In alphabetical order by sender:
Bob is many things—a true renaissance man, beyond bright, a great strategist and an outstanding musician. I can always rely on Bob to want to do the ‘right’ thing. He is truly selfless. In the years that I’ve known him, I’ve found Bob to be a truly inspirational human being.
—Mark Abramowitz, President, Community Environmental Services; Chairman, California Hydrogen Business; South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Governing Board consultant to the Governor’s appointee
Bob, good to see that you are still going strong. I was particularly proud to be part of the start of Sunlaw, with Michael and I taking care of the insurance for you. The product that we provided was ground breaking in its day and is still sold through us, to protect the lenders.
—Mark Aspinall; Managing Director; C.J. Coleman & Company Limited (2011)
Bob Danziger is a visionary. His willingness to take financial, personal and political risks to develop cleaner better energy technologies resulted in redefining ‘best’ in best available technology. Without Bob’s commitment to our ecological future we would clearly have a less healthy environment.
—Hon. Leon G. Billings, Maryland House of Delegates, Chief of Staff to Senate Majority Leader Ed Muskie and principal author of the Clean Air Act (which passed unanimously), and the Clean Water Act. Link to New York Times Obituary
Bob was a one-man think tank for GE in the 1980s.
—Lorraine Bolsinger, General Electric: (President and CEO of GE Distributed Power, and previously GE Aviation Systems, and Vice-President of GE Ecomagination)
I wanted to take a moment out to personally thank you AND Dan Ouellette for all the time and effort you put into the making of the video on my career and being part of the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival. I am very proud of the videos contents. I enjoyed meeting with Dan in New York and discussing my artistic works over the years, and also his longstanding support of my career. As is said in French…bonne continuation with all of your endeavors Bob, and the same to dear Dan Ouellette.
—Dee Dee Bridgewater; (2017 NEA Jazz Master)(2017)
Wow, these videos are BEAUTIFUL. . . . I would love to use this video. Regina
—Regina Carter-Garnett (2017)
What a romp! Great fun. I loved it. Now I know what you have been doing all your life. I especially liked Uranus on p 51.
—Rich Caputo (2011)
I have been through the Brandenburg four times now. I was skeptical, after all a rule of life is beware of men handing out free CD’s. And I have been given some very weird music. But I love it, thanks for the gift. Every time I play it, its sounds different to the time before. Thanks
—Garth Clark, Clark is a writer and commentator on modern and contemporary ceramic art and a critic of the craft movement, (2017)
re: Monterey County Pops! – July 4, 2014 performance
I am writing to thank you again for your wonderful contributions to our Fourth of July concert in Monterey’s Golden State Theatre this year.
As you will recall, my first contact with you was to request digital cannons for the Tchakovsky “1812 Overture.” Your research into the types of cannons originally used and the number of cannon shots resulted in awonderfully authentic and dramatic performance. Your live performance of the cannons was perfectly timed.
My next request was for church bells for the end of “1812.” These are almost more important than the cannons because the orchestration is pretty thin at the point where the bells are supposed to sound. Once again, your research into various bell samples resulted in a wonderfully joyful climax to the piece.
Finally your creation of some fourteen videos to accompany most of the musical selections on the program was really the highlight of the afternoon. Your video creations were beautifully done and complemented the music perfectly. But more significantly, they added a wonderfully sensitive and thoughtful dimension to the pieces. The scenes of national beauty which accompanies the Copeland “Shaker Melody”, the emotional scenes of service members with their children set to the Gershwin medley, and the Western scenes for the “Cowboy Fantasy” added an emotional depth which moved the audience to the standing ovation.
Thank you again for the creative hard work!
—Dr. Carl Christensen; Monterey County Pops!; Music Director and Conductor (2014)
re: Monterey County Pops! – July 4, 2015 performance
On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Monterey County Pops! I would like to thank you for your contributions to our July 4, 2015 concert at the Golden State Theatre, “The Pops! Celebrates Freedom.”
Thank you for the GREAT video show. The audience just loved it. The quality of the images was just wonderful.
The excellent videos that you created to accompany the musical selections added immeasurably to the drama of the performance. Audience members commented to me that the images, combined with the music, created a uniquely powerful emotional effect. At our July meeting members of the Board of Trustees mentioned repeatedly the very high level of professional quality of the videos. I have also received many comments from audience members who appreciated the creativity and imagination demonstrated in the videos. The videos were obviously the result of many hours of careful work and we can’t thank you enough for your contribution.
The cannons and church bells of the 1812 Overture always present a challenge as these instruments are not part of the usual symphony orchestra. For the second year your digital samples have solved this problem in a very dramatic way for us. The quality and power of the sounds was excellent and your real-time performance using the samples added an impact to this traditional closer which is sure to become a Pops! tradition.
Finally we want to express our appreciate for your effort in working with the Golden State Theatre staff to obtain the use of such a high quality projection system.
—Dr. Carl Christensen; Monterey County Pops!; Music Director and Conductor (2015)
re: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Energy Independence
My Dear Bob Danziger, your book is a hoot! When I read, I keep a notebook by my side but after making a dozen or so notes, decided to just read. And let me tell you, it made my day and a half. I’m a fast reader but found myself slowing down, so as not to miss anything.
There were lots of sweet moments. I loved your discussion on music and how it attracted deer and other animals. It should be a film.
You are a very, very funny man and adorable, to boot. Thanks for sharing, dear heart. And thanks for being such a wonderful friend and champion of Los Angeles history.”
—Carolyn Cole, Senior Librarian of the L.A. Public Library; Photo Collection; Founder, Shades of LA. Carolyn Cole is one of the really special people in the world. Here are some articles published after her death in 2018:
Re: Steinbeck’s Japantown in Chinatown Composition
Dear Bob — Thank you so very much for including me in this correspondence. I am so very impressed with your sound sculpture and comprehensive annotated sound log. Congratulations!! It is very expressive of an era and the people of Salinas that lived through it. You bring to life through various melodies and other artifacts remembrances of a particular history, in this case that of Japanese Americans settled among other immigrant groups. We can see/feel the community thriving in the new country while preserving the tradition of their homeland. This juxtaposition of cultures is present in the photos in your work, where the BIWA and the KOTO are in the same frame as a piano, for example, chrystallizing this fusion of different elements that constitute the very core of immigrant communities.
We now have at Rutgers a very active movement for Asian American Scholarship. There is a group of faculty and students who are leading this movement, which is now moving forward with potential 4 new hires. Your work is a tremendous addition to this type of movement. I would be very interested in acquiring the CDs for our library collection.
I am very grateful for getting to know your wonderful work!!
—Kayo Denda, Head, Margery Somers Foster Center & Women’s Studies Librarian, New Brunswick Libraries; Library Faculty, New Brunswick Libraries; (2011)
re: Herbie Hancock and Thelonious Monk videos:
—JB Dyas , Vice President for Education and Curriculum Development at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, formerly Executive Director of the Brubeck Institute (2018)
I’ve recently renewed a working relationship with Bob that began in 1978 when JPL was helping lead the early U.S. efforts to develop renewable energy and hybrid vehicles, hoping to solicit his help in defining meaningful roles for JPL in the alternative energy arena. His insights, broad background, and real world experience and perspective have proven even more valuable than I had hoped. And his grasp of both the big and the small—global and local—perspectives was amply evidenced at the labwide JPL seminar he gave here recently.
—Bob Easter, Manager, Program Development Studies, JPL (2009)
I met Bob through a mutual friend, who thought Bob’s and my shared interest in environmental science might lead to some interesting chemistry. Well it was like alchemy with our meeting leading to a collaboration, friendship and golden moments and golden accomplishments. Bob’s knowledge and grasp of environmental issues led to me to ask him to give a guest lecture in my class in marine pollution. And his interest in the class, the students and the subject resulted in his semester-long participation and an incredible experience for the undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students taking the course. Indeed, this led to his being recruited as a co-instructor with me when the course was offered the next year.
What Bob brings to the table is intensity, commitment and creativity. Intensity and commitment were clear in his quick mastery of the regulatory issues on the government side, with Bob easily digesting an immense literature on the legislative, advisory and political side of marine pollution issues. This combined with his knowledge and experience on the business side of these issues provided a wealth of experience to the class.
Creativity is the other important side of interacting with Bob. I recount one example that has been extremely important in my research and teaching. It was Bob’s reframing of my research area. This area is on a cellular mechanism for keeping pollutants out of cells. My fellow scientists refer to these as efflux transporters, as molecular motors that act to pump pollutants out of cells. Bob reframed the way the entire field now talks about this mechanism. What Bob called them was “bouncers.” And this is now how all my colleagues refer to them. It is a brilliant metaphor, easy for the listener to understand that these are indeed bouncers, but instead of ruffians, the bouncers are keeping toxic things out of the cells. This renaming, reframing, recasting is an important aspect of Bob’s creativity. It is his quickness in understanding complex issues and then creating a simpler way of looking, understanding and solving the problem at hand.
—Dave Epel, Jane and Marshall Steel Professor of Biological and Marine Sciences, Stanford University; Professor Epel has also been a Guggenheim Fellow, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Re: Steinbeck and the Sounds of the Filipino American Experience (2012). For the National Steinbeck Center Exhibition “Filipino Voices Past and Present.” This book also incorporates Japantown in Chinatown (2011). For the National Steinbeck Center Exhibition “Japanese History in Salinas Chinatown.“ Also refers to the film “The Sounds of Steinbeck’s Chinatown.”
Thank you. If you and I hadn’t talked when I was editing your book this exhibit would not have happened or it would have had a different look and feel to it.
And finally, Lorraine and I just finished watching your film. We both loved it. A great job!
— Alex S. Fabros Jr. is a former Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University, there he established the Filipino American Experience Research Project in 1992. Mr. Fabros is also a graduate of the Monterey Defense Language Institute obtaining proficiency and certifications in Chinese Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese. (2012)
I just wanted to send you a heartfelt thanks on behalf of the Google.org team for your participation in yesterday’s RechargeIT RFP meeting. Your insights were truly invaluable and we benefited greatly from your experience in this complex field. Our team found the exercise to be quite helpful for our final decision making process and we will share the results with you in the near future. I’m sure you have many demands on your time so we really appreciate your participation and feedback. We look forward to our next opportunity to work with you. Enjoy the holidays!
—Kirsten and the Google.org Team (2007)
On the Brandenburg 300 Project CD as quoted in the Monterey Herald:
“One of the most fun things to happen to Mr. Bach in a long time.” Danziger “took all that music, all those notes, and somehow reconceived it all — it is still Bach’s music, but it’s also something very new,” Gordon wrote in an email. “Brandenburg 300 is a sort of sonic translation, created by following 18th century instructions while using a varied mix of 21st century tools, both digital and acoustic. It will take me awhile to get my head around the whole marvelous concept.
In an email to me:
The disk is great. I can’t play it while I write because it’s too interesting. I am still getting to know it. It’s musically fascinating and very beautifully mixed and mastered.
—David Gordon, Dramaturge, Carmel Bach Festival; Adams Master Class Director (2014)
On the video Dances of the Monarch Butterflies:
Brilliant, including the caterpillar shimmy on the final note.
What a symphonic movement, orchestral sonorities, great jazz reed sounds, and even a banjo in the texture. This one caught my ears from the beginning of the project. The video is fabulous . . .
Bravi tutti and bravo to you.
—David Gordon, Dramaturge, Carmel Bach Festival; Adams Master Class Director (2014)
On the Brandenburg 621: Art, Space, Music
Good grief! What a spectacular video! Wow! Superbly done, fabulous.
“Voyager I and II sent Bach’s music into outer space in the 1970s. Maybe Bob Danziger is Voyager III, sending Bach’s music into our inner space.”
—David Gordon, Dramaturge, Carmel Bach Festival; Adams Master Class Director (2015)
Congrats on such a rich and nuanced soundscape–of course, I’m only imagining it from your annotated descriptions–but it is evocative. I really like how you insert yourself with your horn playing, so that the soundscape isn’t just about the past, but how the past still exerts influence on the present.
I also forwarded the document to Akemi Kikumura Yano, the museum’s president, and Patricia Wakida, the curator of history. I can’t recall if they were on your distribution list. It was exciting to see a picture of the Yuki Family–Tom Yuki has been a devoted board member and is such a kind and committed person.
—Karin Higa, Curator and specialist in Asian American art, senior art curator of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles (2011)
Bob is one of the great business partners imaginable. He brings tremendous intellect, creativity, and energy to every project. His word is his bond, and loyalty and trustworthiness are among his strengths. We have been through good times and turbulent seas together . . .
—Bob Hilton, Vice President, Business Development, Alstom Environmental Control Systems
With gratitude, I respect Bob’s mindful process for carefully researching, collecting, and selecting the sounds for the exhibits of both the Chinese and Japanese in Salinas exhibits. When Bob first shared with me a sample of his first music montage for Chinatown, I must admit that I, too, expected to hear a collection of Chinese music for a Chinese exhibit. At first, my critical mind thought, “What is this?!” However, as I continued to listen to Bob’s aural montage, I realized that I was becoming informed subliminally on so many different levels.
Since I was never familiar with Salinas’ history of diverse cultures, Bob’s “music” allowed me to feel the dimension of history; not just one culture on a one-dimensional timeline. Listening to the recording in a short span of minutes, I instantly felt Salinas’ woven history of cultures, layered with sounds of daily life. These sounds may not have been pivotal moments in history, but they do unleash nostalgic memories, easily forgotten, but also a part of history. Wow! I could imagine how the exhibit can educate my sight, AND how Bob’s soundscape can enhance the education of my other senses. Bob’s selection of sounds takes us on a journey of the senses, challenging us to see and feel something deeper—a hologram of a unique community. I believe that true understanding and awareness can only come by visceral experience such as this.
—PJ Hirabayashi; is one of the pioneers of the North American Taiko movement; Founding member of San Jose Taiko, the third taiko group to form in the United States; She and her husband Roy are recipients of a 2011 National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the United States’ highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.
I appreciate Bob’s deep level of commitment and his comprehensive research to ensure historic and musical accuracy. I laud the team that is working to develop the Salinas project — the collaboration among and between the community and the Steinbeck Museum serves as a model for all.
—Aggie Idemoto; Japanese American Museum of San Jose
Sometimes it’s the little stories that are most fun. They can tell us more about ourselves, and how we operate as a culture, than the big stories. This little story begins down in Vernon, the belly of the industrial beast in L.A. If it’s big and ugly, it probably gets made in Vernon. As the saying goes, Vernon may not be hell; it just smells like it.
Smack in the middle of Vernon sits a little company known as Sunlaw Energy Corp. In 1995, Sunlaw did a remarkable thing. It built a new generating plant for electricity at the corner of Downey and Fruitland.
Nothing so remarkable about that except this plant probably spews fewer pollutants than any other fossil-fuel plant in the world. In fact, “spews” is the wrong word to use with the Sunlaw plant. On a moderately smoggy day in L.A., the emissions coming out of its stack are cleaner than the air surrounding it.
Or to put it another way, the plant is five times cleaner than required by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. It’s more than twice as clean as its nearest rival and many times cleaner than most plants.
Sunlaw was created by a man named Robert Danziger. As an industrialist, he is hard to classify. He’s had previous lives as a jazz musician and scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is a large man, very large, and when standard golf clubs didn’t fit him he designed his own. The living room of his house has been converted to a sound studio.
After World War II, this city was full of entrepreneurs like Danziger, men who habitually poked into the margins of things, making and sometimes losing several fortunes in their lives. Now, most of them are gone.
But Danziger remains. . . . Ronald Reagan himself could not have dreamed up a better example of capitalism at work. No public monies had been spent. The air gets cleaner, toxics get reduced and jobs get created.
—Robert A. Jones, Columnist, Los Angeles Times, (February 1997)
I gave Carl Sagan the music he put on the Voyager. What a fantastic background and one you should be quite proud of.
—Michael Kapp, part of the legendary music family and, as head of Warner Special Projects, provided the music for most of the U.S. space program including the music on the “Golden Record” (March 2014)
Congratulations! This is unbelievably cool! I started going through the book. It looks fantastic. I would love to be able to share this with some of my colleagues at the Smithsonian.
—Sojin Kim (March 2012)
Bob Danziger is truly a person whose thinking is outside of the box. . . conversations ranged from the problem of global warming and the generation of alternative forms of energy. Bob introduced me to microbial fuel cells, a process by which electricity can be generated by a variety of different microorganisms. It was clear that Bob, whose vast experience in energy production was intrigued by the phenomenon, and he suggested that we put together a small version of one commonly used type of fuel cell. We did using microorganism found in soil, mulch and manure. Now, here is one of Bob’s thinking out of the box ideas, “Why don’t we see if we can generate electricity from the non-carbon parts of coal?” I thought this to be a very odd idea, but when I read that certain species of bacteria live in coal I realized that he might be on to something. What I don’t know whether he was aware of the coal-eating bacteria or was it his canny mind that led him to the idea. In brief, we were able to generate electricity from coal without combustion and went on to improve our fuel cell design to produce greater amounts power. I relate this story as only one example of the strength of Bob’s thinking. One learns this within one’s contact with this extraordinary person.
—Paul Levine, retired professor, Stanford, Harvard, and Washington Universities
Apparently Hubbard’s peak and Simmon’s ostensibly scholarly analysis of Saudi oilfields are chimerical deceptions. Your ’05 projection astounds. [Referring to speech at Stanford predicting that within three to five years the price of oil would go under $35 per barrel after having topped out over $100 per barrel. The price went up to $140 per barrel and then dropped to less than $35 in three years and eleven months.]
—Cole Lester, Attorney, July 10, 2009
Seeing you at the Air Resources Board the other day and hearing your perspective on your upcoming retirement, I felt compelled to drop you a few lines to acknowledge your contribution to cleaning up the air.
From the days of working with you while I was at the South Coast Air Quality Management District, it has been a great pleasure to see the tremendous progress that you had orchestrated through Sunlaw and the research and development being performed with the creation of Goal Line. You were always committed to reducing emissions from stationary sources to the maximum extent possible. The demonstration you have carried out at your powerplant has surprised many people and delighted many others, myself included. The continuing advances in this technology for stationary source applications and the extension to mobile source applications provides us with great encouragement for the future. The outstanding performance of the technology operating over a long time has made believers out of skeptics to the point at which it seems that the measurement techniques have not kept pace with the ability to control the emissions. What a wonderful accomplishment!
. . . I also want you to know that you have made a major impact in advancing state-of-the-art emissions controls. Your personal commitment, perseverance, financial support and dedication to do the right thing will benefit many for years to come. Please accept my humble thanks and congratulations.
—Alan Lloyd, Chief Scientist, South Coast Air Quality Management District; Chairman, California Air Resources Board; and Secretary, California Environmental Protection Agency (2001)
[re Brandenburg Medley] I just watched and listened to the new video-wow-amazing. I LOVE it all. It took my great mood and elevated it another 100 points up the scale. You are and have always been an inspiration and a musical soothsayer. I am proud of you and the way you make the world a better sounding place for at least moments at a time.
—Roger Love (2013)
I first met Bob when a friend who was playing in his band around ten years ago invited me to a gig. From there I have used Bob as a percussionist on two albums in the last three years and was absolutely impressed with his ability to elevate any given theme to a level of greatness and the never ending supply of unexplored sonic landscapes.
—Reinhold Mack, music producer and sound engineer for Queen and Electric Light Orchestra (2009)
I really appreciate the credit given to me and Stewart & Stevenson in your remarks to the “LM Fraternity” [The LM Fraternity is the group of people responsible for starting the alternative energy industry as we know it today]. For my thinking all of the credit goes to Bob Danziger.
—Joe Manning, CEO of Stewart & Stevenson and one of the most respected men in the history of energy
This review is for: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Energy Independence (Paperback) I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The author, a modern day Odysseus, recounts his life’s quest to bring energy independence to the world. Like Homer’s hero, Robert Danziger faces many trials and tribulations; in Danziger’s journey, he struggles to bring new ideas to the entrenched energy interests and the apathetic public. In addition, he provides us with plenty of vignettes to rival Odysseus’ encounter with Nausicaa. Danziger’s witty and jocular prose is a pleasure to read and had me laughing page after page. Alas, Mr. Danziger’s work does not appear to be done, ie, combating Global Warming – hence my emotional quandary. One thing seems certain, as Odysseus was fated to wander, I lament that Mr. Danziger has not gotten to the end of the road to energy independence. While I’m sad for all of us that we’re not there yet, I do, quite excitedly, look forward to Mr. Danziger’s next work.
—Luis Mejia, Stanford University (2010)
The final product is a vibrant, playful reinterpretation of the Baroque jewel, what Danziger describes as a jazz-classical crossover with instruments and recording techniques not available in Bach’s time.
—Claudia Melendez Salinas, Monterey County Herald, Voices of Monterey Bay
Wow, this is quite good! In the current register, it’s suited well for a bass trombone or tuba. Could you transpose it up an octave and send it to me? It would be a tad high in some places and I might make octave adjustments, but this would be really fun to tackle in the privacy of my practice room. Many months of practicing is right, maybe a lifetime to find perfection, but worth every hour. Great work!
—Sue Mudge, Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra, May 2016
[Re: Bob Danziger/Sunlaw position in helping start the alternative energy business in the United States]
. . . Some pioneers genuinely believed in the new technology, saying that gas, while it emits carbon dioxide, is vastly preferable to coal. Bob Danziger, founder of Sunlaw Energy, was one of the earliest examples, but Calpine and AES’ founders would speak along similar lines. This attitude, which merchant producers in the 90s still held, reflects the earlier preoccupation of politicians and society with acid rain, a phenomenon associated with the sulphur dioxide emissions of coal plants, rather than a general aversion to greenhouse gases.
Geothermal power was one of the early technologies to benefit from IPP finance, and certainly gained a stronger following than wind power in its initial stages. CalEnergy, now part of MidAmerican, Oxbow Group, founded by Bill Koch, and Unocal were the main players. Indeed Calpine’s early success rested on its purchase of the Geysers property from Unocal. Bruce Wrobel, formerly of EnCom, and now, as Herakles Capital, pushing a scheme for a Bauxite project in Guinea, did handsomely from selling prospective geothermal resources.
Banks liked the assets, since most of them had the backing of contracts with strong support from regulators. Some of them, particularly the earliest ones, struck power contracts at very advantageous terms.
[Bob Danziger’s] Sunlaw Cogeneration is for most the first project-financed thermal plant, a 66MW project that signed a power purchase with Southern California Edison, and was the first to avoid using a take-or-pay arrangement. It was also pitched to a financing community that had little idea what to make of a private power plant.
Bob Danziger, whose past occupations included law student, avant-garde jazz musician and researcher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, had even less money than Makowski to play with. He ended up having $10,000 in [worker’s] compensation to work with, and owed lawyers and engineers about $2 million by the time he closed Sunlaw’s financing.
Nevertheless, after fruitless conversations regarding a leveraged lease financing, including a pitch to First Chicago, Sunlaw managed to place debt with the assistance of Bank of America’s Ron Spoehel [now CFO of NASA], $60 million in all. Other debt investors included SFG and NatWest (now Royal Bank of Scotland), Lloyd’s, Irving Trust and Bank of New England, while the $21.5 million equity was placed through AG Becker (sold to Merrill Lynch in 1984) and Smith Barney (now part of Citigroup). John Hancock, also an equity investor, as well as Aetna and United of Omaha, provided the takeout of the construction financing.
At the time, bankers were usually the place to find construction finance, while the institutions provided takeout finance. This delineation continued until European and Japanese banks became more willing to lend long-term. The US aversion to long-term lending is not necessarily a recent phenomenon. Where they were able to help was in understanding, and therefore trying to eliminate, construction risk. After all the contracts had been signed, and insurance procured through Lloyds, there was little left to chance.
Equity returns could be high. Sunlaw’s partnership meant that the limited partners made 325% before the general partner, Danziger’s Sunlaw, saw more than 1%.
—Tom Nelthorpe, Project Finance Magazine, May 2008
Bob is an engineering and scientific genius on many levels, in many fields. In addition to all his other work, he has designed and built a remarkable walker/chair I believe may be an excellent aid for several categories of wounded warriors.
—(Gunner); Dr. Kalev I. Sepp; Naval Postgraduate School; Monterey, California (2009)
I have listened to both CDs of the Brandenburg 300 Project that you gave me. I found them interesting, thought provoking, and fun to listen to!
—Dongsok Shin (August 2015)
[re; Brandenbone] I listened to Brandenbone and loved it–you worked magic with one instrument and those visuals: how did you do them? You are a magician….
[Re: Bird, Bach and the 4th of July] Wow Beautiful footage and an ingenious combination of bebop and Bach–congrats, my friend. Very fucking cool….
—Biff Smith; Professor Berkelee College of Music, Along Came Betty (June 2015)
[Re: Brandenbone 21] I was so moved and delighted with this – Another amazing fusion of art and technology from Danziger. The profound depth of Bach’s timeless music flows beautifully through this 21st century rendering.
—Gary Smith, Professor, Hartnell College (February 2016)
Bob is truly the pioneer of our current private electricity infrastructure in the United States and Australia. He has pushed for open accounting in the power generation groups and pushed for environmental awareness and accountability back when the other companies pushed against it. Bob was instrumental in making Los Angeles’s air cleaner and made it a much better place to live and work for hundreds of people. Many of those were children that needed that helping hand.
Bob can do anything he puts his mind to but more importantly, he has taken on many tasks that people say cannot be done, but he gets them done. It has always been a pleasure working for and with Bob on many projects and task over the last 20 plus years. I would recommend Bob for any project but highly recommend him for the nearly impossible project!
—Tim Smith, Vice President
Bob Danziger remembers the lighter moments that punctuate every human endeavor, in his case the serendipitous journey from musician – to college droput (Bob left after three months to join an experimental band) – to experimental musician – to law school graduate – to space law pioneer – to energy cogeneration consultant – to clean air industrialist – to large wood sculptor – to scientific environmental thinker at large – and back. Instead of pursuing music as a full-time career, Bob brought his unique musical perspective to his many competing interests – space, energy, community financing of projects never done before, to name a few. To be sure, Bob provides an overview of the evolution of the private sector energy business that was born and has grown up in the last thirty years. His company, Sunlaw, is credited by many as the pioneering private sector energy company. Fiercely combining work with play, Bob none-the-less learned his lessons the hard way. Many in the energy establishment resisted Sunlaw’s catalytic converter technology (adopted by the EPA under President Clinton as the industry standard), which put cleaner air out of the stacks than the atmosphere it entered, at a cost of pennies. Some among those with no interest in clean air called Bob “the most hated man in the energy business.” Fortunately for the reader, Bob chooses to remember only the good times.
If you want to delve into the politics of the energy business there are other books that go there. For the meat and potatoes of energy science, you could read one of the papers Bob continues to present at institutional think tanks such as Stanford and the Jet Propulsion Lab at CalTech. But for those who wonder what a person like Bob was thinking at the start of their unique journey, I offer the inlaid inscription on Bob’s giant Purple Heart Wood sculpture that graces the entrance of my home. Lifted from Bob’s resignation letter to the band that swept him out of Antioch College thirty plus years ago, as a kind of “sneak preview” of what was to follow, the inscription reads:
“Where complexity melts
to reveal alternate proposals
irregular in shape
but remaining as a window
Through which you must leap.”
—Bill Straw—Blix Street Records, (March 2010)
[re: Brandenburg 300 CD] James and I have been listening to them, and will continue to listen to them, for years to come. They are absolutely magnificent, beautiful, truthful. In fact, honestly, where does one find words to describe magic.
—Lila Staples Thorsen, Ph.D.; CSUMB Department Chair; Visual and Public Art Department; Museum Studies / Art History (2014)
[re:] your Japantown CD, it occurred to me I have never told you how impressed I am with this production, this rich gorgeous mosaic of sound. It is genius ! Thank you so much for all of the creativity and heart and thought that went into producing such a gem for the exhibition, and for simple listening pleasure. (Love the rooster!)
—Lila Staples Thorsen, Ph.D.; CSUMB Department Chair; Visual and Public Art Department; Museum Studies / Art History (2011)
Congratulations on a wonderful tribute in today’s Herald. But more so on the outstanding accomplishments you have achieved in your multifaceted career! I was honored to have known you then, but even more so knowing you now! All my best,
—Jim Tunney, Fairfax High School Principal (Where Bob Attended 1969 – 1971; Student Body President 1970-71); NFL Referee; Columnist – Monterey Herald (February 2014)
RE: Completed Programs: scans of all 61 years of Monterey Jazz Festival Programs] We really appreciate all of your hard work to organize this; it will be a valuable resource for us.
—Bill Wagner, Production Manager, Monterey Jazz Festival (November 2017)
Congrats. What an accomplishment. The CD and the [Herald] article are awesome milestones.
—Dr. Drew Waters, President, Society of Professional Audio Recording Services (February 2014)
[re: Magic Steps] Wow. Awesome work. it really is. Such a great mix! So great I forgot about it and just listened. That’s rare. man. It all sounded so bright and shiny, such heavy musicianship. Congrats again on another huge accomplishment.
—Dr. Drew Waters, President, Society of Professional Audio Recording Services (September 2014)
As Chairman Emeritus of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), I was dismayed to hear that Sunlaw has been forced out of business; its equipment sold and sites razed. This is a major loss for all air breathers in southern California and the fight for clean air all over the world for a number of reasons:
- Sunlaw was the most co-operative powerplant or industrial facility in the history of the SCAQMD, its facilities were always open and friendly to inspections, data requests and even going so far as to volunteer data, time and personnel.
- Sunlaw was by far the most aggressive powerplant or industrial facility in the history of the SCAQMD in reducing emissions whether required to or not. I know that you have been the driving force behind this positive attitude not only in thought but in deed.
- I have found Sunlaw, over its entire 16 years of operation, to be scrupulously honest and competent with respect to its emission monitoring equipment, personnel, procedures and use of the highest integrity independent testing companies.
- I also know that the new emission control technology known as SCONOx would not be here today if it had not been developed by you and your team who were unwilling to use old ammonia based polluting technology because of your commitment to clean air.
- The SCONOx technology, as first developed by Sunlaw, demonstrated 2.0 ppm NOX on a 3 hour rolling average basis and was declared to be Best Available Control Technology (BACT). It was declared so twice by the US EPA as being capable of achieving the lowest emission rate for all classes of gas fired turbines. Even more remarkable, these new emission standards were set without the use of ammonia. I am also aware that the SCONOX technology continues to demonstrate thousands of hours of commercial operation at 1.0 ppm or less NOX at numerous installations throughout the United States.
- As I closely followed Sunlaw over the last 10 years, in addition to the subsequent maturity of the SCONOX product, I have concluded that SCONOX has never received credit for the absence of ammonia emissions and subsequent formation of particulates, from power generating facilities, nor the fact that the technology virtually eliminates many other hazardous air pollutants. The reason for such a lack of recognition is a mystery to me, considering the vast amount of data and requests given to the SCAQMD and the US EPA.
- What saddens me most was the failure of the Nueva Azalea Project proposed by Sunlaw. This Project was, by a wide margin, the cleanest powerplant ever proposed in the history of the SCAQMD, and to the best of my knowledge, the cleanest of its type ever proposed in the world.
- If it had been aggressively supported by both the SCAQMD and the California Energy Commission, a new standard for clean power generation would have been set, once again elevating the SCAQMD to the world leader in applying new technologies for cleaner air.
- As Sunlaw closes down their operation, I would like to commend you for your personal and financial commitment (and mostly for your courage) in attempting to develop clean and efficient power generation in southern California and around the world. The SCAQMD is losing a great ally and friend.
I wish you all the best of luck in the future and consider my past relationship with you and your people to be one of the bright spots in my career.
—Henry W. Wedaa, Chairman Emeritus, South Coast Air Quality Management District (2002)
I watched your extraordinary movie this morning. As an ethnomusicologist, I love the emphasis on sound to tell the story of a place and its people. I learned a lot from the historical data and connections that you made, both positive (you are my sunshine) and negative (Steinbeck’s quote from America and Americans). But the strength of the movie for me are the personal stories you tell about the families and individuals. Bravo!
—Andrew N. Weintraub, Professor of Music, Director of Graduate Studies, University of Pittsburgh (May 2012)
The Brandenburg 300 project shows that composers use the resources around them to create good music. For example, Danziger uses a Steinway baby grand instead of a clavichord. He adds some things to the score and subtracts others, to match his own sensibilities. He changes the rhythms around and brings in instruments from other cultures. And it sounds great! I congratulate him for recreating a work of lasting beauty and depth for people in THIS time and place.
—Andrew N. Weintraub, Professor and Chair of Music, University of Pittsburgh (January 2014)
THIS IS BRILLIANT. (Re: Brandenburg 22 and “I Am No One’s Contemporary” by Mandelstam, translated and performed by Bill Minor)
—Andrew N. Weintraub, Professor and Chair of Music, University of Pittsburgh (August 2014)
In 2013 Mike Whittington left the Monterey Museum of Art to take over the Presidency of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (OKCMOA). In 2015 commissioned Bob to compose a sond sculpture for am Exhibition of Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures. In March 2015 Mike Whittington wrote: “We had a meeting . . . to review the work to date (bravos all around). The the roof over the Exhbition was seriously damaged, and in 2019 Mike wrote” “We have every intent of using the composition. We’ve had to temporarily deinstall a portion of the gallery for a roofing issue. As soon as that’s resolved, we’ll be incorporating the sound element.”
—Michael Whittington, President, Oklahoma City Museum of Art
It’s terrific, really terrific. I’ve enjoyed listening to the piece (in its entirety) this evening. It will make an evocative addition to the installation.
—Michael Whittington, Director, Monterey Museum of Art (March 2009)
“Bob’s sound sculpture, ‘Nocture 1910,’ has been the audience hit of ‘Made in Monterey,’ our 50th anniversary exhibition. Danziger’s keen intellect, savvy technical expertise and wit produce an audio component which made our late 19th and early 20th century paintings come alive. This fruitful collaboration has proven to be a model for how we approach all future exhibition projects.”
—Michael Whittington, Director, Monterey Museum of Art (November 2009)
I received the book and CD/DVD you sent me Bob — it’s been hard for me to put it down. Everything in it is so incredibly interesting to me. . . . I of course immediately contacted Richie Quirino in Manila to tell him I now have a copy of the book that I was fascinated with while staying at his house.
—Carlos Zialcita, SF Pinoy Jazz Festival (2016)