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Tips for Musicians

My first love, as well as my first career, is music—and in particular the cello. My second love, as well as my main career, has been exploring music, discovering new ways of sensing music and thinking about it, and sharing my discoveries with other musicians, whom I train, coach, and otherwise interfere with. My books for musicians include Indirect Procedures and Integrated Practice.

  1. Stop the fight!
  2. Lessons from the balloon: The Voice
  3. New lessons from the balloon: The Upper Body
  4. Lessons from the balloon's baby brother: Readiness
  5. Oh reader, you're so talented!
  6. Oh reader, your talent requires TLC!
  7. If you can't do something... teach it!
  8. The Oppositional Principle in Music, Part 1: Louis Armstrong
  9. The Oppositional Principle in Music, Part 2: Coro de Iddanoa Monteleone
  10. The Oppositional Principle in Music, Part 3: Dizzie and the Bird
  11. The Oppositional Principle in Music, Part 4: Young & Old
  12. The Oppositional Principle in Music, Part 5: Ivry Gitlis, Devilish Violinist
  13. A musician's health and wellbeing
  14. The Oppositional Principle in Music, Part 6: Samer Totah and Kenneth Snelson, Masters of Balance
  15. The Oppositional Principle in Music, Part 7: Masters & God(s)
  16. A model of happiness and joy
  17. Music hath charms . . .
  18. One of the best musicians, ever!
  19. A master communicator (and what a shirt!)
  20. Reality & Illusion, part 1: J. S. Bach at McDonald's
  21. Reality & Illusion, part 2: Bach's Invisible Cello
  22. Reality & Illusion, part 3: A Cellist, a Pianist, and a Composer Enter a Bar
  23. Reality & Illusion, part 4: Bach, Dead and Reborn
  24. Reality & Illusion, part 5: In the Sandbox

Tips for Writers

I’ve been writing seriously since 1990, and over the years I’ve accumulated a body of work that includes fiction, non-fiction, articles, and essays. Here I share my ideas about the writerly process: creativity, structure, improvisation, work habits, and all the elements that together generate a writer’s Rhythm & Flow.

  1. Rich is better than poor
  2. Write a story every day, part 1: The Task
  3. Write a story every day, part 2: The Trick
  4. Write a story every day, part 3: The Threat
  5. Write a story every day, part 4: The Trance
  6. Write a story every day, part 5: Helpful Books
  7. Oh reader, you're so talented!
  8. Oh reader, your talent requires TLC!
  9. Write a story every day, part 6: Motivation
  10. Write a story every day, part 7: Triggers revisited
  11. Ten challenges, one reaction: Do Nothing!
  12. The Mask, part 1: You are many
  13. The Mask, part 2: Do NOT put on that shirt!
  14. The Mask, part 3: Put on those glasses!
  15. The Mask, part 4: Wear your characters' skins
  16. Write a story every day, part 8: What is a story?
  17. Write a story every day, part 9: The Benefits
  18. Write a story every day, part 10: Exercises in Style
  19. Write a story every day, part 11: The Set-up
  20. My kingdom for a couple more hours!

A Skill for Life

Coordination, perception, habits of thought and speech, posture and movement, identity, intention, reaction, gesture: these are the mainstays of the Alexander Technique, which I started studying as a college student in 1978 and teaching in 1986. Here I tell anecdotes about who we are, who we think we are, who we feel we are, and who we might become if we started paying attention. Curious for more? Order my book The Alexander Technique: A Skill for Life.

  1. Make a fool of yourself
  2. You're wrong about me (but I'm right about you), part 1: Assumptions
  3. You're wrong about me (but I'm right about you), part 2: Words
  4. You're wrong about me (but I'm right about you), part 3: Convictions
  5. You're wrong about me (but I'm right about you), part 4: Perceptions
  6. You're wrong about me (but I'm right about you), part 5: Seven Pointers
  7. You're wrong about me (but I'm right about you), part 6: Ah, the French! (Ah, the Brits!)
  8. You're wrong about me (but I'm right about you), part 7: Moods
  9. You're wrong about me (but I'm right about you), part 8: Judgments
  10. Oh reader, you're so talented!
  11. Oh reader, your talent requires TLC!
  12. You have no manners (and neither have I), part 1: Are you CRAZY?
  13. You have no manners (and neither have I), part 2: Turn the other cheek
  14. You have no manners (and neither have I), part 3: Watch your mouth
  15. You have no manners (and neither have I), part 4: A Brazilian picks a fight with an Englishwoman in France
  16. You have no manners (and neither have I), part 5: Mangia, mangia!
  17. You have no manners (and neither have I), part 6: Seven Pointers
  18. Working on yourself, part 1: Call your mother!
  19. Working on yourself, part 2: In the bodega of life
  20. Working on yourself, part 3: The team
  21. Working on yourself, part 4: The one-man band
  22. The Mask, part 1: You are many
  23. The Mask, part 2: Do NOT put on that shirt!
  24. The Mask, part 3: Put on those glasses!
  25. The Mask, part 4: Wear your characters' skins
  26. My kingdom for a couple more hours!

Book Recommendations

A book becomes good or bad, pertinent or boring, constructive or not depending on how you read it. In fact, no two readers will ever read the same book in the same way. For that reason, recommending books we love for others to read may be tricky. What if you hate the books I live by? What if you resent me for making you read a lousy book? Well, you can always post a comment on my blog offering counter-recommendations. And don't forget nobody made you do anything in the first place!

  1. Universal Principles
  2. Write a story every day, part 5: Helpful books

The Naked Beginner

For decades I was one of those people who couldn’t draw to save his life. I didn’t draw because I couldn’t, and I couldn’t because I didn’t! One day I finally broke free of this vicious circle, and in this blog I share my learning experiences as a beginner artist.

  1. Birth and Death of a Stick Artist
  2. Extra! Extra! Stick Artist Becomes Grafitti Artist!
  3. Extra! Extra! Grafitti Artist Goes Insane!
  4. Extra! Extra! Insane Artist Finds a Teacher!
  5. What you learn is not what you expect to learn
  6. Oh reader, you're so talented!
  7. Oh reader, your talent requires TLC!
  8. The Naked Beginner Returns
  9. Big little kid lost in the museum
  10. Fear is a choice you make
  11. Who's worrying about you anyway?
  12. A splash of red can kill you
  13. Faces and hearts
  14. The taboos within
  15. Matisse tries to resist the Naked Beginner
  16. The Naked Beginner bids momentary adieu

Paris Photojournal

Paris must be one of the most photogenic cities in the world, as well as one of the most photographed. Its beauty is infinite, renewing itself every day, all day long. In this purely visual blog I share my love of the city, bring you some familiar images you’ve come to cherish, and show you something new and different from the infinite city.

  1. Paris Photojournal I: The Promenade Plantée along the Viaduc des Arts
  2. Paris Photojournal II: Rue Emile Zola, Montreuil
  3. Paris Photojournal III: The Writing on the Wall
  4. Paris Photojournal IV: The Jardin des Plantes in Winter
  5. Paris Photojournal V: Portals
  6. Paris Photojournal VI: Winterscape
  7. Paris Photojournal VII: City Skies
  8. Paris Photojournal VIII: Fantasmagoria at the Grand Palais
  9. Paris Photojournal IX: Evening in the Urban Utopia
  10. Paris Photojournal X: The Musée Guimet, part 1: Heads
  11. Paris Photojournal XI: The Musée Guimet, part 2: Buddha on Acid
  12. Paris Photojournal XII: The Musée Guimet, part 3: Buddha's Home
  13. Paris Photojournal XIII: Anish Kapoor at the Grand Palais
  14. Paris Photojournal XIV: Winter Skies

New York Photojournal

New York City is my second home, and I never tire of exploring it. In this blog I propose to show you how my eyes and my imagination see New York.

  1. New York Photojournal I: The Noguchi Museum
  2. New York Photojournal II: The Bronx Botanical Garden
  3. New York Photojournal III: Henry Moore at the Bronx Botanical Garden
  4. New York Photojournal IV: Monuments
  5. New York Photojournal V: Wildlife
  6. New York Photojournal VI: The Noguchi Museum, Revisited

Elsewhere Photojournal

An occasional visual travelogue from France and other locations.

  1. Elsewhere Photojournal I: The Beaucaire Cat Show
  2. Elsewhere Photojournal II: Nature's Art
  3. Elsewhere Photojournal III: The Ardèche
  4. Elsewhere Photojournal IV: The Trees of the Gard near Provence
  5. Elsewhere Photojournal V: In the Camargue
  6. Elsewhere Photojournal VI: The Church at Aigues Mortes, Camargue
  7. Elsewhere Photojournal VII: The Church at Saintes Maries de la Mer, Camargue
  8. Elsewhere Photojournal VIII: The Denver Art Museum
  9. Elsewhere Photojounral IX: The Beach in São Vicente, Brazil
  10. Elsewhere Photojournal X: Tropical Winter
  11. Elsewhere Photojournal XI: In Downtown São Paulo, Brazil
  12. Elsewhere Photojournal XII: Self-portraits
  13. Elsewhere Photojournal XIII: Have you seen this guy?
  14. Elsewhere Photojournal XIV: Reno, Nevada
  15. Elsewhere Photojournal XV: San Francisco Sunset
  16. Elsewhere Photojournal XVI: Hometown Concert, São Paulo, 12 August 2012
  17. Elsewhere Photojournal XVII: In the Mediterranean
  18. Elsewhere Photojournal XVIII: South Korea, March 2013

The Videoblog

An occasional video clip, shot by yours truly. The clips are hosted at YouTube.

  1. Videoblog I: Adele, the Didjeridoo Master
  2. Videoblog II: Backtracked: The Movie! (well, almost)
  3. Videoblog III: Pau Brasil (an Improvisational Composition)
  4. Videoblog IV: Berceuse
  5. Videoblog V: Reprieve
  6. Videoblog VI: He Walks With Me
  7. Videoblog VII: Perdido
  8. Videoblog VIII: Spinning Song
  9. Videoblog IX: The Whistler
  10. Videoblog X: Looming
  11. Videoblog XI: Ma Yeh
  12. Videoblog XII: Sweetheart
  13. Videoblog XIII: In My Brother's House
  14. Videoblog XIV: Shadows
  15. Videoblog XV: Shortest Song
  16. Videoblog XVI: The Sun Will Rise Again (Song of Japan)
  17. Videoblog XVII: Caged Ghost
  18. Videoblog XVIII: Two Minutes in Paris
  19. Videoblog XIX: The Arrival of Spring (Homage to David Hockney)
  20. Videoblog XX: The Other Side
  21. Videoblog XXI: Benda Bilili: Pure Joy
  22. Videoblog XXII: Passenger
  23. Videoblog XXIII: Mano a Mano
  24. Videoblog XXIV: 'round-the-round
  25. Videoblog XXV: The Lord Buddha Entertains Himself
  26. Videoblog XXVI: Indirect Procedures!
  27. Videoblog XXVII: unmaking
  28. Videoblog XXVIII: Letting Go