Zuluwannsago made it to the Tanjazz festival in Tangier, Morocco…
That to me is proof that G-d exists!
Traveling with this band is really like being part of a circus.
Only one bag, and allllllllllmost one passport were lost on the way here.
Thank the lord for that beautiful Spanish flight attendant.
Because of her one musician avoided being introduced to Africa by the police!
Oh yeah; how could I forget? We almost missed the first flight that left from Amsterdam.
I have no idea how road-managers do their job!?
Fortunately I’ve traveled enough to feel confident navigating HUGE airports and complicated scenarios encountered en-route…
Me, my trumpet, my crucials, and my luggage all made it here safe and sound.
Here’s Yusufu (I found out he actually has a ‘u’ at the end of his name on the plane) at the palace showing the ladies some dance moves. great moment : )
Maintenant, je vais parle francaise parce que je suis dans le morroc.
No no no no no, not enough energy for that right now.
demain peut etre.
Tomorrow night we play at the Tangier palace at 1am.
I really think it’s going to be one of the best shows we’ve ever played.
I’ve decided to make it my new mission to bring as much positivity to this group as I can.
I’m the youngest cat in the group so I can still get away with being a little naive ; )
It’s just sooo difficult being surrounded by sooo much negativity sometimes.
A few of the guys in the group are really religious, and I think it’s starting to rub off on me!
This morning the guitar player, Sam Sawadego, and I were discussing life…
It’s really easy to say that people SHOULD be a certain way;
It’s another thing to actually live your life like that.
Being kind, compassionate, trusting, and optimistic can actually be quite difficult!
There’s just so much stress/drama in this world sometimes!
It’s hard to know when to speak up, and when to just keep my mouth shut.
check this extract from the meeting we were having earlier today…
(yes, the meeting was on the beach; yes, it was glorious; yes, yes, yes)
my impression is as follows;
Yusufu is the fire; raw/un-tamable.
his energy is so intense that usually it just causes confusion.
but that is not HIS fault.
being a good listener can be invaluable when someone is trying to explain their ideas.
especially when they’re from a creative space.
again, it’s easier to say than to do.
Anyway, www.zuluwannsago.com is officially online!
I put it up the day before we left.
It’s very far from perfect, but it’s up and running.
I hope it makes Yusuf’s life easier.
That guy works so hard; it’s about time he starts getting some back.
crazy days in Amsterdam, crazy days!!!
Just finished the first part of the Live Cinema residency at STIEM studio (I was in Studio1 from the 5th to the 13th of September).
STEIM Studio1 is basically a dream come true.
It’s completely silent; thoughts can reach their logical conclusion.
It’s almost completely sound proof; you can make noise at any time.
(almost) non-stop productivity.
The first thing I needed to do was make a patch that could control where the sound would be output to…
Once I had that taken care of, I started in on the “Eurydice Masher”…
This 8-channel installation will greet people as they walk in from off the street.
The raw idea is to expose people to ALL previous recordings of music based on the myth of Orpheus (for this performance I will focus specifically on the Eurydice aspects). There will be a program note with the outline of the myth, people sit down and listen to the “Masher” as they read. The patch is very simple… sample manipulation & spatialisation…
Next on the agenda was the 5.1 introduction.
I’m using video and multi-channel output from Ableton Live.
This short sequence will introduce the audience to the 5.1 surround system…
Jamie Griffiths was also a resident at STEIM while I was there…
she gives workshops about a program called Isadora.
The program is a very cool idea…
Then comes PD (Pure Data)
Open Source = Spiritual Ideals
I own my trumpet
Then Jos Heutmekers came through STEIM…
always has great ideas.
great to see him again.
A portrait of Jos. (He doesn’t look so impressed though!)
STEIM studio is located in one of the most beautiful parts of Amsterdam.
I left the studio on the 13th, Moldover came in on the 14th.
The trickiest part is balancing all of this with the Afro-beat band.
videos, text, etc…
Went to Zaandam yesterday to work with Yusuf… spent all night filming him and working on the website. I’m realizing more and more how crucial it is for ALL artists to be able to wear ALL hats these days. Web development has become an almost everyday affair. SHED the modes, SHED the scores, and SHED html/css::: I really can’t stress this enough to any “artists in training” out there in the universe who might be reading this.
I’m working on www.zuluwannsago.nl for Yusuf so that the world can really see what a bada*s he is. Once the site is online the first thing you’ll see is the fruits of our labor last night in Zaandam in Yusuf’s basement. This guy has so many instruments in his arsenal. Would’ve taken two days to document him playing them all. I really learned a lot about Yus’s background in the process of making this video; turns out that he’s descended from a royal family of healers in Ghana. People would come from all over Ghana to be healed by his family. The best part was definitely learning that they actually use drums/rhythms (or “languages” as he calls them) to heal people who are in need.
After we finished the filming I turned on a mic so that Yusuf could record a voice-over for the video. Turned into a pretty deep moment. It was about 2am and a lightning/thunderstorm was slowly rolling in. At that point I wasn’t sure if I was recording a voice-over or deep wisdom that should surface in some type of dubstep crusher! It’ll probably end up in both : ) After I turned off the microphone, it was raining and Yusuf was in a really reflective mood. I started to type snippets of what he was saying:
sacrifice different things.
the drum holds everything.
you don’t understand it.
we don’t know nothing about it.
that’s how it works spiritually.
spiritual fighters, spiritual killers won’t shoot you.
they’ll find you when you’re sleeping.
the skin is slipping, it’s week.
only if you have that code,
that will fight your body back.
heart is beating.
that’s how things go.
it’s my house.
no monsters in my house.
sometimes people play the music with me.
but they don’t know who I am.
I teach them how to live live.
how to be faithful.
how to love one another.
don’t ever think bad about nobody.
be free minded.
live until you can’t live no more
if you see someone whose 95 years old.
it’s just the free mind, and the free heart.
no disease will come near the tent ever.
the free mind is powerful.
the free heart is powerful.
slowly the heart is getting weaker.
the mind is getting weaker.
not developing to be stronger.
you that you’re week.
very serious sickness.
nothing is going to happen.
be free in the heart and mind.
who is the powerful?
Well, here we go; the first official post on my brand spankin’ new blog — mixed feelings.
serious love/hate relationships with technology pervade my everyday life…
A sentiment that is shared by countless cats in my generation.
however, i’m usually more on the love side; hence the blog : )
I’m back in the slamster-dam, gearing up for Morocco with Zuluwannsago.
Yusuf Nuweku (the composer/bandleader) is one of the best musicians I’ve ever worked with.
He’s the fire. raw, un-rated.
Unfortunately, a lot of this world works off of more than universe juice.
I’m in the process of building www.zuluwannsago.nl with Yus so that he can start REALLY hustling the band.
a brief moment of poetry;;;
feelings of entitlement lead to anger and frustration.
be thankful for what you have; not angry about what you don’t.
Everyone in the band seems to be ready to bring the heat to the Tanjazz festival…
I just hope that we can all put aside our egos and play yusuf’s music how it’s supposed to be played.
You can see yus playing the sh*t out of a bunch of instruments in the below video… (Zuluwannsago is rehearsing at Hippo records’ headquarters in Amsterdam)
I really have nothing but respect and love for that man.
I once saw him eat an entire RAW ginger root (the size of a big hand) in the course of one rehearsal.
I’m definitely excited to go to Morocco with these cats.
In other SW related news…
I’ll be doing a two part Live Cinema residency at STEIM studios (www.steim.nl) in September/October…
And then another session at STEIM to finally finish what I’ve come to call “Fokker5000”
Right now I’ve just gotta end this post so that I can warm down on trumpet before I make tempura with Enrique Mendoza (enriquemendoza.net)
vibrations to whoever might be reading this blog in whatever dimension they might be in.
One Love Universe!