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Saturday, December 17, 2011

re-cover

Recovery continues and I continue to take it s-l-o-w;have been spending some time in the spirit, lost in prayerfulness and at work, walking-prayer. A deep surrendering to Christ. This while even at odds with my wife's family over "religion" and the holidays and a widening rift that threatens any future relationship. Until compassion replaces condemnation, there can be no healing here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Small Room

Went out to the small room to look for a few books to read during my recovery from gallbladder surgery (something of a life altering event for me, I must say) and am enjoying the peaceful quality of the room and it's quiet aesthetic in the late afternoon. Revisiting older Paul is Dead material for a rocking little retro-revue three-piece Will has in mind ("groovy trio") and I'm certainly game, so rehearsals to begin in earnest this weekend in conjunction with my recovery weekend.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

man up

Excited about the prospect of possible recording project at Walk on Water studio with co-producers Will and Ken B (currently in the "discussion" phase); brought this up in talks with Scott today and he seems game. Looking forward to hanging with friends, having man-time/fellowship with some brothers and laying down some compelling tunes; to that end I aim to put on my tune-smith hat and attempt to pen a few songs, skelatal ideas with enough space for Will, Ken and Scott to fill-in the empty spaces with whatever is required as far as arrangements go and create something that is truely original, haunting and beautiful. Like the music I hear in my head. A few ideas are already formulating and I am keen to try them out this weekend.

sound design

A profitable afternoon spent in the small room working on sound design, loop study, guitar craft and repertoire; while the signature sound continues to elude me, a step closer to an integrated cohesion begins to emerge. Playing against arpegiated lines layed down on the Line 6 brings a great deal of clarity in my approach to possible future "live" performance. What I'm really after is consistency and "repeatability". Some successes with this today. More tomorrow.
Read yesterday from Sara Elliot that her mother Vivien had passed, that she had lived well and lived wise. Pierre and Vivien were both teachers and practioners in the 4th Way tradition under the J.G. Bennett as well as one of the last still living having worked directly under Gurdjieff . Cannot read this without thinking of the tune "Tea with Vivien" which Tony Garza and I created one evening in the small room, discussing the work, Camp Caravan, Fripp and playing guitars.

Tea with Vivien Somehow fitting then that tonight's work in the small room consisted of the type of "solo" guitar and loops that comprised "Solus" and a sense of groundedness in this work.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Seven Advices

Seven advices from Pierre Elliot: 1. Presume that you do not know as much as you imagine you do 2. Forsake your self image and all posturing about who you think you are 3. Observe yourself in all things as objectively as possible 4. Give up pretending that you are awake and behold the depth of your sleep 5. Notice how many of your daily activities keep you from your lifetime goals 6. See many relationships fall away when you stop maintaining them 7. Do things differently and do different things

Consciousness

"For consciousness, collection of attention is necessary. Attention is as oil in the lamp. Consciousness is the light. Where there is consciousness things are illuminated." ~ Mme Ouspensky

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Continue to study, contemplate and meditate upon the wisdom sayings of Jesus and the Way; talking through associatively some of my ideas on the "unknowablity of the God-head" with Michael this past week coalesced some of my thinking and showed me some of the areas in which I "missed the mark." Such insights serve to teach and therefor are to be regarded thankfully. Also, discerned a crucial pattern in my dreaming, a recurring theme that has come to me to tell me something about where I need to seek help. Pressing life-concerns have pre-empted any efforts at music or a creative life, but I found great resonance in some paintings Vasken Kalayjian recently posted. I have a desire to paint, but lacking materials I do nothing. I feel this is an area where I can do the most useful (inner) work at the moment, where I can delve deeper into meanings. I need to acquire the time and the tools. Mulling book idea of the wisdom sayings, a "collection" with commentary from an inner point of view. More and more I am convinced, however, that Jesus' coming to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord (Jubilee) has very little to do with any esoteric inner work per se, and more about true jubilee as expressed by the living desire of YHVH (יְהֹוָה) for his people; a restoration of justice and a return of 2nd Acts mentality (sell your "property" and share all things in common so that no one wants) which is playing out in the Occupy movement worldwide (an intuitive prophetic spontaneous arising from the spirit); which takes us back to the idea of the unknowability of God and the surprising ways He speaks to us.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Guitar with Dan Tellez

Got together with Dan Tellez last Saturday and played some guitars; had a great visit, Dan has a whole bunch of nice tunes and a great guitar tone on his amped-up acoustic guitar. Great playing with him again (looking forward to more soonage!)
Some of today's readings/insights...inspirations: From Joan Halifax... moderated mind and life meeting today. very intense atmosphere. went well. dalai lama very engaged. karmapa gave a powerful talk in the late afternoon. getting ready for tomorrow's session, which i also will moderate. dekila chungyalpa..... and this (also from Joan): Compassion is due to those of us—and there are many of us—who are so dependent on our devices that we cannot sit still for a funeral service or a lecture or a play. We now know that our brains are rewired every time we use a phone to search or surf or multitask. As we try to reclaim our concentration, we are literally at war with ourselves. Yet, no matter how difficult, it is time to look again to...ward the virtues of solitude, deliberateness, and living fully in the moment. We have agreed to an experiment in which we are the human subjects. Actually, we have agreed to a series of experiments: robots for children and the elderly, technologies that denigrate and deny privacy, seductive simulations that propose themselves as places to live. We deserve better. When we remind ourselves that it is we who decide how to keep technology busy, we shall have better. --Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other (Basic Books, 2011), Kindle Edition, 296 Finally, a little Tao: Eighty The world is full of half-enlightened masters. Overly clever, too "sensitive" to live in the real world, they surround themselves with selfish pleasures and bestow their grandiose teachings upon the unwary. Prematurely publicizing themselves, intent upon reaching some spiritual climax, they constantly sacrifice the truth and deviate from the Tao. What they really offer the world is their o...wn confusion. The true master understands that enlightenment is not the end, but the means. Realizing that virtue is her goal, she accepts the long and often arduous cultivation that is necessary to attain it. She doesn't scheme to become a leader, but quietly shoulders whatever responsibilities fall to her. Unattached to her accomplishments, taking credit for nothing at all, she guides the whole world by guiding the individuals who come to her. She shares her divine energy with her students, encouraging them, creating trials to strengthen them, scolding them to awaken them, directing the streams of their lives toward the infinite ocean of the Tao. If you aspire to this sort of mastery, then root yourself in the Tao. Relinquish your negative habits and attitudes. Strengthen your sincerity. Live in the real world, and extend your virtue to it without discrimination in the daily round. Be the truest father or mother, the truest brother or sister, the truest friend, and the truest disciple. Humbly respect and serve your teacher, and dedicate your entire being unwaveringly to self-cultivation. Then you will surely achieve self-mastery and he able to help others in doing the same. From The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu - Hua Hu Ching by Brian Walker

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Out in the studio the other night, working on some ambient soundscapes for Will's Buddha Mash-up project I am reminded of the joy involved in just creating, and the great gift I have here in my small, little out-building, having my own space in which to create. Looking forward to fall and cooler days so that I can spend more time out here... in the meantime, appreciating the joy in the simple things

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Worked on a sound project to assist a friend last week but the lag in the studio became finally so horrible I simply had to abandon it; I downloaded an app and used my iPhone as an alternative. Attempted to restore the comp, but the lag was so bad I couldn't even get to the restore wizard. So tonight, determined (and with coffee in hand), I went to work and was finally able to restore back to June 2011; success! Studio program seems to be working with no difficulty. Test tracks recorded, monitors working, issues now resolved. Kurt is working on my Dell. If he can get it up and running again I will have two machines to record with! This is good news. Continue to follow the exploits of the Two of a Perfect Trio Tour with great enjoyment via tweets, Facebook posts and pics and youtube videos. I'm like a virtual groupie! Rockin'!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dr Who

Saturday night and Dr. Who with my sweetie; nice one!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Untitled

An awesome ambient album released today from friend Markus Reuter ; highly recommended soundscapes! 

226521974-1
http://iapetus-store.com/album/0000

Personal favorite tracks: 0099 and 0101

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ah, working on my "petit musiques" this morning, at least in my head. I keep most of my notes and scribbles (sound ideas) in my head. I feel like I finally have a clearer vision of a way back into music, after floundering a bit there for the past month. Now to test the idee in real time. Meanwhile, coffee.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hot box

Wow. An hour and 1/2 practice in the hot box this afternoon yields nothing. I am stuck. I need a sound-architect; spent an hour dialing in different combos, settings, amps, effects. Nothing is sounding. Half of my inspiration is getting the sound. Today, no bueno. I'm at a true impasse. Want to ring up Bill Frisell and find out how he does it. Maybe what I truly need are some guitar lessons. Today its just not happening. Pfffft!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Stuff of a Musical Nature

Posting this mainly for WW, who may be the only person that ever reads this blog.... Possible meet-up/get-together with Dan Tellez on Saturday, a final last-ditch effort to pull together a show for the 23rd at GIG; if there is something there, the show will go on. Otherwise not. Meanwhile, in my walk of faith, recognizing my passion for God and also my passion for music, I am making an effort at "putting myself out there" and meeting tonight with the band at RiverCity Church to see if I might sit in amongst the rotation of players. If I have a passion for music and a degree of some kind of talent, I should be using my gift to further the Kingdom. My heart says this is the right move and this line may ultimately trump the first line. The main thing is, I'm trusting God and making myself available... a leap of faith as it were. These are a talented pool of players and what I offer might tend towards the quirky. I don't imagine myself as a session player any longer. My talents and skills are unique, sometimes inspired; I leave the rest in God's capable hands. Finally, I'll conclude with this thought that hit me yesterday... How incredible that God loves EVERY BODY... if I keep this thought, nothing else really matters. The debates, the schisms, the heaven vs hell vs no-hell vs bell... none of it really matters because God love everyone and, as the saying goes, He will sort it all out. My purpose is to be in awe and aspire to that kind of God-love, too

Saturday, August 13, 2011



Great rehearsal with Daryl and Scott today in the music room of coziness. "Landscape" continues to be a killer song to play around with; today we added "Specific Gravity" to the set list and a challenging Guitar Craft inspired piece I wrote in 1992 (which has never been named); Scott, Daryl and I discussed ideas, Gavin Harrison exercises for shifting time, and boo bams (too expensive). We also played around with a new vocal tune idea reminiscent of Gary Davenport and discussed some Stick-duet possibilities (per Will Willard's suggestion). Exciting times indeed! I think it is safe to say we all got a work-out today. GIG is six weeks away...


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

G.I.G.

Working through many ideas for the gig; tunes like "Wonk", "Specific Gravity", and some of the craftier songs are finding a resonance, but I am also feeling like writing some pretty ballads, so there is a mix of ideas to play with. Presently my rehearsal space (studio) is calling to me to be re-organised with an emphasis on opening up the space as a welcoming room within which one can stretch out and try ideas. This is an ongoing work.

Contemplating Somethingness

My book of "zen" poetry featured in the new lulu Publications Spotlight

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/johnmarcell

Friday, August 5, 2011

Practice began in earnest Thursday evening on the new set-list for the G.I.G show in September; the entire "Johnny Love set-list has been put aside for this performance in the "listening room", where only original tunes are allowed. Playing in NST tuning and Daryl is focusing on the Stick. Excited and upbeat and happy to be really working with the left hand, right hand and posture. "Landscape" was a sheer joy to play while trying to keep attention on the craft and my "self"; locked-in and  was really in the moment. "Darkening Skies" is more problematic and may be cut. Bottom line, may be faster and easier if we write totally new tunes instead of trying approximate Gilliam Section songs. Nevertheless, an admirable start.This is the moment I've been awaiting for. My attitude of approach has really improved as I made the conscious decision to "hold on lightly" and seek a certain quality in the material

More later

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

ATX performed by The Johnny Love Band

The Johnny Love Band perform Yoshi Hampl's "ATX" (thanks to Shelly Van Dyke for recording and editing this video!)

Johnny Love Live! - Heart of Tao

The Johnny Love Band perform "Heart of Tao" (thanks to Alan Van Dyke for recording the video!)

Johnny Love Live! - Mysterious

The Johnny Love Band perform "Mysterious" (thanks to Alan Van Dyke for recording the video!)

Darkening Skies

Working out the NST guitar/stick parts...(early rehearsal for new material)

Luna's Jacal

Daryl working out the Chapman Stick part for "Luna's Jacal"

Luna's Jacal Part II

Monday, July 18, 2011

Om Guru Om


This image sent to me by Alan from the Whip-in (Austin, Texas) is so right for so many reasons...

Saturday Night Rehearsals





Forgot to mention Daryl impressed us Saturday night during "Landscape" run-through by whipping out a pair of T Lev "Funk Fingers"; wanted to snap a photo of that, but forgot. Here are a couple of pics from Daryl's phone




Sunday, July 17, 2011

Great rehearsal Saturday night. Totally nailed "Madonna" and got a good handle on "ATX". "Landslide" sadly eludes us, as does "96 Tears" (although Daryl can totally play the bass riff). Ran through "The Combine" and "Landscape" along with the rest of the set-list. Here's a jam we did for the "photo-shoot":

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Quiet morning, yet with much to be done I need to start my day. Trying to maintain posture. Trying to come back to the present. Trying to eat more as Melissa is concerned about my weight-loss. But these days some fasting is called for (here I speak in a spiritual sense)

Last night worked on the set-list and went over my cache of lyrics, pretty much nailing down "Madonna of the Wasps" (found the words to the song on a piece of paper in Will Willard's pen) and "Blue Eyes". Found the descending jazz chords I'd forgotten for the solo. Worked on Yoshi's song and locked in parts of it; other parts elude me (even with his lyrics and chords). Trying to re-learn my intro (which I'd forgotten to do last night). Landslide is really not working; perhaps Daryl can rescue it as I think he's played it. Figured out the basic gist of "Jesus" but not sure what key is working for my voice on that one...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Talked to Scott and Daryl; next Johnny Love band meet-up is Saturday night. Itching to hit it again. Have totally re-connected to my inner singer/guitar player and have a new ease with my instrument I haven't had before. Running through the whole set on just one setting (14) on the Yamaha amp... a bit of compressed-crunched, but otherwise pretty clean. Not other effects or loops or patches. Just straight on...

 Able (finally) to get some random Arto-ish skronk when the mood strikes (e.g., the "solo" during "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" and during "Heart of Tao"). Also adding "World" (I'd forgotten about it completely), "Everybody Wants to Be a Creep" (gotta learn the bridge since Dan wrote/played it...), "Landslide" (a Robyn Hitchcock-esque version ~ for Melissa) and a cover of Yoshi Hampl's "ATX" (http://iapetus-store.com/track/atx-free-download). Also came up with a cool guitar "intro" or hook for "Ocrean's Apart" that just kills me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

G+ etc

Really blown away by Google+, really worth the agonizing wait to finally get on-board; vast improvement in the realm of social networking... more interactive, intelligent and thought provoking. Also, totally digging the new blogger interface: http://draft.blogger.com/home

Ran through the set-list for the Johnny Love band Saturday night; only a partial run-through. But after just one evening of rehearsals, we're already up to 15 songs. Adding more tunes I wanna do daily. Need to check in with Daryl to see when we can practice again.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Poems

Wrote 2 pieces this morning at Starbucks... tried to let my unconscious dictate as much as possible:

I.

Cloudy, overcast morning
At the outdoor cafe
Here alone with my latte
My heart returns again to you

Your smile, your taste, your touch
Envelopes me
Deep primordial bliss
A oneness encompassing
The totality of all that "I Am"
The ego, the shadow,
The known quantity
The unknowningness of my Being
Embraced by you
Transformed in love.

II.

The skeptic in me
The part that questions everything
Looking for an answer
Continually seeking
Finds nothing to hold onto
Arrives at zero
With empty head, empty hands
In the stillness of the Now
I am poured out
Christed
Crushed and broken
Sacred elements
"Take, eat; this is my body"
Layed bare for you
And surrendered to your
Overwhelming love.

6/28/11

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Coming back to Ourselves

I have been thinking about the arrow of attention lately after watching the incredible Peter Kingsley materials posted on Youtube and it occured to me last night as I dined with my wife at a birthday party in an upscale restaurant. As the conversations around the table took place I placed my hands on my knees and tried to sit alert keeping back inner-attention on myself as I engaged in being-in-the-moment; also placing my two feet flat on the floor to ground myself during talking helped to "bring me back to myself". At my level of being these are merely "exercises" but I nevertheless get a sense of the power that directed-attention can bring. This morning thinking about all of this it occured to me that this exercise comes more naturally to me because of my formative years in middle-school and high school where I was acutely self-conscious of my appearance and therefor had already been "holding something back" for myself without any formal instruction. These were years of great inner-suffering for me; what a gift then, this thorn in my side, which I had always credited with forming me as an "artist"... the real art, of course, consists in becoming fully human, a task we can never really completely arrive at; each day we begin again where we are. But my life is indeed blessed, and as I near my 49th year, everyday I consider it roses, roses... this bit is the icing on the cake! To be able to see the beauty and suffering underying all life, simulatneously, and to realize that the endings are just as important as the beginnings. And all the while, life flows on "within you, without you."

Jungian

When the great swing has taken an individual into the world of symbolic mysteries, nothing comes of it, nothing can come of it, unless it has been associated with the earth, unless it has happened when that individual was in the body. And so individuation can only take place if you first return to the body, to your earth, only then does it become true. (Jung, as cited in Ashton, 2007, p. 160)

(From Avrom Altman)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ideas

Making progress and a ton of ideas musical and otherwords; creating a sacred space, creating a working space, creating a vibrant cottage industry/book, integrating this idea of "oneness" with "a path with heart" and maintaining contact with bodily sensation (somatics) and many others. Affirming day with the family yesterday at the pool, affirming talk with Dan on music recording/possibilities. All of a sudden my mind is full of fertility and bright ideas. I am most happy when I'm inspired. Suddenly I find everything is inspiring me. This is good news (or it could be an indication of insanity).

Tonight adult beverages with M and her work-buddies from Saks; this weekend we are hoping to catch "Midnight in Paris", the new Woody Allen movie. Life is good.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wisdom and Love

Andrew Harvey (@GetTheHope)

6/16/11 2:55 AM

Jesus has given us a path thru which the transcendent powers of love & wisdom r embodied in the core of human life.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Realization

A day derailed by emotion...my inner-spiritual gains seem to always be negated by "real life", criticisms and personal failure. Perhaps I should be less identified. My ability to love is called into question. All efforts seem useless, wasted. Life in these moments becomes heavy, a burden I feel unprepared to respond to.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sitting in the back garden, listening to birds singing and air-conditioners humming; quiet, still summer afternoon. Feels good to do nothing, go nowhere

Shadow-work

Two relevant tweets from Andrew Harvey resonate this morning:


Andrew Harvey (@GetTheHope)
6/10/11 10:55 AM
The shadow personifies everything that the subject refuses to acknowledge about himself and yet is always thrusting itself upon him. ~ Jung

and;

The descent into the shadow is inescapable and essential to the experience of authentic birth.