Category: music

New York, In Love



Regina Ress, a wonderful storyteller, and I will be appearing at the Provincetown Playhouse in the Village Friday, Feb. 15 at 8 PM.  Located at 133 MacDougal, corner of Bleecker, follow link below for tickets.  We are celebrating the release of Regina’s CD, New York and Me.  I provide music in between each story.  I will be working with guitarist Billy Stein.  We really look forward to seeing you in this special performance at such an historical theater (watch out for the ghosts of Edna St. Vincent Millay and Paul Robeson).

Regina Ress , storyteller, actor, teacher, writer and long time Greenwich Village resident has performed stories of love and life from the summit of  Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii to  Copacabana Beach, Brazil, with stops across the US, Central and South America, and Europe. Many of her New York stories have been heard on NPR outlet WFUV’s Cityscape. When she is not in NYC, Regina is Storyteller-in-Residence at the Santa Fe Hillside Market, an artists cooperative and event space. This is her 12th year performing in this storytelling series and 10th as its Producer.
Guest Musicians
Reed player and composer Michael Moss has been involved in the music scene for many years leading his own musical groups including Mike Moss/4 Rivers and Free Energy.  He has played with an eclectic group of musicians including William Parker, Sam Rivers, Dave Liebman, Dave Burrell, Badal Roy, and storyteller Diane Wolkstein.  Moss is President of 4th Stream Records and ERG Publishing, past-President of Free Life Communication (a musician’s co-op in NYC), and is the recipient of numerous Meet the Composer and NYSCA grants.
For the past 30 years, native New Yorker guitarist and composer Billy Stein has been involved in multiple music scenes in and around NYC,  including R&B, funk, blues, rock, salsa, bossa nova, as well as both mainstream and free jazz.  The many eclectic musicians he has performed and recorded with include legendary bassist Milt Hinton, mainstream jazz icon Sahib Shihab, Latin composer Joe Blanco, the rock group The Coasters, and free-jazz drummer Rashid Bakr. Stein recently recorded the critically acclaimed CD “Hybrids” and is a recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.


My wife, Judy, and I were having dinner with our friends Billy Stein and his wife Daniella tonight and over a wonderful steamed whole fish Billy asked me to explain to Daniella what I was trying to say when I used the rainbow metaphor which I published in the last two posts. Rainbows, expanding on my understanding, do not and do exist at the same time. They are not three dimensional, you cannot touch one, and are not concrete, plus no rainbow is the same for you as it is for me, I said. Water droplets prismatically reflect back to the viewer photons of varying wavelengths so we see ROYGBIV in one order, and VIBGYOR in the second order of rainbow (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet). The sun must be directly behind us and the rainbow appears directly in front of us; therefore my head being in a different place from yours, we cannot see the same rainbow, even though we can share it, making believe we are seeing the same one.

I went on to say the metaphor hit me when I was reading The Sun’s Heartbeat (Bob Berman, Little, Brown, 2011) and Berman described rainbows. The rainbow exists in spacetime, yet photons exist in quantum reality. We are connected on the quantum level in more than one way, something I find pleasing and satisfying (see earlier posts in But, while I may be in the same light cone you are in and we converse within that context, or continuum, we cannot be experiencing things in the same way. I think we carry around our own frame, look at things from a slightly different place, in a different spacetime from each other—everything being relative. That I can talk to you depends more than upon sound waves and syntactical structures within our forebrains, Wernicke’s area and Broca’s area. My heretical and unproven hypothesis suggests quantum entanglement accounts for some of our ability to understand one another—again something I develop more fully elsewhere (MIND AND MATTER, MIND AND LOGIC, MIND AND ACAUSAL MEANINGFUL “COINCIDENCE”: IS MIND A QUANTUM PERCEPTION OF A BRAIN SITUATED IN SPACETIME?).

I was starting to reach a wall so I thought it might help if I brought in another wackadoodle idea of mine, that quantum superposition helps artists make artistic decisions faster than thought. Given that we share a light cone—an area of spacetime that is defined as the distance between two objects that light can travel within, and are entangled—an indefinable distance in which subatomic particles that are entangled interact instantly, whether within or without the light cone, and given the concept of quantum superposition in which multiple possible events may occur but have not, e.g., Schrödinger’s cat, I can show how I as a musician can play the next note using a decision process that moves faster than thought. This counts as a big idea.

Any artist faces choices. Poets must choose the next word, artists the next brush stroke, sculptors the next chisel point, musicians the next note, composers the next notes, dancers the next move, and so forth. Not done in a vacuum, preceding notes—for the musician, to stay within a medium with which I am most comfortable but which translates into other mediums and art forms—do not causally predict notes that follow. Yes, there are parameters; there is a structure of a tune, a history of how notes have been used within tonal structures, a history of what other musicians played on those tunes, and even histories of what the musicians you are playing with now have done with you. At any point while improvising, I get to play a range of notes. Think of all of them in potentia, potential notes that are in a state of quantum superposition. The notes up till now allow more than one note of differential duration and power to be played, or as I prefer to think, for the wave to collapse. Collapsing waves are mathematical metaphors which are useful and descriptive. If the music is a wave, then the wave collapses on further notes by all the musicians in the context of where the wave comes from, its propulsivity, direction, depth and energy.

I choose a note. The wave collapses. An entire universe comes into being. An infinity of universes opens up of notes in superposition. It is as if the notes just happen. I cannot think that fast. If I stop to think I become paralyzed—it just has to happen. You’ve got to learn to let it go. Faster than thought, it is.

A brief example may be found in my Youtube video on an earlier post in this blog (Stein/Moss “Riverside After Dark”).

Daniella got it. Billy caught it. Judy was it. That is what it is like when we are in the zone. The highest levels of creativity occur in that zone of faster than thought, superluminal, entangled connectivity. We are individuals connected in, entangled in an elliptically called creative process.

For myself I feel like I am surfing a wave. The wave is complex and alive—can I shape my way through it by becoming the wave and simultaneously finding my individual arc through it, around it, till I come back to shore (the shores of consciousness)? That would be living the quantum life.

Wonderful storyteller Regina Ress and I collaborated on her CD,  New York and Me, to be released in the very near future, i.e., before our engagement at the Provincetown Playhouse on MacDougal St. in Greenwich Village on February 15, 2013.  Regina recorded her New York City stories for seven years at WFUV, the Fordham University public radio station.  When she decided she had enough material, she called me up to musically support the project.  I provide musical interludes between stories that elucidate the inner workings of a New York state of mind.  I’ll let you know when it comes out!

Billy Stein on guitar and I on Bb clarinet performed Billy’s piece, “Riverside After Dark” at the Westbeth MusicWorks First Fridays Concert Series on August 3, 2012.

Look to the shadow

for it is the black hole spurting white spirit.

Both evil and good—

black hole and white jets—


Triangles of blackwhite spacetime

transform and are transformed

when other blackwhite holes play with them,

a dance of spacetime and collapsing waves.

Waves become fields.

Where waves collapse fields emerge.

Fields are the beach upon which waves crash,

creating notes.

Notes shape emergent thoughts

wave upon wave

breaking on the shore of consciousness.

Entropy is how.

Low entropy is simplicity itself

and high entropy is chaos.

Out of chaos emerges a note

and the note condenses around a field of notes

that play and interact along arrows of time—

reversing or following temporal development

in pre- or post-time in the moment.

Thanks for entering my alternate universe.  May it be transformative, entertaining, and stimulating.

Imagine words and soundfiles that are creative, visual, and help people to live better and more fulfilled lives.  Words to sketch out ideas about creativity, physics, dance, music, literary arts, stress reduction, and quantum thinking—think optionally.  Philosophy and story telling, theory and practice, from the primitive to the abstract. My universe is filled with meaning and hope.

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