Warsaw Autumn 2006 – Music on Internet Conference – I

Today was the first of two days of the “Music On Internet: Information – Promotion – Distribution” conference, a fascinating conference discussing many interesting issues related to music today. The topics and speakers today really exhibited a real breadth and depth of knowledge and included some pretty eminent people (i.e. the president of EMI Music Poland).

Today’s discussions covered issues distribution of music on the internet and concerns and education regarding using the internet as a tool and venue for one’s music, the digitalization of music and issues regarding that (from very deep technical discussions on bitrates and quality to practical concerns on audio file formats), as well as issues on the music business and a window into the business of music on the internet.

The conference today made me think a great deal about my own music and how best to manage my own work, both for ease of access and archiving, as well as what are the ways in which to share one’s music with others. (It reminded me of an old idea I had for a software project that could archive music and would do so in lossless format and automatically create compressed versions as well as data formats for information for things like podcasts, websites, etc. I’d like to believe that software like this is already available though and open source, but if not, perhaps something to invest some time in.)

A great first day of conference papers and tomorrow the schedule looks to be just as interesting and perhaps even more focused on issues that concern content producers(composers, performing artists) and how the internet plays a part now.

Tonight, another Warsaw Autumn concert: Salvatore Sciarrino’s “Quaderno di strada”! (This whole festival has been absolutely fantastic, and I’m sure I will have much to think about and much more to write about after the festival is finished when there is time to reflect and review the concert.)

Warsaw Autumn 2006 – V

Tonight’s concert was one of orchestral music at the Witold Lutoslawski Polish Radio Concert Studio.  It was our first time there and I think it may very well be one of the best halls I’ve been in.  The sound was just fantastic and of course it didn’t hurt that the orchestra that was performing were absolutely first rate (Sinfonia Varsovia).

The pieces tonight were:

  • Zbigniew Penherski – Little ‘Autumn’ Symphony
  • Andrzej Dobrowolski – Music for Strings, 2 Groups of Wind Instruments and 2 Loudspeakers
  • Krzysztof Penderecki – Canticum Canticorum Salomonis
  • Filippo Perocco – reCycle_Lacrimosa
  • Michel van der Aa – Here Trilogy (second movement, Here [in circles], third movement, Here [to be found])

Notes on the pieces:

Penherski – 1st movement: one large cresc-decresc, gorgeous colors, icy, reminded me of John Luther Adams somewhat,  beautiful chords and texture; 2nd movement: minimalist and tonal, reminiscent of John Adams, didn’t have the growth that 1st movement did but maybe started too big with nowhere to go?, overall very nice piece

Dobrowolski – excellent blending of tape and orchestra(one of the few successful pieces I’ve heard with electronics and live instruments), very tight performance, antiphonal effects worked, nice use of shaped aleatoric effects, very exciting piece

Penderecki – absolutely incredible performance, the chorus was phenomenal, just a great performance of a great piece, everything worked! (I think it was a counter-tenor who was singing, incredible!)

Perocco – very nice, solemn, variety of colors and textures, distant, very tasteful

van der Aa – enjoyed the singer’s voice (Sarah Leonard), some nice orchestra parts, the electronic parts (glitchy, artifacts) were completely distracting, the parts that were manipulated recordings worked at times; handling of electronics seemed clumsy; some nice ideas and nice string writing but overall found I left disappointed (had a lot of wonderful ingredients but with a few extra that didn’t work for me); perhaps should have been programmed first?

Some excellent orchestral music performed very well.  Sonorist elements work so well with an orchestra and especially in such a nice hall.  Incredibly happy to be here tonight (and also lamenting that there is nothing in the States like the Warsaw Autumn…)

Warsaw Autumn 2006 – IV

Today we woke up and headed over to hear the Ensemble Phoenix perform a number of pieces for their instrumentation (flute, piano, string bass, percussion) at the Academy of Music.  The program for today was rearranged and they swapped out a piece; the program was:

  • Zbigniew Baginski – Circulations
  • Gerard Grisey – Echanges
  • Alex Buess – Khat
  • Beat Fuhrer – Presto for Flute and Piano
  • Michel Roth – Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd

Some notes on the pieces:

Baginski – nice use of percussion, piano was mostly rhythmic chords, beautiful quiet writing, nice flute melodies, nice use of back of bow on bass strings, the more energetic writing was filled with very short gestures, a very well shaped piece, nice balance of material and contrast, performed very well, very nice piece!

Grisey- not my favorite Grisey piece, a bit spastic, lots of extended playing techniques, nicely performed though but the piece itself is not one I am much into

Buess- flute, percussion, live electronics; electronics seemed to be there to make things REALLY loud; sounded like a child first time playing flute, overblowing and playing the same three notes over and over again, percussion was frantic, did not find myself into this piece


Beat Fuhrer – Presto for Flute and Piano – hyper active, rapid gestures, couldn’t hear the sound of flute but a wash of sound, reminded me of electronic blips and bleeps

Roth – constantly filled, angular and maximized off-beat rhythms, used just about every percussion instrument and effect, piano often written like percussion, very gestural

Of the pieces I found I had the most impression from the Baginski piece (I do like a lot of the music of the older Polish generation…).  I think that the rest of the music were just not my cup of tea; not to say it was badly done or badly written, but perhaps just after something different than where I have my attention to these days. It’s a very good ensemble and was glad to have attended their performance.

Warsaw Autumn 2006 – III

Yesterday’s second half the string quartet marathon ended up being a bit too much for us and plus our friend Karen was in town and we wanted to meet up with her and other friends, so we left after the second intermission.

The pieces on the second concert were:

  • Eugeniusz Knapik – String Quartet
  • Aleksander Lason – String Quartet No. 6
  • Stanslaw Krupowicz – Farewell Variations on a Them by Mozart for amplified string quartet and tape
  • Barbara Buczek – Transgressio. String Quartet No. 2
  • Zbigniew Bargielski – Farwell Night for accordion and string quartet
  • Krzysztof Knittel – Dorikos for string quartet and tape
  • Witold Szalonek – 1+1+1+1 for 1-4 string instruments
  • Tadeusz Wielecki – Hazard and Necessity for string quartet and electronic media
  • Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki – String Quartet No. 1 ‘It is Already Dusk’

Some notes I took during the concert:

Knapik – beautiful string writing, overall form a bit incoherent

Lason – very beautiful serene first half, second half very energetic but took me by surprise at first, fun, even joyous; performers seemed to have gotten lost at one point, but overall enjoyed the piece very much

Krupowicz – electronic sounds seemed very dated; did not like the reverb used and there was a lot of it, piece did not feel very serious, sort of a catalogue of techniques


Buczek – driven by effects, seemed hyper emotional, effects seemed frivolous (tones can often be too…)

Bargielski – a bit over dramatic, very loud cuts and gestures, little transition, red hot or ice cold, not a fan of accordian in classical setting (have yet to hear a piece with this used that really struck me)

Knittel – tape and quartet, concrete style tape, seems more composing with an idea than sound, didn’t work for me

*Intermission* (We left at this point)

Szalonek – Did not attend

Wielecki – Did not attend

Gorecki – Did not attend

I think that I found a lot of the music was very gestural, and perhaps it is just my own taste in that I prefer tones, but a number of pieces also felt very over dramatic. Looking back, I think sonorist techniques and pieces work so well with a string quartet; perhaps it is the number of performers (only four) or the limited sound palette with just string instruments and bodies to use, but I find the larger orchestral or chamber ensemble sonorist pieces more effective.

A long day of string quartets, it was as interesting to hear as it was exhausting.  I’m glad to have attended but would love to spend more time with each individually to really have a chance to get to know the pieces, which I found hard to do in this marathon setting.

Warsaw Autumn 2006 – II

The first concert of String Quartets was really quite overwhelming.  It’s quite a lot of information to take in for one concert, but very interesting to hear so many different composers’ use of the same ensemble.

The pieces that were on the concert were:

  • Grazyna Bacewicz – String Quartet No. 4
  • Witold Lutoslawski – String Quartet
  • Krzysztof Penderecki – String Quartet No. 2
  • Krzysztof Penderecki – String Quartet No. 1
  • Tadeusz Baird – Play for string quartet
  • Zygmunt Krauze – String Quartet No. 3
  • Krzysztof Meyer – String Quartet No. 12
  • Andrzej Panufnik – String Quartet No. 2 “Messages”
  • Pawel Szymanski – Five Pieces for String Quartet
  • Andrzej Krzanowski – String Quartet No. 2

Some notes on the pieces:

Bacewicz – sweet, energetic, playful; lovely use of harmonics, fun

Lutoslawski – intense, got into it further into the piece, episodic at first, later very shaped, a projection of what develops more in his later works, ideas here that are not completely keyboard influenced (multiple times, swells, glissandi) (the keyboard thing is related to something else on my mind…),

Penderecki- more violent than intense, feels as if composed with less feeling than construction, some nice moments but somewhat random, some ideas seemed extraneously put in


Penederecki – enjoyed this more than the Quartet No. 2, seemed more shaped, less frantic

Baird – alternating moments of sincere contemplation and gusto

Krauze – long homogenous chord progressions, dominated by grace-note/held-note idea, a paiting in atonal gray color

Meyer – big work but a bit too fatigued to take in at the moment, seemed a bit gray as well


Panufnik – nice piece but there are others of his which I feel more connection to, some of his writing seems to work better in other mediums

Szymanski – nice collection of pieces, each with strong character, very well articulated (was very tired and falling asleep at this point, which is a real shame, and would really like to hear this piece again, as well as to learn more about the composer)

Krzanowski – Big sound, cacophonous and sonoristic, somwhere between Penderecki and Lutoslawski but more leaning towards Lutoslawski, exhausting to listen to at end of concert

Overall, I found that it was a little hard to take in some of the music as the concert progressed as it was just a lot of music.  In some ways it’s a bit unfair as these pieces all could really stand to be listened to on their own or at least with a little more space between pieces to give a chance to reset and contemplate.  It was sort of like being at a gallery and every painting was bumped up against the next one and you had to move through a fixed rate.

The two pieces which I really took notice of most were the the Lutoslawski and the Szymanski.  I’ve long enjoyed Lutoslawski’s work and now am curious to follow up to learn more about Szymanski (who I found out was sitting four seats down from us; crazy sitting here and knowing many composers are around, reminds me of being at Carnegie Hall for one of the “When Morty Met John” concerts and being in the elevator with Merce Cunningham, or when we sat behind Joan La Barbara at the Feldman “String Quartet II” performance).

Speaking of String Quartet II, I was thinking how interesting that after 3.5 hours with intermissions I felt so exhausted, while after 6 hours without intermission of the Feldman I remember feeling very energized, even though it was past midnight!  I think that alot of the pieces in this concert were really quite full with energy. Also, thinking of it, I don’t think I am used to listening to music at that volume for so long, as when I am listening at home or with headphones it generally is not at so loud a volume.

As with the first concert, there’s a lot here for me to think about, as well as just being really nice to hear really well performed modern music. (BTW: The Silesian String Quartet is an excellent group of performers!) Still thinking alot about string articulations and envelopes and how keyboards have dominated perception of music lately…

Tonight, the second half the string quartet marathon!

Warsaw Autumn 2006 – I

Last night was the first concert of this year’s Warsaw Autumn Festival of contemporary music. I have long wanted to attend this festival since I first heard of it years ago and I am very glad to be able to be at these concerts.

Yesterday’s concert that opened the festival was one of orchestral music at that Filharmonia Narodowa Concert Hall. It was our first time at the hall and I found it quite a lovely and beautiful building with an intimate sized hall (and perhaps the best seats I’ve ever sat in for a concert: ample leg space and very comfortable!). Our seats were on the ground floor underneath the second floor than hung over, so perhaps not the best for acoustics, but just happy to be there.

The pieces on the concert tonight were:

  • György Kurtág – Stele
  • Tomasz Sikorski – Music in Twilight
  • Petero Eötvös – Atlantis

It was the first time I heard any of these pieces, and since I am not all too familiar with any of the composers or their works as well, I wanted to be cautious to give each of these works a fair listening and not be too quick to judge what I heard. Following are some notes I took regarding each of the pieces:

Kurtág – lovely chords at end, interesting but coarse work with temporal layers, curious piece, not sure if it’s where we’re sitting or if it’s the orchestration but earlier sections seemed dense/muddy, proportions/scale felt a little off (some sections felt too long, others felt too short), should listen to again sometime to get to know better to to know how much where we sat affected the experience of the piece

Sikorski – piano and orchestra, piano part mainly built on three types of ideas(pedal held down almost throughout): gestures that reminded me a lot of George Crumb’s piano writing, thick repeated chords, slightly less thick repeated broken chords; orchestra part was aleatoric; mostly thin/muted textures (some quite nice!); piece felt very episodic, orchestral part was a backdrop for the piano, often held single orchestral idea for a very long time while piano played on top of that; piano seemed at times unrelated altogether to the orchestra, also seemed very loud compared to orchestra and covered up the orchestra due to registration and thickness of chords (may be where we were sitting though and perhaps subtler effects were going on); the density of the parts were sustained for long periods and changes were in block-like motion

Eötvös – the piece is really loud! felt like being in a movie theater; large palette of sounds; interesting mix of synthetic sounds and the live sounds, but end of piece seemed very unrelated to rest of the music, almost tacked on; performance was very good, the baritone singer was fantastic and the boy soprano did very well; interesting orchestration with a large variety of percussion (six percussionists), a lot of brass and woodwinds, only a handful of strings, a cimbalon, and synthesizer; I think every person and instrument was microphoned and amplified; amplified instruments have a very different sound which was interesting to hear; large sense of space; hard to focus on the piece at times as it felt too loud for the hall (sort of like standing too close to a painting); ears hurt afterwards; interesting piece, but I had a strange feeling–considering I don’t know much about him or his work–that this wasn’t his best and that he’s going to write something that will be leave a deeper impression

As with a lot of music, I found the pieces to be well written, yet, perhaps searching for different things that what I am after within my own music. It was fantastic though to get to hear these pieces live and I am sure I will check these pieces and composers out again on CD (if they’re available).
Also, I found that each of the pieces incorporated aleatory in their works in different ways. It was great to hear this live and to have this experience to contemplate how it was used in each piece and comparing it to Lutoslawski’s use of aleatory, how differently they all sounded.
Regarding the audience, it was really great to see people of all ages and types there at the concert. I felt very comfortable being there, slightly dressed down, and not feeling an air of pretension. The audience seemed mindful of other people (no extraneous noise!) and also everyone seemed to have opinions on the pieces and had a sense of real interest in the music.
I enjoyed being at the concert very much yesterday and it was a wonderful way to start the festival. Today, a marathon of String Quartets by Polish Composers!

Five Years of Tai Chi

Last Friday (the 15th) marked five years since I began my studies of Tai Chi.  After five years, I find Tai Chi as enjoyable and as valuable as when I started. Even though the form initially seemed very short, after five years I feel that there is such a great deal to explore within the postures and that there is so much to learn from the practice that it is only now the begining.  I am looking forward to continuing my studies of this wonderful art and am sincerely grateful for having this as a part of my life.

Categorized as Tai Chi

First Time in Berlin

This past weekend, Lisa and I took a train from Warszawa Centralna to Berlin Hauptbanhof to spend the weekend in Berlin. For both of us it was our first times there, though I am sure it will certainly not be our last. What a wonderful city!

We started out trip very early in the morning, a quick breakfast of instant Tchibo coffee and strucla, then a last minute check over everything before heading down to the tram stop. A few stops down to Centrum, then a short walk over to the Warszawa Centralna train station, we arrived with a good amount of time. After a short wait before we got on the train, we got ourselves situated and then were on our way to Berlin.

The train ride was quite pleasant: a little nap, good reading, a coffee from the attendant pushing a cart who came around periodically. From Warsaw to Poznan then to the border, where border guards came on and checked everyone’s passports. We got our stamps, the train entered Germany, then on to Frankfurt/Oder and then to Berlin.

Arriving at Berlin Hauptbanhof was a world of difference from Warszawa Centralna: the station was quite new and beautifully architected, organized and clean. We got off the train, guidebook in hand, and started out on our weekend in Berlin.

The first impressions walking away from the Berlin Hauptbanhof are really quite stunning: we walked by the Reichstag with all of the amazingly beautiful modern buildings around, then down beyond the Brandenburg gate, stopped by to the Jewish Memorial, then on to Potsdamer Platz. There we took a break to grab a small bite to eat, then on to our hotel which was nearby to check in and drop off our bags.

Neither of us really knew how big Berlin was until we got there. I think realizing how large and full a city it is, we got the impression that there was a lot to see in little time. Using our guidebook we decided our evening would be to do the Kreuzberg walking tour that was listed, which we enjoyed very much.

I think whenever we come into contact with a new experience, our first reaction is to compare it with known and familiar experiences, and I found myself this past weekend often doing this. For me, traveling around Kreuzberg reminded me very much of Brooklyn in the way the buildings felt, but also of San Francisco in terms of the feeling of the people; it’s hard to explain but that was the sense I got. The area seemed filled with neat boutique shops and a very relaxed and conscience atmosphere. We walked quite a bit, stopping by shops, looking at landmarks, and taking in this neighborhood. We ended up near the Kotbusser Tor U-Bahn station and had dinner at an Indian restaurant (our first time having a fish curry: delicious!), then a ride on the U-Bahn back to the hotel.

The next morning we had a wonderful breakfast at the hotel and then got started on a very full day of exploring the city. Our first stop was at the Reichstag, the building where the parliament convenes. The building, very old, has an incredible modern glass dome-sphere installed at the top which is open to the public. After a bit of a wait in line, we went through security and got to the top, then walked to the top of the sphere on a spiral platform to get a fantastic view of the city. In itself the dome was quite fantastic, and the view was a great way to get our bearings and to get a sense of the city.

Afterward, we briefly cut through the Tiergarten to get to the Brandenburg gate, then headed down the street to Friedrichstrasse to check out the shopping there. We had an opportunity to check out the Galeries Lafayette there with it’s wonderful center sphere shape that went through all of the floors, as well as took a brief look at the buildings next to it. From there we went over to Markgrafenstrasse to see the Hedwig Cathedral and Bebelplatz (where the books were burned in WWII), then on to Unter den Linden.

Unter den Linden was filled with remarkable buildings: universities, museums, and churches amongst the many other buildings. The street itself is gorgeous: very wide with a long view down the street. While walking we stopped for a moment at the Berliner Dom, then watched as a protest march went by. It was very interesting to watch as I had never seen a protest march where the air felt so full with genuine anger: quite a sight. From there we went behind the Berliner Dom and crossed the river to end our walking tour near Hakescher Markt. Walking around here we found a Camper Foodball restaurant==which I had read about in the States and was happy to find–and enjoyed an all-organic rice ball meal.

After lunch we walked over to Alexanderplatz to explore a little bit around there, walking by the art center Tesla (unfortunately closed at the time), then took an S-Bahn back over to Friedrichstrasse to go to Dussmann to check out books and CD’s (very happy to have found a copy of “Computer Music Currents 13”!). After Dussmann, the day already full and starting to get dark, we walked down the street to go our last stop that evening: Checkpoint Charlie and the Museum of the Berlin Wall.

Now, not having the richest sense of history, I was really quite amazed once I learned the history of Checkpoint Charlie to have been standing there looking at that place; I was most taken aback by the photo of the standoff between the Russian and American tanks, and standing there imagined the incredible scene in front of and around me. The museum was amazing in telling the history of the Wall, of all the people who tried to escape and the ways in which they did it as well as the politics of the Wall in its creation, maintenance, and eventual destruction. Thinking of the Wall made me think back to my visit to the DMZ in Korea years ago, how sad it is to see a people divided…

Now late into the night, we made one final stop at a Doner Kebab shop (although very tasty, I think I prefer the ones in Warsaw; maybe it’s just a matter of what I came across first), then back to the hotel. A very long day, exhausted from all of the walking, we watched a little television (strangely enough, there was a German two-part drama on the last days of the Nazi’s, depicting Hitler in the bunker…), then headed off to sleep.

Sunday we woke up early once again and had another fantastic breakfast at the hotel before packing up and checking out. We started our final day in Berlin with the Jewish Museum. We had heard from a few friends as well as the guidebook that it was certainly something to be seen, and it really was quite amazing. The building, architected by Libeskind, was quite disorienting at first to walk through. The Holocaust Tower was an incredible experience: the humbling darkness and near silence, only a faint ray of light and whispers of traffic outside… going through the ground floor and reading all of the incredibly sad stories of the people lost in WWII was heartbreaking (very interesting to see a German presentation of this after having seen Auschwitz and Birkenau in the past…). Walking up to the exhibit floors, it was really quite fascinating to learn about the very early history of the Jews and about their culture and and how it developed over time in the context of European history. We spent quite some time taking in the information; after two and a half hours we had only gotten to the late 19th century, but with little time left and the time period being much more familiar, we took a quicker pace through the rest of the museum.

After the museum we took the U-Bahn over to the Zooligischer Garten station, went to see the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachtniskirche(a bombed out church), then with little time left, a nice lunch, then an S-Bahn ride over to Berlin Hauptbanhof. It would have been great to explore more of Charlottenberg, as well as the rest of Berlin, but with so little time, I was happy in just getting to see what we did.

Being in Berlin was an excellent experience with much to think about afterward. After being in Warsaw now for a few months, I think going to another city in another country with another language was very refreshing, both in experiencing something new, but also in coming back and noticing new things about Warsaw and Polish culture. I am sure that before we leave in April we’ll go to visit Berlin again to get to all the things we didn’t have a chance to check out this past time, as well as just to enjoy a wonderful city.

Categorized as General

Remembering September 11th

Today is the 5th anniversary of the events that occurred in New York on September 11th, 2001. Watching CNN’s replay of their footage from that day, thinking back to that day, I wanted to write down my memory of that day and the days afterwards.

I was living in Brooklyn on the edge of Park Slope at the time. I woke up that day around 8:40am or so and remember after taking a shower my cousin Charlie downstairs yelled up to me to get the phone. Amy had called to tell me that something happened downtown at the World Trade Center and that I shouldn’t take the N or R train to get to work as they went beneath the Trade Center. So I thanked her and finished getting ready for the day when my cousin was telling me to come down and watch the television. We were watching CNN I think, or maybe another channel, as I remember we just kept switching between all the news channels to find out information.

A few minutes after I got downstairs the second plane hit. Completely surreal. Charlie and I were both a bit dazed, wondering what the hell was going on. Watching the news, no one knew what was going on. We stayed glued to the television, searching to find out anything, waiting to see what would happen, the news growing more dire as the moments went by…

The first tower fell. Then the second.

I think when those towers fell did it really all sink in. Until then it was just very surreal, but when those towers fell did the situation feel incredibly tragic. News coverage showed the buildings falling, then footage of people screaming and running to escape the debris. The wind that day drew the smoke and debris from the towers towards Brooklyn that day and looking out from our apartment the sky was gray and everything outside was covered with dust, the air filled with smoke. At one point Charlie wanted to know what it was like outside and so we opened the front door and stepped out for just a moment and we immediately came right back in, coughing and our eyes stinging, the air smelling noxious and toxic. The smell of the air is something which I will not forget.

We stayed glued to the news for almost the entire day. It was hard to for phone calls to get through that day, but over the day I remember getting calls to ask if I was alright (thankfully so) and was able to make calls to let family and friends know I was in Brooklyn and was alright.

We heard from Mike and Amy that they were alright and as they were in Midtown, but since all of the subways and bridges were closed, that they were going to be walking back to Brooklyn from Midtown. Charlie and I proceeded to just sit and watch the news for the entire day until Mike, Amy, and a friend of Amy’s who lived in New Jersey and couldn’t get back there all came back to the apartment, sometime in the afternoon.

They told us how crazy it was to make that long walk through the city and over the bridge, the masses of people all just trying to get home. I was glad when they made it back to the apartment as it just felt better to have more company. We all watched the news together until probably 10:00pm that day, all just trying to figure out what was going on and wondering what would happen next.

Wednesday, we all awoke and none of us left the apartment that day, again glued to the television, wondering about the day before, wondering what would happen next.

Thursday would be the first day we left the apartment. I remember we walked down 7th Ave to have brunch. A beautiful day, I remember how strange it felt to walk down such a familiar street and have it feel so unfamiliar and strange. I remember seeing other people and they looking at us and how everyone all had a strange blank look on their faces, as ours must have had as well. I don’t remember now what we did the rest of that day, but I know we had all started to get back to our lives then.

Friday was the first day I went back to work, as well as the first day I went back to Manhattan. I went to work and after a half hour there, the CEO of the company came and got us all for a company meeting. Being that we worked on the 24th floor of 1 Penn Plaza, directly above Penn Station as well as one of the tallest buildings on that side of the city next to the Empire State building, he told us that as a company we should come up with a contingency plan in case of any emergencies as well as gave us all keychain flashlights, which I guess was all one could imagine to come up with at that time. I remember right after the meeting was over, building security came into our offices and told us there was bomb scare for the building and we all had to evacuate, so we all quickly grabbed our stuff and left.

I remember walking with Tim and Will and we decided that if there was anything that was going to happen we might as well get as far away from the building as we could. We walked over from 7th Ave where the building was down to 8th or 10th Ave and up to the 40’s somewhere. After a while, we all decided to not go back to the building and just go home.

Walking around even just that brief time, I remember the city was awfully quiet with the exception of the constant sound of police and fire engine sirens in the distance. The streets were mostly closed off and people were very, very quiet as they walked around that day.

For the following month after 9/11, I remember the city slowly returning to life, not as it once was, but to a new and different life. For a month I remember it would often take twice as long to go to or come from work, as trains were frequently stopped and/or rerouted over suspicious bags, white powder, and/or possibilities of anthrax, amongst other things. I also remember how strange it was to see airplanes in the sky, wondering everytime where they were heading.

I remember the photos posted everywhere, people looking for their loved ones…
As time passed by, life moved on and the city went back into motion. We all told our stories to each other for quite some time, about what those times were like for each of us. Even now when I meet people who were there that day we exchange stories. It’s a part of our history now.

Categorized as Memories

Late Night Memories and Thoughts

I was lying in bed, awake, and remembering the past… many memories from childhood, high school, college, New York, San Francisco, Paris, Krakow… images of different places, events, friends and family, time spent quietly alone…

This feeling and weight is familiar, this sense of time. It’s now past two in the morning and there is that quiet serenity that only exists between midnight and 6 AM, when most of the world has gone to sleep. This sense of quiet and all the memories reminds me of all the other times I’ve spent looking inwards and looking outwards, late into the night.

Yesterday, I had the thought to start capturing down the memories of my life, as I previously did not keep much of a journal, and perhaps in the future the memories won’t be so vivid…

Sitting here awake, I get the feeling of being connected to seemingly dormant parts of myself. For a while I’ve felt that there were aspects of my musical life that were asleep but which I didn’t know quite how to awaken, but perhaps it is simply that I have not spent much time awake in the gentle quiet of night. I remember how much I used to love to be awake at this time, how clear everything seemed, and how slowly time moved, as if there was all the time in the world…

Reconnecting with this experience, I do not know how yet I will proceed, to revisit these night-time hours more, to return to other ideas of letting time be free–as is so important to me in music–or simply to try to keep this frame of mind within the context of the schedule I have been keeping. Regardless of how things proceed, though, I think it will become very important to me to remember this experience…

Categorized as General