(Picture from sunrise yesterday, just as we re-entered the world on our way home, at a gas station just off I25).

Oh boy, where to start.

There are so many moments to share, so many things to remember.

Here are just a few highlights, with many more to come from me and I'm sure others.

Also, I'll be sorting through my pictures and posting some of the good ones over the coming days.

- vinsgirl gave a fabulous performance on Sunday night. She said she was very nervous on the first song but played and sang beuatifully. When she tried to leave the stage shouts of encouragement convinced her to stay for one more song, a very difficult arrangement of Over the Rainbow (origally done by Eva Cassidy) that she was still learning. The delicate and complex chord work she did on her Godin left everybody with their tongues hanging out. (No picture here on request.)

- Hollie and Evan uncorked nervy renditions of two classics -- Angel Eyes, and Black Orpheus. Hollie was on clarinet and Evan was on piano. They are both 13. They were first up to play on Sunday night, and kicked off what was to be a fantastic new thread in our L1 conferences -- youth. Later in the conference we would be treated to another teenage band, professionals from central Colorado (more on that later.)

- Tom Munch, whom at Big Sur I said had the best amplified vocal and acoustic guitar tone I'd ever heard, uncorked an unforgettable performance of a song of deep personal meaning on Monday night. My feeling was that he was able to truly enjoy himself because by then he knew what we all knew -- the conference was a huge success and he was the central reason why. The song, about the oldest living organisms on earth -- the bristlecone pine -- was an overwhelming tour de force. My comment from Big Sur stands, but also I want to add now that Tom is one of the finest artists I've ever had the pleasure with whom to work.

Much more later.


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Original Post
I'll share my remembrances in a quasi-chronological fashion. I had to download a batch of photos to Mike Z's computer and I haven't retrieved those yet so they'll appear later even though they'll be from the first part of the trip.

We had absolutely perfect weather on Sunday. There was not a cloud in the sky and late in the afternoon as the sun started to sink, many folks started to arrive and relax outside The Timbers, the restaurant/bar in which the conference was held.

Here's Cliff-at-Bose (inventor of the L1).
I'm still processing & trying to find words through a sleepless haze about the conference. I didn't get a chance to take any pictures once we were there, even though my digital SLR was right by me & at the ready. It was a crazy time.

Thank you to everyone who expressed such kind words over the event. I am so grateful to each & every one of you for making this conference extremely memorable.

I'll be posting memories & details as I regain consciousness over the next couple days & pack up all the gear that's going back to Framingham.

Oh what a time it was...

I just counted 6 of us online now who were in Cuchara, and still no more post-conference thoughts! I thought I was looking in a mirror seeing Rick in his Bose t-shirt. Well, you know, except for the glasses, cap and age Wink. It wears well, doesn't it.

What a nice time, I must say. Got home late last night after a weather delay in Chicago, and today - like many, I bet - is a bit of catch up. Hard not to come here immediately to attempt to "extend" the weekend. I suppose that is why they - the conferences - are as neat and truly special as they are. "Leave them wanting more," wouldn't you say?

I am very glad I was able to come and share some beautiful, earthly space with many of you. Speaking of that (and going a little beyond), I shared with the group in St. Louis, and again with a few around the lunch table on Monday in Cuchara, that this "thing" is about so much more than a loudspeaker. Honestly, that's just a tool for something greater that's happening.

I was camera-less, so I've nothing of my own to post in that regard. Thanks, Ken, for your pictures, and in advance for others' to come.

Tom, it was very nice to meet you in person. I appreciated very much your smile upon my late arrival, and warm welcome. And thank you for accompanying me Monday night! Thank you for the tremendous work you accomplished to make things go.

Pony Express was so...intimidating! Oh, man! What a good, good group. The antithesis of sibling rivalry. At 13, 15 and barely 18, no way should they be that good. If I was forced to pick my favorite aspect of the conference, well...I would just have to be forced. Too much to cover, and impossible to really rank. But these guys are really up there. A definite high point.

Cliff's "stealing" My Blue Heaven from me: a total joke, of course. Had this not occurred, I would not have been able to hear this version, but more importantly his miniscule "family/home" comment right before beginning the tune. That speaks volumes. If you know me as some of you do, it's no surprise to you that this could be my theme song. It was far more warming (and maybe in a way, a little disarming) for me to hear it done, than to sing it myself. So, Cliff. Thanks for stealing it.

Oh, there's more. There's always more. Some public, some private. It's impossible to cover due to the time constraints we place on ourselves or simply because of the limitations of our vocabulary.

For those I've come to know, and those I've yet to meet, may you always find yourself on the sunny side of the street.

Hey, hooray to all you attendees from one of the poor slobs who couldn't be there. (Connecticut had nice weather, too, btw, and the concert went great.)

Okay, haze lifting... more stories and pictures! Let's have 'em!

Congratulations to Tom for making it happen, and all for having a great time!

Where to begin...

Thank you, Tom. Thank you, everone "at-Bose".

From the moment I walked in the door (a little late Sunday evening at the end of dinner), I was greeted with a wamth of spirit that is pretty rare. I had a wonderful time and was humbled by the amount of talent among all of you. The setting and venue and everything about the conference greatly exceeded my expectations.
There is much more to say, but that will do for now.

Oh yes, and my dad asked me to express his thanks. He too felt welcomed and he had a wonderful time of L1 indoctrination. Smile I know he wants to say it in his own words so I'll post them soon.

Rocky Mountain High indeed.

One thing that was a true testament to just how good the L1 is: Throughout Sunday and particularly Monday evenings, many different individuals and groups got up to perform. Each had their own instrument(s) and rig and each time the change-over was quick - usually a couple minutes - 5 at most. And the sound was stellar for all performances. Try that with a triple system.

I'm also in decompress-and-catch up mode, but I can't let another minute go by without expressing a huge THANK YOU to Tom Munch for all that he did to organize this event!

Tom, I've greatly enjoyed your singing and playing before and have always agreed with all who laud your talent for getting rich, clear, beautiful tone from your voice and guitars. Your Monday afternoon clinic on that subject should be mandatory for all aspiring performers, IMO. Still, I feel like I really heard all of your true musical being for the first time when you poured every ounce of your heart and soul into that rendition of The Bristlecone Pine. A masterpiece in every sense of the word. I had no idea that you could play and sing like that! You were the perfect vehicle for that song in that place at that moment in time. Please tell me that it was as transcendental for you as it was for us...

So many great performances by so many talented musicians! A few (of so many) other high points for me:

  • Jaquie Gipson! I am in awe of your talent and I'm so happy that you won the PorchBoard door prize. I can't wait to hear what you might do with it!

  • The banter during Tom's clinic between Tom and Larry - two of the richest vocal tones that I've ever heard coming from an L1 - picking apart, bickering, almost arguing, sweating the tiny details of mic selection vs. mic technique vs. vocal technique, etc. - PRICELESS!

  • Neil and Craig jamming on Traffic and Beatles tunes. Most often seen doing so much for so many in Framingham, it was so cool to watch you guys losing yourselves in the music of the moment!

  • "I Saw The Light" - Man, what a collection of humanity on the stage! Can't wait to see some pix, or better yet some video of that one!

    That'll have to do for now. I'm almost short of breath again just from the memories of Cuchara...

    Peace to all,


    [Edit - Fixed typos, including my misspelling of Jaquie's last name - oops!]
  • I can only paraphrase, but the general idea was that they'd immediately understand if they experienced (heard) it (presses the 'play' button and it comes out of the loudspeaker) and might very well never understand if all I did was try to explain it with words. Ain't it the truth!

    Bristlecone Pine,

    I'm not sure what mode I was in as I sang that. Let me think. I remember stuggling with the guitar & my voice for some reason...being conscious of all that had happened that day....then letting go....closing my eyes...& just singing that song as I have a hundred times, but of course for an audience whom I knew would feel it with me in a profound way. It's an honor to connect with that song.

    Okely dokely,

    Back from work.

    Here's another installment of the Cuchara diaries.

    The first presentation on Sunday morning was by Craig-at-Bose. He took us through an insider's look at the development of the Model II and the T1 engine.

    His approach was to explain our thinking behind all the major decisions in the product.
    Then, Craig took us through the new T1 engine, and Tom was joined by the great Don Richmond, who got a GREAT tone out of his banjo.

    Later on we found out one reason why: he had a David Enke pickup installed.

    Many of you will recall that David and his lovely wife Annie and their son joined us in Big Sur and blew us all away with their pickup technology. David and his family live only 10 miles from Cuchara and joined us on Sunday afternoon and evening.
    I feel like I should tell more about what Don was saying. He was demonstrating the technique at corporate retreats when you fall into the arms of a coworker to demonstrate your trust in them. He said that playing in front of the L1™ you could fall into the sound in the same way as you play. Pretty cool.


    If there was struggle in your performance of Bristlecone Pine, it certainly didn't show. I was sitting with Ken while you sang, and we were both in awe. Without doubt, the most powerful performance of the event. A truly beautiful song done exceptionally well.

    Thank you, for the tremendous gift of your time and energy. You made the weekend totally enjoyable for all attendees. It's nice to show up and not "have" to do anything. And, really man, the wind wasn't your fault.

    Outside of family, two of my favorite things are the Rocky Mountains and Music. This event suited my personal tastes to a T.

    Family. For those of you who have never attended a conference, it is like a good family reunion. While there are those amoung us who worship Cliff, every one else is on equal ground. There is love, comradeship, and respect at every turn.

    Highlights for me include,

    Tom's performance of Bristlecone Pine.

    Jaquie Gipson's guitar playing. I must confess to not knowing much about this style of playing but she is easily the most melodic of the "Guitar Tappers" I have heard, and I liked it.

    The Kids. Evan and Hollie and the Pony Express. I was particularly impressed with the tight harmony (that seems to only come from family) and songwriting of Pony Express.

    Jeff and John's duet performance. More great Harmony.

    Ric's Band. Me, Myself and I.

    My extended trail time with Tom and Chris. Thanks to Chris for encouraging us to go higher. He just wouldn't quit until we hit 10,000 ft. by then it was too late to backtrack. Although I didn't say it then, I'll say it now, I hate backtracking. I'm so glad we made the circle.

    Mealtime. The food was good. The meager and hardworking staff at the lodge did a fine job of taking care of us.

    Mealtime. Dinner with Ric and Nathan.

    Singing. I love to sing, especially to a kind and attentive audience. Thanks to each of you, for your kindness.

    Hi Everyone,
    I'm still "coming down" from the high that was Cuchara......finally getting some downtime after diving right back into a ridiculous travel/work schedule.

    What I really want to say to everyone that was present at Cuchara is THANK YOU ALL for making this weekend truly magical for my daughter. The bonding Holli and I experienced on this trip is beyond description; and it came at a time when I feel like the magic is slipping through my fingers.

    Neither of us will ever forget the beautiful spirit that was Cuchara, it was truly a family vibe. It just felt like being with family, but in the best sense of the word (without dysfunction, whatsoever).

    I'm so very glad I got to meet many of you for the first time, and it was awesome to relax in the company of those of you I've met before.

    Once again, thank you all

    Best Wishes,
    I finally get to add a post. Just arrived home after a two-day drive back to Calgary. Probably won't drive to the next one, though. (Not many mountains in eastern Wyoming to look at up I-25.)

    I had a great time and learned plenty about the L1 and 'normal' sound (Thank You, Cliff.)

    But most of all, thank you, Tom, for your time and talent. It would not have happened without you.

    Will post a few pics as I peel them off my camera. Right now, it's bed time.
    Up early. Can't sleep.

    More on the Cuchara Diaries.

    First, a few other highlights:

    - Lou D telling us how much he mistrusted Bose at first, having been a policeman for many years in some of tough places.

    - Lou's wife Katja who reminded me to "market the L1 to the audience too" (brilliant).

    - Oldghm's haunting rendition of Dylan's classic "Simple Twist of Fate" on Monday night.

    - Pete's (drumr's) perfect and funny drumrolls for the beautiful gifts we raffled on Monday night.

    - The wonderful handmade gifts donated by the Enke's (a bristle cone pine capo holder, a beautiful cottonwood box, and a David Enke pickup system).

    - Jackie Gibson's incredible performance of her song "Gathering Storm" on Sunday night.
    Next up on the agenda on Monday morning was Cliff-at-Bose who gave a spellbinding ear-training presentation.

    He taught us how to associate what we hear with a ten-word vocabulary corresponding to the ten audible octave bands we hear.

    It was incredibly valuable because it taught how we can train ourselves to hear better and then make connections to the T1 audio engine to fine tune our sound.

    Cliff had a set of .wav files on a PC that he used to vividly demonstrate all of the bands.
    One of his central points is that the human voice is the instrument we are all most familiar with and which we can easily calibrate to (he may say more about this when he re-enters the world AC -- after Cuchara).

    The voice is so powerful, it can imitate the sound of seven or eight of the ten octave bands.

    Cliff demonstrated this. It was funny -- every funny -- but serious at the same time. We realized that his presentation could de-mystify sound and that anyone could become better at tuning their sound by understanding the connection between what we hear, what we play or sing, and how to adjust on the T1 engine or another device.

    In the following pictures, Cliff is using his voice and mouth to imitate the sound of pink noise (noise that contains all the frequencies) with various octave bands emphasized, starting at the lowest bands and moving up to the higher bands.

    Later, I will try to edit these posts so that you will have the correct word for the octave band he's imitating but to be sure I need to watch him do it again.
    Next, we broke for lunch while Cliff and Mike set up for their custom ToneMatch preset sessions upstairs at The Timbers.

    In the next sequence of photos, you'll see Cliff and Mike working with Rick Jordan (rwj) on developing a custom preset for Rick's beautiful T5 (Rick may comment more on this.)

    It was mesmerizing to watch Cliff sculpt the preset by listening, asking Rick questions, and adjusting.

    He uses two 31-band graphic equalizers as his "clay". Each preset takes him about 10 or 15 minutes to develop with the artist.

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