Tuesday in Santa Fe

02010-04-07 | Uncategorized | 11 comments

A day of non-stop clerical work. Burned the audio masters, one for the CD manufacturer and one for our digital distributor, burned the data CDs with the HD FLAC files – one set for the CD manufacturer (((limited run of 100 pieces))) and one for our digital distributor (((mainly for HDTracks))). Listened to most of the CDs to make sure everything was working properly. Then I sent everything off in the afternoon for Wednesday afternoon delivery. Exciting moment, as it is every time I send a master off.

Here is the beginning of track number one:

I love the album. Recording it was a very different experience, and not just because the last album was three years in the making and this one took about three months. The approach was very different, new, fun, exciting. I already have fleeting thoughts about the next Luna Negra album, although I doubt that will happen before 2012. I imagine the basic recording process will be the same, the three of us playing together in a studio (((maybe we’ll record in my studio next time, as my main room has a different shape than Jon’s and the drumkit would sound different))) but then I want to add more instruments to the basic trio. Not on every tune, mind you, but a few tunes with, say a trumpet or a viola for example…

Next up, however, I want to get started on another solo guitar album, for release in 2011. The title I have in mind is: An Imaginary Country. That’s from a quote by Debussy, who wrote:

..if they felt that for a moment they had been dreaming of an imaginary country, that’s to say, one that can’t be found on the map.

Double CD. The first CD will contain the solo guitar recordings. The second one will contain, for lack of a better word, remixes of the music from the first CD. These “remixes” will be created from nothing but the guitar-sounds from the first CD. No other sound will be added, but we will go to town on changing and processing the guitar recordings into something completely different. One could say: CD 1 = organic, natural, naked. CD 2 = processed, GMO, layered. Ideally one should not be able to recognize that CD 2 used CD 1 as source material. Ideally they will sound like two completely different works. I’ll record in HD (((24/88.2))) again.

The first idea I had for the artwork, a few weeks ago, was a stilllife with a pear (((it’s a pair of CDs))) on the front and a photoshop-processed version of that image on the back. But instead I think I will do something with Imaginary Country, which gives me a lot of conceptual freedom. Maybe maps. I love maps… it would be interesting to create maps of the remix-process. Anyway, now that “Petals On the Path” is finished, I will start thinking more about the solo album.

Here are some of my first notes for the album, from a couple of months ago:

* A Pair
* Pear
* Two
* Two of a Kind
* Twins
* Siblings
* Mutation
* Two Sisters
* A Moment with Two Images
* Action & Reflection
* Playing & Reflecting
* Impulse & Reflection
* Performance & Reflection
* Per4mance &
* Movement & Contemplation
* Organic & Processed

Q Having written three trilogies, and approaching the age where some people choose to retire, do you think you’ll keep writing into a ripe old age?
A There’s evidence that some people are actually better at writing novels, over fifty. And it doesn’t feel like a job, exactly. More like an ongoing experiment of some kind.

(Via Gibson Blog)

I love that: …it doesn’t feel like a job, exactly. More like an ongoing experiment of some kind.

Tokyoflash Twitter Concept Watch Says It’s Meaningless Self-Promotional Update O’Clock
Do I have the time, you ask? No! But I do know that my friend Barry just “checked in” at Denny’s thanks to my Twitter update-pulling Tokyoflash concept watch. Let’s go rob his house!

I am loving this:


A great way to send a subtle message or birthday greeting.

Can Science Explain the Concept of Heaven? – Newsweek.com
Newberg puts forward the following scenario, which, he emphasizes, is guesswork. When people die, two parts of the brain, which usually work in opposition to each other, act cooperatively. The sympathetic nervous system—a web of nerves and neurons running through the spinal cord and spread to virtually every organ in the body—is responsible for arousal and excitement. It gets you ready for action. The parasympathetic system—with which the sympathetic system is entwined—calms you down and rejuvenates you. In life, the turning on of one system prompts the shutting down of the other. The sympathetic nervous system kicks in when a car cuts you off on the highway; the parasympathetic system is in charge as you’re falling asleep. But in the brains of people reporting mystical experiences—and, perhaps, in death—both systems are fully “on,” giving a person the sensation both of slowing down, being “out of body,” and of seeing things vividly, including memories of important people and past events. Does Newberg believe, then, that visions of heaven are merely chemical-neurological events? He laughs nervously. “I don’t know.” He laughs again. “It’s, um … I don’t think we have enough evidence to say.”

Since at least the 1980s, scientists have theorized that NDEs occur as a kind of physiological self-defense mechanism. In order to guard against damage during trauma, the brain releases protective chemicals that also happen to trigger intense hallucinations. This theory gained traction after scientists realized that virtually all the features of an NDE—a sense of moving through a tunnel, and “out of body” feeling, spiritual awe, visual hallucinations, and intense memories—can be reproduced with a stiff dose of ketamine, a horse tranquilizer frequently used as a party drug. In 2000, a psychiatrist named Karl Jansen wrote a book, Ketamine: Dreams and Realities, in which he interviewed a number of recreational users. One of them, who called himself K.U., describes one of his drug trips this way: “I came out into a golden Light. I rose into the Light and found myself having an unspoken interchange with the Light, which I believed to be God.” Dante said it better, but the vision is astonishingly the same.

I added the color and, oh my, I haven’t laughed that hard in a while. For some people, heaven is being on the back of a horse, and for some heaven is a horse tranquilizer. That might make a good bumpersticker, too. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
April Fools!

Konstantin Grcic appointed design consultant to FC Bayern München
Dezeenwire: German magazine Form reports that industrial designer Konstantin Grcic has been appointed design consultant to German football club Bayern München – www.form.de Update 06/04/10: this was an April Fool joke and we fell for it! Hats off to Form magazine!
(Via dezeen)


  1. Mark

    Tim Hecker released his latest cd called An Imaginary Country. You guys must be reading the same material. His work is ambient soundscapes. I can only imagine what the two of you would sound like together.
    I can’t wait for all these releases Ottmar. You are one of the few musicians I really can buy the cd knowing it’s great without listening to it first.

  2. Adam Solomon

    Can’t wait for the next Luna Negra album BTW, they easily have been getting better over time, though I can’t imagine an album which surpasses Scent of Light :)

  3. steve

    Wow … where to start? This solo release sounds REALLY cool.

  4. Ottmar

    Mark, I hadn’t heard the name Tim Hecker, but will check him out. The title and concept is just a starting point for me. They change once the music happens. Who knows what my album will be called in the end. I think of the concept as being a road map… once you arrive at the destination you no longer need the map – you can discard it or keep it.

  5. Mark

    I wasn’t saying it was a bad name since someone else used it. I think the meaning for why you choose something is because it’s in your heart and maybe I shouldn’t of brought that up about the title.

    On a side note:
    I have this picture of my son and I real high up in the air looking down at Kings Island. He was 2 and we are both smiling and then Sea Of Tranquility comes on my itunes and for some reason it brought out a sadness that my son willnot always have me around and this picture will be a memory.
    Do you remember/feel anything like this when you create the music?

  6. steve

    So, on this ISRC, is it you that is QA1, or is it Spiral Subwave that is QA1? Interesting that this has a year marker of 09.

  7. yumi

    “Next up, however, I want to get started on another solo guitar album, for release in 2011.”

    How exciting and what wonderful ideas/notes!

  8. Ottmar

    Steve, I was grocery shopping and nearly bounced the cart into a stack of cans (((no, I didn’t, but it could have happened))) when I read your note. In my mind I thought that I could have copied an older ISRC and changed the last two digits for the 11 songs on the new album… I calculated whether I could reach the two places that received the audio master on Wednesday afternoon (((the CD manufacturer and the digital distributor))) in time, to get the code changed…

    When I got home I opened Peak Pro before I put the groceries away…

    I was going to write: See, that’s what f’ing happens when musicians have to do this shit themselves. After suffering through the making of an album an artist should be flown to a beach to recover and not have to deal with clerical crap… Ah, the good old days when Epic would send their fact-checker after me… where did you get this sound? Is this a sample or an original recording? etc…

    Anyway, I looked at the playlist for Petals On the Path and everything is in order. The code for the first song is: US-QA1-10-90210

    That breaks down like this: US = USA, QA1 = SSRI, 10 = 2010, 90210 = song ID (((no, we don’t have over 90,000 songs, I chose to start at #90001, when we first implemented ISRC in 2002.

    Whew! Be still my beating heart… (((don’t be so dramatic, my mother would say at least ten time a day…))) :-)

  9. steve

    My bad. See that’s what happens when a geek without his glasses on tries to parse an ISRC code. Sorry I messed with your mind.

  10. Ottmar

    No worries. My mind was ripe to be messed with…


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