Category Archives: Music

Ride the Spiral and you may go where no one has been ! ! !

“A circle is the reflection of eternity. It has no beginning and it has no end – and if you put several circles over each other, then you get a spiral.”

-Maynard James Keenan


@ music is ART !!!

@ Maynard


After filming “The Doors” Val Kilmer had to go to therapy just to get out of character – Video

There are some actors that are prepared to sacrifice their bodies, their social life, and their relationships with friends and relatives just to make their performances more convincing. One of them is Val Kilmer. He took method acting to the extreme while preparing for the role of Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s The Doors.

He wanted to make his performance as authentic as possible when he was cast to play the role of Jim Morrison in the film The Doors. For a start, he decided to learn 50 of Morrison’s songs. Kilmer allegedly spent many hours in the studio listening to Doors songs and learning in depth Morrison’s approach to each song.


The Doors is a biographical film about the band with the same name and in its focus is the life of their lead singer, Jim Morrison. It depicts 1960s rock and roll and the hippie lifestyle. And, of course, the controversial life of Jim Morrison up to his death at the age of 27. Although the film itself received mixed reviews, Kilmer’s performance was praised as one of the best performances of the year. Val Kilmer was chosen to play the part of the larger-than-life rock star of the 1960s, while Meg Ryan was cast as his life partner, Pamela Courson.

Val Kilmer admits he’d never been a real Doors fan but he still wanted to get the role. He had a meeting with Oliver Stone and he managed to impress him. Oliver Stone thought that the actor had the right look for the role.

The Doors logo, designed by an Elektra Records assistant, first appeared on their 1967 debut album.
The Doors logo, designed by an Elektra Records assistant, first appeared on their 1967 debut album.

Prior to the audition, Val Kilmer spent thousands of dollars to produce his own video, shot in his rented Laurel Canyon home with professional assistance in order to get the role. Oliver Stone wasn’t impressed with the video, but the producer Paul Rothchild found the home video more intriguing and he convinced Oliver Stone that Val was the right person for the role.

Prior to production, Val Kilmer lived just like Jim Morrison for a year, dressing in his clothes and listening to his music. He even copied the way he walked and behaved. The actor also spent hundreds of hours interrogating Paul Rothchild, a producer for the iconic rock band and a consultant on the film. Eventually, he knew more about Jim than anybody in the film crew.

Val Kilmer. Photo Credit
Val Kilmer. Photo Credit

Val Kilmer was getting so obsessed with the role that, by the end of filming, he had everyone on set referring to him as “Jim,” all of the time.

When members of The Doors heard Kilmer singing their songs, they could not tell the difference between his voice and Morrison’s.

When he finished filming he had to go to therapy because it was hard for him to get out of the character. That is how far he went just to “get it right.”


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The story of Deep Purple’s – Smoke on the Water

Every person that has ever picked up a guitar is surely familiar with the famous Smoke on the Water riff composed by Ritchie Blackmore.

There is a reason why Deep Purple’s Machine Head is greatly praised throughout rock ‘n’ roll history.

Various amusing stories lie behind the making of this much-celebrated rock album.

 The famous album was recorded throughout December 1971 in Montreux, Switzerland, and was released in March 1972.

Within seven days of its release, the album skyrocketed to #1 on the British music charts, remaining at its well-deserved place for two weeks.

It is often regarded as a fundamental influence on the heavy metal genre and it is Deep Purple’s most successful album to date.

It was recorded in three weeks in The Pavillion theater, and a Swiss hotel lobby, with the help of a mobile recording unit.

The classic Deep Purple line up, 1971. From left to right: Jon Lord, Roger Glover, Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Paice.
The classic Deep Purple line-up, 1971. From left to right: Jon Lord, Roger Glover, Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Paice.

Machine Head was recorded in an old hotel at Montreux Casino in Switzerland in December 1971. Apparently, Claude Nobs, the owner of the complex, was a huge fan of Deep Purple.

Unfortunately for the recording process, Deep Purple’s main vocalist, Ian Gillan, contracted hepatitis at this time.

Vocalist Ian Gillan on stage in Clemson, South Carolina, US, 1972. Photo Credit
Vocalist Ian Gillan on stage in Clemson, South Carolina, US, 1972. Photo Credit

Despite the doctor’s strict recommendation to rest and take it easy, Gillan whole-heartedly soldiered on during the recording of the album.

The band already booked the Swiss hotel, as well as using a mobile recording studio for the album, the same one that had been used by the Rolling Stones.

Montreux Casino hotel as seen on Lake Léman. Photo Credit
Montreux Casino hotel as seen on Lake Léman. Photo Credit

The Casino Hotel was a large complex of casinos and restaurants. The band had already performed there in May the same year, much to the members’ pleasurable accommodation and the hospitable company of the owner, Claude Nobs.

Not only that, the band played on the same stage which bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath played on. No doubt the humble hotel had the grand privilege of having these rock ‘n’ roll titans as their performers.

The mobile recording studio. Photo Credit
The mobile recording studio. It was also used by Led Zeppelin, and The Who. Photo Credit

After being kicked out of the Pavillion theater, they settled for recording in the empty grand hotel lobby room. Apparently, the band had to use more than a 100 ft of cables because of the impractical mobile recording unit that was sitting outside of the hotel. Ritchie Blackmore, the guitarist, commented on the complicated recording process:

“We had the Rolling Stones’ mobile recording unit sitting outside in the snow, but to get there we had to run cable through two doors in the corridor into a room, through a bathroom and into another room, from which it went across a bed and out the veranda window, then ran along the balcony for about 100 feet and came back in through another bedroom window.

It then went through that room’s bathroom and into another corridor, then all the way down a marble staircase to the foyer reception area of the hotel, out the front door, across the courtyard and up the steps into the back of the mobile unit.

I think that setup led to capturing some spontaneity, because once we got to the truck for a playback, even if we didn’t think it was a perfect take, we’d go, ‘Yeah, that’s good enough.’ Because we just couldn’t stand going back again.”

Ritchie Blackmore in San Francisco, 1985. Photo Credit
Ritchie Blackmore in San Francisco, 1985. Photo Credit

The story of the Smoke on the Water single is as amusing as it is famous. Frank Zappa, the prominent virtuoso and multi-instrumentalist, had a concert on the 4th of December in the Casino theater.

The gig was made infamous when an audience member fired a flare gun aimed at the roof of the building during Don Preston’s synthesizer solo.

The shot caused a giant fire, destroyed much of Zappa’s equipment, but luckily, there were no serious injuries. Due to the damages from the fire, Deep Purple had to relocate to the Pavilion theater.

Frank Zappa in Theatre de Clichy, Paris, 1971. Photo Credit
Frank Zappa in Theatre de Clichy, Paris, 1971. Photo Credit

Sadly, the locals didn’t have much appreciation for witnessing rock ‘n’ roll history that was being made. There were many noise complaints that notified the police throughout the recording, as many of the nearby inhabitants were disturbed by the loud guitars.

After so many police warnings, the band’s roadies made sure that no police officers entered the building. They held the doors shut while the band was trying to record the track for Smoke on the Water before getting thrown out of the building. After that, they finished the recording in a hotel lobby.

Claude Nobs in 2006. The man responsible for , founder and general manager of the famous Montreux Jazz Festival, 2006 Photo Credit
Claude Nobs, founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival and the man responsible for saving several young people who had been hidden in the casino, thinking they would be sheltered from the flames. He served as a volunteer fireman and this brave act earned him a mention in the lyrics of “Smoke on the Water”. Photo Credit

Reportedly, bass player Roger Glover murmured “smoke on the water” while waking up one morning, days after the Casino fire. This prompted Gillan to write the lyrics, and Blackmore to compose the riff, inspired by the legendary events in Montreux.

Little did they know that they would create a song so powerful, it stands as a fundamental practice riff, obligatory for any aspiring musician who wants to learn how to play the guitar.


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The Epic Of Gilgamesh In Sumerian – Video

The EPIC OF GILGAMESH is the earliest great work of literature that we know of, and was first written down by the Sumerians around 2100 B.C.

Ancient Sumer was the land that lay between the two rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, in Mesopotamia. The language that the Sumerians spoke was unrelated to the Semitic languages of their neighbors the Akkadians and Babylonians, and it was written in a syllabary (a kind of alphabet) called “cuneiform”. By 2000 B.C., the language of Sumer had almost completely died out and was used only by scholars (like Latin is today). No one knows how it was pronounced because it has not been heard in 4000 years.

What you hear in this video are a few of the opening lines of part of the epic poem, accompanied only by a long-neck, three-string, Sumerian lute known as a “gish-gu-di”. The instrument is tuned to G – G – D, and although it is similar to other long neck lutes still in use today (the tar, the setar, the saz, etc.) the modern instruments are low tension and strung with fine steel wire. The ancient long neck lutes (such as the Egyptian “nefer”) were strung with gut and behaved slightly differently. The short-neck lute known as the “oud” is strung with gut/nylon, and its sound has much in common with the ancient long-neck lute although the oud is not a fretted instrument and its strings are much shorter (about 25 inches or 63 cm) as compared to 32 inches (82 cm) on a long-neck instrument.

The location for this performance is the courtyard of Nebuchadnezzar’s palace in Babylon. The piece is four minutes long and is intended only as a taste of what the music of ancient Sumer might have sounded like.


This is the oldest surviving melody dating back to 1400 BC

The Hurrian songs are a group of stone tablets with music inscribed in the cuneiform writing system. These were unearthed from the ancient Amorite city of Ugarit and date to approximately 1400 BC.

One of these tablets (h.6), contains the Hurrian hymn to Nikkal, making it the earliest markedly entire piece of composed music in the world. On some of the broken pieces, the composers’ names are inscribed, but h.6 is an anonymous work.

A drawing of one side of the tablet on which the Hymn to Nikkal is written

H.6 is one of about 36 such hymns in ancient Sumerian writing, and it’s the only one that remained in a substantially complete form. The other hymns were found on fragments of stone tablets, unearthed in the 1950s from present-day Ras Shamra, Syria, on the site of the ancient Royal Palace at Ugarit. They were discovered in a layer of earth dating from the 14th century BC. An account of the group of hymns was published in 1955 and 1968 by Emmanuel Laroche, who cataloged all of the song tablets with the designation ‘h’ for “Hurrian.” The entire hymn is identified as h.6 in the list; it was revised and published in 1975.

The lyrics of the h.6 tablet are a hymn to Nikkal, a Semitic goddess of orchards. It also contains inscribed directions for a singer playing a nine-stringed sammûm, a type of harp or, more likely, a lyre. Instructions for how to tune the harp are also contained on some of the tablets.

Several other survived early works of music, such as the Seikilos epitaph and the Delphic Hymns, are pre-dated by the Hurrian hymn by nearly a thousand years, but the Hurrian transcription remains contentious. A reconstruction of the lyrics by Marcelle Duchesne-Guillemin may be heard at the Urkesh web page, though this is only one of at least five differing interpretations of the wording, and each one bears an entirely remarkable result.

The composition of the h.6 tablet assigns the Hurrian words of the hymn on the top of the tablet, under which lies a paired division line. The hymn text is written in a continuous spiral, alternating between the front and back sides of the tablet – a layout not found in Babylonian texts. Below this text, there are Akkadian musical instructions, comprised of separated names followed by number signs. The differences in transcriptions focus on the interpretation of the meaning of these paired number signs and the association to the hymn text.

The Entrance to the royal palace at Ugarit, where the Hurrian songs were found  Photo Credit

Below the musical instructions, there is another dividing line, a single one, underneath which there is an imprint in Akkadian which reads, “this nitkibli [i.e., the nid qabli tuning] song, a zaluzi to the gods… written down by Ammurabi”. This name, along with another scribe’s name, Ipsali, found on one of the other tablets, is Semitic.

There is no songwriter signed for the complete h.6 hymn, but four composer names, which are all Hurrian, are found on five of the other fragmentary pieces.

The tablet is now part of a collection at the National Museum of Damascus.


Are you ready to get Shpongled ?!?!?!

On 25 October, 2013, Shpongle played to a sold out crowd at the Troxy in London. This epic 2+ hour-long show was captured in high-definition video.

01. Museum Of Consciousness
02. Dorset Perception
03. Periscopes Of Consciousness
04. When Shall I Be Free
05. Aquatic Garden Of Extra-Celestial Delights
06. I Am You
07. Juggling Molecules
08. The Epiphany Of Mrs Kugla
09. Nothing Is Something Worth Doing
10. How The Jellyfish Jumped Up The Mountain
11. DMT
12. Beija Flor
13. My Head Feels Like A Frisbee
14. Around The World In A Tea Daze
15. Raja’s Renditions


Bass, Guitar – Chris Borud
Cello – Harry Escott
Drums – Joe Russo
Flute – Raja Ram
Guitar – Pete Callard
Keyboards, Guitar – Simon Posford
Performer – Cid Shaha
Photography By – Philip Volkers
Vocals – Hari Om, Michele Adamson
Written-By – Raja Ram, Simon Posford