The “New Normal”: A self-fulfilling prophecy?

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a sociological term used to describe a prediction that causes itself to become true. The process by which a person’s expectations about something or someone can lead to that something or someone becoming or behaving in ways which confirm the expectations.”

From all the popular terms coming out of the current epidemic, surely is “new normal” the one that I abhor the most. We are currently bombarded by the constant pushing of the term “new normal” from all corners of society. Politicians, journalists and self-proccalimed “experts” all use it as some kind of brainwashing mantra. Normal is something ordinary, usual. Normal is average, it is typical, it is predictable. What we are going through today is not normal. Read more...

Making science (part XVII): “Words without meaning” by Eve Marder

Prof. Eve Marder, from Brandeis University, was one of the founder editors of eLife, a scientific journal launched in 2012, one of the few journals that is still run by working scientists, as opposed to so-called “professional” editors, like most of the commercial journals.

Dr. Marder wrote recently an opinion article for the journal in which she sharply criticises the kinds of words, often derogatory, that reviewers use when judging research papers, grants and appointments.

She writes: “Over the years I have grown to truly abhor some of the words that are overused and abused when we review manuscripts, job candidates, and grant applications. In particular, I now detest five words: incremental, novelty, mechanism, descriptive, and impact. These words are codes behind which we hide, and are frequently used in lieu of actual explanations of what people think about the subject at hand.” Read more...

Chromatographies vol. 3 “Chiral Centers” live in Bandcamp

“Chiral Centers”, the third volume of the Chromatographies, is now live in  Bandcamp for download or streaming. The download includes a digital booklet. There are also CDs available.

Chromatographies is the jazz and ambient guitar project of Carlos Ibanez. The recordings consist of solo guitar performances that alternate improvised guitar meditations with jazz guitar pieces. All sounds and effects are made in real-time using stomp boxes.

Chiral Centers follows the structure of the first two volumes, with  improvised compositions by Carlos Ibanez intermixed with renderings of pieces by Charlie Haden, John McLaughlin, Larry Coryell and Ralph Towner. Read more...

Guitar pedalboard v3.0

Guitar pedal evolution. We were faced with the difficult decision to take off pedals from our pedalboard to make space for new ones. Too difficult. So we didn’t. Instead… we got a second board 😉

Temple Audio Duo 17 arrived to help us host 3 new pedals we have  had our sights on for quite some time. And so we reconfigured the whole signal chain. And the MIDI chain. Again. These three bad boys are the VENTRIS reverb, IRIDIUM amp modeler and HEDRA triple pitch shifter/delay.


Guitar synthesizer ENZO (yellow machine) was moved to the new (smaller) board to make space for the VENTRIS reverb from Source Audio (last row, second from right). We have wanted to have a second reverb to overlay on top of Strymon’s BIGSKY and the VENTRIS filled the bill perfectly. Two reverbs in one box, each with 14 different engines,  which can be run in parallel or series. In essence, we got 2 more reverbs, for awesome ambient soundscapes. The VENTRIS is placed downstream from the BIGSKY in the signal chain. Read more...


It was about time for a new entry in the the series on Black & White (B&W) photography. Here, showcasing a few examples of the vast genre of Street Photography. As before, these are all monochromatic renderings of digital photography files rendered in Lightroom applying the Silver Efex Pro 2 plugin.

Early interview with ralph towner – guitar player, december 1975

A hard-to-find, early interview with composer and guitar virtuoso Ralph Towner, rescued from the original issue of Guitar Player magazine of December 1975.

I didn’t even know what a guitar was until I was 22… I went to a music store to buy a trumpet mute or music paper, something like that, and there was this salesman type there who sold me a classical guitar. I taught myself a little bit, and then wrote a composition for flute and guitar.

Read the original article HERE.

Making science (part XVI): The perfect abstract

It can be considerably frustrating to have to summarize many years of work in just 150 words, but that is what scientists often have to do at the time of writing the Abstract section of their research papers. However, a well written Abstract is crucially important, as it is the first thing (sometimes the only thing!) that readers will read, including the journal Editors that will decide about its publication. It can really be a make-it-or-break-it for the success of the article. However, many young and budding scientists often struggle with this section, usually because of an inability to distill the single most important and essential part of the discovery in a clear and simple way. Read more...

Boarding Completed

All aboard the pedalboard… it’s boarding completed. No more space in our pedalboard after the addition of Meris ENZO synthesizer, Morning Star MC6 MkII MIDI controller and Mision Engineering EXPRESSIONATOR expression pedal controller. From the previous version, a few pedals had to be relocated and other squeezed closer together to make room. There are a total of 52 switches and 60 knobs on this pedalboard.

ENZO is an incredible sound machine, with four engines for mono synthesis, polyphonic synthesis, arpeggiator and a dry mode with tons of effects. With delay onboard, portamento, sustain and incredible filtering capabilities, the ENZO is an endless source of possibilities and inspiration. All reviews have ranked ENZO as the number one pedal of 2018. Here is a looped little tune that we did recently using all four ENZO machines: Read more...

Making science (part XV): Professional Editors

Once upon a time, science journals were run by scientific societies and their editors were active scientists. Very few of these remain today. Instead, nowadays most journals are own by private, usually very large, publishing companies and their editors are “professional”. That is, their only job is to be journal editors, they are not active scientists. Most of them were active scientists earlier in their career, but left academia to become “professional” editors, usually, shortly after their postdoctoral studies. Because of this, most professional editors are much younger (no problem there) and considerably more inexperienced (hmmm… ) than the principal investigators from whom they receive manuscripts for consideration. Typically, these “youngish” editors can get advice and (one would hope) guidance from more senior editors within the same journal or publishing organization, but they are pretty much in charge of the main decisions of the manuscripts assigned to them. Read more...

Science, Jazz, Photography