Month: November 2008

  • The Joy in Creating Music

    My oldest son is becoming very accomplished on the bass guitar.  Maybe this is a rite of passage for me, but is seems that a lot of the current music teenagers are listening to is really depressing. It seem like Grunge Part II.  I guess I am just getting old.  We have been playing some of the Beatles Anthology discs to get a sense of how they put the songs together.  Perhaps that proves I am getting old. 

    But there is real learning value in these Anthology releases for young musicians.  There are numerous selections where some of the famous songs are played from their raw inception to the eventual master.  It is remarkable how simple melodies strummed on a rhythm guitar or a few key strokes on a piano developed into incredible lasting music. What really comes out of those recordings is the joy, energy, great humor that went into those sessions.  There is one track, "And Your Bird Can Sing" where the bass work is outstanding.  But the real joy is listening to them mess up and then break down into uncontrollable laughter.  That's what I wanted my son to hear. I think he gets it.  --BTB


  • We participated in Veteran's Day ceremony today at a community nearby.  Lots of folks from all different walks of life were in attendance. The main speaker was a surprise to me, a man who was a Holocaust survivor and was part of Oskar Schindler's list.  He is, as you can imagine, an older man now.  His voice was soft but resolute.  The message touched on sacrifice, evil, compassion, and love. Love of country and the ideals it holds.  Love of family and friends.  With all of the horrible things he has witnessed and the losses he has endured, this man is at peace.  You can feel it in his voice. 

    I had an opportunity to speak with him afterwards.  After coming to the United States as a boy, he became an educator and worked for 39 years in the school system.  As it turns out, we both studied at the same graduate school.  Most certainly in different years and academic programs!  His lose of most of of his family and friends, made me think of the people I have lost.  Some have past this earth and some still live somewhere on it.  Where, I do not know.  I do not even have a phone number. 

    It is interesting how people come into your heart. And how, under the most adverse circumstances, they remain with us.  I have come to experience this in new ways over the years. Some people are so special that they become part of you.  And I am happy for that, for in special situations that appears to be all one will ever have.  On one hand it is profoundly sad and even depressing.  But it is also a blessing and a gift.  For without that experience, what would one have?

    I think this is why I found the gentleman so fascinating.  Not only through respecting his tumultuous past, but understanding how time heals wounds and brings about peace. In the world and in one's own mind.   

    Onward and Upward.  --BTB