I began a discussion on the subject of alternative energy production with my visiting European energy expert, my longtime friend, Per. (Per is Norwegian, but has lived in Kiel, Germany, for several decades.) Per is an expert in many aspects of alternative energy generation. He holds the European patent for a Biomass Generator, that could greatly increase the storage and recycling energy currently squandered in disposing of tons of urban biomass waste.
At the end of the cruise, there is always the “Captain’s Dinner.” The hotel manager had heard me speaking German with someone. The Slovakian captain was insecure in his English. And so, I was invited to sit next to the Captain at his dinner. On his other side was a German-born American passenger. Basically, the Captain was uncomfortable having to make speeches and schmooze in English with the mostly American passengers.
When I was in high school, I attended several music camps, which gave me my first experience of being a full-time musician. Adults attend various types of health camps, sports camps, church camps, and camps devoted to various groups and themes. Attending a Fielding Graduate University national session is like attending a camp for the mind, a convening of intellectuals, a convention of professors, philosophers, luminaries, and scholars. It’s a week of concentrated thought and contemplation.
I’ve flown into Atlanta on my way home to Columbus, Georgia, countless times in the last four decades. It’s impossible to arrive again without flashing back to the trips that occurred on the occasion of the deaths of my parents in Jan. 2002 and Dec. 2003. There’s a certain emptiness caused by the fact that though I’m returning “home” to the place where I spent the first eighteen years of my life, that it’s not the same because my parents aren’t there anymore.
I’ve been thinking about my life as a musician and the challenges of being a professional musician (or painter, sculptor, dancer, poet, or artist of any kind) in today’s society. I’ll start with some details of my personal story, through which many of you will be reminded of your own pursuits of your personal passions.
In traditional Moslem culture, all marriages are arranged. Once the bride and groom’s families complete their negotiations on dowry terms (the money and goods paid to the groom’s family as compensation for assuming the “burden” of supporting the addition to the groom’s family), the marriage ceremony is arranged. Marriages are a time for large celebrations featuring conspicuous consumption.
No, I have not traveled to Iran, but my across-the-street neighbor just returned from a one month visit to his hometown of Shiraz, Iran. My neighbor’s Iranian name is Parvez. Parvez has lived in the states for almost thirty years. He’s an artist as well as being a capable handyman, i.e. a “jack of all trades”.