Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Texas Pic

Summer 2007 Houston, Texas

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Anton Zeilinger, an Viennese physicist who has successfully beamed(read transported!!!) the properties of one quantum particle to another was interviewed in a 2006 sight and sound issue had this to say about quantum uncertainty

Take a particle with an uncertain location and an uncertain velocity. When you look at it through a microscope and locate it, the particle gives you an answer: "Here I am." That means, the location becomes reality at that moment. Beforehand, the particle had no location at all. With the choice of the measuring equipment we've had a major impact on reality. But the answer that nature gives is completely random...I call that the two freedoms: first the freedom of the experimenter in choosing the measuring equipment - that depends on my freedom of will; and then the freedom of nature in giving me the answer it pleases.

I've heard this idea before, but haven't yet heard it explained so clearly. I often wonder if this then applies to the rest of nature. If so, it it similiar to the Buddhist idea of Maya(or many other religions for that matter) in which all we see in this world is an illusion. I think it might be a great idea for a new piece.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Getting Here in Paris, Portugal!

The Uno Guitar Duowill perform "Getting Here" at the following locations this upcoming month.
2007/11/2 20:30 L’Archipel Paris
2007/11/9 20:00 Teatro Sa da Bandeira Portugal

In other news I bought roasted chestnuts on Sunday with Mari and Luka and the clerk gave Luka his own little bag of chestnuts. After he ate each chestnut he did a special chestnut dance which involved some head-bobbing and running around his mom. It was quite complex, but expertly executed.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I future is apple pie.

Interview tests at school... I asked a student what he wanted to be in the future he responded appropriately with "I future is apple pie." On the composing front I finally have a 'break' so I've started sketching out an orchestral piece that's been floating around on the back burners. I've also started writing some more solo guitar music that is very influenced by middle-eastern rhythms.
I bought a plant for my desk. It's a chamaedorea, my table-top palm tree.
Luka and I had a little jam session last night- he was singing and playing the ukulele whilst I was playing the tambourine and toy piano. It was going really well until I broke out my clarinet- it turns out that the sound of the clarinet(or my playing thereof) isn't quite agreeable to his little ears. He ran away to his grandmother's house. Oh well...
concert update:
-Oct 27 2007 St Edmond’s Church London 8:00P The Uno Guitar Duo will perform Getting Here

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Wow! Thank you so much Cord Aria

Performances of Winter Light by the Cord Aria duo
29.07.07, 20.00
Brasilia, Brasilien (mit Meisterkurs)
03.08.07, 17.00
Rio de Janeiro, Radio Präsentation
03.08.07, 20.00
Rio de Janeiro , Brasilien
08.08.07, 20.00
Porto Alegre, Tasso Corea
09.08.07, 18.30
Porto Alegre, Teatro São Pedro
10.08.07, 20.00
Curitiba, Brasilien
12.08.07, 18.30
Sao Paolo, Braston Hotel
13.08.07, 10-17
Sao Paolo, Baccarelli, Marcelina
06.10.07, 20.00
Kulturzentrum Messestadt Riem (M)
10.11.07, 20.00
Kulturhaus Milbertshofen (M)
18.11.07, 16.00
Bad Aibling, Novalis-Haus

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A line from Thomas Pynchon

This is a line I found in Thomas Pynchon's "Against the Day"

Despite having gone in with the determination to cut the place some slack, Kit had seen Y. almost immediately for what it was. The book-learning part of it, two or three good companions not quite crippled into the reflexive and humorless caution which leading the nation would require-that was all just swell, and almost made up for the rest of it.

Getting Here in London

Getting Here(guitar duet)was performed by the Uno Guitar Duo at Music at St.Barnabas, Manette Street, Soho, London, WIV 5LB at 8:00pm on Tuesday October 9th. It's a pretty interesting 150 year old church with supposedly amazing acoustics. Read more about it here

Falling Through the Cracks in London

Shibboleth by Colombian artist Doris Salcedo.
click here for the full story

Monday, October 8, 2007

Falling Through the Cracks

Yesterday I performed a piece I just finished for solo guitar called "Falling Through the Cracks" at the Higashi Playhouse here in Nagoya. It was a lot of fun. It's the first time I've ever experimented with prepared guitar- I inserted a piece of plastic band between the strings near the bridge of the guitar so that it kind of sounds like a kalimba. The title was taken from a Suzanne Vega line that has haunted me for the longest time:

I've fallen through the cracks and there's no getting back
And I'll never trust whoever gets elected"

I've always been kind of attracted to the idea of falling through the cracks- it's so easy to do on so many different levels and sometimes it's actually a lot more fulfilling.

Monday, September 17, 2007

October Dream in Osaka

I just came back from Osaka, where the Osaka Guitar Quartet performed my piece "October Dream" along with a slew of great new music. I was really impressed with their performances and the amount of modern repertoire they performed. We all went to an Izakaya(japanese pub) after the concert. It's amazing how convenient Japan is sometimes! The concert hall was a ten minute walk from the shinkansen, it's next door to a Bosendorfer piano showroom and the izakaya was on the 5th floor.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Poster from the attic

This is a poster from my first band's first performance circa 1990. I just found it in the attic.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Getting Here in Italy

I just found out that "Getting Here" a duet for two guitars I recently wrote will have it's second performance in Italy by the Masini-Costantino Guitar Duo on September, 5 2007 at 6° Festival della Chitarra 2007 Centro Congressi Marina di Massa, P.zza Betti, Massa (MS), 54100. Yay!
Here is their myspace site:
and if your Italian is proficient enough here is their website:

Thursday, June 28, 2007

baroque lute alarm clock madness

Recently I've gotten in the habit of using the music I'm working on or being haunted by as my alarm clock. I record the music into my cell phone and then set it as my alarm sound. It's kind of the reverse of the normal process. Usually I'll be haunted by a certain melody or chord progression for weeks or months as I'm writing a new piece, and when I'm finished the piece the haunting melody or idea will have been exorcised or at least trapped on staff paper or cd. It's as if I'm re-haunting myself.
The music I'm using now is the last movement of a four movement work I wrote for baroque lute, a 300 plus year old instrument which has about 16 strings. It's called "Farewell"
Here is the piece in it's entirety

I Initiation

II Puzzle Piece
III Toy for Luka
IV Farewell
The titles of the first and fourth movements are self explanatory, but the second movement, "Puzzle Piece" refers to the idea creating a musical or rhythmic picture piece by piece, so that what you start out is not exactly what it seems and becomes part of something much bigger than itself. "Toy for Luka" is sort of a pun, as in baroque music and earlier there was an actual type of piece called a "Toy." It's the first movement of the four that I completed and I wanted to dedicate it to my son who was constantly around me when I wrote it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Monday, June 11, 2007


There was a pretty heavy downpour yesterday and Luka decided to take his drum stick and venture out into the middle of it.

Monday, June 4, 2007

morning commute

I've been commuting to work by bicycle since April and I've noticed that a big difference between commuting by train is that time is not as rigid. When you travel by train you have to board a specific train or you'll miss your connection and might end up late for work even if you only arrive there a minute late. Now when I travel by bike I use the other commuters I pass on my way to measure time...The children from my apartment building who leave at the blow of a whistle. The woman with the baseball cap pulled down low so you can't see her eyes, who's always talking on her cell phone. The guy with the dyed brown hair, light blue jump suit and cigarette dangling from his mouth who always seems to make me feel like everything is okay. The nondescript middle-aged woman I pass when I'm halfway there, my friend, Glenn who's always listening to obscure music on his huge headphones...It feels like a big community- like maybe we should have a party or something. And then there's the occassional exception- people that I'll only see once and never again. People whose destinies are not meant to be intertwined with mine.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I've been trying to teach my son, Luka, some English words as he is usually surrounded by Japanese speakers. He can say juice and shoes and yesterday he pointed at the moon and said moon. He says atsui which means hot in Japanese, so I've been trying to teach him the English word. I finally got him to say it, but somehow he mixed the two words and he now says "hotsui"

Thursday, May 17, 2007

some unrelated craziness

here's some unrelated craziness!
click here
turn up your speakers!!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

second rehearsal

The second rehearsal of "Getting Here" went really well last night! It feels good to play my own music.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Getting here/Soul Delay

I just finished writing a guitar duet based on the idea of soul delay. I read about it in Willian Gibson's book "Pattern Recognition." The idea is then your soul can only travel at about 100m per hour, so if you travel over that speed, your soul can't keep up with your body. So, once you arrive at your destination it might take a few days for your soul to catch up with you. I really liked this idea and I started imagining the adventures my soul might have had on its way to Japan...a lonely early morning departure on silent seas...some turbulence and mythical creature sightings...a tribal dance in the shadows...arrival-cherry blossom snow and the final reunion celebrations.
The piece is called "Getting Here" and I'll be performing it next week in Nagoya at a possibly secret location.

Friday, February 16, 2007


the lifeless buildings reflected in the city river
with their sad dim lights
just dim enough
to seem ghostlike
like lightning bugs
or ancient lanterns,
dare me to find meaning
but i'm on the bridge
straining instead to find hope
in the sad river
labyrinth of concrete
clockwork precision
that is so...
but for the rushing wind of cars
amplified through the light drizzle of rain

i am a worm
buried just a few feet below the surface
listening... waiting...

Monday, February 5, 2007

Goleo and Luka

Here's the scene where Goleo professes his love for Luka in Japanese

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bellydancing Fun

Yesterday, Mari had a New Year's party for all of her loyal students and assistants. Luka and I went and had a great time. All the girls fawned over Luka and he just ate it up. I got to play the dumbek(a middle-eastern drum) and perform my pelican dance. That's all for now. check back for updates...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Karaoke commercial

Yesterday, one of my students asked me if I was in a karaoke commercial. I couldn't believe that he even recognized me- I appear in the first scene for less than 2 seconds. I've included the link for your viewing pleasure.
click here

The original website is here:

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Luka in the sky with rice...

As everyone knows, people in Japan eat a lot of rice, even my son. The thing is, I never really realized how much rice we ate until Luka came along. Now I find dried pieces of rice all over of the apartment, or stuck in hidden creases of my son's clothes. Don't get me wrong, we clean the apartment and his clothes regularly, but somehow these renegade pieces of rice always seem to get away...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Past Life

I know it sounds funny but I talked to a telephone psychic about my past life. She's a pretty popular psychic here in Nagoya who used to be an English teacher. She conducts all of her sessions over the phone for security reasons. Anyway, it turns out that I was a buddhist nun in northern Japan during the Edo period in my past life. I had had a very hard life and before I passed away I resolved to be reborn again as far away as possible from Japan. I made it to America- that's probably far enough. The funny part is that I came back.
It's impossible to prove whether the psychic was right or wrong, but either way she can tell a great story and she definitely doesn't sugarcoat her readings at all. Of course, the reading was kind of depressing. I wanted to be a royal prince living in France or a great misunderstood composer. Oh well, maybe I can be a misunderstood composer in this life...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


When I first came to Japan, my wife's family would often take us out to the local chinese restuarant. The place was and still is amazing, although it's not much to look at. It's more like a little hole in the wall with grease stained walls and windows, a sign of an authentic chinese restuarant in Japan. Anyway, my Japanese at the time was limited to simple one to two word phrases like "delicious" or "I want to go, eat,etc."
So, one day we were all in a cab trying to decide where to eat for the night and someone mentioned the restuarant. I thought this would be a great chance to show off my Japanese skills to the in-laws, so I said(or thought I said) "That's sounds great! That place has delicious food!" Unfortunately the name of the restuarant like a lot of Chinsese restuarants has the character for "unique" or "珍" as its first character which is pronounced as Chin and the second character is the repitition character "々" and the third character is "店" or ten which means shop or restuarant. So the name of the restaurant is Chin-chin tei but if you drop the 'tei' part like I did that fateful night, it means penis. So, in a cab with my(at that time)future in-laws, wife, and a cab driver I said "I like c--k, it's delicious, I wanna eat it!" and if you think that's bad I thought they couldn't hear me the first time so I said it at least three or four times. Mari kept elbowing me harder and harder until finally she stepped on my foot and explained what I said in English. Everyone just turned bright red and stared at their shoes. I thought it was the funniest thing that ever happened and of course I was all alone in that opinion.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

High Fever

Luka has had a pretty high fever since New Year's Day. Mari and I have been stuck inside for the past few days, but it's actually kind of liberating. He should be fine. He's been getting lots of rest and he still has his famous appetite and strange love of natto and seaweed. I've just been writing a bit and updating my website. Oh yeah! Mari and I were cleaning the other day and I found this CD of a piece for six guitars called Thoughts on Landing. When I wrote it I didn't really think it was such a great piece but on second listening it's not too shabby. The following is a performance from Washington State. The idea I wanted to convey was of landing in a strange new place.

Rolfe's Barber Shop