Archive for Blog

(Electronic synthesizer experiments) EC 1, 2, 3, and 4

// March 22nd, 2015 // No Comments » // Blog, Music, News, Photos

The Modular at rest.

The Modular at rest.

Four early studies in a series of  1 or 2 track improvisations (Electronic compositions) utilizing parts of the current modular synthesizer:

This first two rely upon a fully expanded Turing Machine for pitch selection.  It derives it’s trigger pattern from a K4815, and the Turing is being quantized through a uScale whose A out goes to (Rubicon and an AFG) >Modcan multimode while the B out goes to – Cyclebox>e560>DFM2.

Improvisation #1

The additional track is a DSI Pro 2 played in real time.

Improvisation #2

Envelopes are Quad Env and the tempo is under constant modulation by two LFOs from the Quad LFO, #2/sine modulating #1/pulse, and me wiggling #2’s vc amount and speed.

The third clip substitutes stored random voltage from the Doepfer A149-1 for the Turing.  Modification to the sound sources and wiggling of the manual distribution of the 149 along with wiggling of the Quad LFO.

 

Improvisation #3

The short forth clip includes mods to the envelope components, especially during slower passages, and wiggling of the very short delay times in the Modcan Dual Delay.  This time drawing upon the Quantized random voltages of the A149, both N+1 and N² outputs being used, their vc being switch to and fro by a slow random square wave from the Vulcan Modulator.  The tempo this time has no human input save the settings on the Quad LFO which still drive the piece.

Improvisation #4

Sequoia #1

// July 20th, 2014 // No Comments » // Blog, Music, Photos, video

A few images from Sequoia National Park. This was a mid summer visit from last year. One can easily feel so peaceful and enraptured with the display of life, one might forget about ‘problems’. Oh no!

The Swift Achiever is here! Sacred Tibetan chants

// October 23rd, 2013 // No Comments » // Music, News, Personal Stories, Photos, video

JLB_2945Boy Jigme in route to monestary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The long awaited CD of Lama Jigme Tenzin has officially dropped.   A chant master and long time Buddhist from Bhutan, Lama Jigme has performed original renditions of sacred Tibetan chants.  He asked my wife Julie and I to produce a modern album that would help people realize the depth inherent in these works, and also to give some danceable beats to a few of the chants.   The album is accompanied by two videos, Swift Achiever and Blessings Like Rain.

Kalu Rinpoche 2

 

Lama Jigme is a long time disciple of H.E. Kalu Rinpoche, (1905 – May 10, 1989).  He was a Buddhist monk, meditation master, scholar and teacher. He was one of the first Tibetan masters to teach in the West.  The complete album, “Dragon Voice”,  is a new take on Sacred Buddhist Chants.

 

 

The process was an interesting one for me, to say the least.  Lama Jigme would sing a free time improvisational rendition and then gave me complete freedom to do whatever I wanted.  It was Stravinsky who spoke of ‘the abyss of freedom,’ and I now have some idea what he was speaking about.   I’m not a Stravinsky – After considering a range of options, I did gravitate to the use of modular and classic polyphonic synthesizers and the modern studio effects that can enhance – or foul up –  any recording.  photo 1

JLB_0401

 

I wanted the listener to be able to  submerge themselves in the sound.  These chants can be very relaxing and sometimes rather intense, dealing as they do with spiritual entities and planes of consciousness that encompass the full spectrum of existence.JLB_0369

 

 

 

It is our wish that this music will serve to bring some small measure of peace and harmony to any and all beings who hear it.

A New Take on Sacred Buddhist Chants

// September 3rd, 2013 // No Comments » // Music, Personal Stories, video

 

Lama Jigme Tensin, disciple of H.E. his eminence Kalu Rinpoche

Lama Jigme Tenzin, disciple of H.E. Kalu Rinpoche

“Blessings Like Rain” is the first music/video collaboration between Lama Jigme Tenzin and Music House Productions with William Belote and Julie Lilly-Belote.  It is inspired by the deeply resonant singing of Lama Jigme as he chants sacred texts from his Tibetan Buddhist tradition.   The complete chants is found here.

Lama Jigme Tenzin, disciple of H.E.  Kalu Rinpoche is a renouned international Chant Master.  The complete album, “Dragon Voice”,  is a new take on Sacred Buddhist Chants.  It will be released within a month along with an uptempo collaboration entitled “Swift Achiever”.

Lama Jigme leads Buddhist prayer at a Los Angeles Temple.

// February 9th, 2013 // No Comments » // Blog, Music, News, Personal Stories, Photos, Uncategorized

Buddhist prayers at the beautiful and deeply spiritualized Temple of the Venerable Wangchen Rinpoche in Los Angeles, Ca.  Lama Jigme Tenzing, Lama Kelsang, Lama Chokyi, and others spent the day, 2/9/13, chanting and praying for peace and attunement.  It was an honor to join them in meditation.  This Temple belongs to the lineage of His Holiness Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche.  This particular ceremony was very small, intimate, and peacefully intense for those of us present.

The air was cool, but the atmosphere quite warm and alive as the repetitive chanting built a momentum that brought me within.  I’m not a great one for sitting on the floor, but today I was happy to forget the body, at least a little bit, in order to immerse myself in the sacred vibrational texts and sounds.  My wife Julie shot video for awhile and I did some recording on my wonderful little Sony PCM-D50 field recorder.  During a break in the chanting, we shared a delightful time of tea, light snacks, and joyful conversation with the Lamas and the local tribe of practitioners.  My own lineage, led by Paramahansa Yogananda, has been called the “Church of All Religions.”  It is always heartening to share in the ceremonies of others who truly have the vision of an inclusive world in mind.

Lama Jigme and I are nearing completion of our first CD together.  “Dragon Voice” will be a collection of 7 chants and Buddhist prayers mixing traditional and improvised interpretations with contemporary musical support.  “Blessings Like Rain” is the first chant which is accompanied by this video.  “Swift Achiever” is another chant that will soon have it’s own video.   More of my music can be heard here.

Jigme chant:drum

Are You Listening?

// June 6th, 2012 // No Comments » // Music, News, Photos

I’m excited about our new album release!  gopher gods  go for the heart.  At long last, we have released this cd, which we have worked very hard on for years.  Read about it here.  Download it here!

 

 

 

Buy it here>>>>>>>>>>  Gopher Gods: Are You Listening?Are You Listening?

Strange musicians hanging out in the trees.

Sheila, the Synth Goddess episode #1

// May 26th, 2012 // No Comments » // Music, News, video

Sheila and the family start their amazing adventure into higher realms of consciousness, spiritual quackery, and the world of synthesizers.

http://youtu.be/Qx0mbEJQLOM

Crooks Ranch – Our hideout

// April 30th, 2012 // No Comments » // Blog, News, Personal Stories, Photos

The Oregon coast still has vast stretches of relatively unspoiled beauty.  May it ever be so.

 

This is very near the Pistol River area.  Wide open beaches like this, and lush pasture land inland.

Attention fellow Gearheads: The Studio at the moment

// April 30th, 2012 // No Comments » // Blog, Music, Updates

The truth is that music making toys hold a powerful Scientistallure over many of us musicians. While I have managed to relax my addictive state of mind some over the years, I remain fascinated with noise making devices, the software, and audio hardware that are the paint, canvas, and brushes of my work.

Here is my current setup:

Computers:
Apple Power Mac 8 core with UAD Quad DSP card

Mac Powerbook with dual Intel processors.

Hardware synths:
Oberheim Matrix 12, Yamaha FS1R, Waldorf Blofeld, Access Virus Snow, and Roland XV-88

and my new passion, analog modular – Eurorack format.

Outboard equipment:

api 3124 mic-pre/mixer

Avalon VT-747SP Stereo compressor/eq

Aphex 109 tube eq

Eventide Orville

Lexicon PCM 80

Main software:

Logic 9, Abelton Live 8, Reason 6, Melodyne, Sibelius, Metasynth, Izotope, UAD plugins,

Arturia virtual synths (Moog Modular, Arp 2600, Roland Jupiter 8), and more!

BFD2 real drums, Huge library of East/West orchestral and world sounds, Supreme Beats, Albion Orchestra, and lot’s more!

Piano:  Kawai K-8 52 inch upright

Guitars:  Breedlove acoustic and Schecter electrics.

Newest addition:  a rare 4 reed Bina harmonium.

 

Flying green beetles

// August 30th, 2011 // No Comments » // Blog, Personal Stories, Photos

I’ve always had a fondness for these beetles, really I have! Just because my only good pictures are of the dead or injured doesn’t mean I am not an admirer of them. They fly around as if inebriated – making big wide turns, bumping into things. Agile like a dragonfly or yellow jacket they are not, but they seem friendly enough and will sometimes land on or near you without any seeming concern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This guy/girl? somehow lost a wing and was quite vulnerable to the many birds around our yard. Being bird food was probably the ultimate fate, but we gave him/her a few days of comfort in our mulberry tree, just misting him and keeping some company.  Projecting ourselves on the universe outside our brains as we do, we’d like to think he appreciated the attention for the few days we had together.

Grounded due to a missing wing!

down but not out!