02005-09-02 | Uncategorized | 11 comments

I was inspired by my weekend at Upaya and am working on a new performance program – maybe for next year sometime. I am a little tired of the biggish scale of touring with 10-15 people, two busses, a band and lots of gear etc. and hatched a new plan that would only involve myself traveling with a guitar and a laptop computer.

My performance would contain three elements:
1. Solo guitar performance of 45-60 minutes
2. PowerPoint (actually using the Keynote app) presentation from my laptop (using a video projector) – 45-60 minutes
3. Q&A with the audience – 30 minutes
Total Time: about 2 – 2 1/2 hours

Another option would be to start with the PP presentation which could end with a demonstration of how many interlocking guitar parts together create the sound of NF which would then lead to the guitar performance… or there could be an intermission between the PP presentation and the guitar performance. This might be a nicer flow: PP – Guitar – Q&A

On the other hand, presenting the guitar performance first would give people the option to skip my talk altogether…

The PowerPoint presentation is the key. I am preparing a presentation about music, about flamenco, about the guitar, but also about culture (spinning disk concept), competition and preferences – in words and pictures. In other words, music and the guitar would be the subject, but the way we view the world would be the meaning. I would love to inspire people to take a new look at their world…

I find that as time goes by I enjoy performing by myself more and more. It is a unique challenge I cherish. Performing like this would also force me to switch between the perspectives of music-mind and talking-mind and would satisfy a desire in me to teach.

I think I could perform like this in Performing Art Centers, theaters, some Community Centers, Colleges, Schools…

This would not replace my normal touring, but augment it. I would be more flexible and could easily fly in and out for this kind of performance.

What do you think? Crazy? Interesting? Boring? Exciting?

— this idea would make me, in Fripp’s words, a small mobile intelligent unit and I would be able to perform in places which might otherwise not work, i.e. smaller stages or foreign stages… maybe even non-stages, that is places that would not normally be used for performances.
— I chose PowerPoint for the presentation, because one has to darken a room for slides and a blackboard would remind me too much of school. There are images I would like to share and data that should be viewed. Although I have never liked David Byrne’s PowerPoint artwork, I do think one can use the medium in an interesting, even exciting fashion. Whether I can do that remains to be seen, but it would be fun to try – another chance to allow my artschool education to come to the surface.
— the suggestion of alternating between guitar pieces and talk might be a very good one, although it would require advanced capabilities of music-mind and talk-mind switching.


  1. Matt Callahan

    Of course it’s interesting. I see this as more of a presentation for the people that get a little more out of your music than just sound. Something musicians could really get into as well. Great possibilities.

  2. Cesco

    Sounds definitely interesting! Like we all know, the “usual” way to perform for a musician is to play some songs, doing some audience participation and if you catches a very good day, talking some shallow blabla to the peoples.

    But your way of staging would open some great possibilities for you and for the audience as well.

  3. Sandra

    I really like this idea – How about opening with 1 or 2 songs, explain what you want to do with the PP presentation and kind of go back and forth between the 2? Of course one side is that you wouldn’t play continously, but the other is that you could interlock the particular song/s to the PP presentation. That would be kinda cool. Then have a Q&A at the end.

  4. v2or

    Ottmar I think this is an idea that is right on time. You have ideas and ways of communicating thrugh music and I think there are alot of people who would really be into learning from you how you see the world, create your palate and make your music. It captivates the heart and you really are someone who is cutting a new way to be an artist. I think this is an absolutly wonderfull idea and I would like see this happen. Please put me on the waiting list. If you need help out on the East coast let me know.

  5. Adam Solomon

    It’s an amazing idea but definitely not something to tour with right away–people are just too attached to the traditional concept of a live show (I’ll admit when I saw the idea of a PP first, I was a bit hesitant myself…nothing like the excitement of the artist/band coming out after an hour or so of waiting and going right into the music…), but as a show that you squeeze intermittently into such venues as you described is just, well, awesome. I see this happening.

  6. v2or

    Wanted to add somthing (from above). I work in the ER as a therapist and the Psyc inviormonet. I love music and play as best I can. I as well as many have found your music very theraputic and good for the brain, soul, I am actually listing to it right now and I find it very helpfull when I am meeting with patients. I think to share with others the heart behind the music and dialoging with others who may not me musicans but really are into your music and what it communicates. I think I would really be neet to see people who are into what you do musicaly and you are about sharing ideas when we get togeter. There would possible be a small community and in a way you Ottmar would be shareing teaching and letting us in on whats behind the music not necesscarly what to think but what creates your sence of peace and ways of thinking that create harmoney and stuff like that. Just some thougs hope it all made sence.

  7. Adam Solomon

    V2or–seeing as you’re in Jersey, are you by any chance attending the BB King shows in NYC in November? That’s certainly a place to meet a little community of fans–I know there will be at least two of us regular commenters there (and any others are invited to join in the fun!)…

  8. Borya

    Should it make easier for you as well to do some performances out of the US. You won’t need to bother (and paying) about organizing touring, you simply travel (more or less) and I’m sure there’ll always be space for this at an Performing Arts Centre in, let’s say, Milano. Berlin could be a thrilling place to do so and that way (have a chance to) bring your music there.

  9. Yumiko

    you won’t know, unless you try.

  10. Yumiko




    best dialogue with audience is towards the end (everyone is more relaxed and familiar with surroundings). Sometimes use of a moderator for questions (beginning and closing of ?/a session is helpful).

  11. Just Me

    Due to the scale of this proposal you can always try a few venues close to home first & see how it is received. Certainly there will be fans who appreciate this type of show but it would be difficult to predict whether it would appeal to everyone.

    What about something like an Ottmar “convention”? (Sorry, cannot think of a better word right now) Many of your fans would love to visit Santa Fe. It wouldn’t have to be a whole weekend event, but a Day with Ottmar: music, presentations, Q & A….you might be surprised how many people would be interested in something like that – given enough advance warning.


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