Friday, April 28, 2006

avant sounds

Well Nathan's feed of the Hype machine got me into the searching mode. And I wandered off into that space of the web where strange things happen and I came across an amazing record label site, via tactus There are a pile of CC material as well as great Avant Garde tracks.

What I got hooked into is an album by K.M. Krebs. It is really sublime. The website has a blurb that reads
with motifs played out cyclically and repetitively, rather than progressively, in order to induce a relaxed state.

This is a fabulous concept to try and wrap my grey matter around. Mind you I was just reading a tutorial on acoustic waves (quite worthwhile) so I am overlapping the ideas and imaging how I might wrap that up in a piece. I get the sense that Cage would have despised something so artificial and so predictable. Then I roll around the perfection that is inherent, in such electronically exact music and contrast that with the imperfection of the acoustic setting, ie. I am sitting in a room listening (not to rip off Lucier!) and the sound waves are being effected by the air quality, the shifting electrical currents in my brain, the disruptions of the sound waves by sound waves emitted by me, my chair, not to mention the house...(etc.) So complex and yet so simple. I really like that duality, it is so engaging. A large range of variables; both electronic and biological. I almost want to sit and pluck a string, one simple string over and over. Or even better, generate a sine tone and listen. Really, listen.

shiney objects

Working at Starbucks, I am the person that you talk to for 15 seconds to 1 minute depending on, well, many factors. Tonight Denice came through my drive through. She had many shiney objects on and I informed her that they were fabulous and that I to had a fascination with shiney objects. In fact I referenced it in my myspace bio. She enquired why I was drawn to them and I let her know it was a combination of two things. One, shiney things generally break the light into a wide variety of colors and this provides a portal into the complexity of the seemingly simplistic nature of the universe. I really love little elegant reminders of that duality. Secondly, there was a time when I was young and I went to the apartment of a person, I have no idea who. I believe the air was filled with smoke and I was amazed by the discovery of two crystals hanging in the window. These simple $1 items broke the light into a fabulous display and I was amazed that something so simple could bring so much h entertainment for me. It was really a magical moment. So in each and every sparkey object, I see a reminder of that moment and all of the profundity and wonder that it continues to inspire in me.

I of course enquired as to her fascination and she responded that for her it was a sign of someone who took an extra moment to be special. And as we all know positive energy is contagious. It was also a symbol of female power for her. Which reminded me of the strip club here in Anchorage, or rather the one that I went to. It is really all about women having power and that power is derived from an almost hypnotic ability, it is quite profound.

Finally, I began to wonder what biological advantage there is in being attracted to shiney objects. I can't say that I have an answer. Does anyone else? The only thing that I can imagine is that it is good to be drawn toward the sun. Is that enough of a reason? Not sure.

Thanks to Denice for 5 minutes of reminding me of what an amazing planet we live on.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Composing New Music

Often, when I awake there is what I consider a first thought for my day. These generally are thoughts that are so laden with a question and meaning that I roll them around in my head throughout the day. Today that thought relates to my work as a composer. When I was interviewing at Columbia this past winter, there was a lecture given by Mark Applebaum, about his work. It was essentially an expose on what he does and thinks as a composer and I was very intrigued by his thoughts. One that has stuck with me is, (and I paraphrase) “I can’t write music without connecting it to something out side of the music world.” For me, the basic idea that he was driving at (or what I may be projecting) was that he draws metaphorical inspiration and often content and ideas from things other than music and his logic was, “for me writing music that is not connected to outside systems is boring” (once again I paraphrase and mildly misremember) I really like this idea (hence the resonance of those words several months later) and it is the crux of what I believe I do and strive to do as an artist. I view my compositions as philosophical and political statements. For me, the act of composition combines my observations of and my stance on issues of the day. I find that my interest pushes me to do research, often outside and sometimes within the field of “music” How I translate my observations and those of others that I collect via research makes it reflective of my interests. How the music is derived and how it is written (weather it leaves room for performers to make decisions or not) is where the political stance comes in. I view my job as a composer as organizing a series of sound, visual and theatrical events. Historically composers have dictated what the performers should do and the areas that are not prescribed by the composer generally have a heritage of “accepted and expected performance practices.” My vision is to empower performers to make decisions based on their strengths, while providing a “bottom line” set of expectations. beyond the purely musical suggestions, I see an opportunity to model and incorporate ideas of other disciplines. For instance, how could the dynamics of board room meeting translate into sound. And on another level, what type of board would I choose, Green Peace or Enron and what parameters do I choose as generators for music parameters. Finally, in what ways do I alter it, according to my beliefs. Hence it is political stance. This way of approaching composition and art for that matter is by no means my creation, it has been in existence for a great deal of time, rather this is my coming to terms with these concepts that Mark highlighted verbally and that Bob Cogan patiently and skillfully presented to me.

This is of course nothing new, all artists of note are reflective of the zeitgeist of the era, which is generally ahead of the publics cognizant recognition of that theme. What I believe is important in this era are the reduction of or atleast the obscuring of lines between disciplines. This cross pollination is what is important about work today and where I am interested to playing.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ben Folds Review

So... props to Nate forr pointing me at this Ben Folds cover of Dr Dre. The track is called Bitches Ain't Shit and as Nate pointed out, this makes a great Ben Folds song!

The thing is, he deliberately annunciates each word and the rhythmic undulation of the vocals and the speachlike delivery is so Ben. This is what I love in a cover, it sounds nothing like the origional, it sounds like a white boy doing a balad, that is what he does! He has this way of detaching himself from the content, at least the way Dre had presented it and presenting it how he would have if he had written it. Amazing. Thanks Ben.

Oh and for comparison! Dre

AK Spring

There have been many signs that spring is on the move here in the land of, there is no such thing as global warming. The Princess Tours buses have been out for their first run, the snow is mostly gone, the females are in tanktops (30-40 F!!), the soft tops of jeeps are rolled back when the sun is out (I repeat 30-40 F!) and..... PUDDLES!. While might imagine that they would wash some of that grime off the car and with most cars you can't read the license plate, they do offer wonderful points for reflecting the natural splendor that surround Anchorage. I can assure you, the loveliness surrounds ANC, but it is not contained there-in!

In order to contextualize my existence, I have a couple of pics of the area. 1st, the Starbucks where I fulfill the caffeine needs of many of Anchorages residents.

Next, I wanted to capture some of the amazing architecture that Anchorage houses, all-be-it limited in quantity. The Quonset hut is essentially a large drain pipe that has been cut in half and then closed up on each side. They were and are common in Anchorage, they in-fact are part of the cultural heritage of this locale. On my walk home from work I have encountered several interesting places, the most noteworthy of which picks up the metal siding motif and works with the maluability and of the material and riffs on the traditions of the Quonset. Such as the circular design. Then they disrupt those circular arches with a good use of vertical walls that asymmetrically balance each other. The real point of apex is not first apparent, but lies around the corner and gracefully arches up to the sky, both twisting and inverting the traditional arch. I really like this home and I made sure to let the home owners know it. They were happy to know that someone enjoyed their handy work. Here are a couple of shots.
I am also a fan of this house where they do a great job of accentuating the materials natural elements and position them in a fashion that creates a nice rhythm and opposition. The wood is so simply placed and vertically oriented while the slate or charcoal colored stone is assembled in a square pattern with vertical seems of the window casings running dividing the space. The windows are simple and broad and have a subtle yet distinguished muted silver. All of this deployment and selection of linear materials enhances a very geometric and vertically oriented design. And then in a bold and distinctive sweep, the entrance disrupts this largely vertically oriented space with angled horizontals and then on the door, arced inlay of a bronze metal. Very subtle and tasteful, it picks up the arching of grass and makes a wonderfully rich focal point. I dig it.

The other favorite of mine is the use of metal cutouts to portray native Alaskan designs. While I am no expert, I am pretty certain that these designs are of Tinglit origin, or atleast derived there-from.

The pictures take them out of context, but these cutouts are located on the sides of peoples houses, I find that rather unique and pleasurable. While it does not always lead to aesthetically pleasing results, people are willing to take risks and express themselves and their aesthetic positions, pretty cool. (I would vote favorably for these examples)

The final note about spring and AK life is the fact that most people own their own plane. And this is infact the aspiration of my dearest, she covets the Piper Super Cub with tundra tires. She in facts works with a doctor who spends one week on and one week off and commuted from Talkeetna to Anchorage in her Piper Super Cub, sans tundra tires. While that is all good, she did have a little accident last week. (You'll note the highlighted portion) Now you thought your commute to work was treacherous... Imagine having you several month old airplane totaled by a big gust of air and some trees! Now that is a bummer and what I think of when I think, AK Spring.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

the team

So in case you own an apple and don't recognize this scene, the "blue screen" reads Windows XP Home Edition Setup : Please wait (45 minutes!!) while Setup formats the partition. And the picture? That is in homage to the helpful "technician" who reads you the instructions off of his working computer while you reformat your non-working computer. Of course, he has a real technician work on his and therefore, his works. The picture is an old black and white of some young gent that I found while at a drycleaners here in Anchorage. Collecting "junk" is difficult in these parts as most people just throw wrappers out the window of their very large trucks (well that and empty beer bottles). None the less, there is very little interesting "trash." And for those of you that don't know, my last apartment in Boston was entirely furnished with things that I found in the "trash." It is a bit of a past time.

So.... Yes I am reinstalling the operating system on my dearests computer. She has write-ups to complete (about 8-10 hours of work each) and a final to study for and oh yeah, she works an average of 85 hours a week (illegal for residents, but not a problem if you are a medical student). Actually, she has had this computer for so long that I am acustomed to reinstalling the operating system, maybe someday she will get an apple?? I doubt it! So, I'm pulling one for the team. Actually, it is kind of fun cleaning that beast off, everytime I do it I am thankful that my computer is in working order.

The other noteworthy computer event has been my discovery of which is allowing me to harness the power of web 2.0! Although, as I discussed with my brother today, there certainly are some privacy issues involved. But having lived a block away from a presidential candidate, I am pretty certain that all of my rights to privacy were thrown out the window some time back and now I am just another uninteresting number for the feds. While artists may be eccentric, their motivation is fairly transparent, bettering the planet and creating a good piece of work in the process. Well that and some food scraps that leak down from above.

Monday, April 17, 2006


Most people tend to consider human movement as rather sudden and abrupt. While this may hold true on a very local level, it is important to consider the larger type of arcs that we metaphoricly draw as humans. In honor of Bunny Day yesterday my dearest and I went to the edge of Anchorage, where the water meets the land and there is a small strip of road and a parking lot. Here we sat and listened to Delius as large Alaska Airlines aircraft appeared at the horizon and then crept towards us. As I traced their movement, the airplanes that is, it occured to me that this type of movement represents a slower more steady movement of mankind. This is my new notebook. I tend to keep logs of my thoughts, so I thought it à propos to gain an Alaskan Native art design. I really like this one. When I die, make sure to read it.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Nice metaphorical picture from the Seward Highway, about a 1/2 hour south of Anchorage.

I once had a long discussion with the composer Lyle Davidson about my then current compositions. I wanted his feedback as to my compositional output. One thing I took away from that conversation was an appreciation for the idea of creating a space. Lyle was of the opinion that I needed to work harder at that, maybe because I do it well or maybe because I could do it well, I'm not quite sure. During that conversation we were sitting in a coffee shop and he pointed out a flock of pigeons that would spend all day flying back and forth between Symphony Hall, NEC and the Whole Foods Market. That cemented that conversation and my impression of a space, as I imagined the pigeons sense of space. Thinking back, I realize that I was projecting what I would think about that space if I were a pigeon and that image is a cornerstone of my 2 years at NEC. Lyle is very good at teaching, VERY GOOD, and this was one his lessons.

Today,I was driving to the post to retrieve some objects that were in the box and the song "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk" happened to pop up on the cd player. As those opening chords bounced into my ears I was instantly transported into that ballads particular Space. Listening to this song I realized that Rufus hooks me with that little opening, in particular the keyboard sound. It is a simple triadic vamp, nothing interesting, but that particular keyboard sound is nostalgic and takes me to a place. As I listened to the song, I began to realize that there is a string accompaniment to his singing and the writing is pretty dull. The drums are decent, so are the guitars and vocal harmonies. All in all it is nice, but nothing that interesting and then it hit me. The way these things are layered and put together is what is key. The keyboard vamp, the vocal approach and harmonies, the voicings of the backing strings, the multiverse drum phrase length and the dynamic climaxs that spill over the phrase length; it is all just slightly askew from the how these sounds are typically deployed. Or atleast how I expect them to be deployed. Invention, Pozzi would remind me, is of the uptmost importance.

Having gone through all of that in the course of the song, I started to dwell on the concept of space.It is now apparent to me that in TphubonV I open by creating a space and once that is established I take the listener in to hear some different events. Then in snapshots and sofater my work progressively becomes more and more about one space and all of the subtlety and texture there-in. In these later two compositions I began to discover the depth and richness of focusing so intensely on one thing. This texture is solely composed of sounds, in snapshots. The space allows the audience to listen to the performers listen as well as listen to the composition unfold, as it is inherently new every time. In the score, I indicate the pitch material and the point of entry and departure, but the performers must reenact the acoustic beating that they hear and only a moment, as they are tasked with playing a sort of continuous loop of their observations. In listening to that piece I am always struck by my desire for more length when I reach the end of the composition.
Wow, the things you realize about your work. The Scrippian process of reflective discovery pops up again!

Thursday, April 13, 2006


This image from one of my former teachers, Ray Spicer, it is copyrighted 2006, steal it or abuse it and I will kill you. That is a threat.

An email conversation we had this evening caused me to reflect upon my artistic lineage. As people we tend to reflect what we have encountered and meld this with our dreams. What I have encountered throughout my life has been amazing and I thought it worth noting.

Artistic Lineage.
1. Carl Jette - My father is a very hard working writer. He has a gift for understanding and appreciating dram, I am thankful that I have inherited this. As a writer, I remember as a 7th grader asking him to proof a paper of mine and getting back twice as much writing from him than what I had begun with. This was not fun! Because it meant that I was going to have to do at least 3 more drafts before it was passable. Whenever I complained, I was reminded that Tolstoy would write and rewrite and rewrite and make my effort look like... well not very much.
2. Laura Jette - When I was young, basically my first memories, I had a dog, his name was Ernie, I had named him after my favorite Sesame Street character. When he finally ran away for the last time and it was clear that he was not coming back I broke down and was very upset, this was the first major loss in my life and I did not know what to do. My mother was just as upset about her little boy being upset as I was about the loss of my dog that she went and got me a paint by number painting of what appeared to be Ernie. I learned to channel my emotions into my work in a very direct and honest way. It has taken me years to return to that, just as my mother who returned to school after having three children so that she could pursue a fashion design degree.
3. Grandparents - Carl, Tootie, Marvin and Marian. I have had the great fortune to have known my grandparents throughout my 30 plus years. What I have gained through this exposure is a connection to my family, the cultural heritage (Native American, French, German, Hungarian, Croatian) this sense of connection to a people that is old and rooted in various places in the world has helped me to understand myself. Oddly all of this dilution has not made me feel like a mutt, rather I feel that I am 100% of each of these as they have each been modeled and explained. The other things that come to mind are the hours of cooking and the hours of sailing. These two things, along with a very diligent work ethic and a very strict code of morality, has allowed me to connect to the natural world and appreciate the wonder and patterns that exist in rising bread and falling tides.
3. I had several early violin instructors who I will lump together; my Suzuki teacher (no idea what her name was) and Ann Norton(she was assisstant concert master of the Milwaukee symphony orchestra). Suzuki was.... strange, I was young and didn't practice much. All that I can remember of it now is a very clear image of the place and that the teacher was probably like I was young and getting a feeling for the whole thing. With Ann, I remember her fabulous back yard, when you say English garden, this was my first (not that it really was or wasn't, that was just my impression) I remember that she was of the opinion that I should play in the youth symphony, which I did. This lead to summer camps and the playing in the big Eline Hall. I remember thinking when I was in middle school or so, well I'm playing Mozart and so are the members of the Milwaukee Symphony, maybe I should audition. That still makes me laugh today!
4. Bonnie Green - She lead a strolling strings group, Music Makers, that met in the basement of a church next to Washington High where my father had taught when I was first born. Here, I began to glimpse the working side of music, we played dinner clubs, 20 or so of us in our tux's sans jackets strolling around while Bonnie accompanied on piano. She showcased the super-talent and had the older ones help the younger ones, I will never stop marveling at how she pulled this all off. With this group, I played for then vice president George Bush and I encountered friends of mine outside protesting him on my way in. Here I took lessons from a flamenco guitarist who much to my amazement could sight read Jimi Hendrix without use of the tab. Bonnie saw to it that we had the tools to learn and that we did. I remember going to her house on a Sunday afternoon so she could sit down and explain the rudiments of theory to me. She also introduced me to Clara.
5. Clara Fenyo Bahcall - I must of started with her when I was 13. She was fresh off the boat from Hungary and I was a little American skater punk. We argued about my hair covering my eyes, that is would ruin my eyesight and various other crazy things I did. Eventually her discipline and lack of tolerance inspired me to get my act together. And when I decided that I ought to go to college, I selected one school, UWO, one because she was there, two it was the alma-matter of my high school art teacher, Mr Euclide and three my Uncle Bob had gone there and drank a lot and been on the sailing team (it had been gone for 10 years when I got there!). Clara introduced me to the world of classical music and impressed in me the fact that people had and will give there life for this art. She was in many ways another mother. I have had many in addition to Laura, the other one that jumps out is Char Becker, mother of my first and still close friend Mark Becker.
6. Mr Euclide - High school art teacher. I would go into the back of the room with Greg Nadas and create crazy tripped out art, or so I thought. At least back there we could listen to tapes of Primus and the Misfits and The Cult. He gave me a grounding in the basics, I hated it. Perspective and color studies. It was frustrating, but I did gain the exposure and was given enough room to explore my ideas. Also at this time I began photo classes with Mrs. Stadowska. She gave us the basics, but then left to deliver a baby. Her replacement was a green college graduate who taught us for the semester/year? She let us go crazy and chase our dreams and as we did that she brought the basics into focus. She showed us "Harold and Maude" which began my exposure to the art world. I should interject here that my father has become obsessed with film and is continuously sending me all be many of them depressing, good movies to see.
7. Mr. Vespraskis - I took "Music COmposition" with him in high school. It was a class, there were three of us in it, Casey, who sold me a case for guitar and lived across the road from the barn my sister rode at, me and Dan Didier, who was the drummer for the Promise Ring. To begin that class we built our own desks, literally! We then had mac's with finale and we were turned loose on them. We would have interval training every day and tests on Friday, one of the best dam things that ever happened to me! We also built part of the set for the musical, which got me into doing stage crew one year. But mostly we made really weird stuff on the computers and did assignments that I can't remember out of a book I can't remember.
8. Ray Spicer - Taught me photo while at UWO. He is the only teacher I ever met who interrupted his lecture (you might insert sermon there) to go turn up the radio as loud as it would go in order to pay homage to the great art that is the opening of guitar solo of "Money for Nothin'" Like the woman who had taught us in high school Ray left it open, but as we worked we brought out prints and he pointed out the problems. I gained so much from that it is amazing. Also, we would have class critiques every week or so in order to discuss each others work. Here I learned how to talk about art. As well as to defend and see others and my own work through the eyes of others.
9. James Chaudoir - Day one Music Theory, "the most important phrase for your career as a musician is, Would you like some fries with that." He helped us by having a comp class and exposing us to Phillip Glass, Berg and Schoenberg. More importantly he taught us how to organize a group of composers in order to support and discuss each others work. We all got our first commission through the USS Composers, electronic music to accompany a slide show of pictures from the new electron microscope. In lessons he began to expand my mind so that I could understand the parameters of music and we would look at my photographs as well as my compositions.
10. Bruce Wise - You saw him walk on stage and you fell in love with him, just the cutest thing you ever saw and then he played these out there serial compositions. "Ah zooo" was almost always the observation and instead of telling you something, he gave you the space to form a conclusion, which he then addressed. In lessons he continually pointed to the works of others saying, "Beethoven had that idea and did it in this piece, you should take a look."
11. David Cowley - Well I had to learn a secondary instrument and the cello was always so cool and he was a most dedicated person. His office and his world was all about music, it is as if he continued to be a starving grad student, just practicing away and dedicating everything he has to his playing. His favorite indulgence is pie. Other than that, it is all about music.
12. Ira speaker - He studied with Woerenin and he taught me the basics of design. He showed me how to lay a piece out and how to develop material. His teaching was very hands on and he continually was exposing me to new things. My lessons began with a him handing me a pile of newspaper articles and then I would report on the ones from last week. We reviewed undergraduate theory and sight singing. But most importantly, after I was fired he forced me to get over it and show up for my lesson the next day, as "retail is not a job, music is." He is extremely resourceful and frugal. He taught me about networking and when I worked for him, as he did gardening and garden work on the side, I encountered how to lay out things in real space. Very opinionated and very sure he was right. I also was sent to countless galleries and concerts and had to discuss those as well. This was how I learned about new music and art in Boston.
13. Bob Cogan - I don't think I have met a more intelligent person. He said so little, yet it was so jam packed with knowledge. He has helped me to see that Haydn was an Avant Garde composer and he has helped me to find my path and be able make decisions. He taught me about myself by teaching a seminar about all of his former teacher, Jarnick, Boulanger, Sessions, Babbit, Copeland. In doing this he pointed out their strengths and weaknesses for him and what he took from each one. I still marvel at all he never said and all that I have learned.
14. Pozzi Escott - Quite the opposite of her partner Bob, she says everything she is thinking. She is sincere and honest and passionate. Most of all, she has taught me about honesty and the fact that we (you know who you are) are living legends, important artists. Her classes were always like church for the artists.
15. Lee Hyla - Lee taught me about pursuing your interests. His orchestration class was not to miss. Our group was continually arguing, sometimes quite heatedly and it was here that we would debate our ideas about music and the future of composition. He was also very diligent in pointing out that I need to be professional in my presentation, ie. the music must be impeccable! I am still working at this, but it is there and it is getting better.
16. Michael Gandolfi - His seminar was about the business of music along with great discussions of modern art. I learned a great deal about this world that I was entering and he was very reassuring at a crucial time about the path ahead and that I was well equipped.
17. Larry Scripp - reflection and annotation. Just keep doing this and it will all become apparent.

There are more, many more. But I need to go to sleep.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


I was listening to an interview of Belle and Sebastian and they were discussing how their studio work has become refined and more precise and that they have learned to project more. This is attributed to playing for larger crowds. I thought it was a very interesting point to raise and that it had that significant (in their opinion) of an impact on their growth and continuity as artists.

Later, I was talking with a friend of mine who is a computer programmer and we were discussing this idea of professionalism. My head has stared tolling these two discussions together. The idea of being a professional at what you do is easier for me to grasp when it came to, firefighter or doctor; you go through training, you become certified and then you hang up the proverbial shingle. While I have always intuitively connected my work as an artist with ideas of having it be my profession, it has been difficult for me to draw the line in my head as to when I would be a professional. This is the same issue that my friend , the programmer (who ironically has no website or I would link it!) has been struggling with. From my vantage point today, I have begun to appreciate that it involves a great deal of projection and belief in what you do. Of course we know this from the classic "sleazy salesperson" who assertively and quite believably assures us they know what they are talking about and this is the best money can buy. Yet I have never wanted to connect that sort of energy with what I consider to be my more Nobel cause, the creation or organization (depending on your perspective) that I undertake. My art (I can hear mark Gleicher telling me this word is dead and I think I agree, art is dead) is not about making money it is about recording a viewpoint that is able to account not only for the physical reality of the world that is evident, but rather it connects that world with in a new way with the perspective that we (the human collection) don't yet know. Sort of a combination of reinterpretation and foresight. And who wants to mix that with greasy sales tactics?

Which brings me back to the beginning point of this little rant, projection. When I use that word, I am able to think about extending my vision in a genuine fashion, that will inherently serve the business side of my profession.

Or... so it all seems today.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Success Matrix

Often pieces of music are judged to be successful or not so successful. I was driving down the road today thinking about this and about how amazing the mountains are here. And it occurred to me that there are a whole variety of factors that go into a successful piece, do the sounds please the listener, or do the sounds gnaw away in a way that you find interesting (same concept as slowing down look at an accident so we can glimpse the bloody corpse on the road), does it take the listener to a place outside of their daily place, or does it help the listener reinterpret that place that deal with day to day, does the piece provide satisfaction by allowing the listener space to solve the "problem" or does it emphatically suggest a solution, does it take issues that are important and beyond what we want to consider on a daily basis and help the listener to integrate them into their world-view, does it leave the listener fulfilled in any number of ways; intellectually, spiritually, physically, etc, does the piece trace a familiar (universal) pattern that is present in the molecules and the hall that surrounds them. All of these oppositions and the grey area in-between, it reminds me of a mixing board, with a multitude of tracks, only this mixing board has quantifiable variables and while there is no universal "right mix" there is a mix that is better for different groups, possibly the collection of humans that live in the United States in the year 2006, or maybe the humans that live in China in 3010. There are so many componenets that I can quickly see this Matrix Mixer getting out of control, the same way an orchestra seems like way to much to deal with for a small child. That is of course until they understand that there are groups and that an orchestra can be as simple as one or two voices and only seldomly does it become as complex as the 80 to 100 odd musicians that it is comprised of. Which brings up an interesting point, when 16 "first violins" play the same line together, it is not acousticaly similar to the sound of one violin. Rather, the 16 violins sound is grouped together in the ear of the listener (and the brain) producing sort of averaging out of the sounds. And in reality that texture is irreplaceable. So do the various components of a composition get grouped together due to their similarity in say their mood? Which leaves me with the question, what sorts of things are grouped and why by the brain? Not just sounds, but parameters of sound.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Well I am so thrilled that my birthday is occurring adjacent to those wonderful set of numbers, 01:02:03,04/05/06. We shant see something like this for another year and a month. It will be interesting to link the dots between these days as they occur, what I shall title numerical sequence days, when I get to my death bed, or even before. For this one, all that I can remark is that I went to work, ah Starbucks, and then went for a little tromp through the woods that are adjacent to our backyard. It is nice to get out and snowshoe a bit. I am amazed how out of shape I am. I was talking with this native gentleman who comes into Starbucks every day or so to have a cup of decaf Komodo Dragon. He was thrilled to learn last night that it is a real beasty. He has an interesting story. He lives in Bethel Alaska(400 miles due west of Anchorage), where he is has been working in construction for years and he decided that now that he is getting on in years he should take up something a little less physical. So he moved to Anchorage for the winter to enroll in a computer class. He has found that sitting in front of a computer and not working outside has increased his weight by 15 pounds. I suppose I can take solace in the fact that I am not the only out of shape American.

In my tromp through the woods I encountered two animals. The first was the moose who was lounging in our back yard yesterday, I believe he was munching on some cud, but then I don't know how their digestive system works. None the less he was chillin....

I really enjoy his high fashion 80's collar with metal objects. I find myself reminiscing about the days of big hair and heroin-thinned models with loud make-up and really tight leather. Ah youth...

After our little encounter, at which point I went way out of my way, not to be in his space, I kept treckin on for a while and after stopping to snap some pictures, which are no good, there was a white rabbit that shot out from under a bush and across the snow. He was just starting to turn dark around the bottom, a sign that spring is here. Horay for my favorite season.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


So here is a shot of the new horizon, or maybe more exactly the new view. This is the wetland area that leads into the forrest behind our new abode. This setting has allowed the most intimate moose viewing that I have ever encountered. We got home from work one day to see a moma moose napping while baby moose walked about eating shrubbery. They walk within 2 feet of our window, when the light is better I will get a good shot.

The other new horizon that has appeared is the Santa Barbara. This is where I will be going to school to achieve my Composition PhD. I am really excited to continue my artistic journey and at the opportunity to get schooled in the particulars of electronic music. As if that weren't enough my brother and his family will be right down the road in San Diego and my parents and the JR's are talking about moving out west! How exciting. I never imagined that I would be so close to LA and have had time in BOS as well. Funny how as life goes on I have more and more wonderful opportunities.

In addition to the fabulous music and CREATE facility I am really siked at the ecological conscious that I am discovering in CA. I found this project yesterday called Invisible 5 and while it is depressing to learn about what a terrible plight the man race is, I am happy to see this sort of work and realize that I am perfectly positioned to undertake such projects. UCSB has a school of ecological studies that seems to pervade many of the other departments.

As JR pointed out change is a powerful and important force in life. I am more and more convinced that all change is good, it is only the lens of the beholder that allows negative contextualization. Of course, I am one of the few humans who has not experienced the horrors of genocide and war etc. So I may not have all of the facts per say. None the less change is powerful and continuous and I hope that I have the ability to continually see the good in what comes my way.