Monday, August 18, 2008

Recent Tea Acquisitions...

Three great teas recently added to my arsenal...and, shockingly, two oolongs. (I usually stick with the pu-ers and white teas.) BTW, recommendations are just shared out of the joy of tea, I have no affiliation with the Tao of Tea, other than love of their product and service.

So first: I just purchased another brick of the 2002 Tibetan Puer...wonderful! (David Borgo and I shared a pot of it yesterday while working on the software we will be using for our upcoming gigs in Sweden and The Netherlands.) A delicious, full-bodied tea, with just the right amount of caffeine.

Right now I'm having a cup of "Frozen Summit" (Tung Ting) from a small three acre farm in Taiwan. A surprising, but not overpowering, sweetness in this tea among the complexity of flavors.

Last week I tried, and loved, the Wenshan Baozhong, also from a small farm (the same?) in Taiwan. The description from the Tao of Tea nailed it, "Several texture levels on the upper palate. Light, toasty, smooth buttery brew." Really excellent. And the leaves are beautiful when they open up in the gaiwan or pot.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Art is Dangerous...

GENEVA (AFP) – A giant inflatable dog turd by American artist Paul McCarthy blew away from an exhibition in the garden of a Swiss museum, bringing down a power line and breaking a greenhouse window before it landed again, the museum said Monday.

The art work, titled "Complex S(expletive..)", is the size of a house. The wind carried it 200 metres (yards) from the Paul Klee Centre in Berne before it fell back to Earth in the grounds of a children's home, said museum director Juri Steiner.

The inflatable turd broke the window at the children's home when it blew away on the night of July 31, Steiner said. The art work has a safety system which normally makes it deflate when there is a storm, but this did not work when it blew away.

Steiner said McCarthy had not yet been contacted and the museum was not sure if the piece would be put back on display.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Those of you who've known me a while, are familiar with my obsession with Bach's Goldberg Variations, and yes, particularly Glenn Gould's interpretations.

Karlheinz Essl, a compatriot of the Max/MSP community, recently recorded a version of the Goldberg Variations based on an existing string trio arrangement. Essl uses his Max/MSP rig, with a large dose granular synthesis, to create a choral-like call-and-response with the trio. I find it quite beautiful. Here is an excerpt from YouTube:

Friday, August 08, 2008

Bats and Owls....

(A rare photo of me being physically active in the daylight.)

I really enjoyed being at my folks place, biking around the lake and practicing late at night (with my Bremner Shhh Mute, of course) on the deck overlooking their property. Sometimes it would get wild, bats everywhere, owls swooping...quite a late night show. Also deer, opossum and other lovely creatures cruising around. And the clean air was amazing.

A few nights in a row, there was a massacre of birds by a predator (this vegan wishes all animals could just eat tofu)...the scattered remains of violently removed feathers showed the signs of brutal attacks, probably an owl or something else.

For those of you that don't know, my mother (Betty Kaiser) is a columnist for the paper in her town, and she wrote about the deaths in her weekly column. You can find it here.