Rain Play

I have been organizing and packing and throwing away stuff for several weeks now. A 20 yard dumpster was filled with some of the detritus of thirty years – I moved into this house on my birthday in 1992 – and what I wanted to keep was moved into storage. I was exhausted from the work and hadn’t played guitar at all in a couple of weeks. This afternoon a lovely thunderstorm approached the house and I decided to play guitar accompanied by rain and thunder. The house is empty and the reverb in this room is now enormous. I leaned my iPhone against the guitar case and it recorded my guitar and the rain and some thunder.

My friends say it sounds sad. I say that it should sound sad because it was wonderful to live here and to make music here. I am not moving because I don’t like this house and the studio. I am moving because if I don’t move now I will never move. That would be okay, too, but I want another adventure and now is the time.

I recorded around twenty albums in the studio that’s less than fifty yards from this room. The first album that came out of here was ¡Viva!. We mixed the album here after recording it on the road in 1994. The 1996 release Opium was the first album to be recorded and completed here. In those days we still mastered every album at The Mastering Lab in Los Angeles. A few years later we took the late and great Doug Sax’s (who mastered albums for Pink Floyd!) advice who asked me why I was still coming to him for mastering when the material already sounded perfect. So we started to master albums at my studio as well. Innamorare and christmas + santa fe were released in 2000, Little Wing in 2001. If I remember correctly Little Wing was the first album mastered here. In the Arms of Love was the first album released on my label SSRI, in 2002. La Semana, released in 2004, was the first album I engineered by myself. Then came Winter Rose, in 2005, One Guitar in 2006, the binaural album Up Close in 2008, followed by The Scent of Light in the same year. That album was followed by POP in 2010, Dune in 2012, three-oh-five and Bare Wood in 2014, Waiting n Swan in 2015, slow in 2016, The Complete Santa Fe Sessions in 2018, Fete in 2019, and finally the Lockdown and Full versions of vision 2020 last year.

Now I want to do something different. I’ll tell you more about my plans soon…


Yesterday, I dropped my car off for an oil change before 08:00 and since I don’t like sitting in a room with a blaring TV (((why do car dealers always have a TV set on stun in their waiting rooms?))) I walked to the Treehouse for breakfast. At 10:00 I got together with Michael Chavez, who arrived on his BMX bike, for a fun hour of Bulerias-playing in my studio. After Michael left I enjoyed a few hours of guitar playing – I started playing the 2002 Negra for the solo performances in San Francisco in a couple of weeks and it was like visiting an old friend – and a few hours of work on the slideshow, which I think is coming along well. Here are a couple of new clips:

Today, I woke up to heavy rain. No leaks in the house, outside everything was glistening, and the trees were reaching toward the sky. Amazing how much growth piñons can produce after a rain!

First movie premier on YouTube:
Home by Yann Arthus Bertrand. You can watch it for free on YouTube until June 14th.

This sounds great!! Can’t wait to see it myself:

Inhabitat » New York’s High Line Park in the Sky Opens Today!
An elevated park in the sky built on top of the skeleton of an old rail system? It may have sounded impossible only five years ago, but today, the eagerly awaited High Line elevated urban park officially opens for thousands of New Yorkers looking to escape the hubbub of the city below!

File under education, culture and future:

Slashdot News Story | China Dominates In NSA-Backed Coding Contest
“With about 4,200 people participating in a US National Security Agency-supported international competition on everything from writing algorithms to designing components, 20 of the 70 finalists were from China, 10 from Russia, and 2 from the US. China’s showing in the finals was helped by its large number of entrants, 894. India followed at 705, but none of its programmers was a finalist. Russia had 380 participants; the United States, 234; Poland, 214; Egypt, 145; and Ukraine, 128. Participants in the TopCoder Open was open to anyone, from student to professional; the contest proceeded through rounds of elimination that finished this month in Las Vegas. Rob Hughes, president and COO of TopCoder, says the strong finish by programmers from China, Russia, Eastern Europe and elsewhere is indicative of the importance those countries put on mathematics and science education. ‘We do the same thing with athletics here that they do with mathematics and science there.'”

That last sentence is funny/true enough, but along came this commenter who put it in perspective:

Slashdot News Story | China Dominates In NSA-Backed Coding Contest
What’s worse, the quote isn’t even true.
We don’t do the same thing with athletics here as they do with math and science over there. In fact, they do the same thing with athletics as they do with math and science.
That is, they consider athletics to be important and encourage every child to participate in at least one sport.
We, on the other hand, idolize a very small number of top achievers and encourage every child to watch them on TV.

Two Days Ago

That’s one of my rusty steel rain-catchers, filled to the top with water and reflecting the late afternoon sun.