Being that we’ve veered a bit from Sunday, let’s veer a bit from traditional Ambient. Susumu Yokota‘s “sakura“. It’s an amazing record by a young man that I came across in 2014 and started following him and he died suddenly in 2015. It was a really strange feeling. I had the same experience with Mitch Hedberg. But this record is just a stellar example of what this man created. Check him out! If you’re into that sort of thing.
Ambient Sunday: 3
Biosphere is the nom de plume of Geir Jenssen, a Norwegian electronic musician and composer. He lives in a place called, Tromsø, which is within the Arctic Circle; in other words, way the fuck up there. You can see how someone living in such a achingly dark and cold place could create the sort of Ambient music he does. (Of course, they do have some long, long summer days.)
Substrata is his masterpiece. As I’ve mentioned before, talking about Ambient music isn’t easy, so it’s hard to even tell you why I believe this is so. It’s haunting, has lots of overdubbed old recordings of voices and even singers, chilly effects, and yet remains (often) really quite upbeat. So, there you go; A masterpiece.
There are more than one Biosphere-named artists out there – just an FYI. I will definitely be sharing more of his work as I go through my favorite Ambient albums.
The Ultimate Discovery
Electricity! This might be the most important book I’ve read in, well, forever. I’ve always been fascinated with the fact that there is only energy, and that all matter is just energy. If we could somehow turn the energy of the universe off, everything would disappear. That blows my mind. And in my book, I talk about Energy as a sort of God, that which gives us life, that which sustains us and IS us – and everything else. So I talk about the fact that God is Everything and Everything is all a part of God.
I’ve been waiting for this book: “We Are Electric: Inside the 200-Year Hunt for Our Body’s Bioelectric Code, and what the Future Holds.” The author, Sally Adee, (I believe) coined the term, Electrome, much like the gut Biome, of which we’ve talked about quite a bit recently. She does a deep dive into the history of how we came to understand energy and our bodies and life, with great stories of the scientists and others who worked on this over time, then how every cell has energy, and on and on. I won’t give it away, because it’s really, really interesting.
As our understanding of how electricity manages our body and, as she points out, is a sort of separate nervous system, and what it can already do and what can be possibly done with it in the future, it really feels like I’m reading about the future of medicine wrapped in lots of great stories at the hands of an amazing author. She’s obviously super smart, but makes it not only accessible, but quite the story! If you’re into this sort of thing, I would strongly recommend it. It’s a blast to read and also a glimpse into the future of medicine. We are electric. We need to recognize it and see what we can do with it to better ourselves and our future.
Ambient Sunday: 1
Ryuichi Sakamoto “async”
I’ve always wanted to share some of my favorite ambient albums, but it’s such an odd thing to share, right? It’s really hard to talk about – Ambient music is, one tends to lots of new age sounding adjectives, and so I will mostly just post the album and encourage anyone who wants to search it out and listen to it.
I learned today that Ryuichi Sakamoto died. He’s one of my top four, for sure, musical artists. He’s on constant rotation for me, partly because he has dozens and dozens of great albums – from early Yellow Magic Orchestra, his poppier solo work, and his own Ambient, soundtracks and piano albums, to his many, many albums created with other artists. It breaks my heart to know he’s no longer with us, but he definitely left us with lots of amazing music with which to remember him.
Note that sometimes albums I call Ambient are called electronic or some other genre elsewhere. It’s a hard one to nail down, for me they range from classic Ambient, such as Brian Eno’s Ambient 1: Music for Airports (which I always assumed would be my first Ambient post), to more experimental Ambient music that moves beyond the soft mellow chill of classic Ambient. This one shows up as electronic on my Apple Music, I would call it experimental Ambient. I just happened to be listening to it yesterday when he passed. I love this record.
It’s called “async”, by Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Hair Mask (Hair Shirt?)
Taking a shower tonight I reached into the skyline of shampoo, conditioner and who knows what else is in there and I grabbed one that said, “Hair Mask”. Imagine that. A mask for your hair. We live in a nation where a much too large portion of the population was unwilling to wear a mask over their mouth and nose during an airborne pandemic to protect their friends and family. An airborne pandemic, by the way, that killed more than one million of us. I wonder how they’d feel about a hair mask.
But on the positive side, all the rest of us did! We masked up and for all sorts of reasons. Some people were afraid for themselves, wanting to stay healthy, not wanting to die (go figure), but didn’t we even more often hear people talk about other people, as in, I have to make sure I have a mask and get a test before Saturday when I go visit my grandma? Stuff like that-there. It was a beautiful thing and we can be very proud of the effort we all made. We saved millions of lives by doing the right thing.
A democracy like ours needs its people to pull together occasionally no matter what you believe. We need to make sure that we insert a little responsibility to all those rights we like to talk about. And most of us did. Warms the heart.
good vibes only
i’m not sure I could love my daughter more. This goes back a few years! 🙂
Saving Face in Ukraine
I think that Biden and his team are smart enough to understand that Vladimir Putin needs a war like he needs a hole in his head. But Putin’s saber rattling works with some of his supporters. So they will, I believe, find a way for Putin to pull back but save face. Putin needs to look tough with his people and we know that. Give him an out. Let this slowly dissolve and the attention span of the modern internet world will quickly forget.
Update February 27, boy howdy was I wrong. I honestly believed he’d never attack and yet he did. Biggest mistake of that man’s life. What a fool.
I get it
I pulled “The Art of Thinking Clearly,” by Rolf Dobelli, from my shelf tonight. I bought it at an airport and eventually used it in my own book, “Memoman’s Message to the Universe.” [Universe, by the way, was going to be Millennials.] Anyhow, I recalled the writing of that book and the knowledge and abilities I needed to possess to have brought it to fruition.
I randomly open the Dobelli book: “WHY YOU SYSTEMATICALLY OVERESTIMATE YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITIES. “
Funny! I thought. Talk about your serendipity!
I flip to another page: “THE INEVITABILITY OF UNLIKELY EVENTS”
Okay. I get it.
We’ll start the new year off with a bit of science.
Not like houseboats, but houses that are moored to the bottom of the sea that then glide “up and down their steel foundational poles with the movements of the waters below.” Movements that, of course, create energy. These homes float but are also “weighted by basins filled with recycled, water-resistant concrete…” to give them some heft on the sea, and they note that “Heavy pieces such as pianos are counterweighted with bricks on the opposite side of the house.” I wouldn’t have thought of that until they rolled the piano into the living room.
Our oceans WILL rise and our coasts WILL flood, no matter what we do now, so thinking in terms of taking advantage of the changes that we will have to cope with in the coming decades, is exactly how we should all be thinking.
Cognitive Issues Decline in U.S.
“From 2008 to 2017, the percentage of adults ages 65 and older in the U.S. with serious cognitive issues dropped from 12.2% to 10%…” This was from a Canadian Study that if accurate would have saved about 1.1 million people in the US from the ravages of dementia. My father had Lewy Body, a form of Alzheimers. It’s awful, awful stuff. This is good news and let’s hope it holds up with additional studies and continues in that direction.
My parents smoked and drank quite a bit for most of their lives. Let us hope that didn’t have anything to do with it. I’d be screwed.
More seriously, this is a beautiful piece of writing about an aging mind.
What is it? Not much, just “a transformational technology to feed the planet, conquer disease and combat pollution.” Nothing to see here. What? Here’s how they describe it. “Biological information is coded in DNA, so it can be programmed – with the goal of redesigning organisms for useful purposes.” And if that don’t send a chill up your spine, you might want to read it again.
They say that synthetic biology “holds the promise of reprogramming biology to be more powerful and then mass-producing the turbocharged cells to increase food production, fight disease, generate energy, purify water and devour carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.” They say it will grow exponentially, similar to computing power over the past decades. See. It’s not all “redesigning organisms for useful purposes,” in fact, “the potential is for civilization-scale flourishing, [That’s Drew Endy, “an evangelist” for synthetic biology and a professor of bioengineering at Stanford University] a world of abundance not scarcity, supporting a growing global population without destroying the planet.”
In fact, the revolution is already here: “…the DEKALB seed business … is creating nitrogen-fixing microbes to apply to seeds, potentially reducing the use of chemical fertilizer.” And even better: “Cronos, a Canadian company, is using synthetic biology to develop cannabis edibles.” Seriously; that’s what it said.
Coffee? Tea? Assimilation?
If you look closely at the photo, you’ll see stars and satellites, a line of satellites. This was just about an hour ago. It was a steady stream of satellites – left to right – for at least a couple of minutes. What you see in the image probably replaced itself every 5 seconds or so. It was freaky. First thought: Aliens. This is it. I need to gather the family and head out into the woods. Then I thought of Elon Musk. Oh, yeah, Elon Musk is bringing 5G to all corners of the globe. I mean, I hope that’s what I saw. Because if it was aliens, they’re here, and I’ve just not got the news nor been lasered, probed or assimilated. I don’t think.
Either way, it was a rather unsettling sight to behold stepping out of my garage. Will this become commonplace, or did I just happen to be at a spot where the sun, which had recently set, was angled exactly and lit them perfectly? Weird. Welcome to the future, indeed. That being said, I’ve always wanted to be sucked up in one of those below-flying-saucer light beams, the blue ones. That’s got to be pretty cool. I mean, provided what was on the other end didn’t eat me.