Tag Archives: Music

0-8 cycling circles of tiny tiny smooth cicadas

8-12 it is impossible to achieve the aim without suffering

12-14 cycling circles of tiny tiny smooth cicadas

14-18 it is impossible to achieve the aim without suffering

18 -20 k-k-kk-kk-kk-k

25 single frippertronic flotation device

27 flotation device again mahogany buffalo honey river slow burst the dam

32 x

1:37 it is impossible again

1:49 banshee at coat check

2:02 banshee leaves the pyramid dancefloor

2:03 you

2:04 blue eyed soul vulnerability

2:08 avenue C to hell kitchen

2:37 the aim suffering

2;47 no panic in the tinkly disco

3:31-3:38 bloody holiday exposure stylee lung rip glass

3:40 you

3:42 are

3:44 he

3:45 psycho killer calm ride home in her car

3:52 oh

3:53 flotation device

3:54-4:02 again ceiling staring between glass wails

4:03 x

4:04 p flotation flotation o disco stops

4:05 cycling circles of tiny tiny smooth cicadas

4:06 cannibalistic calm searching vanishing

All the Way to Memphis and Toledo


I bought the album for some reason. Mott the Hoople Live. Probably, before I'd boughten it, I'd only heard one song from it on FM radio. Undoubtedly the front and back covers made an impression. Anyway, the first song on the first side was called All the Way to Memphis. It's great, with a tinkly, funky, sad, happy and powerful little piano riff on the front. The piano was played by Morgan Fisher. The song is about going to Memphis, obviously. That song was my favorite.

So, about 25 years later, I was in Tokyo and thrilled to be asked to photograph the American South, for a Japanese magazine. The same day I learned of my flight confirmation to Memphis... Morgan Fisher called! He lives in Tokyo and we had plans to meet, but it was still one of those synchronistic little events that make one wonder.

Anyhoo... I just saw this poster in Bangkok.

vintage rock posters

discovered in Bangkok, 2018

And, for what it's worth, the lead singer of Mott the Hoople once put on one of the best live shows I've ever seen. Ian Hunter. The opening act was John Cougar Mellencamp who performed with his head wrapped in bandages; the result of a mishap the night before. Toledo Sports Arena, 1977?

I am writing this in Chiang Mai Thailand at dawn, April 17, 2018.

Let’s Spend the River Together

the writing spree begins now; in  Johor Bahru, Malaysia at 2AM... What a delight it is when unplanned events suddenly enrich our lives. A small example: I wanted to research the possibilities of short story/gaming mashups. This search led me to the work of Marc Laidlaw.  His words and ideas helped shape the legendary Half-Life.  His blog post about writing for games  is a burning  Panthunian crystal, set high on a hill; guidance  for the  hooded, tired traveler that was my question. However, what was delightful is this: I have been researching hands, especially all that is profundis , as well as writing about photography. Mr. Laidlaw had once been approached about doing a “cover version” of The Viewfinder by Raymond Carver.  Hats off to  Larry McCaffery for that idea. Fingers and a camera figure prominently in Carver’s story! My  “cover” of The Viewfinder is now in its second draft and will be in the JB book. I will do my best, but it will never be as good as this story about a musical cover: http://www.blacksteps.tv/the-greatest-music-of-all-time/   PS: Just discovered this, about the use of photography in The Viewfinder:  https://www.scribd.com/document/263990334/Raymond-Carver-in-the-Viewfinder   PSS Here is the latest draft of my cover of The Viewfinder.           Weaselspittism

I HEART STONEHENGE: Something Like an Open Letter to Elvis Costello

Elvis Sunset i. Sent a telegram to Rolling Stone magazine in New York City. Elvis photos. Please advise. 1978, April. Elvis at Royal Oak. Detroit. The Attractions. B 'til open the late show doors. Smell of paint on animal leather. First time, Faster than Normal. 'Good night', spat out. Stormed off. ii. The hotel room window back cover. Accidents will happen. Hasselblad stand-up in my room. iii. a. Rochester New York, Imperial Bedroom. Talk Talk. b. Fuji Rock,with only Steve... at the piano above the sea. iv. Roppongi hotel room, the Residents tour. A yakitoriya, Snakefinger eloquent about Pete. v. Back home in Toledo, my mom played Burt Bacharach records, especially on weekends. vi. Singapore: A Good Year for the Roses... Days.

Silent State logo tests

Silent State is the name of a new musical project by Amith Narayan, Wilson Goh, Justin Bannister and Siva Saravanan. The following are simple tests made with MS Paint. At some point I hope I can invest the time to learn Pshop or the equivalent, but for now the following do the job as starting points for discussion. The last one is, perhaps, the most exciting. It also requires a delicate sensibility and the experience to combine a handwritten word with an authoritarian block font. Amith had suggested that green or grey could be used. Those choices could work, but with the following I was, obviously, just working with the idea of negative space... as well as a limited selection of fonts and the bare bones positioning capabilities of MS Paint. Re: the music. It is a treat.  For those of you who don't know, Justin is a keyboard genius from the great state of Michigan, Siva has done outstanding work as a percussionist and composer of award-winning movie soundtracks, Wilson is an award-winning choral singer and Amith's band The Unseen Guest continues to get more fans and praise for their two albums. And then there is 3how... almost silent state sil state silent state 2 lines silent state almost nice silent silent state close silent state red and blackuntitledstate01 (1)

Orange Song Blues (inspired by a painting by Picasso)

the first blog post of this series is here. I have been involved with bands, musicians and music production all my life. My last "proper" project was  co-producing The Riverwalk Session by 3how. So...Picasso.  Music... I am working on a piece of interactive fiction that combines my original story ideas with factual information about a painting Picasso painted in 1921.Here is a great description of interactive fiction, as well as the Interactive Fiction Competition which I am determined to enter. At the moment, I am focusing on music/a song which would be heard beneath the end credits. I would prefer to create something new, working with musicians, vocalists and other people. I am now in Singapore/Bali. The music should be finished in the next three weeks. I have started work on lyrics and can suggest types of music, instrumentation, etc. that would reflect well on the story and the painting itself. But, although I am fortunate to have talented friends here, there is probably not enough time to create something new. Which means using existing music. The pluses to using are existing music are:
  1. It is completed and I know exactly what I am getting.
  2. No schedules to co-ordinate, no studios to book.
  3. No possible personality clashes.
  4. The legal side of things is simpler.
  5. The synergy of someone who has a "new" following/fan base.
The minuses of using existing music are;
  1. Difficult or impossible to use lyrics created to specifically reference the story.
  2. There is no creative process.
  3. Solitary, brief-lived enjoyment
I should also mention that that there is no budget for this project. Later, when it is finished, it will become  a game for sale as well as an ebook. There are other possibilities as well. I don't like asking people to do things "for the publicity". I would pay people if I could. But the best is working with people who are excited and focused, whether paid or not.  

Yangon Notes (4 of 9)

Rizal Abdulhadi at Casa Luna, Ubud February 26, 2016

Rizal Abdullhadi and Andro Yopi...original songs, original instruments and classic good times...
original bamboo instruments

Rizal and Risendriya at Casa Luna, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

bassist IMG_7379 Rizal looking down strumming IMG_7374Rizal lights in glasses IMG_7395 More Balinese musicians here. Rizal's homepage. Rizal frontal serious darkIMG_7394Rizal bassist diagonal facesIMG_7399Riza audience man bassis black and whiteIMG_7401Rizal and bassist audience framing IMG_7417Rizal and bassist singing flash IMG_7410Rizal and bassist w flash IMG_7409 ... and yep, I was lucky to read on stage and be accompanied by Rizal!

Contemporary Music made in, or influenced by, Bali


A book called Bali Wave Ghost.

I have selected the following pieces of music/videos with the hope of starting something. What is it I want to start? Not sure exactly, yet, but some type of promotional collective. The goal is simple: I would like to promote music made in, or influenced by, Bali and my book, Bali Wave Ghost.


Hopefully things will be positive and expand and other creatives and businesses can join as well. For now, though I would like to simply share the music. I post the following links with a great deal of respect and have contacted, or will contact, all musicians... Hopefully there will be additions, changes and growth…

Terima kaseh


Stephen Black

Please let me know about the musicians I have missed...

Rizal Abdulhadi at TEDx with an instrument of his own making.

Photos of Rizal performing at Casa Luna.

Ryan Teague is a UK-based musician and composer who has studied Javanese gamelan in Bali and Yogyakarta.

Cellomano/Algimiro Cesarino A Venezuelan who has played and recorded in Bali. I had the privilege of having Algimiro spontaneously performing while I read from Bali Wave Ghost. Here is his Soundcloud page. Here is a video of the last part of our completely improvised performance.

Gilles Saïssi is someone I've seen perform several times; he is not easily categorized. Here is a sample with video. Gilles' musical pages are The Isaïs Metaphysical Project and Persahabatan Project.

Miyoshi Masato!

Bali Wave Ghost debut public reading with Algimiro Cesarino

Reader and cellist

The first public reading of Bali Wave Ghost took place in Ubud, Bali Indonesia at an open mike session at Casa Luna. Cellist Algimiro Cesarino played as Stephen Black read a passage about a man wearing the head of a goldfish as he drove a luggage cart an airport.

Wow! Open Mike sessions are extremely unpredictable in terms of quality, but last night at Casa Luna the musicianship, songwriting skills, vocal expertise AND the sound system were MOST IMPRESSIVE! There were the musical sounds of an African thumb piano, melodies from Eastern Europe (I can only compare it to klezmer), healing songs, love songs and audience participation. When we walked in a cellist was on stage and he was superb. Once he finished and was seated, I asked if he was interested in a collaboration. He was, and asked me what kind of atmosphere would support my text. I said that I would read a funny story told by a man who was about to explode with rage. The story involved a baggage handler at an airport who drove a luggage cart while wearing a giant goldfish mask. Leeli was up after us and she said she enjoyed the story and reminded me that Ozzies say "prawns" and Americans say "shrimp".
a cellist nd an author onstage

a collaboration: AC on cello, SB reading

Here is a video of Algimiro at a place called Betel Nut...