Look to Minnesota in the New Year

When Wolfgang Mozart wrote his last major opera, The Magic Flute, in 1791 he had no knowledge of a place called “Minnesota”. In fact, at that time there was no such place in any formal way, as Minnesota did not become a state until 1859. However, this opera may have turned out to be more than a delightful and exquisite singspiel — it also may contain a prophecy…

Mozart describes a minor character who is simply a blackguard who tries to torture, etc, Pamina. His name is “Monostatos”. Hmm…odd coincidence? It happens to sound not unlike “Minnesota”. Well, in the opera, Monostatos is a rogue to tries to interfere in Pamina’s relationship with her stepfather, Sarastro. Monostatos also ends up trying to assist her wicked mother, the Queen of the Night. A nasty character indeed!

Now let’s turn to another odd coincidence. The Minneapolis Symphony changed its name some time past to be called the Minnesota Orchestra. They did not have to do that. In fact, that seems a rather odd thing to do. But they did.

Then, into the orchestra walks someone who has had a significant influence on the life of my children and me. Someone who, almost literally, crawled out of the woodwork at Orchestra Hall. This person did everything in their power to control our lives. Fortunately this situation did not last forever. What I call the lockout of me by the players occurred at that time. And this person, to my thinking, whose behavior qualifies them in the ranks of “the lowest of the low” can only be called “Monostatos.”

During the 18-month lockout of the MO players I attempted to bring this ironic situation to light, but to no avail. And so, I have let go and moved on. But an inexorable process may still be in place. “Monostatos” is apparently still embedded in their midst. But what may have been intended for ill might instead be working for good…

And all that goodness will take place in Minnesota…:-)

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Thank you, Miles…

Sometimes there are artists who influence others in a truly profound yet unexpected way. So is it in my life with the music of Miles Davis. I grit my teeth in angst that I never saw him in person. Indeed, I was not even a follower back when he was alive. I thought Dave Brubeck, who happened to live near me in Fairfield, CT, when I was growing up, had it all. But throughout the years, Miles kept popping up in my cd collection. I kept returning to “Sketches of Spain”, mesmerized by its beauty. I had yet to discover “Kind of Blue.” In fact, that happened by chance when I spent an afternoon jamming at Jazz Central in Minneapolis, and someone challenged me to learn his solo from “So What.”

Well now I listen to a steady stream of Miles’ music. Some I like, some makes me cringe, and some leaves me breathless, such as the solo about 5 minutes in on the “Live cd-coverAround the World” version of “Time After Time.” I am hooked. I like being immersed. I am becoming transformed.

But I realize with a truly painful sensation that I had been studying the wrong discipline, the wrong modality, and the wrong tonality. I was classically-trained, whatever that means. I studied with Sid Zeitlin, the perpetually disgruntled perfectionist who was at that time the Principal Flute of the Minnesota Orchestra. I was not completely comfortable, but I didn’t know why. Now I do.

I never liked having to play the same thing twice. And I was never able to equate those who do with anyone who was truly creative.

And so, I am absorbed in learning Miles’ language. And in interpreting it in my own way.

Here is the first piece — a simple working track on my CDbaby page that I call “My Miles…Autumn Leaves…” ūüôā
https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/pamelabrown

Oh, by the way, “Miles” is also the name of my horse…his gaits are incredibly smooth, and he is quite the cool character too…

Listen to die zauberflote…

The best way for you to understand die zauberflote is, of course, to hear it. It has a peculiar energy and resonance. It causes some to lock their jaws and grit their teeth, and others to weep tears of joy. Those who hold a gentle heart are greatly blessed. Any ill-intent will be stopped in its tracks. Surely you will find that these characteristics are consistent with those Wolf described in his last major opera? And then you will perhaps come to understand that the opera is, in fact, a prophecy that is now being fulfilled…

Though locked out by a so-called ‘major’ orchestra, where the music director is refusing to hear me and grant me my credentials, even though I was enticed to practice regularly during the day on that darkened stage by the players I call “Monostatos”, while the exquisite sounds of die zauberflote soared throughout orchestra hall. At the insistence of Mr. Schrickel, I was even recorded one night in that empty hall. I ask you to listen and decide for yourself what to think…

Youtube
https://www.youtube.com/user/pamina58

Soundcloud

Please show respect for die zauberflote…and a request for prayers…M4B*

One of the most traumatic aspects of my life with die zauberflote is the realization that man people, some in my family who I love very dearly, have tried to use it for money, against God’s will. I believe this happened to my Father, who nearly died by his own hand. There have been grave consequences to others as well.

As die zauberflote is a gift of the Holy Spirit, this unfortunate reality lines up with the Word. For example, a couple named Ananias and Sephira, in Acts 5, lied about the cost of a parcel of land and presented only a partial tithe. They thought they could cheat God! They died on the spot and were carried out.

During my involvement with the Minnesota Orchestra, it was devastating to see the consequences of some of the players who, in effect, crawled out of the woodwork at Orchestra Hall with ill-intent. One lost his job and died drunk. Another died of a brain tumor. Another suffered a brain tumor but has survived. A third became violently paranoid and schizophrenic. His second wife, also a MO player, was forced to retire due to being unable to handle the loudness of the orchestra.

We are now coming to grips with a beloved family member who is caught up in tragic circumstances that seem unbearable. At one time given a position of influence in Hollywood, they did nothing to help die zauberflote, and, in one case, have, unfortunately, showed me disrespect. This person lost their job due to being unable to tolerate the decibel level at the place where they worked as a sound engineer. This person is so very dear to my heart. They are a child of God and need Jesus, so I ask that all of you who are Believers pray for him and all my children. I believe old doors are being closed and new ones open for him and that he is coming to understand that his circumstances have been engineered by God.

Thank you…

*M4B=Mozart For Believers

Why not Mahler, Norman? (part one)

A while back music critic and arts lover Norman Lebrecht wrote a somewhat impudent and controversial book about Gustav Mahler, called ‘Why Mahler?’ Even though Mahler’s music was at last standard fare with most symphonies, his stated intent was to bring additional attention to the symphonies and lieder of Mahler. The central focus of the book was apparently to ask and answer the question of what value Maher and his music have for us today.

As curious as this book is, there may be wider and even more significant implications to Mahler and his life than anything Mr. Lebrecht has posited. In fact, Mr. Lebrecht might have deliberately slanted or eliminated significant facets of Mahler’s life, possibly even for some mysterious agenda of his own. Some of these significant issues may, in fact, have something to do with me and die zauberflote. ¬†And Mozart. And New York City.

Let me explain…

If I am correct, when Wolfgang Mozart died some sort of vortex of energy was created. ¬†It was centered at the house where he died, on Rauhensteingasse, in Vienna. ¬†It may have been created from the energy of the unusual and additional gift in Mozart’s music — something I call a ‘gift of shalom’. It is also the ‘Zauber’ in die zauberflote. Something unique. Something overwhelmingly controversial. Something sublime. It has also been labeled “The Mozart Effect.” Exactly what happened to Wolf is another story, and one that I won’t go into now, but let me just say that it seems to me there is still a great mystery around Wolf and his death, and the existence of such a vortex just might be part of the explanation.

Mahler found his passion for composing in Vienna and spent much of his life there.  Did he sense the vortex connected to Mozart and his music?  Did he step into the mystery of what happened to Mozart and why, as, for example, I think Beethoven did? Or could he have been unsuspectedly pulled into this vortex of powerful energy?  I ask this question because of what he decided to do at a critical point in his life.

When working with the Vienna Opera became unbearably painful, Gustav Mahler set his sights on America.  New York City, to be specific.  He became the first globe-trotting conductor of great stature.  In fact, for the last five years of his life he traveled back and forth between Europe and America, conducting with the newly-funded New York Philharmonic.

All right, you might say. ¬†A couple of interesting coincidences…

But there is more. ¬†Mr. Lebrecht fails to include any mention of what Gustav’s wife, Alma, said about her husband’s last words. ¬†What were they?

“Mozart! ¬†Mozart! ¬†Mozart!”

I boldly proclaim that this exhortation puts dear Mahler in the center of the Mozart vortex.  Not only that, but Alma actually moved to New York City after his death, living at 120 E. 72nd street.  She died there in 1964.  So was she aware of his possible connection to the vortex?

Mr. Lebrecht knows of me from my posting on his popular Slipped Disc blog during the lockout of the Minnesota Orchestra players. ¬†I hoped, as a fellow Mahlerian (for I am indeed also obsessed with Mahler and his music) that he might listen to what I had to say. ¬†I explained that I felt I ¬†had an unusual and tangential connection to the lockout, in that previously some of the players, whom I have no choice but to call “Monostatos” used the stage at Orchestra Hall as a device to threaten and discourage me and, in effect, lock me out. ¬†I had hoped for at least a sympathetic ear. ¬†But, instead, Mr. Lebrecht allowed a music critic from Chicago (where I was born, incidentally) to attempt to slander me on that blog. That attempt was not successful and, ironically, Andrew Patner died unexpectedly a few months later. ¬†So it was at this point I accepted that I had not won over Mr. Lebrecht, who boasts of 1 million viewers a month on his blog.

Let me finish by stating that because of my Father’s job as a metallurgical engineer, our family moved from Chicago to the New York City metro area when I was three and I grew up in a nearby town in Connecticut. ¬†Later I moved to New York City, living not far from where Alma had lived. ¬†My dear husband Donner, who passed away tragically and unexpectedly this spring, grew up in the same neighborhood.

And so I ask you, and Mr. Lebrecht, to consider the possibility that the importance of Gustav Mahler has yet another dimension, one certainly mysterious but perhaps even more profound than of those we already know.

Did Mahler bring the Mozart vortex from Vienna to New York City? And, if so, what are the implications?

Minnegeddon Revisited…M4B*

Long ago, when I was a flute performance major at the UofM I said to a fellow classmate, Greg, “Some day there will be a Minnegeddon at Orchestra Hall.” I remember clearly saying that, but I don’t recall exactly why. By that time I had already come up against the dead-end that studying with their Principal Flute, Zeitlin, appeared to represent. He had, in fact, tried to convince me that I was ‘too old’ to play in an orchestra, so should become a university prof. But when I did that he went into a tizzy. “I can teach you everything you need to know!” he stuttered and spat at me. By that time I was thoroughly confused. And so, by the time I spoke to Greg it seemed logical to accept that there was probably some sort of conflict between me and the Minnesota Orchestra. Less logically, it seemed that Sid tried to blame me for the fact that the Orchestra had changed its name from the Minneapolis Symphony, which all the players seemed to prefer, to the wider-scoped MO.

Needless to say, I was, at that time blissfully naive. I had no real understanding of what I was involved with. It was just as well…

During the 2012 lockout of the MO players, the concept of Minnegeddon appeared to me again. This time, it took an interesting turn, for by now, the player I call “Monostatos” had insinuated themself into my family and then left, leaving upheaval everywhere. My days of having been enticed to practice on the stage at Orchestra Hall were over. But there was still this tangential connection. One of my family members had a connection to the MO through their work. In fact, at one point I wrote a letter to Mr. Vanska, describing my concerns. I asked this family member to help make sure this letter went directly to him. But they refused to lift a finger to help me, claiming, “I don’t want you to use my contacts.” Did the lockout of the MO players actually begin with the MO, in effect, locking me out? I began to wonder…

Then there was the Monday evening in October 2012 when hurricane Sandy abruptly changed course and headed for not only New York City, but my home town of Fairfield, Connecticut. I was in the indoor arena, taking a dressage lesson. I had climbed off of my horse, Miles, and was standing next to him, tightening his girth. I looked at my instructor, and said to her, “that’s odd. The only horse I was allowed to ride with any regularity when I was a child was named ‘Sandy’. Sandy was an albino Arab given to family friends who had a farm in Shelton, CT. He had blue eyes and pink skin. A pale horse indeed…

Was there some sort of connection between the weather and what I called ‘Minnegeddon’, I began to wonder? I had visited NYC and Connecticut recently for reunions. Odd. I recalled that I had also spent some time in San Francisco in 2011, near Nihonmachi, where I had once lived, and a few weeks later there was an earthquake that may have moved Japan 8 feet.

It was about that time that I began to ask a lot of questions. No, I can’t say I have any answers. But I thought I would share some of them with you. I believe there is a gift of the Holy Spirit in Mozart’s music, and also in die zauberflote. When Wolf was alive, it was also connected to him. I think there was a vortex of some sort around him. People could sense it. This caused the continual controversy around him. I think he was probably murdered in order to stop this energy from affecting those around him. What if this gift is also present in his music? What if, every time it is played, no matter by whom, that gift is shared? His music is played all around the world. What if it is affecting changes wherever it is played? What if it is even having an effect on the weather?

I think you get my drift. As an odd footnote, let me mention two more puzzling coincidences. The 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated the New Orleans area. This area is significant to me because of its connection to the Garrison investigation and the assassination of JFK, which I also research. In fact, the evening before Katrina hit, my husband Donner and I were entertaining a venerable Warren Commission proponent in the research community, Prof. Ken Rahn. We had, in fact, earlier spent the day at the Minnesota State Fair, debating JFK issues. We had to agree-to-disagree on just about everything. It dawned on me that the nickname given to my daughter by her Dad was “Katrina, Katrina, ballerina.” Just this fall Hurricane Matthew devastated North Carolina. Oddly, a couple of weeks earlier I spent an afternoon at a Tomorrow’s World presentation with Rod McNair. They are based in Charlotte, NC. And oh, perhaps you can guess the name of my son-in-law?:-)

I know. Just odd coincidences. Nevertheless, perhaps all of us who are Believers can take a moment to humble ourselves before our Creator and ask for His guidance and wisdom for the times that may lie ahead…

*M4B=Mozart For Believers

P.S. Another odd coincidence — not long after I published this post a 7.4 earthquake hit in the same area of Japan as the one in 2011: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-quake-idUSKBN13G2DC

Oh, let’s make fun of the libretto to Die Zauberflote…:-0 M4B*

Throughout the 200-odd years since Mozart’s last major opera, The Magic Flute, was premiered in Vienna on September 30, 1791 (coincidentally, the day which, at midnight, ushered in, thanks to the machinations of a real-life “Monostatos” and his cohorts, the recent lockout of players by the Minnesota Orchestra), there has been scarcely a music critic anywhere who hasn’t felt comfortable and probably had a good laugh taking potshots at the libretto. ¬†Not to be outdone, the curiously anti-Mozart movie Amadeus decried the magic flute, magic bells, etc, as ridiculous. Perhaps we should ask the MO’s own Sir Neville Marriner about this, as he was involved with it! ¬†The point of the objections seem to be that nobody on the planet should take the libretto seriously, unless they want to join the tin-hat UFO believers, or perhaps those who believe JFK was killed by a conspiracy! ¬†In short, it is just not musically-correct to look at the libretto of this opera with an objective eye, much less try to determine what a genius such as Mozart was thinking of when he agreed to it.

Here is one example of a typical ‘analysis’, at a musical website:

http://www.musicwithease.com/magic-flute-synopsis.html

I have emailed them to let them know that them analysis is a little shortsighted.  That will probably get a chuckle too.

One character in the opera though, who, to my mind, is severely undeveloped, is that of the snake that appears in the opening scene. ¬†It is so terrifying that Tamino faints, and the handmaidens of the Queen of the Night have to kill it for him. ¬†Then, of course, the feathered Papageno enters into the fray, claiming that it was he who was the hero. ¬†A charming scene, no doubt; but somehow Wolf seemed to be missing the point! ¬†This is a terrifying creature. ¬†It might have better been described as a dragon than as a snake. ¬†However, there is, in the Bible, a great and terrifying snake — it is called Leviathan, and is found in the book of Job. ¬†Leviathan represents an evil spirit, or presence, that entwines itself in our faith and in our finances, and seeks to work ill in both. ¬†In fact, one of the most difficult and torturous areas of Christian life seems to be just that — being grounded in faith while not being devoured by a love of money.

In my life, having lived through this opera, viewing it from the inside, I can say without a doubt that this snake is possibly the most powerful long-term character in the opera. ¬†In fact, it is the snake, or dragon, that gives power to the Queen of the Night and to Monostatos. ¬†This Leviathan has insinuated itself into the lives of everyone I know, trying to get them to turn against Gd’s will for them. ¬†And, as I am aware of how some of the characters ‘should’ act, it has been incredibly distressing to watch them ‘morph’ into something ugly.

So, when we decide to take a look at the libretto to Die Zauberflote again, perhaps we might at least give pause, and acknowledge that, perhaps, there is some sort of mystery here?  Something beyond our simple understanding?

Just a thought…:-)

M4B=Mozart For Believers

 

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

 

 

Minnegeddon and Luke 6:22…M4B*

In my morning Bible reading I came across a passage that I had read many times without understanding that it might have a deeper meaning for my situation in being locked-out by Monostatos’ Orchestra. ¬†It is the passage from the Beatitudes that reads, “Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil because of the Son of Man.” (NIV)

I cannot think of a statement that better describes my experience with the Monostatos Orchestra and those players who enticed me to ‘practice’ on the darkened stage at Orchestra Hall in order to exclude me, even target my home and my children, and silence me once and for all. ¬†It is a very odd experience to be excluded. ¬†You may be standing in the midst of people who are, in fact, excluding you. ¬†They refuse to give you a voice. ¬†They look past you and ignore you. ¬†They may band with others to do the same thing. There is nothing to do but accept this apparent indignity and acknowledge the disrespect that accompanies it.

However, for Believers, we have a higher goal. ¬†For every gift of the Holy Spirit will, by its very nature, be excluded by the world, or in the case of music, by what I call the Kingdom of the Night. ¬†When that happens I must gracefully let go and move on. ¬†We are not called to cast our pearls before swine. ¬†We are to wipe the dust off our feet and keep going. ¬†We are to give thanks to Him who went before us, jumping for joy. ūüôā

*M4B=Mozart For Believers

 

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