my credo post

[audio:Cm1.mp3]

Somehow what I’m trying to do here is to give examples of how we can look and listen. “Psychedelic” in this respect is just a code for a different way of perceiving, for shifting perspectives and uncovering hidden meaning.

It may be essential for us all to learn how to be present in the moment, and to experience the Now wherever we are. Awareness is a primary value for the future, as it is already now. And it is something we have control over, something we can begin with right now.

Perhaps it doesn’t fit the concept of this blog all too well, and I know it’s not the most important thing to do to state one’s Weltanschauung in front of other people. But I would feel bad if I wouldn’t give it a try, at least for once.

Here come my personal “Eight Commandments”. For sure I’m not holier than thou, but I’m trying to build my life around them, every day anew.

  1. Live in order to respect and protect life in it’s many forms.
  2. Learn how to contain aggression instead of suppressing or falling prey to it.
  3. Believe in /find your life’s purpose – there is one.
  4. Believe in what most people call God. Don’t worry about the name.
  5. Support sustainability. Don’t waste energy and resources.
  6. Be grateful for every little thing you got. You’ll live much happier by that.
  7. Be tolerant instead of dogmatic. There’s more than one truth to the world.
  8. Learn how to think globally instead of just talk and consume globally. This planet is small, precious and vulnerable.

Spreading thoughts like these, and being an example to other people is one of the most powerful means to change the world.

Amen. Thank you.

guitar & gear: Epiphone Les Paul Custom, Vox ToneLab, Tube Reverb

homeless

[audio:homeless.mp3]

A COLLABORATION WITH “ONE PLUS TWO”

A few weeks ago Jen made a request, writing a comment on the collaborations Elspeth had initiated.

After my first reaction: “this is impossible”, it stuck with me, and I decided to try to create a musical piece about homeless people, which in itself is not easy at all. One evening the inspiration came, I recorded and mixed it, and now I’m quite happy with it. The music resonates with me, and also with you, I hope. Maybe even with those whose rather involuntary way of living this post is about. That’s my greatest wish, since the music was created for them.

I’d like to thank Jen for dragging me into this. It’s a step out of self-sufficiency, out of my encircled psychedelic universe… It’s a good thing for us all to bear in mind that there are those not as fortunate as we are, and how easily we can lose what we might take for granted. Jen, who works with homeless people, offered to contribute the words to this post, and here’s what she wrote about a conversation she had with this man:

Tom, age 59

“you know, it wasn’t always like this. i used to be like you, i had my own apartment, a car. that was a long time ago but i had it. living on the street’s not so bad sometimes, but you know what gets to me? that people are afraid of me. that they grab their kids arm when they walk past me. do they think i am going to hurt their kid just because i’m homeless? when did it become a crime to not have a place to stay? or worse, when I try and talk to somebody, not to ask them for money but just because i want to have a conversation and they look past me as if i am not even here. or worse, they walk around me in a big circle as if i can’t tell exactly what they are doing, if i can’t tell they aren’t afraid of me. that really gets to me. it makes me want to ask them if they knew i fought for this country, that the reason i don’t have a place to live is because i got hurt over there and i didn’t come back right. i mean, i made it work for awhile but i just couldn’t hold it all together. i’ve still got a metal plate in my head. you didn’t know that, did you? i don’t tell people because they think it makes me crazy and i’m not crazy but it’s no use cause people think what they want. that’s the worst part really, people thinking what they want just because i am on the streets. you don’t really know how much you miss being normal until it’s gone and you almost can’t remember what it was like to go into a store and have people treat you right or to be able to go where you want to go.

there’s some good things about being here too. i notice the small things that other people take for granted. see those birds over there, the ones on that wire? they come every single day, the same three birds. sometimes if i’ve got some bread i give it to them. we’ve gotten to know each other, me and them birds. and there are others like me and we help each other out. there’s a guy at the park who can’t walk right. i go and see him every morning to make sure he can get up. sometimes he can’t and i have to help him. once i found him and thought he was dead. i was pretty upset for a minute and then he started moving and i knew he was alive. but i don’t know what would happen if i didn’t check on him. i’m all that guy has. you don’t think of this when you drive past us in your cars with your coffee all nice and warm. you don’t think about how much i’d like a cup of coffee. or about how i am not that much different from you. i’m a person too.

but there’s hope you know. some guys and me are thinking of getting a place. one guy thinks he’s got some money coming. we all get on alright and if it works out we’ll have a place and that’ll be cool. and when i do i won’t walk around anybody on the street, that’s for damn sure.”

Remember the Just Post roundtable: justpostjuly2007

guitars & gear: Epiphone Les Paul Custom, ’71 Ibanez SG, Vox ToneLab SE, Tube Reverb

happy end in outer space?


[audio:stratecho.mp3]

This feels like an unsettling journey in the beginning, but it’s promised to end on a consoling C Major chord! Though it had never been planned this way – it happened spontaneously.

Once upon a time there was a hitchhiker traveling the universe, and those of you familiar with the story may feel reminded – at least a little bit.

The picture below is a shoot out of the alien spaceship right after landing. The planet’s strange trees and it’s population, electric guitar playing mice, are in sight…

guitar & gear: ’67 Stratocaster, Vox ToneLab, Roland Space Echo

vinyl

[audio:vinyl.mp3]

Only a few days ago I rediscovered a very special vinyl long player in the basement. A former student of mine who had recorded his self-composed music on it had given it to me as a goodbye present about 15 (!) years ago. It’s title is “Psychedelic Underground”. Sounds pretty appropriate for this blog, doesn’t it? I didn’t really appreciate his gift then, not understanding its content and the effort it took to accomplish such a work.

As I don’t feature his music here in order to let my own ideas come through, I focus on the exceptional look of this record: did you know vinyl doesn’t have to come in black? This one has all the right colors on it, and I went some further by moving the camera around, thus creating a hypnotic and shaky effect…

guitar & gear: Epiphone Les Paul Custom, Vox ToneLab, Gerd Schulte Phaser, tube reverb

oneness

[audio:onenote.mp3]

Would it be possible to improvise on just one and the same note? That’s a challenge I imposed on myself one day. Like in meditation, sometimes it’s good to restrict your field of action. When actually trying it, I found out it would be better to add the octave. Is an octave a different note?

I don’t know. But to be one with yourself like this tree, amidst all weathers and despite the loss of some branches – that’s a virtue.

guitar & gear: ’67 Stratocaster, Vox ToneLab SE, Tube Trem

mediterranean

[audio:mediterranean.mp3]

Here’s the reason why I felt Mediterranean on a rainy day in June – a different meaning of the word “Mediterranean” than suggested by the clich├ęd photos on a tourist brochure. From where we live the Italian “mare” is the nearest.

This is the stunning interior of an Italian restaurant where my nephew celebrated his confirmation. The food was delicious, too.

guitar & gear: Epiphone Mandobird, Vox ToneLab, Tube Reverb

unexpected message

[audio:muffled.mp3]

Still wondering where all the colors in your dream came from, all of a sudden you got the moon on the phone.

guitar & gear: ’67 Stratocaster, Vox AC 50, BSM treble booster, Gerd Schulte Phaser

Ismael (2)

[audio:AC50Bm.mp3]

Another guitar painted by Ismael Kamara.

And at its side (to the right above) you see the “Shadow of John” watching over us.

The music is a longer piece, showing the qualities of the Vox AC 50 and a special mood I was in on April 29th…

guitar & gear: Gibson Les Paul Special, Vox AC 50, BSM treble booster, Tube Reverb

profundity & fathoming out

profundity [audio:profundity.mp3]

fathoming out [audio:fathoming.mp3]

These two forming a twin entity, you are being invited to enter a door or an entrance to see what’s behind. Thereafter feel the deepness, or measure the unmeasurable like I did by bending my guitar strings more than I ever did before…

guitar & gear: Epiphone Les Paul with Haeussel pickups, Vox AC 50, BSM treble booster, Tube Reverb

blog party!

[audio:in-a-gadda.mp3]

Hi, everybody,

Welcome to my new home!
Here’s a new/old tune most of you will already know. A real hippie head-banger. Who can tell the name, the band, etc? I re-recorded it just for our mutual fun in four layers of first takes (you know, musicians are always proud of getting things done in first takes – in order to be first to the champagne or the buffet).

To further enhance the sixties’ feeling that is a constitutional matter of this blog, I’d like to share some exciting links I only found today. I was astonished to see that all the stuff I had discovered in my intense sixties-research is there in video! For most people watching facilitates the appreciation of the music.

So, please listen to some inhabitants of my Psychedelic Pantheon:

The Blues Magoos

The Blues Magoos again

The Electric Prunes

The Seeds

Donovan

If you want to know my favorite out of these, it’s The Electric Prunes. There is an amazing (but kitschy) new artwork video attached to the music, which back then has been recorded without any visuals. Hope you enjoy it!