Minnegeddon and the awesome burden of Die Zauberflote…M4B*

When I was a child, playing the flute, I had no idea of the chaos that was occurring around me.  It seemed to me that most that heard its lovely sound were taciturn. I later learned that was the spiritual equivalent of gnashing their teeth.  Others simply wept with tears of joy — my Grandpa Gardner, for one.  At the time, I thought he was simply pleased that I was given a gift of music.  Now I realize it was much more, even, than that…

Now I realize with sadness and even dread that there is a terrible burden connected with playing die zauberflote.  Its sound and presence causes many to stumble and behave badly.  Even my most precious loved ones have fallen prey to this devastating reality.

There seems to be a mystery attached to this — again, something I was not able to put together in a coherent manner as a child.  Apparently, I am supposed to be conditioned to allow people to use die zauberflote against Gd’s will.  I perceive this conclusion (though it is false) as the expected consequence of the persecution and even torture that included poisoning on the part of my birth family.  I was also conditioned by them to ‘believe’ a false gospel. Later I learned that my Mother, at least,  was very possibly an apostate “Christian”.  I was apparently supposed to be a helpless fool — someone who was not ‘good with money’ and so ‘needed to be taken care of’.  A sort of Man-Can whom the underworld of music could use at will.

After countless interactions with supposed ‘professional’ musicians I have little doubt that it is this misconception that fuels their disrespect and even at times palpable contempt of me and their attempts to sandbag and dead-end me at every turn.  From the moment I met the person at the hub of what I call “Monostatos” — a bass player (the lowest of the low!) I had the distinct impression that, for some reason, it was ‘either me or him.’  The two energies — that of die zauberflote (a gift of shalom) — and that of worldly players — could not exist together.  I gradually came to understand that Gd was asking me to start over, and to find players who were comfortable with me and die zauberflote.  That has not been an easy task, and I can recount a series of episodes, either comical or sad, depending on one’s viewpoint, to attest to this difficulty.

So as I move forward with what I call Minnegeddon it is with sorrow and awe, for the warm reception that I once anticipated for someone having a direct connection to Wolfgang Mozart has been tempered and refined by the knowledge that during his lifetime most not only wished him dead, but a handful may have acted upon that ill-intent. So what I once envisioned as a rapturous revival is now revealing itself to be a stark and even morbid reality that die zauberflote and I will face no more love and grace in the future than we have in the past.  The thought of almost everyone stumbling over it is almost more than I can bear.  But I came across this Bible verse, that speaks to the heart of what is happening — “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.”
http://biblehub.com/romans/11-11.htm I have read it many times, but did not understand before that it does, in fact, contain an alternative to simply stumbling and falling.  It contains the boundless gift of love that is our Gd, that will go to the ends of the earth and back again to bring us close to Him.  I have seen that in my own family, even with my own precious children.  I know this to be true.  And that gives me confidence to move forward…

M4B*= Mozart For Believers

 

 

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Minnegeddon, Mr. Vanska, Mr Schrickel and The Bridge…

On August 1, 2007 my grown children and I left the Twin Cities to perform for and participate in a birthday celebration the following day for my Mother in Washington, D.C.  As we practiced at a neighbor of my sister’s where we were staying (they had a piano) we were interrupted by very puzzling and horrifying news reports of a bridge collapse in the Twin Cities.  We rushed to a computer but the internet connection was extremely slow, and it was difficult to even get photos or information about the event.  We were stunned — this is the bridge we used regularly to go from my house to my childrens’ homes.  I had been on the bridge a day or so earlier.  I recalled that there was a lot of equipment in the middle of the bridge.  It seemed very strange at the time, but obviously, some repairs were needed.  But this was almost unthinkable — that this huge high bridge had just collapsed into the Mississippi River.  But there it was. http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2014/08/01/friday-marks-7-years-since-i-35w-bridge-collapse/  We were able to confirm that family and friends were ok, but were severely shaken by the event and the fact that we were so far away and unable to be of help if needed.

The birthday celebration went well and we returned to Minnesota a few days later, early in the day.  I whispered a prayer that our landing pattern would be over the Minnesota River on the parallel runways at MSP, but no, we began our descent into the Twin Cities in a path that seemed to deliberately target the mangled bridge — and there it was, twisted and ripped apart, vehicles scattered like children’s blocks, in the river.  By then we knew of the lives lost, the many injured, the children on the yellow schoolbus who had been miraculously able to escape. The frustration and sadness were almost overwhelming.

A few years later Mr. Vanska, of the Minnesota Orchestra, who lived near the bridge, wrote a piece about it.  It was premiered by the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Mr. Schrickel: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2008/05/16/bridgemusic. The piece was extremely well-received and undoubtedly helped to cement Mr. Vanska’s connection to the people of Minnesota.

Move forward to the MO lockout, which, in addition to the horrendous need for dignity and fairness for the players, also may have had a tangential connection to me and my family.  So, in hopes of providing an explanation to my children about events that happened some time ago on the stage at Orchestra Hall, where I was encouraged to practice on the darkened stage by a clique of players who happened to be of ill-intent, I wrote to Mr. Vanska and asked to be heard.  I wrote that letter on August 1, 2013.  There was no reply.  A family member happened to have a connection to a colleague of Mr. Vanska’s.  I had asked for their help to make sure my letter got to him but they declined, saying they ‘didn’t want me to use their contacts.’  A few days later a freak storm hit our neighborhood, incurring over $4M worth of damages — another odd coincidence.

So here I am today, as what I call “Minnegeddon” plays itself out.  It is yet another August 1st.  We are preparing a video called “Out of Night and Fog”, and getting ready to begin our “Locked-Out” concert series — probably runouts to various places.  Who knows what twists and turns this coming year might take?  😉

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