Off to Riga – thoughts forward
by on August 28, 2008 in Recent Activity

Well, the tickets to Latvia came through, and I hope to be boarding a Polish aircraft in San Francisco CA (USA) early Friday morning for an (Uggh) 18 hour flight to the Baltic. I arrive Saturday around noon (counting the 10 hour time shift), where I hope my luggage shows up with me, and I plan to borrow a portion of an MOTM modular system from Girts Radzins, a fellow Synthesis Technology customer kind enough to offer me access to his modules for this performance. Thank you, Girts! I have been practicing a 2-hour set that includes some new material and a fair amount of improvisation (how does one practice that?) With hopes that I can sleep a bit on the flight (unlikely), I’ll recover a bit on Sunday and fly home early Monday morning. After hearing so much good stuff about Riga, I know I’ll regret not spending more time there.

The day after I get back I teach the second audio mastering class for students at Cogswell College. The first class this week felt good, and I’m excited about sharing my enthusiasm for good sounding audio. Can we bring the love back to “Audio-phile”? I hope so.

11 days after that, I fly to Wisconsin for another performance that I really look forward to. Wisconsin’s Earthdance takes place in Black River Falls, and I’m hoping to rip a marathon there if the mood strikes. With the improvisational mindset that has taken hold for me this year, I rely on the energy of listers to guide me forward. I know that my sounds can seem slow at times to those that aren’t on the same page, so I tend to adjust according to vibe. Sometimes my sets get heavy and intense, sometimes bright and shiny, or mellow and gentle. I try my best to read the energy. If the vibe hits, magic can happen. I keep hoping for this.

At some point after that I hope, some of this performance preparation will start to inform the new album I have brewing in my head. Oh, and speaking of new albums, as soon as I settle in I think “Zerkalo” will arrive from St. Petersburg, Russia, alas only 300 copies, so we’ll be taking orders and wrapping packages for a week or so.

A question for readers: If I offered for pay-download a bunch of old live concerts in their entirety (edited and mastered by me, in the case of gaffs I can’t stand to listen to…) would you be interested in them? I have some archives I am pondering for digital-only release. These are all live concerts, dating back to a radio concert in Paris in 1989. Some are more recent. Most of them feature unreleased music. Comments?

Much love – Robert

27 Responses to Off to Riga – thoughts forward

  1. Mike says:

    I would buy the old concerts. Definitely.

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  3. Simon Stopher says:

    Robert – I’d certainly be very interested too.

    Hope you have fun in Riga and good luck with the Wisconsin performance too. I’m just sorry that I cannot be at either (sigh).


  4. Ed says:

    Hi Robert – I’d also be interested in any digital video downloads (or DVDs for that matter – although I understand the appeal of low-overhead downloading).


  5. Tyler Polzin says:

    “With hopes that I can sleep a bit on the flight (unlikely)”

    Why don’t you put on some isolating headphones and a bit of Somnium? 😉

    As for making old bootlegs officially available, I’d be VERY interested. Especially in the older stuff. Whatever the price, I’ll take them.

  6. Brian Romer says:

    I would absolutely be interested in old live concerts in their entirety. The more the merrier!

  7. Jesus M Fedz-Gallardo says:

    I would also be interested.

    Luck with the concerts!.


  8. Don says:

    I would buy any and all downloads you offer without question.

    Looking forward to it.

  9. Sergio says:

    As i told you on one of my latest emails, i think it’s a brilliant idea to release those concerts, really excited about that, one question, what kind of format are you thinking about (taking for granted that lossy formats, mp3 like, are out of the question…) Flac, wav (44.1 khz 16 bit) or will you go for 48 Khz 24 bit??, whatever you decide i think there are lots of people waiting for this live material. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us.

  10. Bryan says:

    I would definitely purchase the old concerts without hesitation. The ones on CD are some of my favorite albums, so I am really looking forward to this if you decide to do it. Good luck with the upcoming concerts!

  11. Karl Ryan says:

    I’m a tech-dinosaur Rob. I do shy away from live downloads. I buy your concert cd’s out of loyalty. But calling down the sky is the one I listen to the most. I love the studio stuff as you know…but I’ve always been a studio performer and buyer. I only own 8 live albums in my entire 1000 cd and over collection. of which are yours. So if they get released on cd I’ll buy it..but no download or mp3’s for this fan. Dinosaur roar.

  12. Gernot says:

    Dear Robert,
    I am so sad not having been in Riga to your live concert!!! You are one of the last artists which I have to see some day, no matter what. Riga is not far away from central germany (where I live), but I couldn´t make it, because I just traveled the baltic sea for 5 months and I came home yesterday, unable to do anything else then sleep.

    I hope that you will come back to europe in the near future, else I will come to america.

    Thank you for the music, it touches my heart every time!


  13. Joe says:

    I’d like the live stuff too, including the one in Russia, or even part of the production class.

  14. G’day Robert: A great idea!! I would also download and purchase these performances without question.

    THANK YOU for your great music!!

    p.s. I hope that your performance in Riga went well.

  15. admin says:

    Sleepless at 3:30 AM here, Monday morning at the Plaine Hotel in Riga Latvia. Jetlag set in tonight, understandable since I’ve only been here for about 36 hours. Latvia’s time zone is 10 hours away from California. The taxi should come to pick me up in about 30 minutes, so there’s no point in trying to sleep anymore.

    The concert Saturday night went well aside from cold rain. The locals say it’s typical Riga weather, so they came out for the outdoor concert anyway. There was some attrition by the time I started at 1 AM, but the dedicated fans stayed on, and I got to meet several people whose names I recognized after the show. During the last half-hour, the rain kicked in heavy so I invited everyone up on stage under the tent canopy. I should have done this at the very start, because the energy suddenly became much more intimate and warm, and I enjoyed myself more than when I had to look out into the dark rain of the Opera Plaza. After my set, we weren’t able to project Atlas Dei as planned, because the Opera House manager had earlier refused to turn off the flood lights that illuminate the front of the building. The lights would have totally washed out the projection. But to be honest, by 3 AM I think everyone was ready to head home. I certainly felt completed.

    I would like to publicly thank the Klusa Daba organization, and especially Marina Tuidina and her husband for the warm hospitality shared with me this weekend. Also I feel deep gratitude to Girts Radzins for loaning me some of his Riga-based MOTM synth modules to augment the performance. I used them primarily for blorch injection and some arpeggio riffles. I like to have some real knobs to turn when possible.

    Time to go, I need to make sure I got all my stuff packed up for the long trip home. – RR

  16. Robert Krzyzanowski says:

    Hi, Robert,

    It’s a great idea to put on sale your unpublished concerts. I already have three of them in MP3 format, don’t ask from where, but I would gladly buy more.
    Riga is nor far from here, Poland, but I got the news too late to be able to change my agenda and go there. What a pity. Come to Warsaw, you’ll also get a warm welcome (maybe without rain?).

    Your old fan,

  17. admin says:

    I actually had a 5 hour layover in Warsaw as I was heading home. Not exactly a great place to view the city or meet friends, but it did occur to me. All the best – RR

  18. Justin says:

    Hi Robert,
    Would definitely be interested in digital downloads of concerts, unreleased material, etc.
    Would be willing to pay as well 🙂


  19. Karl Ryan says:

    Glad you made it intact. Scanning the site daily for Zerlako. get some rest and do a good show next week. You da man.

  20. Steven says:

    Count me as interested in old concert recordings and other exclusive music!

  21. Dave Burns says:

    OMG! I can hardly see what I’m typing! Black text on gray background (in the message editor) is NOT working for me!

    Anyyway, I sent this via email, and then saw the blog. Maybe others will be interested too.

    Hello Robert, and welcome back from Russia!

    Two questions:

    1) Can I pre-order the coming Zerkalo CD?

    2) I just saw your name as a contributor to the new Alchemy softsynth from Camel Audio. Will this synth be a part of future recordings, or your new scaled-down live rig?

    Again, I just love your music. Illumination is my favorite. I am glad you continue creating it!

    Good health to you.


  22. admin says:

    Hey there – I’m writing from a hotel room in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, getting a few things done before I head over to the Earthdance event. There’s a slight drizzle outside, but I think it should clear up before the evening events. Hopefully the campers didn’t get too soaked last night.

    Answering Dave Burns’ recent comment, sorry about the black on gray. I have to talk with my friends at Via, now that we’ve been using the new site for a while, and request a few more tweaks to the color scheme. I don’t know where the levers are to make those system-wide adjustments.

    As for Zerkalo pre-orders, I haven’t had time to set that up since I’ve been preparing for these concerts. However, as soon as I get back we’ll put the new CD up on the order form and send out the formal announcement. I should have my 300 copies next week.

    Indeed I did some early sound design for Camel Alchemy, and I’m on the hook to make some of the presets now that it’s ready to ship. It’s an amazing soft synth and I definitely plan to use it in future projects. However, I confess I failed to get much done on preset design this month due to other commitments, so my sounds will hopefully end up in one of the refill packs if I can’t get them done this week.

    Warm regards – Robert

  23. Derek Deida says:

    After hearing your performance this past Saturday evening I’d be interested in purchasing copies of anything you’ve done. Including the performance I just heard 🙂

  24. Jeffz says:

    Incredible performance at Earthdance. I can’t get it out of my head and keeps getting better with the memory . I have never been exposed to your music before and it was such a pleasure. I was the guy who walked up thinking you were my friend and gave a little backrub 😀 Thanks for your knowledge during the green workshop too! I can tell you know a bit about that!

    I am going to find stuff of yours to order next payday, hopefully there is a dvd 🙂

  25. vēer says:

    Hey Robert, i wish i stayed there till the end, but i left at 1AM so no tent vibes for me :/ Be it in better weather and bit more secluded location the party would have ffff***in rocked :)! Either way, your music is great, havent heard much of yours, i see you have tons of music made so id like to ask, from which releases of yours you played in Riga, if you can recall at least some titles :)?

  26. Jeffz says:

    btw Robert, lots of reviews of your Earthdance performance at,3456.0.html .

    Thanks again! Namaste

  27. chris riley says:

    I think its a great idea to release concerts in digital only. I love live performance recordings and I think yours would be particularly good. Idiosyncrasies and all.

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