Friday in Santa Fe

02010-03-06 | Music | 11 comments

Friday morning my right hand was hurting from ten hours of working in the studio with a regular computer mouse. I wasn’t editing, just separating all of the songs and putting each of them into their own template. I did end up doing a little overdub in the afternoon… adding a few Flamenco powerchords (((on the DeVoe Blanca))) to the last chorus of one still unnamed song. (((They are not real powerchords because I am using more than two notes, but I am playing it in the same way)))

I like the way the chords are framing the trio, as they are panned fairly hard left and right (((-80 and +80))). Well, Flamenco guitar powerchords are so different from electric guitar powerchords… they are gentle, almost tongue-in-cheek, maybe they are grown-up powerchords. :-) Whatever it is, this music makes me smile.

I did a mix of the whole song and cranked it in the kitchen while cooking dinner, on infinite repeat. Glad nobody could see me dancing and playing air-guitar!!

are we lost
when we gaze at the moon
or lovers eyes

or are we lost
when we hustle to fill a quota
or run after the bus

I wrote, and we recorded, a piece of music that combines two different movements. The tempo is the same throughout, but in the first and third section I play mostly eighth note triplets, which gives the music orgency and drive, and in the second and last section I switch to quarter notes, which makes the music appear to float, especially in contrast to the other part. When I wrote the music I thought about time, and while we measure time as a steady movement that extends from the past to the future, time FEELS different to us, depending on the circumstances. Time seems to hover or float when we gaze at the moon, or lover’s eyes. Time seems to stop when we are waiting for someone or something. Time seems to fly when we are doing on something that commands all of our attention or when we are rushing about running errands or working. On one hand there is time as we measure and display it and on the other hand there is time as we feel it. I think the title of the song will be Moon Gazing.

The words I wrote at the beginning, reminded me of the famous dream by Zhuangzi. I discovered him through this book, translated beautifully by Burton Watson, about 25 years ago.

Chuang Tzu: The Next Voice
Once I, Chuang Tzu, dreamed I was a butterfly and was happy as a butterfly. I was conscious that I was quite pleased with myself, but I did not know that I was Tzu. Suddenly I awoke, and there was I, visibly Tzu. I do not know whether it was Tzu dreaming that he was a butterfly or the butterfly dreaming that he was Tzu. Between Tzu and the butterfly there must be some distinction. [But one may be the other.] This is called the transformation of things.

Here is a different translation, by Burt Watson:

Zhuangzi – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Once Zhuangzi dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn’t know he was Zhuangzi. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuangzi. But he didn’t know if he was Zhuangzi who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi. Between Zhuangzi and a butterfly there must be some distinction! This is called the Transformation of Things.

You can find more about that dream, the most celebrated dream ever to be recorded in the history of Chinese Philosophy, here.

The Man Who Was Allergic to Radio Waves | Popular Science
Segerbäck suffers from electro-hypersensitivity (EHS), which means he has severe physical reactions to the electromagnetic radiation produced by common consumer technologies, such as computers, televisions and cellphones. Symptoms range from burning or tingling sensations on the skin to dizziness, nausea, headaches, sleep disturbance and memory loss. In extreme cases like Segerbäck’s, breathing problems, heart palpitations and loss of consciousness can result.

A cellphone has to be in use — either making or receiving a call, or searching for a signal, when radiation levels are highest — for it to have this kind of effect on Segerbäck. Phones that are on but neither sending nor receiving usually don’t produce enough radiation to be noticeable. But it’s not the sound of the phone that sets him off. Once, while on a sailboat with friends, he recalls, he was on the front deck when, unknown to him, someone made a call belowdecks. Headache, nausea, unconsciousness. When Segerbäck is within range of an active cellphone (safe distances vary because different makes and models produce different radiation levels), he experiences the feeling that there is “not enough room in my skull for my brain.”

William Gibson has written about allergy to readio waves for a long time, in books like Johnny Mnemonic, for example. From the wikipedia entry regarding the movie that was made from the book:

Nerve Attenuation Syndrome (NAS) is a fictional disease in the film, which is not present in the short story. NAS, also called “the black shakes”, is caused by an overexposure to electromagnetic radiation from omnipresent technological devices, and is presented as a raging epidemic affecting the world in the future. The plot of the film revolves around the one pharmaceutical corporation that has found a cure but chooses to withhold it from the public in favor of a more lucrative treatment program.

Here is a short video that shows a bit more about the 9H capsule hotel in Kyoto. Personally, I would rather sleep in a clean, albeit small capsule, than a dingy, smelly, dirty, large hotel room, especially if I am just spending the night in transit.

9 hours [Monocle]
The 9 Hours is the brand new capsule hotel unveiled in December 2009 by Tokyo-based Cubic Corp. Designed in a collaboration with designer Fumie Shibata of Design Studio S, it looks nothing like its predecessors and represents a revolution in the capsule concept. Gabriel Leigh visits the hotel to see what’s different.


  1. James

    I like the powerchords! Can’t wait to hear the whole track!
    The Evoluent vertical mouse is worth looking at. I use it every day, and find it causes much less impact than other mice I have used.

  2. Ottmar

    Thanks James. I wonder whether the Evoluent works with OS 10.3.9, which is what I am still using on my studio Mac.

  3. steve

    >Glad nobody could see me dancing and playing air-guitar!!

    I always hate that when someone walks in on me when I do that. Air guitar is definitely a solitary art form.

  4. steve

    LOL! That is TOOOO funny! Oh my word.

  5. Carol

    If only everyone would dance when they feel like it. I I imagine that whoever happened to see you would join right in.
    That music just does it. I like it a lot. Can’t wait to hear more.
    That photo would make a good cover wouldn’t it?

  6. Carol

    Please take care of your hands. Give yourself a break even if you don’t feel like it?

  7. Thomas Faes

    An old musician once told me:
    “Never stop dancing youself – it will rub off on your playing.”

  8. Brenda

    Dancing is JOY! Dancing has no assigned Space because it becomes the space of freedom to be happiness, laughter, and heartfelt smiles of where you are in that moment of life.
    Enjoying all the music lessons and your creating of powerchords. :)
    Beautiful photo , beautiful poem, beauiful time. Thanks for sharing your time with us.

  9. Victor

    Beautiful picture of your guitar. Can you share your thoughts on the Differences on the Negra and Blanca guitars? Are they both cedar tops? I’m instrested becase I’m thinking of getting one made for myself and am gathering opinions.

  10. Victor

    Thats a great picture of your guitar. I really like how the light hits it. Would make for a picture on a cd


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