Archive for the 'Gratitude' Category

Aug 07 2008

Ain Soph Aur Studio Collaboration – Work in Progress

A few weeks ago Carl, my collaborator in Ain Soph Aur, emailed me a short audio snippet with the request that I come up with some parts that might sit well with it. The part was strange, with an unusual meter and a chorused bass part that felt elusive. I immediately recorded several guitar tracks, burned them to a CD, and gave them to Carl within the next few days.

Several weeks passed and, to be honest, I’d pretty much forgotten about it entirely. In my email in-box came an MP3, where Carl had taken his original loop, my guitar parts, and added several more tracks as well. I began to get really excited. He then gave me 14 stereo WAV tracks that made up his mix of the tune, and I began playing with those, adding more tracks, processing existing ones, and generally going crazy.

The result is a 33 minute epic of sonic goodness. Now, Carl hasn’t heard this long-form version yet, and it really isn’t complete. I have no doubt that, when he hears it, he’ll be inspired to respond in some way. I can’t wait!!!

Still, he’s away right now, and won’t be back for a while, so I felt moved to share this as it is, knowing that, down the road, it may change significantly.

So, without further ado, behold “Dancing Upon A Foaming Sea.”

[note: this is a very large, 31 MB, file. People with small hard drives or dial-up connections should wait for the CD release]

The title, which comes from Alister Crowley’s description of the Princess of Cups in his Egyptian Tarot book, The Book of Thoth, may change too, btw.

I’ve also posted a screen shot of the project in my Cubase SX3 audio software.

To the best of my knowledge, the track contains the following: Bass, organ, guitar, cornet, recorder, tin flute, bells, voices, plastic tubes, shakers, metal bowls, dog collars, field recordings of seals and birds, a live performance snippet, kalimba, hand drum, synth drums, and a few other things. See if you can find them all!

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Sep 23 2007

SoundWalk2007 Recap

Published by under Gratitude,Sound

I have to say that SoundWalk2007 was amazing. There was a HUGE turnout, and a very diverse mix of young hipsters, folks about our age with their kids, and older folks too. There were about 50 works and/or performances spread out over 4 square blocks. Some were in cars, or in the backs of rented U-Haul trucks, some on roof-tops, in store-fronts, alley ways, on the sidewalks, and in galleries.

Some works were astoundingly simple. For example, an artist took 100 music box innards and mounted them all in one large wooden box. Somehow, there was a main mechanism that would hold them in check. You could wind up any number of them then release the master mechanism and they would play. The effect was actually quite pleasing. There was also a performance of “Napping Music,” in which 6-12 people lay, with blankets and pillows, on the stage. At one point several children wandered by and decided to lay on the floor next to the stage. This same group also did a performance where the musicians would only play if you touched them. Sweet.

On the other extreme, there was one piece that looked like a beautiful delicate sculpture of wire and lights but, upon closer examination, one realized that it was actually a very complex electrical circuit that responded to changes in light and sound. People were interacting with it, and it was quite delightful to see the looks of wonder on their faces.

As for me, I’ll give you a brief description of what I was doing. I was talking on my Cel Phone. There were two parts to this. The first part was, as I strolled around, me saying complementary things about folks as they walked by, as though I were sharing this with the person I was speaking to on my phone. “There’s a woman in front of me who has the most beautiful hair.” or “I’m looking at an older man who has the nicest face.” I was intentionally trying to communicate positive, and specific, statements about people in the area. The 2nd part was using my cel phone in places that might be seen as inappropriate, for example during the napping music performance. Some people responded by ignoring me, obviously so, to the point where I called it “Cel-Phone Shunning.” Even friends of mine would act this way. Others would glare at me and, once, someone pointed toward the door, suggesting that I leave.

Overall, I’d say that what I did was a success, but I felt myself being somewhat timid and not really pushing things as far as I could. For example, there’s a very nice restaurant in the area, and a friend suggested I go in, stand at the bar, and talk on my phone. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, though.

My friend Dennis brought his video camera, and I rented a wireless microphone system that allowed him to stand fairly far from me and, hopefully, capture some of the interactions. I’ve not reviewed the tape, but look forward to doing so. If we captured anything good, I’ll post it.

My sincere thanks to all the folks at Flood, who invisioned, produced, and sustained this amazing event, and invited me to participate. Thanks to Marco, Shea, Kamran, Frauke, Shelley, and all the amazing artists who participated this year.

Well, that’s about it for now.



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May 02 2007

Titano Dandy

We all have moments of weakness, when we do things we know we shouldn’t. We make choices based on motivations we really don’t understand and, sometimes, the consequences of those choices can be unpredictible. Such was the case a few months back when I went to an auction to sell some stuff. Here are some photos of what I left with:

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4 responses so far

Apr 03 2007

More Flowers!

Published by under Art,Gratitude,Photography

I took my dslr to the nursery today (H&H!) and took some flower shots:

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Feb 16 2007

My Father’s New Hat

Since I was travelling North to celebrate my father’s birthday, I wanted to give him a gift that he’d find both practical and a bit luxurious. I pressed him for suggestions and he confessed that he needed a new “crook’s” cap. I did a bit of research and discovered that the British Ivy Cap was what he wanted but, when I began to explore the marketplace, I didn’t find anything that knocked me out. Long Beach, my home town, is fortunate to have a fairly good hat shop, and they stocked something similar to the Ivy caps my father favored, but from Italy. The brand was Borsalino, one I’d never heard of, but the hat I found was really nice so I got it.

When I gave it to him, he was thrilled. He explained that, as a kid in Brooklyn, all the Italian ‘made’ men wore Borsalino hats.

Dad Enjoying his new Borsalino

At his birthday party, he enjoyed a moment with his grandson, Max Hardgrave.

Dad Enjoying his new Borsalino with Max

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Nov 23 2006

Various Pix of Lauren

When I can, I love taking pictures of my friends and family. This post will be, from now on, where I post nice shots of Lauren. For example:

Lauren in the Lakewood wilderness

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Nov 20 2006

My Horse Friend, Rodeo (pronounced: ro-DAY-yo)

Published by under Family,Gratitude,Photography

Lauren’s been taking riding lessons, and I go with her and hang out with the horses. One, in particular, is my bestie. His name is Rodeo. I’ve taken a bunch of pictures of him, and here are some:

Rolling in the Dirt

Rodeo gets a Carrot from Shari (Yum!)

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Nov 13 2006

What’s in a name?

Published by under Family,Gratitude

As I’m sure you know, when a parent saddles a child with an unusual first name, it is considered good form to provide the child with a fall-back middle name, one that, if the first proves to be too problematic, can be used safely and without controversy.

As you now know, my first name is Sander. Although not entirely unknown (younger people tend to associate it with Xander of Buffy fame), it isn’t exactly standard. Also, because it confuses people, I am often called strange variations, like Sanders, Sandler, Sandlers, Saunder, Saunders and, more meliciously, Slander.

So, keeping all that in mind, care to venture another guess for that ‘R’ middle name?

Ok, so I won’t keep you in suspense any longer… The middle name for the Jewish lad from Manhatten is:


There were two especially problematic things with Roscoe. First, when I was very little, my mother called me Sander Rascal Wolff. As a result, I adopted my Father’s sister’s married name: Katz.

So, from the ages of about 3-7 I was Sander Katz Wolff. The other problem was The Dukes of Hazzard. That TV show featured a character by the name of Roscoe P Coltrain. The association was inescapable so, even though I recovered from the Rascal issue, my middle name remained a deep dark secret.

It wasn’t until my late 20s, when I started doing some journalism work, that I decided it was necessary to ressurect my middle name. If you want to know about that, go here. Be prepared, though. It is Twilite Zone freaky.

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Nov 10 2006

Corporate Namaste

Published by under Art,Family,Food,Gratitude,Photography

I love my wife dearly, and am especially grateful when she poses for me, as in this picture:

Corporate Namaste

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Oct 08 2006


Published by under Family,Gratitude

My first and only kitty, Barney, left us recently, as did Shari’s much beloved cat Shogi.

I created wee tribute pages for Barney & Shogi.

Please post comments here.



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