Nearly 2800 Days…

That’s how long it’s been since I told two of my closest family members that I always figured I had been given poison of some sort by my Mother when I was a child. I don’t know what kind of reaction I expected. I did think there would be a reaction of some sort or other.

Was I in for a surprise.

There was no visible reaction from either of them. In fact, they just sat in stony silence.

I don’t consider myself an expert in human behavior. A lot of times I miss the full impact of what someone is trying to convey. But this time, I had enough common sense to say…well…this doesn’t make sense at all…

I had told them of my abusive childhood, long ago. I should have grabbed a hint back then, when my comments were dismissed. At the time, of course, that was puzzling, but anything connected to an extreme testimony, such as mine, is going to be a shock, and some people do not want to hear about it, so I never made any demands of them…

However, I have become somewhat wiser through the years. I decided to simply monitor their behavior from this point on and see what transpired…

My dear husband, Donner, was present that day. He cried. He asked me why I had to tell them. That made no sense to me.

Before long, my dear husband had died in my arms, unexpectedly. I cannot even now fully cope with the trauma of losing him on that dark day.

Not long after that, one of these family members tried to pressure me to put my dear stepson, Kevin, under my roof. He had severe mental illness issues and at that time lived in LA. After talking with him and researching alternatives available, it appeared that he would prefer to return to his mother’s home in Florida. Tragically, that did not happen. He died by suicide, walking in front of a train.

That second tragedy lead me to a bizarre connection to Bob Dylan. At that time, everything seemed to explode. You can read about all this at my blog, Dylagence…https://dylagence.wordpress.com/

Through all of this, these two have maintained a stony silence. I can only ask at this point what it is that they want to conceal. Ironically, the stonewalling may not make much difference, as it looks like Bob has told everyone the truth of what happened to me in a few of his songs…the ones containing a reference to the nightingale.

I think that’s me…

So from now on, it looks like it’s a whole new ballgame…

Who knows where all this will lead?

Catalan Miles…a new release…

I can’t tell you when I first heard of Miles Davis. Or his music. I think I heard his music first, and then said, “Where did that come from!” I had never heard such elegant jazz, with such apparent simplicity and clarity of melodic lines… I had no idea until fairly recently that he had gone to Juilliard and then dropped out because it was boring…that he was a target for the police wherever he drove his gorgeous sports cars, or that he had a terrible time with drugs. I just knew I wanted to capture his sound and hold it somewhere, so I could reach in and hear it again in new ways.

Miles Davis turned the world of jazz on its ear with his album Kind of Blue. But then he turned everything upside down later on with his Sketches of Spain. It is this kind of loveliness that I want to capture…

and so, Catalan Miles…(now you know why my horse’s nickname is ‘Miles’…:-)

https://music.apple.com/us/album/1602375860

Imagined…un hommage to John Lennon

I can tell you just when I first heard of the Beatles — it was when I was in school in Edinburgh, Scotland. A buddy dragged me over to his flat at lunchtime, saying, “You’ve got to hear these guys!” I forfeited my usual Scotch egg, which at 1 shilling and 8 pence was just about all I could afford and traipsed over to his flat with a handful of other students.

It was February 4, 1963 — the last luncheon show at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. It was being televised. I think they played a couple of cover songs first, one of them being a blistering Twist and Shout. Other contenders are “My Bonnie,” “Money” and “And Then there was You.” Then they launched into a couple of newly released songs –Love Me Do and PS I Love You. When I heard their original music, I stood in complete shock for a few moments. I could hardly believe my ears. “Where did they get those chords?” I asked. Just about all rock and roll music at that time only used I, IV and V chords. These songs were more complex. “Nothing will ever be the same,” I muttered to myself.

And so it all began.

It wasn’t long before I was hearing their music everywhere I turned. At Charities Week, that April, where students go on ‘border raids’ during the day and party at night, just about the only songs played by the cover bands were theirs. I quickly learned their names — Paul, John, George and Ringo. It wasn’t long before I decided John was my favorite. Incredibly cute with a great voice. I began to see the others as wonderful backup for him.

And so, I let their music speak into my life. I watched them evolve and make some questionable choices and stepped back somewhat when there seemed to be focus on drugs, which I did not do. When John claimed the Beatles were ‘more popular than Jesus’ I cringed. You just don’t do that, I thought.

I happened to be back in Edinburgh, walking up the back of Arthur’s Seat with a buddy when I heard “Hey Jude” for the first time. I had a sinking feeling that their days as a group might be numbered. It felt like the bottom was falling out. And Yoko — who knew what to make of her? I did my best to be accommodating…

I was saddened to hear of John’s excessive drug use, and startled by the changes in his appearance. He seemed to be a walking dead person. When he and Yoko came to New York I kind of rolled my eyes. They seemed to think they were doing something of value, but I couldn’t tell if it was all just for publicity or not.

Then came the night when I heard he had been killed. A senseless act. By an unhinged disappointed fan. I found myself in a state of shock that lasted almost a week. I could not understand why. Gradually, I came to accept it. Then I made a trip to New York. I went to the Dakota. I talked with a garage attendant who had been there during the afternoon, when John signed a copy of Double Fantasy for Chapman, and in the evening, when John was shot. He pointed out the private Dakota courtyard pointed to Yoko’s boxy orangish car. “If the limo had pulled into the courtyard, John would have been safe that day,” he said. The words haunted me. Such a simple thing.

So I carried the sorrow with me. I found a ‘Complete Beatles’ piano songbook. Well, it was not complete. It left out Piggies. But that is not the point. I began playing their songs just about every day, on flute and keyboard, and that has helped a lot — to experience their chord progressions, and the simple yet elegant beauty of their melody lines. Paul and John, for the most part — the sweetness and the edginess made for amazing music.

And then there was Imagine. Simple yet breathtaking. Other performers may come and go, but New Years at Times Square in New York City belongs to John and Imagine. It was then I decided to do a reimagining of Imagine as un hommage to John. For his greatness, his flaws, his search for truth, his becoming a target both in the UK and the US.

This track was originally intended as a working track for a course I am taking in Music Production. But the minute I recorded it, it seemed the Mozart vortex went electric. Waves of energy flowed through, along with a lot of music — songs I had heard, music I had never heard before, rained down on me. If only I could capture it all, I thought…

So here it is, on this night when Imagine is played in his honor…

Imagined

https://music.apple.com/us/album/1602127134

https://promocards.byspotify.com/share/10761b0847faee46ac94848415e214b69836f493

On the 230th anniversary of the death of Wolfgang Mozart…

He told us what was happening to him,

but we did not believe him.

He may even have asked for help,

but we will never know that…

Surrounded by adversaries pretending to be friends,

colleagues and kin,

he fought until the bitter end…

He never gave up…

Instead, Mozart gave us his last major opera,

The Magic Flute…

And he gave us the Requium…

supposed to have been written under another’s name…

A final disgrace…

An ultimate humiliation…

He thought he had to do this for money

for his family…

His body was tossed into an open grave…

No autopsy for him

While his adversaries breathed a sigh of relief

that the truth would never be known

That he was surrounded by a Vortex of the Evil Eye

that took him down

One tiny dose of poison after another

Cleverly spaced

Administered by different people

at various times

Just enough to keep him on edge

to turn the waves of shalom from his music

into money and favor for them

they all took a kind of mark

as a result

Salieri gave him the final dose

at dinner

Then Mozart took to his bed

never to rise again.

Make sure to tell the public he was bad with money

they whispered

That way, no one will ever guess that

what really happened

was a murder most foul…

My best friend is getting married today…

We have been friends for over 30 years. Brad has had my back through thick and thin. I am so excited for him, his lovely bride Missy and her two adorable boys. Brad also has two grown sons from his first marriage.

For now, let me just add that this takes place 11 years to the day of the death of my mother, Katherine, whom I consider to be the real Queen of the Night. She bewitched us all with her charm and dark powers, but now, we are all coming into the light of day…

Here is her obit…

https://www.nj.com/hunterdon-county-democrat/2009/10/former_flemington_resident_kat.html

To make matters even more exciting — if that is possible — today is also the open house of the new owners of the barn where my horse is stabled. That will be, to say the least, Utter Dylerium. I was concerned I might have to pry Miles off the ceiling when I got there, as there were over 200 people, as well as hay rides (next to his pasture) and a band and who knows what else…<groan>…but he loved it all!

And yes, they were even playing Dylan…

So, if you follow along with the plot of Mozart’s last major opera, The Magic Flute, you will see that we have come to the end of it…with Papageno and Papagena living happily ever after…the Queen, the Kingdom of the Night and Monostatos’ power is destroyed forever…oh, and, if you look closely and see that the minister looks kind of like a Sarastro, well, don’t be surprised. After all, this is about The Magic Flute. And, in sweet irony, it was Pastor Jac who came to my house the day that my darling Donner died, amidst all the tumult, ambulance, and the trauma of that terrible afternoon, he was a calming and gentle influence for me and my two younger children who were trying to process it all…

Oh! You just might want to listen for the voice of Wolf in his Zauberflote as well…

Update on Mozart’s Die Zauberflote…230 years later…

Today we celebrate the 230th birthday of the debut of Wolfgang Mozart’s last major opera, The Magic Flute. Beloved through the years and around the world, few operas, if works of art as a whole, have been so wholeheartedly embraced by the public. But, of course, Mozart, being a genius of incomparable stature, has added a mystery into the opera. And God has granted him favor of an extraordinary kind — the opera has come alive, and is right in front of you…

What? you might ask…well, yes, the characters — bad and good — exist in real life. One or two of them you may already know…

Why have I not heard of this? You might ask…

Well, there has been a cover-up of staggering proportions…in fact, my family and I have been targeted and hunted down by those trying to cause us bodily harm as well as slander us…all of this done in the airwaves but below the level of the press…so that criminal activity can continue…

For one thing, it seems we are approaching the part where the Queen of the Night and Monostatos have joined forces to try to destroy Sarastro’s Temple.

I call this Minnegeddon…

However, the Queen of the Night — my mother, Katherine, has been replaced by the wanna-be — my sister, Angela. And, if that name rings a bell (Angel this and that, Angelina) you might be guessing that the likes of Bob Dylan (pursuit of the Nightingale in a number of his songs) has been a part of the cadre I call Monostatos — which also includes Dylan’s mini-me — ex-husband (who also adopted my children) Bill Scrickel of the Minnesota Orchestra…

We could, in fact, say that Bob and Bill are telling us just how Mozart is treated…(stay tuned for further discussion on this…)

Papageno — my best friend, Brad, has found his true love, Missy, with her two lovely children…

And my three fabulous children, the three K’s, as well as their families, are protected by the great Zauberflote…

Speaking of a real-life Sarastro, that is Wernher Von Braun, extraordinary genius who took us to the moon and beyond; with, however, a severely flawed background…beloved Papa…

We mourn those we have lost — my mother (Dylan’s Queen this and Queen that), and my father (Dylan’s Jokerman)…

and

We especially grieve those we have recently lost — my wonderful husband Donner Brown and dearly loved stepson, Kevin Dixon…

And as for Wolf…well, I think you’ll hear his voice in the sound of the Zauberflote..

This has been an arduous journey…our family was torn apart to get the lawlessness out…

You can read all about the Bob Dylan connection at my blog, Dylagence…

https://dylagence.wordpress.com/

Here’s my song Pamina’s grief…

Why I teach…

I can say in all honesty, looking back over my experiences, that without my teachers I would not be alive today. In fact, I probably would have died long ago. The persecution by my birth family was so severe I barely had the will or energy to keep on going at times.

Most of my teachers had no idea what was going on in my family’s house. How could they? A possibility of being caused bodily harm, verbal and emotional abuse were not subjects even discussed back then. And how would they have known? I did not have the words to tell them.

Some of my teachers seemed to sense something. I love them, every single one of them. A few of them tried to help. The first was a piano teacher who insisted on teaching me chord structure and voicing at a very young age. I had started taking piano lessons by the time I was three years old. My Mother uncovered my composition book and promptly fired the teacher.

The band director at Andrew Warde High School went out of his way for me. He mentored me into a spot as the Principal Flute of the University of Bridgeport Orchestra when I was a sophomore, as Warde had only a band. He enlisted the help of a teacher there as well. The teacher my Mother selected had me practicing Kulau exercises to perfection. But with the university teacher, before I knew it, I had learned the Mozart D Major Flute Concerto. I used it for the Connecticut Allstate audition and won a spot as first flute in their Concert Band. Mr. German then insisted I perform the Concerto for the school, which I did, to an astonished and enthusiastic response. I then went into the Girl’s bathroom and broke down sobbing. No one from my birth family attended the performance.

It was the first performance of Mozart playing Mozart in about two hundred years. My best friend, Allison, attempted to console me, to no avail.

And so my school life became my real life, while my family life remained a quagmire. Each day I would deliberately close the door on the darkness of the Fairfield house and strive to do my best at school.

I can give you many other examples of teachers who went out of their way for me. They did not know me personally, nor were they likely doing anything different for me than they did for all the other students. But it was because of their mentoring that I kept on going.

And so, when I teach, I am shot out of a cannon every morning. I am a substitute in the public and charter schools of our area, so I usually have a different assignment every day. I don’t know who I will work with, or what will happen. To complicate things, the schools of today are a far cry from the ones I attended. I frequently feel like a sojourner in a foreign land.

But that’s another story.

I just hope that I am able to give back in some small measure what was given to me. I hope that I can provide a nurturing word or validating response that will be of value to the students. I want to make sure I don’t leave anyone out…just in case there is one dealing with what seems like an unfathomable darkness at home…

Desperately trying to turn a pig’s ear into a silk purse (vintage FB post from pre-lockout days….)

Originally published August 14, 2010…

Somebody (or bodies) has been throwing money at the Minnesota Orchestra. They have made repeated trips to Europe in the last ten years; each time, it is claimed the trip is paid for by an ‘anonymous donor’. Each trip costs at least a million dollars, so these donors must have much more than that available to them. This time it is the Proms in the UK; didn’t they do the same thing last year with the same caveat? How ironic.

Do they think that if the MO is thrown up against the wall of greatness enough times, some of it will stick? Whomever is coming up with all this money is wasting their time as well — they should have first paid the 50 dollars, or whatever it would take, to have their name changed. They used to be called the Minneapolis Symphony; but those glorious smalltown days are over. They insisted on having a wider scope, a greater message to deliver — so they are stuck with the inglorious tag of Minnesota — or Monostatos — One State. They are dragging themselves down with chains of their own making, oblivious to it all. Hilarious.

August 14, 2021

Hint: They’re still at it, only on a tad smaller scale. And, yes, when I was naively studying flute with Sid Zeitlin, the MO’s Principal Flute, he spent the better part of a lesson chastising me for over the MO’s name change. At the time, it made no sense whatsoever…

But now, I think this may be Minnegeddon, where the truth of what happened to Wolfgang Mozart is revealed…and the Minnesota Orchestra and their standing-bass player William Schrickel have a part in that…

They took food out of the mouths of my children…

Such was my life after being locked out by the Minnesota Orchestra bass player I call “Monostatos” and his cohorts. I performed concert after concert to showcase the lovely Zauberflote, but when I put up posters that included my phone number to request tickets, I received only hundreds of hang-up calls. This was incredibly distressing to us. I was especially concerned about the effect on my children.

None of them attended, of course. They could have lifted a finger to help, but did not…

Such was our life in those days. I remember feeling so jealous of our neighbors, who were lovely people who had escaped from Iran. The air around our townhomes was always full of rich perfumes and the smell of fresh fruit. They juiced melons and berries and their home overflowed with nurishment. I wished that I could have showered my lovely children with the same sort of excess.

But instead, after giving a series of concerts at the Art Room of the Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church, payments for those concerts forced me to by.a bag of potatoes, which at least I could afford. We ate potatoes in every form for a month. I called it “Potato January”. We still talk ruefully of those days…

<sigh>…

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