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Entries in time (6)

Saturday
Sep072013

Nik Bärtsch workshop (Part Two) -- Val Mesocco, Switzerland

Continued from Part One

A bit more about the aikido practice.

As I mentioned before, our aikido work was mostly with weapons and led by Andrea. I say ‘mostly’, because it was often hard to say when we were doing aikido and when we weren't. Many of the games and bodywork bridged across the music<>aikido spectrum.

Though once we had weapons in our hands we were definitely practicing aikido. One of the interesting things for me was that Andrea and Nik’s weapon work was different from what I was used to. It wasn’t far away, but it seemed to come from a different line.

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Friday
Sep062013

Nik Bärtsch workshop (Part One) -- Val Mesocco, Switzerland 

July 30-August 5 Nik Bärtsch workshop -- Val Mesocco, Switzerland

I had been thinking about coming to this workshop for over two years, ever since Henry Kaiser first told me Nik was doing this kind of thing. Aikido + Music + Meditation. Perfect for me. Thankfully, I was able to be in the vicinity (Europe) close enough to the dates so that I could extend my trip and come here.

The short-story-take-aways:

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Monday
Jul292013

Zurich, Switzerland - Club Exile with Nik Bärtsch and Mihai Balabaș

Zurich, Switzerland July 29, 2013 -- performance with Nik Bärtsch & Mihai Balabaș at Club Exil.

I ended up blowing off my flight from Munich to Zurich and taking the train directly from Innsbruck. It was a much, much nicer way to travel through the Alps. Tobias went with me, which was great. We got to debrief the tapping workshop and do a fair bit of gear-geek talk.

I arrived in Zurich very weak and immediately went to sleep for another 18 hours. Nik (Bärtsch) had asked me to join him in his weekly performance at Club Exil the next day (Monday, August 29). Nik’s band Ronin has been playing a weekly Monday night gig in Zurich for years. If you want to know how to get good as a band, look no further than this: play a weekly gig, year after year after year. When I met David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet he told me that they rehearsed 5 days a week. Why is Kronos so damn good and how do they learn so much material so quickly? They rehearse regularly and have been doing so for decades.

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Saturday
May052012

Mali, West Africa (Part Two)

Bamako

It has been a fantastic day. After breakfast we had a superb two-hour djembe lesson with Madou at the Palais de Culture just around the corner from our hostel. Alonso had met this women eating breakfast at The Sleeping Camel, Tina from Slovakia, who had come to study with Madou. We figured this guy must be something as Tina has come to Mali four times just to work with him. We got his number and completely butted into her lesson. We played outside among the big trees next to the Niger River. A perfect setting.

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Monday
Feb152010

Quiet Listening

I have been experimenting with a new kind of listening over the last year.

For reasons partially, but not completely, clear to me I am finding that my ear has developed a kind of threshold. This threshold is not just volume oriented, it is also information oriented. Once I cross this threshold my ears shut down -- both internally and externally. Meaning that not only does my inner ear shut down and I cannot bear to listen anymore, but my physical ears don't want any more sound either. They kind of stuff themselves up.

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Wednesday
May272009

Austin Powers & the Merciful Blending of Time

“Austin Powers” is a piece by Alex Machacek that he, Marco Minnemann and I are working up for the UKZ shows in Japan. The recorded version is on Alex’s recording “[sic]”.

This “three-piece suit and a poison pen” of a tune has some of the most challenging rhythms I have ever attempted. The musical worlds that I move comfortably in, all have four, or occasionally three, subdivisions to the beat. The bars could be composed of any numbers of beats - 5, 8, 9, 13, etc... - but each of those beats are broken up in to four small pulses.

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