Latest member in our acoustic family: 12-string Jumbo by Leo Buendia

After a 3 year wait, we have finally received our 12-string Jumbo acoustic guitar, a custom order we made in 2018 from luthier Leo Buendia, aided by the help, wisdom and guidance of Paul Heumiller, from Dream Guitars.

Inspired by the Guilds played by Ralph Towner, this instrument has Adirondack spruce top, old growth Brazilian rosewood back, sides and headplate, ebony bridge and fingerboard,  and mahogany neck. It is 2-inch width at nut, and sports Gotoh tuners, golden Jester EVO frets and James May’s ultratonic pickup.

The instrument carries a number of stunning custom appointments, including an interrupted rosette made in ebony and red stained burl, a Buendia trademark. Red stained burl appointments also appear in the backstrip, back of neck and head plate, the latter shaped after Leo’s native country, Argentina. Read more...

Pedalboard update v4

Guitar pedalboard v4 sees the replacement of one of the first pedals I have had acquired, the JAM multi pedal (overdrive, chorus and delay). The analog nature of this pedal was a limitation in a board that is now mostly digital. The SUNSET overdrive from Strymon is in fact two pedals in one, and a hybrid of analog and digital, including MIDI control, i.e. the best of both worlds. It’s a more than worthy replacement of the TubeScreamer featured in the old JAM multi pedal.

SYNESTHESIA is to the WaterFall JAM chorus what SUNSET is to its TubeScreamer.  Also a double pedal with different configurations available: cascade, parallel and L/R stereo split. It does chorus, flanger, phaser, univibe and so much more. Luckily, also MIDI capable. Analog delay DelayLlama from the JAM multipedal, will be missed. But it was not being used very much, as it began running into overhead issues (input saturated fairly quickly). It was last heard on “When God Created Peer Review”the third track of my “Chiral Centers” disk, making the spacey sounds that begin the track and provide the background throughout the piece. Read more...

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 project, 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...

B&W MAGIC (PART III): STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

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...

Science, Jazz, Photography