On Saturday afternoon I walked to KPIG to do an interview in their studio, the pigsty. Unfortunately the request for me to bring my guitar and play in the studio had been lost and so we just talked and listened to a couple of tracks from NF and The Hours…

Here is another shot of the orange chairs on Mint Plaza:

Now I am back home in Santa Fe, catching up… DK sent me a link to The Lazy Little Guide to Enlightenment by Stephen Batchelor… Stephen Batchelor is, of course, anything but lazy as he was a Tibetan monk and a Korean Zen monk for years.

John Diliberto writes about Matt Schoening:

Echo Location: Matthew Schoening’s Looped Cellos « The Echoes Blog
Echoes finds a lapsed classical cellist who is looped.

You can hear the Echoes program here.
You can find Matthew’s music in our ListeningLounge

BBC NEWS | Americas | US musicians demand radio royalties
I bet you cannot guess the answer to this one.

In which countries – apart from the United States – do terrestrial radio stations NOT pay performers for their songs?

Iran, China, North Korea and Rwanda.

Artists and their record labels are calling on members of Congress to bring the US into line with the rest of the world – and with satellite, internet and cable radio stations – by passing the Performance Rights Act.

This affects performers – composers have been getting paid all along. I do think that over-the-air radio should have to pay the same as cable, satellite and web radio.

Vegetarians less likely to develop cancer than meat eaters, says study | Science | The Guardian
For years, they have boasted of the health benefits of their leafy diets, but now vegetarians have the proof that has so far eluded them: when it comes to cancer risks, they have the edge on carnivores.

Fresh evidence from the largest study to date to investigate dietary habits and cancer has concluded that vegetarians are 45% less likely to develop cancer of the blood than meat eaters and are 12% less likely to develop cancer overall.

In a couple of decades meat will be a once every half year luxury anyway since cattle needs too much water! (((Maybe more people will keep chickens in their backyard?)))

Best architecture critique ever? At least the funniest one. Me, I don’t like any of Mr. Graves’ designs. Like the worst of the Eighties fashion…

Masonry "Masterpiece" or Mistake?
Over at David Byrne’s blog I came across this monstrosity by none other than Michael Graves, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in Houston, Texas. The former Talking Head memorably says, “This very out of place structure somehow lingers, like a fart left by someone no longer in an elevator.”
(Via Clippings)

(((I added the color for emphasis)))


I finished reading Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson a couple of days ago and started on the newest Inspector Shan book, The Lord of Death.

Slept longer than usual and awoke feeling incrementally better than yesterday. Will take it easy today and cleared my schedule, except for a phone interview with Germany this afternoon.

Received a note from John Diliberto that Echoes will transmit today the recording we made at their studio at the beginning of the month. I haven’t heard it yet. Click here to find a radio station near you.

Dezeen » Blog Archive » Proposals for Florence by Gruppo Giovani Architetti Firenze
A new inhabited bridge over the River Arno in Florence is among proposals by Gruppo Giovani Architetti Firenze (Young Achitect Group of Florence) designed to provoke debate about architecture in the historic city.

Find more photos here. Wouldn’t that bridge be an amazing place to live! Anybody remember the William Gibson novel in which the Oakland Bridge had been transformed by squatters?

Annapolis Tuesday

Yesterday Morning we showed up at Echoes to record a few songs and do an interview with the host, John Diliberto. Since our bus could not get close enough to the studio, and it was raining, we slimmed our instrumentation down and were able to move into the studio with just three car-loads.

Michael played cajon, dumbek and shakers, Jon played bass and his laptop (((the live/performance page of the new Logic 8 looks very good… now, how nice would it be to be able to use the rumored Apple Netbook, and to be able to create some buttons – e.g. a round red button called “Three Days”, to play the intro sound from “Three Days Without You” – on the touchscreen… Can you imagine what a great live performance instrument that would be?!?!))), Stephen played Flamenco guitar and Rusty played djembe and shakers.

As soon as the mics were set up we started playing a bulerias, but I don’t think that was recorded. It’s a good sign when a band enjoys playing, whether they are being recorded or not, whether there is an audience or not! Jon quickly set up key-commands to trigger different sounds and a few times I watched him pluck an open bass strings with his left hand, in order to use the right hand to trigger a sound from his laptop – all in time with the music, of course!

We performed “Morning Light”, “Sao Paulo”, “Three Days Without You” and “Streetlight”.

Back at the bus, I showed John Diliberto a painting by Van Gogh I had found on Wikipedia that morning:

It’s a surprising image, isn’t it? Van Gogh copied this wood print by Hiroshige:

John thought it was an internet hoax, so I sent him a bunch of links… Apparently, the painting by Van Gogh hangs in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Hiroshige print hangs in the Brooklyn Museum. Well, I’ll be in Manhattan for five days and will make an effort to visit the print. I love this sort of East-West communication. Every artist is a multi-linguist. Some of those languages are not spoken.

There is a wikipedia page that shows both paintings next to each other.

51st Grammys: After

From John Diliberto @ Echoes today:

The Echoes Blog
But after I got home, as I booted up my DVR to catch the awards show, I opened an email from Will Ackerman with the news that Jack DeJohnette had taken the New Age Grammy. It’s a crime that this amazing drummer has never won a jazz Grammy for any of the extraordinary albums he’s authored over the last 40 years or so. But it’s a sad day that when he finally wins, it’s for a generic New Age album that would’ve been cliched 30 years ago. DeJohnette getting this award is akin to Jethro Tull getting the heavy metal Grammy in 1988 for Crest of a Knave and Yusef Lateef for getting the New Age Grammy in 1987 for his hackneyed Little Symphony, an album which will be joined by DeJohnette’s Peace Time in the dustbin of forgotten Grammy Award winners. One would hope that the New Age category may get a bit more respect when a musician of this caliber wins, but not for this album. As a member of the Academy, my regrets to Peter Kater, Will Ackerman, Will Clipman and Ottmar Liebert, all of whom released superior albums.

Random Observations:
Brian Eno, all he does is win Grammys for other bands. I don’t believe Coldplay even mentioned him in any of their three award speeches.

I was not going to mention it, but I have received so many emails that maybe I should explain why “The Scent of Light” did not win a Grammy yesterday.

I told Jon at our weekly breakfast together that I thought DeJohnette would win, not because his album is good – it is not – but because Grammy members can vote in any category they want. Yeah, that’s how Jethro Tull once won a Heavy Metal Grammy! (((funny that John and I were both reminded of that glorious piece of history)))

It means that any Jazz musician who sees DeJohnette’s name in the New Age category can vote for him, either because they think the great drummer deserves a Grammy at last, or because they think it would be a hoot to have him win in the New Age category. It did not help that somebody in the New Age category did not approve of iTunes streaming their music for Grammy voters. Per Grammy rules that meant that none of the New Age category nominations would be streamed and voters had to find the music elsewhere or vote without hearing the music

Every time I get nominated we receive calls from publicists who specialise in Grammys. For thousands of dollars they offer to run “a campaign”, which means they send out CDs and letters and emails and solicit votes. I can never agree to that sort of thing, because it makes music feel like politics or at least business. Yes, I make a living from my music, but still, music is what I love doing and I find that politics and business need to be kept at arms length.

And now I shall get back to practicing and playing guitar.

PS: thanks for the emails and this and this

51st Grammys: Before

John Diliberto at Echoes discusses his Grammy picks for this year:

51st Grammys: Echoes at the Edges « The Echoes Blog
Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra: The Scent Of Light

That would leave Ottmar Liebert’s The Scent of Light as the winner. He pushed his Nouveau Flamenco sound by expanding his compositions into quietly epic tone poems that are cinematic in scope and contemplative in form. The Scent of Light was an Echoes CD of the Month and I think it should win and I suspect it will.