18/8/06 cool and collected

10:30 and Big Brother is juddering to a close downstairs. I was beginning to think it would be nice to speak to my wife and daughter again, but I hear X Factor begins next week. Oh well …

Feel quite open and centred – not only have I been practising WaveForms quite intensely, but today was one of the four days a year when Tricycle magazine slaps through the letterbox.  It represents the breadth and borderlines of Buddhism, particularly American Buddhism, and there’s always something worthwhile and inspiring in it somewhere. I tend to have a fixed pattern though, when I open a new one, always going to the letter pages to find out who was outraged by an article in the last quarter’s issue, then skimming the book and CD reviews before picking on one of the longer articles. The mag has its critics – I’ve read people questioning why it never carries anything critical of the contoversial Trungpa Rinpoche, for example.  And it’s begun to respond to calls to pay more attention to ethnic forms of Buddhism in the immigrant communities, and to less middle-class intellectual schools like Pure Land and Nichiren Soshu.  For a while there was a British equivalent, Dharma Life, itself an excellent magazine, but it succumbed to impermanence a few years ago.

I now have five ‘pieces’ for the St John’s Church gig on Tuesday. They’re five short sets of instructions to me, rather than music or chords. They tell me what voices to use, what delays to use and when to loop. Sometimes they tell me keys to play in. Each piece will be 7-10 minutes. I’m also doing a cover version to finish off – NOT Fripp and Eno but if you want to know you’ll have to come along. I hope there’s enough candlelight to read my instructions by!

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