Tisha B’av, the 10th Anniversary of the I35W Bridge Collapse, and the Sorry Story of Monostatos’ Orchestra –M4B*

On August 1 of this year we commemorate, or really mourn, the ancient solemn day of the destruction of both the Jewish temples — the First by Babylonians, the Second, by the Romans. It is the saddest day in Jewish history.  Other tragedies have occurred on or near this day.  Ironically, this year is the tenth anniversary of the terrible and unanticipated collapse of the I 35W bridge over the Mississippi River connecting Minneapolis and St.Paul.

I had traveled on that bridge just about every day preceding the collapse, as my daughter and her family — with our shared dogs– lived on the other side of the river.  She, along with my two sons, their families, and I, flew out of MSP to DC for my Mother’s birthday party on August 1, 2007.  We were, in fact, rehearsing for our performances that evening when we were told the shocking news.  There was no cable where we were rehearsing, and phones and the internet were bogged down.  We frantically looked for photos and information about what had happened and why.

Mr. Vanska, and his sidekick, Mr. Schrickel (who had a tangential connection to my family) were also apparently overwhelmed with the seriousness of this tragedy, as Mr. Vanska then composed, and Mr. Schrickel –with the Metropolitan Symphony — performed a piece called “The Bridge”.  Did they consider at that time that there might even be a deeper significance to this terrible event?  It’s hard to tell…

Now, almost five years after the lockout of the Minnesota Orchestra players, and the ongoing lockout of me, the Other Mozart, are they starting to make a connection? In fact, on this day in 2013 I mailed a letter to Mr. Vanska, asking to be heard in the place where I had once been enticed by Mr. Shrickel and his cohorts to practice on the darkened stage.

Does anyone in Monostatos’ Orchestra have a conscience?  Does anyone care about the people of Minnesota who have given them their trust and their money, not to mention their loyalty?  Is there any chance that at some point they too, as did Gustav Mahler (whom they have programmed prominently for the next season) call out — in his final words — “Mozart!  Mozart!  Mozart!”?

*M4B=Mozart For Believers

 

 

 

Advertisements

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

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

Minnegeddon: the music of Wolfgang Mozart and the Great Finn-esse…:-0 M4B*

When you have the curious ‘privilege’ of growing up with a Mother who seems to have a lot of tricks of darkness at her fingertips, you quickly learn about the art of finesse.  Basically, this is a bridge term, for a situation where a player is put into a position where they have to give up a card that is a threat to another player whether they want to or not.  Yes, my Mother loved to play bridge.  We earned all kinds of gifts from her and my Father’s winnings — even a cat! I usually ended up as ‘dummy’ so had a lot of time to observe the shrewd machinations that comprised an artful finesse. I watched that strategy used in real life as well, to unearth secrets and information that otherwise a person would have steadfastly resisted disclosing.  And, eventually, I found myself testing the waters of finessing on my own — sometimes to my advantage, others to utter failure.  But I learned and persisted, and have also become an acute observer of finesses-in-process by others.  That doesn’t happen often — finessing may be something of a lost art.

At any rate, during and following my lockout by Monostatos’ Orchestra I gradually and painfully began to realize that I didn’t really have to do much work to create a finesse.  In fact, if I simply stepped back and let everyone else use all their own energy attempting to disrespect me or worse, they would before long end up hoisting themselves with their own petards.  I realized then, as I had before, that the power of die zauberflote is such that it works whether I am conscious of it or not.

I then began to take a look at the music of Wolfgang Mozart — one of the main reasons he was murdered, imo, was to steal his music.  Those who plotted and wished him dead then had the opportunity to wave his music triumphantly, like banners, proclaiming to the rest of the Kingdom of the Night that they could hear his music without consequence and even, if they wished, claim in their hearts to have replaced Mozart!  And thus they went out into the world, telling everyone of the ‘failure’ of Wolf’s earthly life — how it had ended too soon (but then lots of people died in their 30’s back then) and how much they ‘love’ him (while, of course, slandering him in word and libeling him in book).  Apparently, the slander and libel were supposed to create an aura of protection for those who were profiting from his murder.

And so it has continued for well over 200-years.  The little bit of shining light in this dreadful scenario is the wonderful concept of the “Mozart effect” which became popular in the 80’s.  And yes, there IS such a thing as the “Mozart effect” — it works even when his music is performed by people who despise him.  The gift of Gd given to him is so powerful that it can surmount even that indignity.  I soon became aware of that — you can hear the elegant and profound energy of ‘shalom’ in nearly all his pieces, no matter who performs them.  That, in itself, is something of a miracle.

However, there is even more.  I can assure you now, after long years of observation, that all those performing Mozart’s music are, in fact, turned over to the same Gd that created Mozart.  By their pridefulness in performing Wolf’s music while refusing to humble themselves before the Creator, they end up finessing themselves.  And so, one of the group of Monostatos regularly performs the Clarinet Concerto of Mozart, apparently trying to proclaim that they have, after locking me out, in fact ‘replaced’ Mozart…http://m.startribune.com/vanska-minnesota-orchestra-musicians-unite-for-concert-to-aid-syrian-refugees/363393091/

Umm…not gonna happen.

All they probably have done is finn-essed themself! 🙂

M4B=Mozart For BelieversPamela Brown and die zauberflote

 

 

Die Zauberflote…the gift…M4B*

I can tell you in all honesty that I feel i was born with a target on my back.  When I was quite little I saw a vision of a dreadful being — a dark angel that I came to call “Lermontov”, because its appearance resembled the character Lamar Waldron played in the movie “The Red Shoes”.  This being seemed to have control of my birth family, taunting them, leading them into darkness.  It was a frightening thing for me as a child to carry this burden of sensing that there seemed to be something supernatural and terribly evil coming at my loved ones and threatening our house.  As you might imagine, nobody would listen to me.  I was unable to articulate in a convincing manner the challenges we were facing.  It seemed that my existence was what Lermontov objected to.  I could not imagine why.  It all seemed very sinister and strange.  I never ‘saw’ Lermontov again, but could hear the energy connected with ‘him’.  It was and is a dark energy, dense and threatening.  As I would try to go to sleep at night there were times when it felt as though Lermontov was trying to literally shake our house apart.  This dark angel used everyone in my birth family to try to cause me pain and do me harm.  I do not blame them.  They were just vulnerable and used for its dark ends.

My parents told me that I began singing at about eight weeks of age.  When I was near a radio I would sing along with the songs or jingles that were being played and then sing them on my own.  I was playing the piano and performing as a singer and tap dancer at age 3.  I was en pointe at age 7.  I did not begin to play the flute until I was 9.  At that point, everything in our lives seemed to go into upheaval — my Mother became ill and had to have an operation, my Father’s closest sibling, his brother Everett, died by his own hand.  It felt like we were sliding into an abyss, but in reality we had entered a kind of vortex where there was both good and evil.  We just could not see that.

As Lermontov tried to use my family members against me I began to realize that there seemed to be something in the energy of the flute itself that was protecting me.  I would fall ill dramatically and without warning (later determined most likely to have been poisoning) and then would recover just as quickly. I would find myself in dangerous situations, such as skiing and sliding down an Alp off-piste, not realizing that could have caused an avalanche, only to find that everything was fine. With all the persecution that I dealt with in my birth family (and a lot of it not very well) I managed to persevere and grow.  I was able by some miracle to leave that house alive. My father was almost not as lucky, as he nearly died by his own hand a few months after I left.

I was so devastated at my Father’s situation that, although I had been a superficial Christian — my family was Methodist — that I decided to turn my back on Gd as I understood Him.  How could He allow this to happen to my Father?  Especially when it was my Mother who was cruel and vicious?  I decided to put the flute away, and until I became saved did not perform with it or even practice regularly.  My life turned upside down and became quite convoluted.  I married a man who had great energy and abilities, but also suffered from the demons connected with alcohol, so the challenges were significant. But Gd spoke to me in the birth of our first child, who was the most miraculous individual I had ever known.  All the pain and suffering I felt I had endured from my birth family melted away.  Somehow, it had all been related — it was certainly all worth it.  I came to know the Lrd Jesus Christ personally, and was delighted to discover that I was pregnant again.  Our boys were only 14 months apart.  One born in San Francisco, and one in Boston.  We moved to Minnesota and our daughter was born there.  The flute guided us all, even through the tumult of treatment, and, ultimately divorce and distance.

Next came our bout with the clique I call “Monostatos” and their Orchestra.  Every avenue of success and substance was blocked off for us.  They took food out of the mouths of my children.  My birth family declined to help us.  How was I to raise three children alone and provide for them while what I considered my main avenues of supply, flute performing and the book I was writing about us, were being blocked, ridiculed, and slandered at every turn?  They had locked out Mozart.  They treated me as though I was already dead and just waited for something terrible to happen to me.

Nonetheless, the energy of the flute kept the vortex churning. Locked out of performing as a musician, I found I had a talent for making computers break down.  I tried to turn that into a living.  I met a man there who was also saved, and who helped me become grounded in the Word.  He became and is my longest best friend. He had also been caused to stumble and had been slandered.  Gd supported him and used everything for good.  I met my wonderful husband, who too came out of the vortex having been blocked and caused to stumble at every turn, perhaps due to the same mechinations of this dark angel Lermontov.

Then came an astounding series of events that may or may not have had anything to do with us and die zauberflote.  9/11 devasted my husband’s home town of New York City, where I had also lived for four years after growing up in nearby Fairfield, Connecticut. My Mother at that time lived not far from there, in Flemington, New Jersey.  My sister and her husband lived in DC. Then, my Mother moved to a retirement community in DC. The day all of us flew to DC to celebrate her birthday and perform and her party the I-35 Bridge came down. We used that bridge regularly as my children and their families live on the east side of the metro, and we live on the west.  My Mother then passed away, and all our family dynamics went into upheaval again.  My sister left to teach in Africa.  One child stepped away from the rest of the family.  At the stroke of midnight of the day following anniversary of the first performance of the opera Die Zauberflote in Vienna in 1791 the Minnesota Orchestra players were locked out.  October 22 of 2012 my hometown, as well as the entire NYC metro was devastated by Hurricane Sandy.  A few weeks later, Newtown, which I had visited recently for high school reunions, endured the terrible shooting at Sandy Hook.  Sensing that there might be a connection to the upheaval at the Minnesota Orchestra connected to their, in effect, through “Monostatos”, locking me out first, long ago, I wrote to Mr. Henson, then Mr. Sprenger, and Mr. Vanska.  I asked for their help and asked for die zauberflote to be heard on the darkened stage where I had once been encouraged to practice.  I was not even granted the courtesy of a reply.

But the energy of the flute has kept churning.  We are in the center of the vortex, and we are safe from this dark angel.  We are getting ready to begin our Locked-Out series of concerts.  We are preparing our conception video for Piper to the Alternative called “Out of Night and Fog”.  The main character of the video is, in fact the vortex.  I have been granted my childhood dream — a wonderful dark horse i nicknamed “Miles”.  His sassy silliness and warmth have helped me endure the suffering and trauma resulting from the realization that even my precious children had been used as a “hook of Lermontov” to cause me to lose heart and either die or take my own life. Exhausted beyond comprehension, I have let my horse be my strength, and let the horse be my speed.  The Holy Spirit in this gift of die zauberflote refreshes me and keeps me moving forward, even with a target on my back that Lermontov keeps trying to hit.

And so I say to you with all authority of my experience, that Jesus Christ and the kingdom of Gd are real, that He triumphed over all evil on the cross, and that He goes to the uttermost to save us, and to make intercession for us (Hebrews 4:25).  I can say this with the knowledge of having tried and failed so many times that His presence in this gift of die zauberflote has lifted me up, righted me, and set me where I need to be.  This is a gift of shalom.  I hope you will treasure it as I do.  It will do the same for you.

*M4B=Mozart for Believers…

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?  😉

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: