I read this item regarding Netflix and privacy on Tuesday Morning.

In the Afternoon I walked into town and rented a couple of movies from the local video rental place, which is celebrating 28 years in business this year. I was a member in the Eighties and I renewed my membership last Spring. It’s an old-fashioned store. Accounts are kept on note-cards, there is no computer, one has to walk around and discover the movies, but the selection is good. I haven’t cancelled my Netflix account, yet, but it seems likely that I will. Netflix works well and is easy, but this little local store is more to my liking, and is just an easy bike-ride away.

For dinner I made a salad of lettuce, carrots and raisins, although dates might have been better instead of the raisins. For the dressing I used a food processor, in which I combined the juice of one lemon, about 1/2 cup of olive oil, a handful Italian parsley, three cloves of garlic, salt and pepper. When the salad was done, I sprinkled some toasted sesame seeds on it. I had not used parsley like that, but after reading about a different sauce-recipe in a book of Ottoman cuisine, I decided it might work in a dressing. I really liked the flavor.

After dinner I watched the movie Silk. Not a great movie, but the visuals were beautiful and I concentrated on that. I read the book a year ago. The book is very poetic and worth reading.

In November the band will play in Japan. Dates to follow. We will be in Yokohama and Tokyo for a week. I am quite excited about it!

Would love to see Lovegrove’s solar trees at the MAK in Vienna, if I can find the time.

Naturally this item made me chuckle:

Five possibilities for the future of Facebook | Web Services | Macworld
Social networking will eventually plateau, skid, and fall off a cliff. Users will abandon ship, just as they did with MySpace, tired of scanning pointless Twitter-like status updates, step-by-step progress through silly games, and pictures of vacations you will never, ever take. Without a great deal of innovation and progressive thought, Facebook could find itself staring at a brick wall with no direction home to the simple glory days before 300 million turned into 600 million.


Here is the question:

You are a prolific composer (At least it seems that way to me). Do you believe that it is the case that being creative makes a person more so? Or, is a person just intrinsically creative? i.e., Is creativity like a muscle that grows stronger if used, or is it something that one just has like synthesia?

Do you get “writers block?” How do you escape it?, or do you embrace it?

And here is my answer:

Creativity is, in part, a muscle that needs to be engaged and toned. A photographer sees shapes and is aware of the light 24/7 or s/he is not a photographer. A musician hears sounds and rhythms 24/7 or s/he is not a musician. I imagine a writer hears dialog everywhere s/he goes. If you want to be a painter, start looking. You want to be a musician, start hearing.

I think one part of creativity is associative power, the ability to create mental links between ideas and sensory input, thought and reality. Cross-linking what we experience with how we feel and how we view the world. A personal network of external and internal information.

The best ideas have been described at happy accidents, neurons jumping track and colliding with other, seemingly unrelated neurons waiting on another track. A microscopic game of boules. I think that can be trained. (((and I do believe that the odds are improved in people who speak more than one language as they look at the world in a less fixed way)))

You describe nature versus nurture and I have always thought that both are equally important. Talent is not everything! There are people who are supremely talented (((scale is weighted on the nature-side))), who don’t know how to hustle and practice and work (((nurture))). We need both in order to create, talent and practice! And, the more we do something, the better we become at doing that – true for everything we do, isn’t it?

Jon and I recently talked about nature versus nurture in terms of the brain and aging. One person’s body seems old at 45 and another appears fit at 75. The same is true for minds. One person thinks old at 45 and another thinks young at 75. It seems that aging is a combination of genetic pre-disposition (((nature))) AND how we use our brain (((nurture))). Use it or lose it.

I think most every child is naturally creative, but schools seem to be trying hard to ruin them as quickly as possible, but that’s another subject.

Yes, I have had writer’s block. I have been scared of never writing another piece of music. And then, as soon as I forgot that I thought that – I wrote another song. I figure, I have to keep the machine in good shape by practicing and playing guitar, and eventually the music writes itself. I can’t remember HOW I wrote most of my music! It was just suddenly there. Sure, I might have been working on a particular sound-puzzle for hours, even days, but then came the moment when it became obvious what to do. Music, or so it seems, writes itself. Or at least that’s how it seems looking back.

Monday Morning

Upaya‘s newsletter kindly mentions Under the Rose today.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned John Cage’s book A Year from Monday. The title stems from a dinner with friends, at which it was decided to meet in Mexico a year from Monday. Cage wrote:

In order to realize this rendezvous, all of us (knowing how to say Yes) will have to learn to say No – No, that is, to anything that may come between us and the realization of our plan.

Reading the title and remembering the story – Cage doesn’t mention whether they did meet after all that – I thought of April and speaking to my brother and dad about meeting in Vienna in October. Dad had lived in Vienna at one time and was quite familiar with the history and layout of the city. We had in mind to see the city through his eyes, to listen to him reminisce about his life there, and, of course, to sit together at a Heurige – the name of taverns in the city that serve wine of the same name. Heuriger means wine from the last harvest, a white wine, probably similar to Verdicchio, a fresh Italian wine that is made to be drunk soon, within a couple of years of harvest.

I remember dad arguing with me on the phone, saying that he would not need the wheel chair my brother and I were suggesting to rent. The three of us did agree to meet in Vienna in October and started making plans.

Then my mind jumped to the upcoming solo-tour and the fact that I will be the only one actually going to Vienna in October… Wow! How strange! I must drink a glass of Heuriger and toast my dad.

It was only a day or two later that I realized that my father did not die this year and that the plans were for October of last year.

From the liner notes of the triple CD A State of Wonder: The Complete Goldberg Variations (1955 & 1981)

The purpose of art is not the release of a mementary ejection of adrenaline but rather the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.
– Glenn Gould

Rock & Rollers and quite a few Jazzers would beg to differ. But, to witness the deepening of music in great musicians like Glenn Gould and the cellist Janos Starker over a lifetime is a marvelous gift.

The second disc, recorded analogue in 1981, is a beauty. The piano stands there, right in front of you, and sometimes the eyes open to make sure there isn’t actually one in the room…

I cut my left ringfinger while chopping onions for risotto yesterday evening. Shouldn’t have talked while handling a big knife! I was explaining how the Ottomans made rice by sauteing onions and then adding rice and later water or broth, probably before the Italians did. And that I feel that the Italian cuisine, which is my favorite, is really a hybrid. Rice and spaghetti both have their origins in the East, and one must not forget how many ideas were exchanged between Istantbul and Venice!

I expect the wound will heal by the end of the week and I’ll have plenty of time to practice what I want to play in Europe in October.


We are back in Santa Fe. Here are a couple of shots from Los Gatos:

Here are a couple of images from Villa Montalvo. Michael played on a rented drumkit, but brought his own cymbals, of course. This is what the stage looked like in the afternoon because the sun was quite strong:

The setlist was:

Three Days without You
Santa Fe
Heart Still/Beating
Sao Paulo
Untitled Bm

Serenity On Ultracloud/Borrasca
La Luna
Morning Arrival in Goa
Up Close/2 the Night
Duende del Amor

Samba Pa Ti/Barcelona Nights

Here is a slideshow by ochazuke on Flickr: