Prelude in Am

I found this yesterday, while searching for something else. It’s an old live recording of the late Baden Powell playing (his?) Prelude in Am. I can’t seem to find the music on any of his albums. Does anyone know more about this piece?

Momiji Tunnel

I heard about the Maple Tree Tunnel in Kyoto a couple of years ago and decided to experience it. It was a very popular train yesterday evening. The carriages were packed with people. I was able to grab the last window of the carriage. An announcement was made, then the lights inside the carriage were turned off. There were many ohs and ahs from the passengers and then the show began. I figured that photos would likely be blurry and decided to do slo-mo video instead. The video reminds me of the scene from the movie 2001, where the satellites slowly dance to the Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss. That music would work pretty well. Go ahead and look for the music and cue it up. I’ll wait. Then start the music and press play on this video. :-)

The entire experience was about a minute long. 


I watched those guys beat each other up. It’s what passes for entertainment in the mountains. :-)

I did read a little bit every day. Novelist as a Vocation by Murakami is excellent. He writes much that seems to match with my experience. I also started to read The White Album by Joan Didion. She has a wonderful writing style. I am really enjoying this book so far. 

There are so many great quotes in the Murakami book that I highlighted. Here are just a few:

The narrower and more specialized the field, I have found, the prouder the authorities tend to be and the stronger their antipathy to outsiders.

Don’t I know it!

But since I do happen to have a bit of ability to write novels, and have had some good luck on my side, plus a stubborn streak (or, to put it more nicely, a consistency) that’s proved helpful, I’ve been able, over thirty-five years, to write novels as a profession.

I am quite stubborn myself and I have had some good luck. And it’s been just about 35 years, since 1989.

A writer’s greatest responsibility is to his readers, to keep providing them with the best work that he is capable of turning out. I am an active writer, which is to say, someone whose work is still in progress. A writer perpetually groping to discover what to do next, inching forward through the perils of the literary battlefield. The task set before me is to survive, and to try and keep moving ahead.


The Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert had this to say: “To reach the source, you have to swim against the current. Only trash swims downstream.”


Tao Master Leaf

Not bothered by the waves, this leaf remains steadfast.
Ups and downs pass through it.
Time flows.
The leaf abides. :-)

Captured in slow motion because everything is better in slomo.

Daily Guitar Piece

This afternoon I recorded myself playing a musical idea into the phone. I do this quite often to remember certain chord changes or melodic ideas, but most of the time I use the Voice-Memos app to do this. Today I used video – as I did here last November. 

I simply leaned the phone against a window to record both visual and sound. There was nothing artful or sophisticated about it. No art director, no technician, no microphone, no lighting, no makeup, not even a tripod for the phone. You get the idea.

I liked the result, which I thought looked and sounded surprisingly decent, and had an idea. A guitar vlog for Backstage where I challenge myself to come up with a new piece of music every day. To be recorded with my phone propped up wherever I am. Simple. Doesn’t have to be long and shouldn’t be staged. In fact, the simpler the better.