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from Wednesday, December9th of the year2009.

I’m writing this from a hotel in Phnom Penh; I’m taking a few weeks here alone in order to recharge after six weeks of touring, and six months of basically exclusively collaborative projects. In the spirit of speedy recharge blogpost (with the promise of more detailed observations to come):

1. Everybody download Jónsi’s first single from Go, his upcoming solo project, on which I was a hardcore collaborator arranger conductor. It’s a lot of piccolo.

2. I love that even in the Far East I can’t escape reading about, and being obsessed with, Alice Tully Hall.

3. I spent an afternoon in Singapore last week and am obsessed with Hawker Centers! It’s like food courts from heaven. I ate chicken rice, which is poached chicken, chicken-scented rice, and assorted hots-sauces.


4. In Providence, where I went to high school, it was a lot of Cambodian and Hmong immigrants. I’m freaking out here because the flavor of the fermented fish paste is something you can’t get in New York (or maybe you can but it’s not the same as Vietnamese fish sauce) and it’s everywhere and delicious.

5. Somebody needs to overhaul Khmer transliteration. It’s not tonal, like Vietnamese, but just in the ten minute cab ride from the airport I realized that final consonants are total fabrications (French ones?) even on the word Khmer “” listen to just this basic dialogue and you’ll see that words end with Vowelled Glissandi rather than consonants, anyway, I’m going to get 2 tha bottom of it.


  • Last Christmas I was in Siem Reap, and this was on TV:

  • Hawker Centres were the best! When my parents used to take us my siblings would always get the “Western Plate” which was fried eggs and hot dogs and beans and I always got the chicken rice. Man! I was like, 6. Did you go to any wet markets? The smell of fish and hoses and durian still lingers.

  • The Jonsi single was fairly stimulating, an orgy for the ears if you will. Reminds me of a Singaporean dish, Kaya Toast; which had the same effect on my taste buds when I first ate it. Reminiscent of an orgy, because one is not quite sure how to process it all; but the ticket is bought, so time to go for the ride.
    The best Kaya Toast i’ve had, consisted of coconut jam, thick toasted bread, basil, dark soy, white pepper with an egg over medium. Hungy now….

  • What Ren said.

    Food of the gods.

  • I third what Ren said.

    I miss that about Singapore. I haven’t been back in a little while but hawker centres were where it all happened. Chicken rice and a bag of apple and carrot juice? Yes please! I hope they haven’t become as “developed” as my relatives are saying, that’d be a pity. Meanwhile, the smell of durian lingers… EVERYWHERE!

  • I dowloaded Jónsi’s new single, liquid happiness. I will be expecting the release. By the way I couldn’t find any of your cds in my home country, Argentina. Have you ever considered touring to Latin America?, we also have delicious food.

  • Hi, Could you tell us a little more about your collaboration with Jónsi? I downloaded Boy Lilikoi and love it, I look forward to the album. Small excerpts of the letters on are very tempting, and your “key” seems to give a colored sound very different from Sigur Ros, which is very interesting. Anecdotally, saw your culinary tastes and Jónsi’s very restrictive diet, you probably do not have shared many meals!

  • I hope you made it to Ta Prohm.