Here are some notes on the instruments used on the Acceptance Cd's........
(all tunings Low to High)
1. Wellington Awakening (5:27) Paddy Burgin Weissenborn C G C G A C
This is the first song I wrote when I received this guitar from Paddy Burgin of Wellington New Zealand. I can't
say enough about how great these instruments sound, and I don't even have the language to
express my gratitude on being able to own one.......in some ways, this guitar is responsible for "Acceptance"
slowly evolving from one Cd in to two, because as I continued to play this guitar I found myself
writing more and more............and as mentioned below on the doubleneck piece, it sort of took on
a life of its own, and made me think about the possibility of someday recording a whole album of just
pieces composed on these beautiful guitars........
2. White Lily (5:02) 1929 National Tricone squareneck, tuned: D,G,D,E,A,C#.....In many ways, this was the piece
that started this project.........it was written for our cat Lily, the love of our life..........words can't explain what this precious little being
of love and light meant to us..........she is irreplaceable.....
At the end of 2009, she got very sick and had to be hospitalized........around that same time, guitarist Jack Rose passed away at the
age of 38.......it was a tough time......I wrote this piece to try and express the feelings I have about Lily........who taught me so many
many things in this world.........it was the first time I really experienced and began to understand what unconditional love is.....
Fortunately for us, Lily was with us for three more years. When I completed this project, and scheduled the Cd Release show at
Passim on Jan. 19th of 2013, it was also an intense time..........more than I can put in to words.........this project was
really really hard to complete........and I felt such a huge sense of relief to finally get ready to send it off in to the world.....
and just before I did, Lily Passed away on Jan. 12th 2013........we will always love her forever........she is love.
tell people you love them, always........
3. Topsy Nervy (5:23) Taylor 12 string with raised nut, played lap style tuned: D,A,D,E,A,C
This is one of the first pieces that was recorded for this project, at the very beginning of 2010. I was working with different tunings
on the 12 string, some of which I had stolen from Glenn Jones...........and also listening to Glenn's fine album "Barbecue Bob in Fishtown",
and actually 'singing' with part of this, although I will not reveal what the 'lyrics' were, they definitely made me laugh......and this was essentially a
one take improvisation in this tuning, after working with it for 15 or 20 minutes, this came out and I hit record.......
4. Mevlevi Meditation (3:40) this is my older Arabic Oud, tuned D,G,A, D,G,C, and the maqaam is Saba Zamzamah,
which needless to say, I was trying to learn because of it's name. This is a first take improvisation,
recorded about a year and a half in to my Oud studies.............I tried to record it again, but I could not recapture the feel
that this one had, which is an important reminder in these days of digital recording and millions of takes.......
5. The Doubleneck (4:59) This was played on the Paddy Burgin Double neck Weissenborn guitar,
both of the necks in C minor but spelled differently.........the closest neck to me was tuned C,G,C,Eb,G,C-which is a
"normal" D minor tuning a whole step lower......and the other neck, farther away, was tuned B,F#,B,F#,B,D with the capo on the first
fret, which also makes it a C minor tuning, but with the minor third on the first string, instead of the 3rd string on the other neck.
This is an incredible instrument, there are only two of them on earth, the other one owned by Mr. Henry Kaiser. I have one
of the necks strung with really HEAVY John Pearse strings, so the 6th string is a .060W......
Tuning both necks to the same chord might seem counterintuitive to some, but what I found was that when playing one neck, there was a
certain amount of vibration in the body and or sympathetic overtones from the other neck, and I wanted to use
that to my advantage. The sustain on this guitar is amazing, in some ways it feels more like a piano.........someday I hope
to do a series of pieces on this guitar, or perhaps one longer piece written specifically for the two necks.....I can't express
my gratitude enough to Paddy Burgin for building this, his instruments are incredible.
6. Death To All Pianos (4:38) Paddy Burgin Weissenborn B,F#,B,F#,B,D....open C minor with flat third on top....this
piece was written specifically to use maqaam Husseini(Husayni or Huseyni) which is usually played in D...and would contain the notes:
D, E half flat, F, G, A, B half flat, C and D............so I am playing this maqaam down a step and a half in B. I've been working on the Middle Eastern/Arabic/Turkish maqaamat since
around 2001, and until fairly recently, I've shied away from using any of the half sharps or flats, but learning to play the Saz has really helped me
to hear them better.........so this piece contains a D half flat and an A half flat.........does your head hurt yet? In the 'good old days', music theory as written by the ancient Greeks
followed a system called: JUST INTONATION, which used different intervals than the ones we use today........these intervals came from very precise mathematical formulas and ratios, which many believe are much more 'accurate' or line up more with the 'laws' of physics than the so called 'modern' intervals and tuning that we use in the West today which is called 'equal temperment'. Equal temperment was developed in Europe in 1846 to keep pianos and organs in tune...........the music of that time in Europe began to be written in equal temperment and the western world has followed that ever since. Prior to 1846, music was written in JUST INTONATION, which uses these precise ratios and intervals..........many cultures know about this and have used it for thousands of years........there is SO MUCH great GREAT music out there to hear.......in the Middle East, India, Africa, Turkey, Armenia, Mongolia,.....
the list goes on and on........there's a lot of great information about this here: http://www.maqamworld.com/index.html ...and I have also found Cameron Powers' books to be
a great help, along with Murat Aydemir's Turkish Makam Guide...........
7. Bleeding, He Chased The Enemy 9 Miles (3:41) Sears Silvertone guitar with raised nut, tuned B,F#,B,E,B,CE. I bought this guitar
at a yard sale for sixty dollars, and got robbed, because it probably wasn't worth half that.........but having said that, once I changed out the nut
and raised the strings up, it has it's own special sound...........this piece and track 7 on Disc Two were sections of a much longer improvisation,
probably about twenty minutes long.
8. Patience, Persistence, Acceptance I (4:45) This is one of two harmonium pieces written for this project, in maqaam Saba Zamzama in D.....
with a little harmonica thrown in......the harmonica is a Db diatonic which is being played in to a coffee cup(ceramic), which is a technique that was used in the good old
days of harmonica, in the 1920's and 30's, inspired by trumpet players using mutes on the end of their horns......I worked on this scale on the harmonica for a long time
in the car, driving back and forth, up and down.......there is also some dobro on this, played with an ebow.
9. Kianchi Afternoon (3:24) Mohan Veena, tuned to open D major. There are really only three 'main' strings on this instrument,
which I tuned D,A,D........the other sympathetics on top were tuned from low to high: D, D, F#, A, D, and that first D is very similar to the
fifth string on a banjo, it's very short and tuned an octave higher, so you get that octave drone if you play it with your thumb.
The remaining sympathetics underneath are usually tuned to whatever raga you are playing, so in this case, they are tuned to the notes
of the D major scale. This was the first piece I wrote on the Mohan Veena, a few days after I got it from Lars Jacobsen of
Rain City Music in Seattle Washington. http://www.raincitymusic.com
10. Healing (4:26) Faruk Turunz Arabic Oud tuned : D,G,A,D,G,C. Maqaam Kurd, Bayati, Husseini. This is the first piece I wrote
where I started to be able to hear the half sharps and half flats as 'in tune'......... at the risk of hurting anyone's brain, there are many
cultures around the world that use what is called 'just intonation' in tuning their instruments........which is another way of saying they
divide their octave up in to more that 12 parts, which is what we do in the Western/European world.......these intervals work out
mathematically in a much more rational and logical way..........another way of saying this is that they 'vibrate' differently, more harmoniously
and 'in tune' with our true selves............I used to think this was somewhat far out, until recently, when studying the Oud and going through
some major grieving, I found that one of the only things I could do that would give me any real comfort or peace of mind was to play the Oud,
and that there was some healing happening to me, from playing these maqamat.................
11. Surviving The Intolerable (4:13) this is my older fake Weissenborn, made by "Superior" guitars in Mexico....This guitar
served me well for a decade....open C minor, a whole step low, Bb, F, Bb, F, Bb, Db. This one is not for the faint of heart......I've had this experience
a few times over the years, where I'll write a song, and it won't be immediately apparent what it's about, until sometimes weeks, months or even years later,
and then I will think "oh, NOW I get it...." and I'll have a much clearer picture of what was going on......This was an early piece in this project, probably
at the end of 2009 or early 2010......I was working on moving bass lines that were not alternating, and came upon this idea....as I was playing it, I noticed that
I would feel a deep sadness............to the point when sometimes I couldnt make it thru the piece without crying. One day at a time, I realized that this
piece had some of the pain in it that I've experienced in my life from being sexually abused as a child at the hands of a catholic priest when I was an altar boy
between the ages of 9 and 14. I write this to shine a light on it, not so that you will remember that horror as you listen to it, but just so that if you do
happen to read this, and you listen to this music, then you know someone personally who is a survivor of the abuse that these predatory monsters are still
carrying on to this day. It is my prayer that this will help someone in some way, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, so that they don't have to suffer
as I have, and so many others like me.
12 Taj Mahal (4:56) This is an improvisation on the Cumbus, a Turkish instrument that is sort of like a combination of an Oud
and a Banjo..........it's fretless neck is somewhat longer than an Oud, but the string pairings are the same, 11 strings, tuned in unison
1. Wellington Awakening II (5:27) Paddy Burgin Style II Weissenborn, tuned: B,F#,B,F#,B,D#
(open C, half step low) this guitar is also strung with the John Pearse heavy guage string set...
2. Nigel's Baby Blues (4:15) The old 'wooden Dobro'. I bought this Gibson Dobro at the very end of 1998, as a holiday present for myself.
In many ways, it was the first really 'nice' instrument I owned, and my first 'real' Dobro. Many 'experts' feel that Gibson ruined the Dobro brand
by making instruments that are not so hot............but I respectfully disagree...............or maybe I just got lucky. I loved this guitar the day I heard it
and haven't looked back. Open G minor G,Bb,D,G,Bb,D. This piece was written for some my friend Nigel Heaton, who is about to turn two years old.
In addition to having incredible eyes, he also is the proud owner of some special parents, Irish duo Matt and Shannon Heaton. Thank you Heatons.
3. Sengekontacket Sunset (4:58) This is one of the three pieces recorded on the Taylor 12 string, with the raised nut, the same guitar used on
"Topsy Nervy" and "Greyhound's Lunchbreak"......tuned C,G,C,F, A, C. This was another early piece in this project, written while thinking about my favorite place on
earth, Martha's Vineyard.....I am so grateful for this island, which has helped me so much over the years.......
4. The Waiting (5:46) This is a Turkish Oud made by Viken Najarian, tuned E,A,B,E,A,D. This piece was written on Martha's Vineyard in Oct. of 2010,
as I was waiting for a number of different things to happen........heavy stuff............mainly maqaam Kurd, modulating to Nahawand.....
5. Sunrise At Varanasi Ghats (6:23) Mohan Veena, tuned to D minor, DAD on the main strings, higher sympathetics tuned D,D,F,A,D
this is mostly Maqaam Kurd, with some Bayaati modulations snuck in.........in all honesty, there are two other tracks on here, a little bit of electric
Tanpura, and also a Swarsangam, which is providing a Tanpura like drone......I used to feel somewhat fraudulent or maybe just too 'western' when using the electric
Tanpura box, but then I read Debashish Bhattacharya's stage rider and found out he uses one regularly.
6. Flamingo Monument (3:54) The 'wooden Dobro' again, open G(standard) GBDGBD. Another piece that was written on Martha's Vineyard,
and finished here in Concord........
7. The Enemy Ran Ten Miles (3:55) Sears Silvertone guitar with raised nut, tuned B,F#,B,E,B,CE
see track 7 disc one.
8. Patience, Persistence, Acceptance II (4:56) This is the second of the two harmonium pieces, this one in Nahawand in C........
with both Oud and Harmonica, the Oud is the Faruk Turunz..........tuned Arabic D,G,A,D,G,C and the harmonica is a Bb diatonic in third position. The
background drone in this differs slightly from the first version on disc one in that it includes both the harmonium and the digital tanpura.....some of the harmonica
on this is played in to the coffee cup, and some is not......
9. Greyhound's Lunchbreak (2:11) Taylor 12 string tuned C,G,C,F, A,C....same tuning as Sengekontacket Sunset...inspired
by the best dog in the universe, Henry Wilson Thayer........who, like most greys, LOVES to RUN......and LOVES to SLEEP even more....
in between his sleeping practice, Henry has two walks each day, and two running sessions in the back yard......these usually consist of him
running as fast as he can for about the length of this song, and me pretending to "chase" him (keep in mind he's going 30 plus mph)
and then him going straight to the back door and telling me "I'm done"........Greyhounds also equal LOVE.
10. Surrender (5:09) This piece was one of the first recordings I did on the Oud, about a year and a half after I started playing........
played on an anonymous Arabic Oud, which was the first Oud I purchased in May of 2009.........I later sold this instrument, but I am impressed
with how good it sounds for what it was............and for the short amount of time I'd been playing it. This piece is an improvisation or Taqsim in Maqaam
Hijaz, and it modulates briefly to Rast at the end.......a happy accident, as Bob Ross would say.........Arabic tuning D,G,A,D,G,C
11. Give Time Time (3:59) This was another early piece written for this project, on my older Superior Weissenborn guitar, aka the fake weissenborn,
which served me well for more than a decade......before I was able to get my hands on one of Paddy Burgin's instruments..........Open C tuning, a whole step low,
12. Sufi Sunrise (4:33) Improvisation on the Cura Saz. There are several different size Sazzes......this is the smallest, Cura meaning 'woman' in Turkish....
sorry, I didn't invent that reference.........the Saz can be tuned many different ways, but the tuning I have been studying is A,G,D, with the lowest note in the middle,
which makes for some really interesting mind bending moments when you are trying to play it......