02006-02-24 | Uncategorized | 8 comments

Widescreen Moleskine! I bought a few of these for China/Tibet this Fall. The extraordinary Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos was said to occasionally have held a piece of paper to the window of his place in Rio de Janeiro to trace the line of the mountains onto music paper. That would then become a theme for his next composition.

I will take these widescreen (actually reporter-notebook) moleskine books with me to make notes, but will also draw some of the “skyline”. Maybe I will write music based on themes drawn from the Tibetan mountains and maybe I can make a whole album based on the experience.

My dream would be to create a whole experience based on my notes, music and photos. That could be a huge downloadable file or torrent, a DVD, or a book of writing and photos with an enclosed CD of music.

Worked on some scales taken from Iraqi music today…


  1. Borya

    That sounds so fantastic that I tempted to say that I can’t wait (but I can). Wouldn’t it have been a must to travel Baghdad when it was still known for trade and bazars and spices and full of people coming of many various regions of the world??
    I’m curious if you will happen to take some pics of that new-built railway across the roof. Maybe you’ll take it yourself at some point?
    Anyway, never mind how big the downloads will be, there’s be a way to get a hand on them. :) Right on, Ottmar!!

  2. v2or

    Would you mind sharing where you are getting the scales from or even the notes?

  3. Jackie Dassler

    I like the idea of a book with photos, and CD! What an extraordinary project that would be on many levels. Count me in for a copy, Jackie

  4. Ottmar

    In answer to v2or: I found the scales in the liner notes to the album by Munir Bashir, which I mentioned yesterday. You should get the album – it is very good.

  5. Matt Callahan

    I think it fair to say that many of us dream that your dream becomes reality. A project based on this trip would be simply amazing.

  6. Anonymous

    are there any other books you can share on practising scales? and Ideas you recommend on strengthening the small finger I believe you mentioned a while back that you think you small finger is permanently deformed

  7. Mike

    I think the book, photo’s and music thing would be an awesome idea. Can’t wait to purchase it.
    Is there a site that one can sample some sound bytes of Munir Bashir? You know, like those 15 second samples they have where one could just get a taste of his music.
    I agree with Boyra, it would be fascinating to see the Baghdad of yesterday , the way it used to be. I spent 8 months in Saudi Arabia during 91 and it was really facinating to experience their culture. Will remember that forever.

  8. marijose

    It sounds like a fascinating trip. Planning for big trips like that one can be almost as fun as actually taking the trip.

    I was curious about oud sound bytes too…go to and type in Irak: Art of the Oud. You can really hear flamenco’s Muslim roots. Check out the CD cover, it kind of resembles a certain guitarist’s debut album!


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