vision 2020 (full version)

The full version of the album vision 2020 is now available on Bandcamp in HD quality – 24/88.2kHz.


(this is from 2019… the word was Camera and I had 25′ to write something… this was the result)

In a world of digital photography she had to turn back to analog picture making. Why do I always do this to myself, she wondered, but Afnan knew that she loved the process she had developed. The word camera comes from the latin word for room and one day she decided to give visual meaning to the life of rooms. When ideas such as that one occurred to her, the rest of the world stood still, at least for a while. Afnan’s boyfriend complained bitterly of being ignored, while she researched how to make her own light sensitive paper. She explained her idea to him like this:

Our eyes only see the present moment. We might be able to see traces of the past, for example in the footsteps that remain for a time in mud, but eyes see the now and it’s the brain that fills in the history. Long exposures, especially at night, can show more than a moment. Take cars driving in the dark with their lights on: the lights become lines and show the history, the lines represent time expired. What I want to show is the traces people leave in a room, over time. For that I need to build a box, a camera, that lets only a small amount of light through to the light sensitive paper, so I can make exposures of hours or days, or weeks or even years. If a woman in a red dress walks around the room several times, will that show on the photograph or will it get swallowed by the image of the room.

He understood her idea and even offered to help her build the camera, using his expertise as woodworker, but mainly he just wanted more attention from her. On one hand he was proud of her for getting so deeply into her ideas, for pursuing them so doggedly. On the other hand it took up so much of her time.

I could try to talk to a boutique hotel, she mused, and see whether they would let me install my camera into a room. But wouldn’t that mean spying on people, he asked. Afnan shook her head vigorously, I really don’t think so. I don’t think anything would appear very material… perhaps if a loon decided to sit in one position for a long time… like for several days at least, then he might appear in the photograph as a shadowy outline. He laughed, that could actually be an art piece within an art piece. Performance art inside a photograph. Maybe I should do that, then you might pay more attention to me. I love the idea, said Afna, and put her hand on his arm.

Robby Rothschild, the album

Singing songs of his own making, and accompanying them with instruments such as the West African kora, guitar, and percussion, Robby draws from the dual wells of tradition and personal expression. Known for his work with the duo Round Mountain and his recent touring as percussionist for Kip Winger and Ottmar Liebert, Robby’s solo work represents a furthering of his search into musical wilderness.

Robby Rothschild

Our friend Robby has made an album and the above link will take you to its Bandcamp page. Robby toured with Jon and me in Florida last January, and in California in February. It feels like ages ago. We had such a good time performing together and were looking forward to more of that… hopefully we can pick up where we left off later this year.

Even if you haven’t seen us perform together you have listened to him play, because Robby played percussion on a bunch of my albums: Dune, Bare Wood, Waiting n Swan, Fete, and the upcoming vision 2020 (full version).

Go check out his music. Robby has a great voice and his words are poetry. He played most of the instruments himself, but you may hear Jon Gagan’s upright here and there and I made a brief appearance towards the end. Can you come up with a little tremolo line, he asked, and I was happy to oblige.

Here is the link to the album Robby Rothschild on Bandcamp.

Reading List 2020

1. Agency – William Gibson
2. Exhalation – Ted Chiang
3. Autonomous – Annalee Newitz
4. Maigret and the Wine Merchant – Georges Simenon
5. Nocturnes – Kazuo Ishiguro
6. A General Theory of Love – Richard Lannon/Fari Amini
7. End Games – Michael Dibdin
8. The Plotters – Un-Su Kim
9. Back in Bologna – Michael Dibdin
10. The Sentence is Death – Anthony Horowitz
11. The Art of Solitude – Stephen Batchelor
12. The Last Tourist – Olen Steinhauer
13. Medium Raw – Anthony Bourdain
14. The Reality Bubble – Ziya Tong
15. Death of a Celebrity – M.C. Beaton
16. Death of a Village – M.C. Beaton
17. Death in the East – Muckerjee
18. Death of a Poison Pen – M.C. Beaton
19. Collusion – Luke Harding
20. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
21. Italian Shoes – Henning Menkell
22. This Is How You Lose the Time War – El Mohtar & Gladstone
23. Travel Light – Naomi Mitchison
24. The Octopus – Frank Norris
25. The Second Biggest Nothing – Colin Cotterill
26. Agent Running in the Field – John LeCarré
27. The Shadow Girls – Henning Menkell
28. The Address Book – Deirdre Mask
29. There There – Tommy Orange
30. The Empress of Salt and Fortune – Nghi Vo

I enjoyed the two books by Henning Menkell. I only knew him as a detective novel writer and these books show a different side of him. I especially liked Italian Shoes.