La Mesita

La Mesita is the 11th track from Rain Poems.

It started with the Saddest Chord Progression Ever. That was followed by this sketch on 30. June.

After listening to the music for a while I decided that the arpeggio was moving too fast. I then recorded it again, playing at half the tempo. This sounded much better to me. I realized that the fast arpeggio played back at half the speed would move at the same speed as the new arpeggio. So I recorded it at half speed–one of the greatest Pro Tools tricks–and added it. The slowed down guitar gives those chords a sense of gravity and adds low tones and fullness.

I had a certain landscape in mind when I worked on this piece and at some point I remembered a photo by William Clift.

This is the image, La Mesita, which is part of the Whitney Museum of American Art collection. 

I met William Clift in 1989 or 1990 and bought a bunch of postcards from him and this one was my favoriteI also used one of his photos in the booklet of the 1991 album Borrasca. William Clift mostly works with a large format analog camera. Imagine walking through the landscape with a large format camera on a tripod and carrying a bag with stuff… film, light meter, etc. The dedication, contemplation and experience! He has a gallery in Santa Fe, at 203 East Palace Avenue. 


Our engineer Stephen uploaded a couple of live recordings he made during our October tour and I just had to listen and do a quick mix. I picked dreamy afternoon which we started playing on the East Coast tour. Not bad at all. My partner didn’t think it was live and wondered when Robby had added his cajon to the recording and why there was applause. It really does sound pretty great. I’m a happy chap right now. 

Backstage Open

 Gia asked

Is there any sort of ode to petrichor on this album?

Yes. Bossa de Petricor is the title.

Mark asked

Around when will these songs be released?

I released the first one today. It’s the 6th track of the album and I think it’s a great first single. We performed this piece live last week and really enjoyed playing it. It’ll be on the setlist for a while. :-)

Songs from Rain Poems will be released over time, only on Backstage. In some cases there will be different versions available, some binaural mixes for example. I am working on a limited edition CD version but that will probably happen in the first quarter of the new year. 


You can find the link to Backstage in the menu (above left) or follow this link. I added the first single dreamy afternoon (Lo Fi Flam) and FLAC and ALAC files are available for download. 

Cave + Backstage

I wrote about my experience in the meditation cave and have been posting that with images to Backstage. The gallery design of the new site is gorgeous and images look great. I figure when one opens a shop one has to have something in it. Same with Backstage, there should be plenty of posts that one can discover when the doors open. There are shelves with words, displays of images and video, sounds of music new and old. Doors will open soon. Just dusting and getting everything ready.  :-)

The Future of Music?

Learned about Fog Chaser (LINK to his website + LINK to his Substack) on Substack when Ted Gioia (LINK) linked to him and wrote:

Music business model: Song gets released to subscribers first before showing up anywhere else. This is also fair and karmically valid–because subscribers pay artists better than do streaming platforms. 

I considered Substack as a platform. But, considering what I see happening when platforms change hands, I am not sure I can muster enough trust. Hello Twitter, hello many things that Google bought and eventually mothballed. Once the valuation is up, the same could happen with Substack. Sure, the social aspect of that platform along with the recommendations, human as well as algorithmic, could be very beneficial. But I am an oddball anyway. Better to do my own thing. I had the Ottmar-Friends subscription service 15 years ago. Ahead of its time. Perhaps I should have kept it going. The world might have caught up with me. It’s important to trust that the world catches up on one’s creations. True not just for painters and musicians but also for anyone opening a little store of any kind. 

It’s good to see that other musicians are experimenting with the same ideas. My membership program will go a lot further than offering the work to its members first… it will offer the work to its members ONLY. Easy to second guess myself but I’ll stay the course and wish Fog Chaser lots of success. 

not The Saddest after all


That is the sketch I began yesterday evening. Something sounded wrong last night and I couldn’t figure it out right away. Then I watched the excellent movie Tár (LINK – wikipedia), which I started the night before… And then it came to me, my melody contained an A over the F minor chord and that created the awfulness, of course. I knew the note had to be an A flat and then I couldn’t go to sleep because I wanted to hear this change. I didn’t want to start up everything in the middle of the night but as a result I couldn’t fall asleep until after 0300. 

This section will become the chorus and the piece still needs some kind of verse… but the bones are there. Doesn’t feel at all sad to me. Uplifting actually. 

Backstage is almost ready and you will be able to continue to witness the process there…. soon.

Oh, and the movie Tár is most excellent. A comment on excellence but also on power and the effects of cultural prejudices. There is much to say about the film. The performances are excellent. The film is gorgeous. The writing, however, is what’s amazing. Much is brought up but little judgement is made, leaving it to us, the viewer, to figure it out for ourselves. 

Yesterday afternoon I decided that the arpeggio felt too fast and re-performed it at half the speed. Much more languid now. I love how little things can entirely change the feel of a pice of music.