Hello City

Spring continues to warm and grow. All the trees around here are budding and flowering. Lots of lovely sunny weather, and some heavy rainy days as well. Project dirt is nearing completion. I’m up to fifty-four wheelbarrow loads, getting to final low spots in the front yard. There’s grass coming already in on the areas I filled in earlier on.

I’ve been into Manhattan not once but twice last week. The first was a trip to the MoMA, keeping with our tradition of spring break museum outings. I haven’t been to the MoMA in years. Parts of the joint are kinda funky these days, with the main floor being filled with stacked up furniture taken from around the museum as a pandemic precaution, in lieu of an actual exhibit, and the nearby galleries filled with things of dubious artistic merit, such as jars of bodily fluids. The upper floors were better, with lots of impressionist, early modernist, and classic modern art. I seem to recall there used to be an extensive industrial design collection, but it appears that it’s been scaled back a good amount. The famous Ferrari was not on display. Still, most of what there was to see was pretty cool, and it was an enjoyable day out of the house, and stepping back into a hopefully soon-to-be post-pandemic world.

My other trip was for a lunch with the Association for Cultural Equity gang, to celebrate the recent launch of the Global Jukebox 2.1, as well as the new Alan Lomax Digital Archive. This was most excellent. It was great to see Anna and Kiki face to face again, and meet her current grad fellows and some ACE board members. It was a beautiful day in Greenwich Village and they picked a place with great food and drinks, and breezily open to the outside. Afterwards I walked around my old neighborhood for a while, seeing how things had changed. Driving into the city on a weekday in daytime remains a strange and epic adventure, not to be repeated too often.

Now that my song Mo’bility is in the can, I’ve turned my attention back to Lift Off. I’ve come to the conclusion that on the computer it’s never going to sound the way it does in my head, which is alot like classic bebop recorded live by great players full of extroverted virtuosity and expressive spontaneity. So it’s time to get a bit more creative about the sound and the arrangement. First thing is to see if I can put together a really smokin’ sax part from the takes I did, or if I need to keep on woodshedding. Meanwhile I’ve begun working on the last song for the record Bluezebub (The Devil You Don’t Know). It’s a sort of Crimso Mahavishnu Mancini supernatural spy jazz vibe, in 5/4 time, with an uptempo middle section and unison riff break in there somewhere too.

In the spirit of new awakenings, I’ve started to get back into doing origami again. A little over a year ago I took an awesome trip to Spain for CFC2, the second Conference for Creators in origami. I folded a bunch of new stuff for the exhibition, and met alot of great folders from Europe, and good number of old friends too. When I got home I was really fired up to do some new stuff. But then the pandemic happened, and all the conventions were cancelled, and anyway I was busy writing software for OUSA. I sort of lost my creative fire and didn’t really fold anything for a year.

Then a week ago was Fold Fest, sponsored by Origami USA. It was an online event, and the first one I attended since OUSA’s Un-Convention last June. I attended a few classes and connected wit some friends and had a good time. And a bunch of ideas I’ve been working on in the back of my head for a while came to the fore. So I’ve been folding like a madman in my spare time the last week or so. Hopefully I’ll have something to show soon. For now let’s just say I’m combining flowers, tessellations and single-sheet polyhedra. Meanwhile, it makes the time go by faster when you’re stuck in boring meetings.

New Song: Mo’bility

My new song Mo’bility is ready. You can listen at:


This sure changed alot since I wrote it. It was originally more of a Hank Mobley vibe. As mentioned before, now it’s sort of a hallowe’en cartoon-jazz jump stride swing thing, featuring the Hungarian minor mode and 7/8 meter. The arrangement is for soprano and tenor saxes, with some midi trumpet and vibraphone rounding out the melody instruments line. The rhythm section consists of piano, bass and drums, with bass being more-or-less double tracked fender electric bass and midi synth bass. Additionally there’s some mellotron strings in there for extra sweetness/spookiness. Finally, I wanted a gong sound but didn’t have a good sample, so I recorded hitting the cymbals of my drum kit with mallets and letting them ring. It turned out to sound great, and perfect for the part. Enjoy!

Also updated mixes of some previous songs.

Hippity Hoppity

Spring continues. The days are getting longer faster, and the nice weather appears more often than not. More and more people I know have gotten the vaccine and getting hopeful about life returning to normal soon.

We didn’t have much of a spring break this year, but it was enjoyable. Busy with work and stuff. Jeannie and I both took a long weekend off from work, and Lizzy came home for the weekend. Hard to believe she’s graduating college in just a month or so. We had family game night Friday night, which was lots of fun. On Sunday we went down to Queens to visit Jeannie’s parents, and Lou and my neblings came over too. It was good to see everyone in person, even if it was pretty low key.

We normally try to go to a museum or day trip this time of year. We haven’t picked a place yet, but we’re looking at next weekend. Most places are running at limited capacity and you have to get tickets in advance. Michelle has asked that we go Washington D.C, this summer to visit a few more museums. That might happen. We might even get back to Ohio for the Centerfold origami convention, and swing my the National Air Force Museum while we’re out that way.

I finished diagramming my Platypus model, called Gladys the Platypus, for the Origami USA 2021 Convention Collection. This is my first new diagram in some time, and hopefully I’ll get back into the groove with that. I hadn’t been that motivated to do much origami during the pandemic, cuz all the conventions were cancelled, and I don’t enjoy the online ones that much. But I’ve been involved in planning and setting up the 2021 OUSA, that includes a virtual gallery, and there may even be some live, in-person conventions later this year. So I’m starting to get back into folding again.

Project dirt continues. I’m up to thirty wheelbarrows of dirt, and have gotten maybe two-thirds of the way around the yard. I filled in one really big low spot on the north side of my house that took four loads by itself. It’s good to spend some time outside, and it’ll be really nice when it’s finished. I made a pretty good dent in my neighbor’s dirt pile, but he has a whole swimming pool’s worth, so there’ll be plenty left.