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Who it is I am

I'm a libertine with a conscience who refuses to acknowledge a distinction between work and play, who believes that you don't get the days back and therefore aspires to embrace the eternally messy present for what it is; a gift. And all gifts should be shared.

Within this framework I'm also a dad, an angel investor, a business owner, deeply passionate about the visual arts, music, literature, technology and politics (the degrees of interest aren't equal and what's posted here is a fair barometer of what captures my attention), and a dedicated philanthropist.

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes. - Walt Whitman

robert@fastorbit.com

212-671-2030

Affiliations

Updated 09/19/2012

Board Member: Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center "Whenever someone asks me where I studied art, I always say it was at Hallwalls." - Cindy Sherman

Former Board Member: No Longer Empty: No Longer Empty redefines public art through temporary site -specific exhibitions that draw together the vitality of the contemporary art world and the values of building community.

Owner: Fast Orbit, LLC

Owner/Partner: ParkSleepFly.com

Owner/Partner: AirportParkingReservations.com

Owner/Investor: Wireless-NRG: Innovative consumer, commerical and industrial applications using unique solar technology.  Stay tuned for the imminent introduction of the Lillypad (Kudocase) for IPad, IPad2, IPad3.

Owner/InvestorVeenome - a video enabling platform translating video content into machine-readable data for superior organization, publishing, searching and monetization.

Owner/InvestorSocial Prize: Social Prize is a new way of sharing that makes it easy for you to share what you like with your friends and win. For the everyday business owner, Social Prize evens the odds by making it a snap for you to use social sweepstakes as a cost-effective means to get the word out about your business and grow your customer base.

Owner/Investor: uKnow.com:
Smart Tools.  Safer Kids
Keep your kids safe from bad guys and bullies online and on the mobile phone.

Projects & Participation

Updated 09/19/2012

Loan: Oded Hirsch's 50 Blue to Art Miami's curatorial project CONTEXT, December 2012 (curated by Julia Draganovic)

Collector-level Member - Issue Project Room 

Sponsor of Hallwalls
Fall 2012 Music Program

Nora Ligorano/Marshall Reese: Morning In America Ice Sculpture at the RNC/DNC Conventions

Composer Poul Ruders: New Symphonic Music (including a solo piano commission)

Channeling Coltrane: A concert video of "Electric Ascension"

Grammar: A documentary film about Jason Moran

Even Though the Whole World is Burning: A film about the life and work of Poet Laureate, two-time Pulitzer winner, and environmental activist W.S. Merwin.

George: A feature length documentary on George Maciunas, the founder and impresario of Fluxus, the radical international art movement.

Electronic Arts Intermix Benefactor
Founded in 1971, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is a nonprofit arts organization that is a leading international resource for video and media art. A pioneering advocate for media art and artists, EAI's core program is the distribution and preservation of a major collection of over 3,500 new and historical video works by artists. For 40 years, EAI has fostered the creation, exhibition, distribution and preservation of video art, and more recently, digital art projects. 

Sponsor: Kreppa: A Symphonic Poem about the Financial Situation in Iceland
By: Örn Alexander Ámundason, Performed by Metropolis Ensemble, Andrew Cyr, Artistic Director/Conductor
The Armory Show 03/07/2012 The Wall Street Journal Media Lounge

Sponsor of Hallwalls
Winter 2012 Music Program

Sponsor of Hallwalls
Fall 2011 Music Program

Richard Garet (refer to post)
Espacios No-Euclídeos
Curated by Laura Bardier
11 August - 30 October 2011
EAC – Espacio Arte Contemporáneo
Montevideo, Uruguay  http://www.eac.gub.uy

Steve Swell's Nation of We Recording: "The Business of Here"

Producer (one of thousands) of the upcoming 2011 film: Lemonade: Detroit

Contributor: +Pool: A Floating Pool in the River For Everyone

Challenge grant to the Metropolis Ensemble for the recording of composer Timothy Andres on Nonesuch Records Fall 2011.  (Supporting contemporary composition is critical to the health of the culture and visionary Director Andrew Cyr is a living, breathing exemplar of leadership.)

Sponsor: No Longer Empty's About Face art exhibition May/June 2011

Sponsor: Hallwalls Artists & Models 2011 - RAPTURE/RUPTURE May 2011

Principal Benefactor NMC Recordings

Donor of artist Kate Gilmore's (a tireless, fearless creator with a limitless imagination) "Blood From a Stone" to the Brooklyn Museum 2010.

Bedrock financial support for the Cecil Taylor / Tony Oxley 2LP limited edition recording "AILANTHUS / ALTISSIMA bilateral dimensions of 2 root songs" on Triple Point Records.

Sponsor of composer Mayke Nas and artist Joe Diebbes at the 2010 Liverpool Bienniel.

Sponsor of numerous Hallwalls concerts including: Cecil Taylor's 80th birthday performance, Evan Parker & Ned Rothenberg, Henry Grimes solo, Chicago Underground duo, etc.

Commissioned Composer Frederic Rzweski's "Peace Dances" as part of pianist Sarah Cahill's project "A Sweeter Music."

Causes & Contributions

Updated 08/03/2012

UnPac

The Woodshed at the Jazz Gallery

World Food Programme

Jazz Foundation of America

Wordplay: Celebrating Buffalo's Youngest Writers

Join My Village: a click-to-commit social change initiative that gives you the power to inspire charitable donations from companies to women and girls in Malawi through CARE.

Hallwalls

Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy

It Gets Better

Catalog Choice

Village Enterprise Fund

This Week in Tech's (TWIT) new studio

CMH Counseling, Buffalo, NY

Worldreader

Mercy Corp

Food Bank of Western New York

Sunday
Sep302012

Body and soul

Enfants Terribles, Live at the Blue Note

I never choose what I listen to based on mood. On second thought, never’s an eternity I’m reticent to indulge. Let’s say rarely cause’ exceptions are the elastic that let me cheat without breaking stride.

[Perhaps that’s why I’ve heard the scream “turn that shit down!” early in the morning so many times. Mats Gustafsson and Captain Crunch compliment each other just fine thank you! - even before caffeine’s first jolt. Disagree and you can strap that bra and panties on and D train it back to the Bronx.]

It demeans the Craft. Music has to stand on its own two feet during funerals and fucking, careful scrutiny and as workday adjunct. Music’s gotta last. If it ain’t good all the time, it ain’t good any time. If it don’t pass that test, it’s entertainment, not music. Music has to storm all weather. And don’t be so thick as to tell me you can’t salsa to death metal. Yer missin’ the beat.

These are the thoughts that Enfants Terribles new recording Live at the Blue Note evoke.

Nothing compares to actually being there, and I was, though not the night the set was taped. Nevertheless, listening places me right back in the room. The best live sets do.

Alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, now 85, leads a group of seasoned veterans through disassembled jazz standards that feel like that ancient tattered blanket you’d sooner die than throw out. The story of its origin and your attachment to it growing more eccentric with each confession making it both nearer and farther from the truth.

Good old fashioned post-modernism and old fashioned and post modern.

At the conclusion of the gig, Konitz introduces the band by saying “I’d like to thank you on behalf of my colleagues, I forget their names right now...” and there’s no doubt he wasn’t joking. I gotta believe this apparent faux pas was deliberately left unedited. When the tunes are that good, when the musicians are completely lost in the moment individually and collectively, everything old is new again and the familiar is fresh, nameless, beyond the confines of mere mood.

Wednesday
Sep262012

Empathy in the strangest place

Russell Banks, The Lost Memory of Skin

Superb novelist Russel Banks braids wonderous prose into his latest novel, Lost Memory of Skin, that deepens appreciation and empathy for his characters even though the subject matter itself  - in this case the dark world of convicted pedophiles - is discomfiting.  It's not an easy read, but its rewards are ample.

"His panic has passed.  The music, as it has always done, helps to separate his mind from his body.  For most people it's the reverse.  Especially for people who, like the Professor, listen to classic American Jazz.  Jazz is one of the few subjects he never explains to other people.  He's perfectly willing to hold forth on the subject of European classical music from the Baroque to Post-Modern serialism or disco or funk or raga or reggae.  But jazz is like a secret drug to him.  It alone has the power to alter his brain waves and neurotransmitters such that he feels autonomous, immunized against the contamination of his body, which otherwise is nearly impossible to make go away."

Monday
Sep242012

1-900-VANITY (the remix)

1-900-VANITY (the remix)

CLICK TO PLAY

Sunday
Sep232012

Thinking of Beckett

CLICK TO PLAY

Thinking of Beckett

Do you know where to begin
when you've yet to start?

I haven't a clue. 

Or how to end
before sight of finish?

I'll give it some thought.

Do you know what to say
before you open your mouth?

Sometimes it's true.

Does your speech bear repeating
and impart a meaning?

Say that again.

Are you on a straight line
with the horizon in sight
or on the curve of an arch
blind round' the bend?

I'm not sure I follow.

Will the day count
beyond fall of night?

I wish that I knew.

Do we share the
same doubts?

Sadly, we do.

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Sounding Beckett, Classic Stage Company, 09/23/2012Inspired by Sounding Beckett 


"-- a singular evening of theater and music that pairs three plays by Samuel Beckett from his "ghost period" with new works by contemporary composers written expressly in response to those plays."

"Comprised of Beckett's one-act plays "Footfalls," "Ohio Impromptu" and "Catastrophe" -- written from 1975 to 1982 in the twilight of the playwright's career." 

Classic Stage Company (136 E. 13 St.) in Manhattan.

Saturday
Sep222012

Einstein on the Beach

Einstein on the Beach, Brooklyn Academy of Music, 09/19/2012 Although I'm not and have never been a Phillip Glass enthusiast, I have to give credit where credit is due.

Einstein on the Beach (link to program notes - pdf) - performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and not staged in New York since 1992 - is spectacular as theater, as dance, as music, as spectacle; each constituent element draws inspiration from the others.  I didn't leave my seat for its entire four and half hour length.

The synthesis of Robert Wilson's bold theatricality and Lucinda Child's perfectly synced dance movements to Glass's endlessly variegated arpeggios remains fresh, fertile and daring.

The work was created in 1976 during a time of artistic ferment when anything seemed possible. I was reminded of how distinctly estranged that climate is from the prevailing winds of today when everything is possible and therefore sometimes less interesting because of our constant need to (pre)validate our experiences using an increasingly ersatz sophistication that's insufficient, anti-corporeal and unsatisfying. The fissure between anything and everything is treacherous.

Einstein on the Beach is maverick in the best American tradition and belongs in opera's historical canon.

Friday
Sep212012

Ain't nothin' funnier than the truth

Sunday
Sep162012

Clemency

CLICK TO PLAY

I woke up this morning in a cloud of vague familiarity. My place suddenly identifiable and nameless. Life's epistemological DNA had vanished in the minutes between REM and rising.

The sunlight? The city's topography seen beyond the bedroom window? The woman lying next to me? Recognizable and alien. Can you reminisce coincident to the moment? I would not have thought so previously.

Was this an aberrant strain of deja vu? Mild dementia? I don't think so; more a genial amnesia floating on pillowy, if inexplicable detachment. The opacity of my cognition a reprieve.

This fog blurred detail, blunted anxiety, turned the mania for order into frolic, offered amnesty from crippling exactitude.

Instead of measuring decline, the creaks of my aging body sounded pleasantly ambient and its lumpy contours felt agreeable.

Money's incessant cranial echo of presence and absence ceased to boomerang.

All the defects and foibles the world reminded me of implacably were suddenly devoid of potency (gauzy and therefore harmless).

I became a child who comes to know that the gift is in the unwrapping and once revealed ceases to be.

Thursday
Sep132012

Miles in the air

Miles Davis Forever Stamp, Source: USPS.comThe finest Jazz and Creative Improvised Music never loses its potency, its cultural currency, its ability to inspire when and where you'd least expect it. The scholar Whitney Balliett called it the "sound of surprise." Indeed it remains so.

"In 2012, the U.S. Postal Service is partnering with La Poste of France to celebrate the musical talents of Edith Piaf and Miles Davis with the Miles Davis/Edith Piaf (Forever®) stamps." June 2012

--------------

"Humm and Guidara [co-owners of Eleven Madison Park, one of the finest dining establishments in NYC] say that they were inspired by Miles Davis's willingness to reinvent himself - abandoning the minimalism of "Kind of Blue," one of the most popular jazz recordings ever made, for the electric experimentation of "Bitches Brew." Annals of Gastronomy; "Check, Please" by John Colapinto in the September 10, 2012 issue of The New Yorker (subscription required)

Wednesday
Sep122012

Attracted to the light

From the Gehry Bldg. courtyard 09/12/2012 12:45am

Monday
Sep102012

Impressions of Guelph 2012

...and so ends the 2012 edition of the Guelph Jazz Festival in its 19th year.

The programming is always innovative and varied and the charming university town setting is a respite from the clamor of city gigs despite the whirlwind velocity of performances.

A few favorite concerts included Rob Mazurek's Sao Paulo Underground (2 clips), Peter Brotzmann / Jason Adasiewicz Duo (2 clips), Fred Frith solo and the Matt Shipp / Darius Jones Duo.