastic and want to highlight a few things he played on the new album. Here are a few solos he took:

Audio MP3

The first sample was taken from the second track, Blue by Blue.

Audio MP3

Dancing Alone. This second example is the only solo that was overdubbed. The reason for that was that Jon used a fretted bass with a piece of foam wedged under the strings (((it’s a James Jamerson thing))) for the song and he wanted to do the solo on the “singing” fretless. You actually hear both basses here. The fretted bass plays the root and the fretless solos.

Audio MP3

The third excerpt is from track number ten, Sixteen Hours. No matter what the chord changes, Jon will find something lyrical and melodious to play!

Audio MP3

This last examples was taken from track number six, Tokyo After Midnight. I have presented this already, but this here is from the final mix.

Music Repeat

02010-04-21 @ 09:04

A music repeat from last year:

Here is my rough mix of Kites Over the Playa, made right after I recorded my guitar parts – presented here with Matthew’s permission. You can find the final version on Matthew Schoenings beautiful album The Art of Live Looping – available from his website and our ListeningLounge.

Audio MP3

You can download the high quality 320kbps file here.

And yes, the title was inspired by Matt’s visit to Burning Man.

Tuesday in Santa Fe

02010-04-21 @ 08:04

I am tempted to play mostly tunes from the new album this year, and only a handful of older pieces. Yes, I think that would be interesting. The new stuff and maybe “Snakecharmer”, “Heart Still/Beating”, “La Luna”, “Firelight”…

The Coming Tide of Global Climate Lawsuits | Wired Science |
The Coming Tide of Global Climate Lawsuits

Yep. See this post from 2005, this post from four years ago, as well as this and this.
One-sheets (((link to wikipedia definition))) are little one-page advertisements that a record company sends out. The CD distributor uses them to solicit orders from stores. The digital distributor uses them to make sure download stores carry the new album. A radio promoter will send them out to radio stations. In the past, one-sheets were mailed all over the country or hand-devilvered by a large record company’s sales-force, but now they just get emailed around.

We turned to our publishing administrator (((she went to school in the UK and probably enjoyed a better education than any of us))), who agreed to write the one-sheet for the new album.

The one-sheet for Petals on the Path can be downloaded here.

The work’s the man
The work’s the man; you can’t get something out of nothing.
– Edward Hopper

From this week’s Upaya newsletter:

Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.
– Albert Einstein

Saturday in Santa Fe

02010-04-19 @ 08:04

Bill commented on April 18th, 2010 at 09:41
Can you recommend a couple of live mic’s for small spaces(guitar)? Thanks

I have tried many different microphones for the stage and for quite a few years now (((since 2004?))) I have been very happy with Shure KSM141 condenser mics. I checked and noticed that they go for $399 on Amazon, or you could pick up a used one.

the muse finds you
There is a Pablo Neruda poem that begins:

And it was at that time… Poetry came
to find me.

(Via neo bohemia)

It truly feels that way. How did music find me this Winter? I was hiding from music, in a way. I had no plans to record (((I really did need to NOT think about composing and recording after The Scent of Light, which was wonderful and exhausting…)))…and yet…

Recipe – Pad Thai –
iPad Thai?


Uploaded by onemoreprod. – Arts and animation videos.
This will change the landscape of stories.

William Gibson
“If I can make you curious enough, there’s this thing called Google. If you’re curious about the New Orleans Indians, or ‘second-line’ musicians–you can look it up.” The Internet, he suggests, can provide its own creative freedom, releasing writers from having to overexplain, allowing history to light the characters from within

Beautiful old-fashioned bags and aprons:

Stanley & Sons


(Via the music of sound)
Oh no… groan…

Ping, a social networking garment
Get a ping back.Technology is integrated into the shoulder of the garment that provides a subtle “tapping” feeling. If your friends send you a comment or a message back, the garment will notify you by tapping you on the shoulder.
(Via Beyond the Beyond)


BBC News – Rosslyn Chapel was haven for bees
An ancient chapel has revealed a new mystery with the discovery of a 600-year-old hive built into the stones.

Builders renovating Rosslyn Chapel, which was made famous in The Da Vinci Code, found the “unprecedented” hive while dismantling a rooftop pinnacle.

The bees entered the hive through a hole in a carved flower crafted by the chapel’s master stone masons.

A friend sent this link. The photos should give you a few good laughs, and if you are a school teacher, maybe you’ll cry.

Teabonics: The most ridiculous – and misspelled – tea party protest signs

Letter to a Young Musician #7

02010-04-18 @ 10:04

Dear Friend,

How to produce a sound, draw a melody from the strings, is a constant question. You can hold a guitar comfortably, which may choke the sound a little, or you can hold it a little less comfortably and produce a finer tone. Somewhere in between those two extremes lies the perfect way to hold your instrument.

In Flamenco, when the guitar was mainly accompanying singers or dancers and when volume was an important concern in the days before amplification, people often balanced the bottom of the guitar on their right leg. The advantage of this position is that the guitar is loud and sings. Unfortunately the guitar isn’t very stable in this position and has to be held up by the left hand, which is not free to move about the neck.

In the last fifty years most guitarists favor this position: cross your right leg over your left leg. Rest the cut-out of the Flamenco guitar on your right thigh. Lean over so that your body is collapsing on the guitar to a degree. This will put your right hand in a good position to strum the strings and your left hand in a great position to play the neck.

Actually, I haven’t done that during concerts for a couple of years. I have been using a footstool, but while classical guitarists put their left foot on the stool and rest the guitar on their left thigh, I put my right foot on the stool and the guitar ends up in the same position as if I were to cross my right leg over my left leg.

The trick, then, lies is finding a balance between holding the guitar securely and thus enabling both of your hands to move freely, and holding the guitar lightly, so that the instrument isn’t choked and can sing. Similar to many relationships, isn’t it? Hold your lover tightly and set them free – at the same time. How do you do that? With care.

Don’t forget to practice.

Friday in Santa Fe

02010-04-16 @ 18:04

Thursdsay Morning I rode the Mariachi Bullitt to have breakfast with Jon. I use a New York-sized chain to lock it up. :-)


NYC Tilt-Shift photography by Olivo Barbieri
(Via Cool Hunting)

Check out the index as he has phtographed quite a few cities around the world, inlcuding Shanghai, Beijing, Las Vegas, Rome. Check out the Pantheon here – since it is a flash site, you’ll have to navigate to photograph number 3 yourself. Some fine armchair travel!
I watched a few TED talks this week. This one, by Sam Harris, is quite good. Some of what he is saying here echoes what Ken Wilber has been talking about for some time. Flatland is wrong, some opinions are of higher value than others. My opinion on what’s wrong with your car is so worthless compared to the opinion of a car mechanic!

Other talks I watched this week: a short talk about roundabouts and a new traffic sign: New Traffic Sign: Take Turns. Here is a screenshot I made on my phone while watching the talk:

A beautiful and heartfelt talk by Robert Gupta, violinist with the LA Philharmonic: Music is medicine, music is sanity. After his talk, Gupta plays his own transcription of the prelude from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1! And The Danger of Science Denial.
And, to balance the seriousness, check out this captivating hippo (((thanks Guy!)))!

Thursday in Santa Fe

02010-04-15 @ 07:04

I dig this:

Lama Surya Das: Who and What Is Buddha, Really?
“Nowness-awareness is the authentic, unfabricated Buddha,” said my late Dzogchen master Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche

And I love the way he ends the article:

Far better to be a Buddha than a mere Buddhist today.

And, from Buddha to Black Holes:

Every Black Hole Contains Another Universe?
Like part of a cosmic Russian doll, our universe may be nested inside a black hole that is itself part of a larger universe.

In turn, all the black holes found so far in our universe—from the microscopic to the supermassive—may be doorways into alternate realities.

Every black hole has a white hole side….
There is a sentence in the April edition of Wallpaper Magazine, that really pisses me off:

…the mass rape of East Prussian women and girls by Soviet soldiers extracting revenge for the crimes committed by Germany in Russia.

Of course this was written by a man, and what a complete and utter moron he must be. There is no excuse for rape and to claim that it was revenge is such a stupid statement that it makes the blood boil.
Been working with an Arabic scale called Maqam Nakriz. The F is sharp and the B and E are flat: D, Eb, F#, G, A, Bb, C, D

Note the big three half-tone step between the Eb and the F#. Nice scale, very evocative. Here is the first music sketch using that scale, recorded at the dining table with my iPhone and the original Blue Mikey:

Audio MP3

Leonardo da Vinci was born today, in 1452.

April 15, 1452: It’s the Renaissance, Man!
1452: Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest multitalented artists in our history, is born in the Tuscan hill town of Vinci. Painter, sculptor, anatomist, architect, engineer, geologist: The labels don’t even begin to describe him.

Nice Tim Prebble remix of a classical music piece by New Zealand composer John Psathas. More info here.

ONE SUMMARY Remixbytimprebble

Wednesday in Santa Fe

02010-04-14 @ 12:04

Grey Morning, soft light.

Old tree stump carvings on Acequia Madre:

Pink blossoms, white skulls, adobe wall:

I don’t tire of this chimney. I have passed it, sometimes several times a week, for over twenty years. While there is always a thrill is seeing something new, experiencing a place for the first time, I do cherish visiting these familiar places over and over again.

Walking home after a long night out, leaning on each other. The one on the right seems to be the drunkest. Anfänger!

I have no idea what the point of this is, not that there needs to be one. Protecting the tree from cellular or Wi-Fi radiation? This is Santa Fe, after all.

Thinking of a career in music, are you? Take a good look at this graphic first – I found it here. It shows how much you have to sell to earn minimum wage – $1,160 per month. Yep, very difficult in today’s digital world.

We updated our Under the Rose webpage, after I noticed that the charity Rahim had picked folded at the end of December. He left it up to me and I picked the International Red Cross, which has an Iraq program on its donation page.

Tuesday in Santa Fe

02010-04-13 @ 21:04

Video is just about better than film now. Check this out, shot at 800ASA with two 100W light bulbs… Beautiful!

A friend took a photo of me with fez and studio beard.

Beautiful evening light on Monday:

Monday in Santa Fe

02010-04-13 @ 10:04

Beautiful Spring Morning in Santa Fe. I have a feeling that Spring will be fast and furious this year.

The Santa Fe River runs:

In the Afternoon we had an exciting cornucopia of wheather. High winds pushed clouds around at an unbelievable speed. Then it became dark and gloomy. A little later it rained while the sun shone brightly through the clouds. Then more wind. Like a weather movie, sped up. A week of weather was presented in just one day.

Here is a photo I took last week. A motorized bicycle. Maybe a kit? In Germany that would be called a MoFa = Motor-Fahrrad or Motor-Bicycle. They are allowed to have top-speeds of 25km/h or 15.5mph, but my brother was known to tune the engine of his and other’s to achieve twice that speed.


Y. is in Tokyo. Flickr slideshow here.

Friday in Santa Fe

02010-04-10 @ 10:04

I uploaded the March slideshow. You can find it here. Please click on the fullscreen symbol for maximum enjoyment. I have been looking into html slideshows, so that the photos can be viewed on mobile devices that don’t support Flash, but they either don’t advance automatically or they don’t dissolve nicely…
I added a page for the new album. The official release date is June 15th.
New York, New York. I love the city, but playing there with the band became a drag last year, when a new law was issued: a bus pulling a trailer is no longer allowed in Manhattan. As a result we have to leave the bus and trailer in New Jersey and drive into the city with the gear in a rental van and the musicians in a couple of taxis. Not fun.
Behold, wild custom scooters from Japan.

William Gibson
The writing worth keeping happens within a matrix of mysterious but crucially related activities. I might order myself to write for X number of hours per day (though in fact I never do) but the writing worth keeping can’t be ordered to happen at all, let alone for X number of hours per day. It has to be teased out. Fed.

The music worth keeping can’t be ordered to happen at all, let alone for X number of hours per day. It has to be teased out…
Track number 4, “On the Road to Shiraz”, starts with the sound of dawn on a dusty street. It’s a gritty sound, gritty like the sand on both sides of the road. At the end of the road beckons Shiraz, the Persian garden city, home of the Sufi poet Hafez. The gritty sound returns at the end of the piece, when we realize that we are no closer to Shiraz, because we whiled away the time dancing and talking.

Music Repeat

02010-04-09 @ 09:04

This Spring Release 10,000 Butterflies

This is a large AIFF file, nearly 200MB. The audio is 24/96. Read more about it here and here. You can download it here.

Since then the One Guitar album has become available in 24/96 quality from

You might also want to check out my Digital Audio Recap, which you can find here.

Untitled Rumba

from the original post a year ago:

Here is a piece called Untitled Rumba. And yes, it might sound familiar to you as an old version of it can be found in the ListeningLounge. However, Jon and I worked on it recently (((for a compilation CD))) and this here is the result:

Audio MP3

You can download the high quality 320 kbps mp3 version here.

This track can be found as Remba on the Spanish Sun compilation that is available at Target.

Wednesday in Santa Fe

02010-04-09 @ 08:04

…denn aller Schmuck versteckt das Geschmückte.
– Nietzsche

Because all adornment conceals the adorned.

A History of Media Technology Scares
A respected Swiss scientist, Conrad Gessner, might have been the first to raise the alarm about the effects of information overload. In a landmark book, he described how the modern world overwhelmed people with data and that this overabundance was both “confusing and harmful” to the mind. The media now echo his concerns with reports on the unprecedented risks of living in an “always on” digital environment. It’s worth noting that Gessner, for his part, never once used e-mail and was completely ignorant about computers. That’s not because he was a technophobe but because he died in 1565. His warnings referred to the seemingly unmanageable flood of information unleashed by the printing press.
(Via Pop Wuping)

William Gibson on uniforms:

Q Have you ever wanted to wear a uniform?

A When was I last out of one? The extent to which we are are all of us usually in uniform brings to mind Eno’s definition of culture: everything we do that we don’t really need to. Pajama bottoms beneath a raincoat? Out of uniform. Jeans with one leg cut off? Out of uniform. Contracultural apparel disturbs us. Countercultures are intensely cultural. Bohemias have dress codes as rigid as those of merchant banks. We all read uniforms, constantly, whether we’re aware of it or not.

My favorite science fiction film wardrobe is worn by David Bowie’s alien, in The Man Who Fell To Earth. He turns up for his first terrestrial business meeting wearing a brand new $1.99 Chinese flannel workshirt, buttoned at the neck, its printed plaid fabric about half an inch thick, under a shiny, sleazy, striped business suit. The sense of the character’s inability to read or articulate our cultural codes is perfect, and heartbreaking.
(Via Gibson Blog)

I remember seeing that movie for the first time in 1979. Watched it several times. Died my hair the same shade of red, too. When I moved to Santa Fe I learned that the opening scenes were shot in this area, near Madrid, New Mexico.

…and comparing influence to weather:

But that’s material. “Influence” is something else. Influence is more like weather, when you’ve been writing for a while. It blows in from somewhere. You can’t say exactly where weather *is*, but you can say that it’s present.

(Via Gibson Blog)

This, I feel makes a good music critic: the ability to put his/her nose in the air, take a few good sniffs, and guess where the weather came from, where it had been before it blew around and through the artist in question. This requires more than an ear for music, or a way with words, it requires a certain amount of experience, an understanding of history. And by history I mean the many movements, or to stay with the metaphore, the many winds that have blown in the valley before. Saying I like it, although perfectly sufficient for mere mortals, is not enough, coming from a critic. S/he has to tell us what direction the weather blew in from, what the shift in barometric pressure means and so on.

Tuesday in Santa Fe

02010-04-07 @ 13:04

A day of non-stop clerical work. Burned the audio masters, one for the CD manufacturer and one for our digital distributor, burned the data CDs with the HD FLAC files – one set for the CD manufacturer (((limited run of 100 pieces))) and one for our digital distributor (((mainly for HDTracks))). Listened to most of the CDs to make sure everything was working properly. Then I sent everything off in the afternoon for Wednesday afternoon delivery. Exciting moment, as it is every time I send a master off.

Here is the beginning of track number one:

I love the album. Recording it was a very different experience, and not just because the last album was three years in the making and this one took about three months. The approach was very different, new, fun, exciting. I already have fleeting thoughts about the next Luna Negra album, although I doubt that will happen before 2012. I imagine the basic recording process will be the same, the three of us playing together in a studio (((maybe we’ll record in my studio next time, as my main room has a different shape than Jon’s and the drumkit would sound different))) but then I want to add more instruments to the basic trio. Not on every tune, mind you, but a few tunes with, say a trumpet or a viola for example…

Next up, however, I want to get started on another solo guitar album, for release in 2011. The title I have in mind is: An Imaginary Country. That’s from a quote by Debussy, who wrote:

..if they felt that for a moment they had been dreaming of an imaginary country, that’s to say, one that can’t be found on the map.

Double CD. The first CD will contain the solo guitar recordings. The second one will contain, for lack of a better word, remixes of the music from the first CD. These “remixes” will be created from nothing but the guitar-sounds from the first CD. No other sound will be added, but we will go to town on changing and processing the guitar recordings into something completely different. One could say: CD 1 = organic, natural, naked. CD 2 = processed, GMO, layered. Ideally one should not be able to recognize that CD 2 used CD 1 as source material. Ideally they will sound like two completely different works. I’ll record in HD (((24/88.2))) again.

The first idea I had for the artwork, a few weeks ago, was a stilllife with a pear (((it’s a pair of CDs))) on the front and a photoshop-processed version of that image on the back. But instead I think I will do something with Imaginary Country, which gives me a lot of conceptual freedom. Maybe maps. I love maps… it would be interesting to create maps of the remix-process. Anyway, now that “Petals On the Path” is finished, I will start thinking more about the solo album.

Here are some of my first notes for the album, from a couple of months ago:

* A Pair
* Pear
* Two
* Two of a Kind
* Twins
* Siblings
* Mutation
* Two Sisters
* A Moment with Two Images
* Action & Reflection
* Playing & Reflecting
* Impulse & Reflection
* Performance & Reflection
* Per4mance &
* Movement & Contemplation
* Organic & Processed

Q Having written three trilogies, and approaching the age where some people choose to retire, do you think you’ll keep writing into a ripe old age?
A There’s evidence that some people are actually better at writing novels, over fifty. And it doesn’t feel like a job, exactly. More like an ongoing experiment of some kind.

(Via Gibson Blog)

I love that: …it doesn’t feel like a job, exactly. More like an ongoing experiment of some kind.

Tokyoflash Twitter Concept Watch Says It’s Meaningless Self-Promotional Update O’Clock
Do I have the time, you ask? No! But I do know that my friend Barry just “checked in” at Denny’s thanks to my Twitter update-pulling Tokyoflash concept watch. Let’s go rob his house!

I am loving this:


A great way to send a subtle message or birthday greeting.

Can Science Explain the Concept of Heaven? –
Newberg puts forward the following scenario, which, he emphasizes, is guesswork. When people die, two parts of the brain, which usually work in opposition to each other, act cooperatively. The sympathetic nervous system—a web of nerves and neurons running through the spinal cord and spread to virtually every organ in the body—is responsible for arousal and excitement. It gets you ready for action. The parasympathetic system—with which the sympathetic system is entwined—calms you down and rejuvenates you. In life, the turning on of one system prompts the shutting down of the other. The sympathetic nervous system kicks in when a car cuts you off on the highway; the parasympathetic system is in charge as you’re falling asleep. But in the brains of people reporting mystical experiences—and, perhaps, in death—both systems are fully “on,” giving a person the sensation both of slowing down, being “out of body,” and of seeing things vividly, including memories of important people and past events. Does Newberg believe, then, that visions of heaven are merely chemical-neurological events? He laughs nervously. “I don’t know.” He laughs again. “It’s, um … I don’t think we have enough evidence to say.”

Since at least the 1980s, scientists have theorized that NDEs occur as a kind of physiological self-defense mechanism. In order to guard against damage during trauma, the brain releases protective chemicals that also happen to trigger intense hallucinations. This theory gained traction after scientists realized that virtually all the features of an NDE—a sense of moving through a tunnel, and “out of body” feeling, spiritual awe, visual hallucinations, and intense memories—can be reproduced with a stiff dose of ketamine, a horse tranquilizer frequently used as a party drug. In 2000, a psychiatrist named Karl Jansen wrote a book, Ketamine: Dreams and Realities, in which he interviewed a number of recreational users. One of them, who called himself K.U., describes one of his drug trips this way: “I came out into a golden Light. I rose into the Light and found myself having an unspoken interchange with the Light, which I believed to be God.” Dante said it better, but the vision is astonishingly the same.

I added the color and, oh my, I haven’t laughed that hard in a while. For some people, heaven is being on the back of a horse, and for some heaven is a horse tranquilizer. That might make a good bumpersticker, too. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
April Fools!

Konstantin Grcic appointed design consultant to FC Bayern München
Dezeenwire: German magazine Form reports that industrial designer Konstantin Grcic has been appointed design consultant to German football club Bayern München – Update 06/04/10: this was an April Fool joke and we fell for it! Hats off to Form magazine!
(Via dezeen)


02010-04-05 @ 18:04

Thanks for the suggestions regarding the data CDs!

The HD FLAC CD labels will look like this. Actually they will look much better because I only have low-res jpegs at the moment, but I saw the hi-res versions and they really “pop”.

The limited edition HD FLAC package will only be available from our website and on tour.


02010-04-05 @ 09:04

This Morning I looked at the CD player to see how long the album is… 62:55 minutes. Score!!

Behold my $99 JVC stereo. If it plays on this thing, it’ll play on just about any CD player in the world, I discovered. Important to know.

And, Dave, it’s 62:55, ’cause the JVC says so! :-)

But I’ll remember your 63:63 for the next time I have to fudge the numbers to get a nine…


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