Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Eleventh Interview - Of Ancient Time, Time and Today

This interview is going to touch on some of the recent turns in your blog. It seems to me prophetic that the Serpent in the Sky, the title of the book by John Anthony West, represents choice as in the Garden of Eden story, eating of the tree in the end offered freedom, a transgression that God set up right there for man/woman to be taboo and thusly admired and also talked into eating by the said snake or dragon then who ended up being a snake to move on it's belly.
Well, all that is very interesting. John West, who both of us have known personally and who I regard as a friend and one of those few people who have made an impression on me, has always been involved with the meanings expressed in symbols, particularly in ancient Egypt, probably a kind of language and a manner of thinking that would seem entirely foreign to modern people. We can really only guess how they thought and how their thoughts affected the way they saw the world. Suffice it to say, it was very different from the way we see our own.
It seems strange that Moses carried with him the symbol of snakes on a pole and then it also became representative of medicine. Man and nature and symbols are strange, and telling. Then this about the heavy rains or waters that covered the Sphinx, perhaps the flood that killed all but Noah's kids and wives...(don't bother seeing new 2014 movie Noah..it's really bad)...I hoped that perhaps the latest Moses Exodus movie would be better, but Hollywood changes the symbols and I just saw it and it does suck! Anyway, it is also interesting that you are helping John Anthony West with this.
Well, I guess I would be willing to let the people who read my blog know about John West and his work. That also goes for some other researchers like Graham Hancock and Anne Tittensor. There are at least a half dozen or more researchers along similar lines of enquiry, whose books and work I consider worth reading. I am willing to help publicize their efforts because they represent a cutting edge on matters concerning recovering the facts concerning our own history. I think we should all be curious where we came from and generally we know very little, maybe back to the times and personalities of our great grandparents if we are lucky.
Can tourists still travel to Egypt safely?
With John? I'm sure that he still conducts tours though maybe fewer. I suppose tourists are as safe there as they would be in Europe at this time, or even America or Canada.
Did you ever go to Egypt with John?
No, and for a variety of reasons having to do with my eyesight and how that may impact my awareness of things around me in foreign countries, and all the heat and sunshine, which is not good for me either, it was never anything I contemplated doing. 
What happened to the Great Composers series? Surely great classical music didn't stop with Anton Bruckner.
No, of course not. The next person on the list would normally be Johann Strauss Jr. the Waltz King. After him would come Brahms. But I have hesitated going forward because maybe I feel that Strauss has fallen out of the top tier within the last fifty years or so. You know how music that may be tremendously popular during one epoch, as his was, sounds dated decades later.
It all sounds dated to me, but I like some of it, but as you know I really find it offensive for some music to play with my emotions, as some of the “romantic” music does.
Yes, and I'm sure that other people like that music more precisely because it plays with their emotions. I see a certain parallel with people's fascination with horror movies. You know that I am one who can't stand them.
Yes, but you do like Film Noir, though that's not really the same thing.
Right, not at all.
Well, every kind of music seems to go through cycles, why do you think that is?
I think it has to do with the individual listener's cognitive appreciation for music. You notice that even the music from what we may consider “primitive” cultures seems to have its day and then fades. Ska, reggae and maybe even genuine bluegrass seem to, so why not classical music? The appalling thing about classical music appreciation to me is that there is so much of it that used to be programmed that is simply mediocre music, by any standard, fit only to serve as “background ambiance,” like something one hears in doctor's or dentist's offices. It's turned down real low and you aren't supposed to pay close attention to it at all.
Elevator music. Yes. (laughs)
I actually met someone years ago in Atlanta who played piano and organ and directed music for a big church who described what he did as elevator music.
Like an elevator to heaven? (laughs) I gather you didn't get anywhere with that offer to teach people Beethoven. Too much work for most people. Some of that music is just so old anyway.
Yeah, Bach and Scarlatti is even older. This time of year we used to hear a lot of Renaissance music, as if that had something more to do with Christmas. Don't hear much of that anymore.
(more laughs) So are you changing, or what? I thought this blog was supposed to be about your interest in classical music, pianos, etc.
Well, when I was a child I was a rock hound, sort of, kind of. Remember?
Yeah, you had all those labelled little rocks in little plastic cube displays and had them all in the garage. You had all the other kids come and look at your rocks. Remember?
Yeah, dumb hunh? (laughs)
It's amazing how things we used to think were so cool turn out to seem dumb to us later. (more laughs)
Yeah, and it would be dumb. That's what you'd say to keep someone from coming over.
Well, I never remembered that.
No, that was for some other of my friends. (laughs) Anyway, one of the latest posts here had to do with the discovery of the largest known carved megalith (that's a huge stone, ok?) so I guess I'm still interested in rocks.
They can tell us things about our past?
Yeah, maybe. Then again, perhaps we'll never know. One thing's for sure though, we'll never get the truth from the usual academic sources because they have an agenda, a view of the past and our position in history that they badly need to preserve. It's noticed how much most “science” is just another religion as the people who support it react with the same spite as those in the past who yelled “heretic” at anyone who disagreed with them. Peer review, you know.
So how you doing without a piano?
Managing, but my hands feel clumsy. It's been a few months now. 
Yikes, I couldn't stand to be away from my instrument that long.
I'll recover my chops. I've had a hiatus such as this a few times. 
You still open to teaching?
Piano? Of course.
Guess you'll have to wait til you get home.
Seems likely.
Been to Fandrich's yet?
No, have to set that up, transportation, etc. I expect to arrange it before I leave this area.
Well anyway. Thanks for Blog...interesting. Oh, is there anything you want to leave us with?
There was just something one of my fellow alternative researchers had to say regarding our present culture.
What culture?
Exactly. He said something like this: that America's culture was culture the lack of any established culture and moral law, infused with the cultures of most other nations.
Yeah, commercialism. If there's no money in it, why do it? Reduces everything to seven minute sound bite songs that don't interfere with the senseless and continuous spewing forth of commercials...and some dare to call it a culture.
Yeah, and it's everywhere and affects everything.
And people take their selfies and post them and life goes on. Doesn't give much space for any real music, artistry or for that matter pianos, does it. Thought of doing something else?
Yeah, sometimes I think I'll return to fine art and take up painting again. Maybe this time, I'll confine my work to large canvases of landscapes, you know the kind of stuff they hang in banks?
You're kidding.
No, I've thought about doing it.
What else?
Well, if a friend of mine ever gets to open his own restaurant, maybe I'd be a chef there. I could do worse. You know I did function as an institutional cook for a while when I attended summer school during college in Berkeley. They loved what I did there.
Interesting. Well anyway, you have a nice blog. Interesting.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Graham Hancock on Touring Ancient Egypt

If you're going to Egypt and can only take two books with you they should be '"The Travelers Key to Ancient Egypt" and "Serpent in the Sky: The High Wisdom of Ancient Egypt," both by my old friend John Anthony West. "Travelers Key" is by far the best guide book to the mysteries of ancient Egypt ever written. Although it's presently out of print you can get used copies through Amazon, and my understanding is that a new, revised and updated edition is planned very soon. It's thanks to John that we are now all aware that the Great Sphinx of Giza may date back to 10,000 BC or earlier (rather than to around 2,500 BC as mainstream archaeologists claim). The notion of an older Sphinx was originally John's insight, and it was he who brought in Professor Robert Schoch of Boston University who confirmed that this extraordinary monument was indeed subjected to thousands of years of heavy rainfall and therefore must be much older than 2,500 BC -- dating back to a time, around the end of the last Ice Age, when Egypt was last subject to such rains. The debate goes on, Egyptologists continue to wiggle and claim that the Sphinx is younger, but they will not prevail. The truth is great and mighty, as the ancient Egyptians said.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Graham Hancock on the Younger Dryas

The earth was hit by a comet around 12,800 years ago with globally cataclysmic effects that brought on an epoch of devastating cold, darkness and floods known by geologists as the Younger Dryas. For the past seven years academics have been involved in such an intense dispute about whether or not the comet impact actually occurred that the implications of what it might have meant for the story of civilisation have not yet been considered at all. But every attempt to refute the impact evidence has in turn been refuted and the case for the Younger Dryas comet is now so compelling that it is time to widen the debate.  [Emphasis mine.  Academics, largely due to their "peer review" process, are usually more intent on preserving their theories of what happened, Darwinian evolution of species being one of their foremost favourite ideas,  rather than exposing the truth.  Until this exercise in imposition of societal idiocy is removed, it will be an open question whether a college education is worth the time or the money!]

The epicentre of the impact was on the North American ice cap but other large fragments of the same object also hit the Northern European ice cap, and impact evidence has also been found as far afield as the Middle East (e.g. see point number 22 on the diagram here:

Though not yet confirmed, it is possible that some fragments may have hit Egypt and this raises an intriguing speculation concerning the ancient Egyptian cult of the Benben stone. As long ago as 1989 my friend and colleague Robert Bauval proposed in the academic journal "Discussions in Egyptology" that the original Benben stone might have been an oriented iron meteorite. You can read his article here: http://robertbauval.co.uk/articles/articles/DE14.html
I suggest it is worth re-opening this discussion to consider whether the mysterious object worshipped in the Mansion of the Phoenix in Heliopolis [Beth-Shemesh] might in fact have been a fragment of the Younger Dryas comet that caused the global cataclysm of 12,800 years ago. Like the Phoenix, comets are objects that return again and again to our skies and it is conceivable that some fragments of the Younger Dryas comet remain in orbit and might even threaten us today. 
Such speculations add new light to the strange correlation of sky and ground (see attached graphic) that memorialises the sky of 12,800 years ago in the giant monuments of Egypt's Giza plateau where the priesthood of Heliopolis practised their star religion. I propose that this religion -- the title of the High Priest of Heliopolis was "Chief of the Astronomers" -- had its origins in a lost civilisation destroyed during the Younger Dryas cataclysm, and that survivors of that civilisation settled in Egypt and created a message to the future written in the language of astronomy and monumental architecture that was designed to draw attention to the exact epoch of the comet impact. I will be exploring these ideas further in "Magicians of the Gods" the sequel I am now writing to "Fingerprints of the Gods".

Additional notes: The ancient Egyptians called the Milky Way the "Winding Waterway". The constellation of Orion was seen as the celestial image of the god Osiris, said to have brought the gifts of civilisation to Egypt in the remote past in the epoch called Zep Tepi, "the First Time".

Additional note (2) The graphic indicates the sky over Giza as it would looked early in the precessional “Age of Leo” (the period of roughly 2,160 years -- between approximately 12,970 years ago and 10,810 years ago) when the constellation of Leo “housed” the sun on the Spring Equinox. Because of the phenomenon known as the precession of the equinoxes, each of the 12 zodiacal constellations takes it’s turn to house the sun during the course of “Great Year” which lasts a total of 12 X 2,160 years, i.e. 25,920 years. The alignment indicated in the graphic therefore only recurs every 25,920 years.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Planet Mu’s Lost Civilizations - Anne Tittensor

Anne Tittensor had this to say:

The conclusion I have come to on the existence of MU, is as follows. MU was not an island or a group of islands. MU was planet Earth, swimming in the sea we call the Universe in the deep and distant past when MU (Earth) was smaller, as Churchward says, “before the mountains rose”. A past that we have forgotten, a past that has been deliberately taken from us, a past that, if proven would destroy all educational, religious and political practises and systems in this, our present civilisation. It is therefore understandable why our past has been hidden from the populous – just imagine if the masses* were faced with the truth that we, the awakened are mistily aware of? Think about it – really think about it. We are not the first technically advanced civilisation to inhabit this planet, in fact our technical and scientific advancements are but a scratch on the surface of what a previous civilisation achieved.

We have survived catastrophe after catastrophe, some natural and some man-made as stated within the research. Darwin had a theory that is still pumped through the education system even to this day, but his “theory” is only tentatively viable for this particular layer in time and does not take into consideration the NOW quantum reality. Here we have a prime example of the expression “everything we have been told is lies” – no matter what advancements this civilisation happens to stumble across, Darwin will still be taught in schools. Why? Because anything else would upset the apple cart and all the anthropologists and their peers would have to go find a job in Tescos. Can you see that happening?

Think about the implications. The proof is out there – The global connective unexplained stonework, the as yet unknown race of people as proven by the skulls, the out of place artefacts and anomalies that are becoming more and more evident today, the fact that pre-ice age pyramids are showing up globally, the fact that we now have an Egyptian tomb waiting to be excavated in Australia! (yes, you read that right).  The researchers that stray from the mainstream will force the information to the surface, all the while fighting through the misinformation machine, the bullshit and the Nay Sayers, it will prevail – hopefully.

Read the entire thing here

* I was asked to admonish Anne that the use of the phrase "the masses" is equivalent to saying "the mob" and would better be termed "the people" instead. It would do the world a lot of good to drop "the masses" from our usual conversation as we do not seek superiority above anyone.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Master Classes on early piano sonatas of Beethoven

[pic of young Beethoven from actual portrait 
 you can see a little wild rascal in his expression]

Piano Lessons Proposal : Sept 28, 2014

Conservatory Style Master Classes
focusing on some early piano sonatas of Beethoven
particularly #1, #3, #6, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14 and #15.
For the next few months, October through at least January, pianist David Burton, will be based in Sequim, Washington, not far from Port Angeles or Victoria, BC and within reach of the rest of Northwest Washington. Long an exponent of raising the level of amateur pianism, Burton would like to be able to conduct a series of master classes for no more than six students at a location with a better than average piano in reasonably good tune and preparation for serious playing. He would like to find such a location and would like to be able to record all these events for future posting at his website (dpbmss041010.blogspot.com): audio only. Links from the Piano World piano forum, etc. would announce their release. After that, these same podcasts could be posted anywhere freely on line. Burton would like to use these classes as a means to defray some of his travelling expenses for a visit that will include Washington and Northern California.  
Each session would focus on one sonata. Prospective students would be intermediate to advanced,, have some acquaintance with the music in question, would bring their own scores, etc. Each session could run up to 2 hours, longer with more people, which is why the number of students is to be limited. Some asked whether tickets would be sold to such an event, so people could come in and sit and listen, expecting the location might be some auditorium or church. Burton does not yet know what kind of location this mission of his would require. The location may even turn out to be someone's private home. It will be up to the consensus, exactly when they would most likely be able to attend such an event and arrangements, locations, etc. will be distributed via e-mail.  
After January, 2015, Burton's plans are less certain. He expects to travel to Northern California and will be based near Santa Cruz. Offers for classes and appearances will be considered. His repertoire at the moment focuses on music by Franz Schubert and Beethoven. He may supplement these with very simple arrangements of 19th century songs, now almost extinct in memory, or music of his own composition. He wants people to be able to hear how even a simple piece of piano music can be played to great advantage. Two complete concert programs are under preparation. These will feature two sonatas of Franz Schubert, a sonata of Beethoven and the other mentioned pieces.  
The interested should contact David Burton right away at dpbmss@aol.com subject music proposal. Let him know which of the above mentioned Beethoven sonatas is of most interest, etc. He also wants to know the best times for scheduling these events.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Barry Harris - Chopin Changes

Barry Harris - Chopin Changes

Barry Harris - A Master Class - Giant Steps

 Barry Harris - A Master Class - Giant Steps

Barry Harris - A Master Class - Stella By Starlight

 Stella By Starlight - Barry Harris

This video is part of a collection of videos which Frans Elsen recorded during workshops that Barry Harris gave at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague between 1989 and 1998. Frans Elsen was a very important Dutch pianist, arranger and educator of Jazz. He and Barry shared a mutual appreciation of each others music and were close friends. This material has been edited and selected by Frans himself. It gives a unique insight in Barry's wonderful ways of teaching and his extraordinary musicianship. Please visit http://www.franselsen.com for info about Frans Elsen and his musical legacy. There is a special reference to these videos on that website. These videos are an important historical document of one of Jazz music's finest and foremost musicians and educators.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet - Ravel Piano Concerto for the Left Hand

 Jean-Efflam Bavouzet - Ravel Piano Concerto for the Left Hand

This performance clearly qualifies as “getting it” on practically every level. I frankly love the space performer and orchestra create for each other here. The changes are colourful as well as perfectly played. London and the UK should be justly proud of their Proms, held in that Albert Hall of theirs. I can't imagine much more wonderful than attending a live concert there some time in my life.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Brahms' String Sextet Op. 36

This morning I got an “ear worm” for this piece and began searching for a version of it, only to discover that in most cases, either the intonation or the intention of the players was lacking. Well finally, I arrived at an acceptable version, one that did not unduly set my teeth on edge.

What is so difficult about it? Just play the notes. Easy for me to say, I suppose. For strings, my favourite after piano music, the magic balance seems to be intonation (if the players are even sensible of the fact that they are playing out of tune and off key and can correct it) and vibrato, which enough is really required the longer the note, in order not to sound thin. Of course the calibre of the instrument and the bow can have a lot more to do with it than most suppose. I recall a few years back hearing a good cellist play a fabulous cello. The composition she played was ca-ca. Nevertheless once in a while one got the sense of how a really good cello is supposed to sound.

On this blog, I like to showcase live performances whenever I can. If you get on here, your intonation is acceptable. If it isn't, I'm not going to bother pointing it out to you, I just wont post you here. The idea is to project classical music as a living and greatly loved art form that continues to attract lively performers and one always hopes, livelier audiences.

Many people have the erroneous idea that classical music is dead or a museum craft. Let me therefore ask everyone if they suppose that truth is dead? All truth lies in the past. Truth cannot be easily established in the present and who knows about the future? If one is always in “be here now” mode, rather than at least commonly aware of the past, where all is dead and gone, while living through the continuing experience of the present, then one is invariably simple prey to whatever whimsical whatnot is going on at the moment. Of course some want you there; to be but a willing consumer of whatever the next fad is that they have in store. Here today, gone tomorrow, just as long as they turn a buck. Now, with that said, let's get on with it.

Johannes Brahms was a serious fellow who set out to write music that would continue the traditions established by the classical masters (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert), which is bluntly stated, music that would last a long time, perhaps for eternity. He certainly knew his Bach and had as well the 300 odd harpsichord sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti. Indeed, we might not even have these were it not for Brahms, who always scanned various estate sales, etc. for rare musical manuscripts.

This string sextet is his second. It was written for 2 violins, 2 violas and 2 cellos. It was written during 1864 and 1865 and first performed in Boston, Massachusetts on October 11, 1866. Brahms was in Germany, not in Massachusetts, but this demonstrates that even back then this music was international as it certainly is today. It has four movements, just like a symphony.

Being a man in his early thirties at the time, it has been suggested Brahms may have written it perhaps to escape a dangerous infatuation. It is said to contain “extremely expressive sensuousness and igneous passion,” or “its exotic sounding opening of the first movement [achieved entirely by the curious use of wavering], by innovative chord structures and its many contrasts, both technical and melodical.” all of which is to say there's plenty here to amaze and astound. It's really a precursor to his later symphonies. The point of all that is that it's difficult enough to play well, reasonably hard on the audience (it gives them plenty of things to ponder deeply) and remains high on the lists of those things one longs to hear of a good live performance.

Brahms Sextet in G major, Op. 36
1. Allegro non troppoI
2. Scherzo - Allegro non troppo - Presto giocosoII
3. Adagio [Theme and variations] – III
4. [Finale] Poco allegroIV 

The players are Noah Bendix-Balgley and Amy Schwartz Moretti, violins, Dimitri Murrath and Yehonatan Berick, violas and Julie Albers and Robert deMaine, cellos. This performance took place at Mixon Hall, Cleveland Institute of Music as part of Chamberfest Cleveland [Ohio] June 26, 2013.

The third Chamberfest Cleveland is about to get under way. If you're in the area, please patronize them!