Having seen Mr. Ostertag perform with Pierre Hebert this fall, as part of their Living Cinema project, I am well-aware of the importance of wind-up toys to his compositions. I had a funky battery operated toy from Japan, a Skull Ball, which I barely ever used. After a brief e-mail exchange, I mailed it to him as a gift and today just got the following e-mail from him: the skull is awesome! THANK YOU!!! - bob ostertag .
I have given Bob Ostertag skull, I guess one could say. I have officially added this to my roster of anecdotes involving encounters with quirky celebrities, alongside hugging (or rather being hugged by) Damo Suzuki, telling David Thomas that his beard makes him looks like Philip K. Dick, recommending the films of Dusan Makavejev to Annie Sprinkle, and giving an Ultraman monster to David Byrne. (For obvious reasons, I leave my bathroom stall encounter with Doug Bennett off the list -- see October's "Bummed About Doug" for that). Ahh, the conveyed grace, the joy of basking in the warm aura of celebrity... tho' it's a fairly eccentric notion of celebrity I'm pursuing. Oh, and I've collected autographs from Otomo Yoshihide, Umezu Kazutoki, Makigami Koichi, Hal Niedzviecki, and Ruth Ozeki, too.