A terrible loss, a small tribute…

My stepson, Kevin Dixon, great LA rock guitar player and sound engineer, had been battling depression and other issues of mental health for some time. We hoped and believed that his life was coming together in a new and better way. But that was not the case, and we lost him last week in a tragic act of his own doing. I am still in a state of shock, as are his many other family members in Minnesota, Florida, and Hollywood, where he lived.

I can say with all conviction that whenever we deal with someone battling terribly difficult mental issue, every moment doing this, no matter how painful, is precious. Every day counts. Somehow I believe it will all be used for good.

Here is a musical tribute for Kevin today…


The hidden life of Wolfgang Mozart…M4B*

We tend to think of Wolfgang Mozart as a happy child, eager to please, proud of his stunning musical gifts. By the same token we then tend to wonder how he turned into a arrogant, callous, supercilious musical snob. Of course, the movie AMADEUS captures in caricature that part of his personality. But still, when we stop to think about who this eccentric person really was, and what his life was like, many of us tend to end up feeling stumped. We hate to admit it, but there is about Mozart an aura of mystery. What was his life really like, we may then wonder? Did he even grapple with day-to-day living in the same way we do?

Many who write about Mozart tend to pander to surface lies and misconceptions. In fact, a sense of myth has developed about him, to some extent. Where did his gifts come from? we might ask. Why can’t I be anything but a humble supplicant when I perform his music? we may wonder.

Ironically, from my standpoint, most of what you may believe about Wolf is false. To complicate matters, I think you may be lulled into a sort of complacency by the myth. The myth, including AMADEUS, are, to my thinking, intended for the general public. Those who consider themselves insiders have a very different view. This dilemma can be considered comparable to the Warren Commission Report which came out after the assassination of President Kennedy. It’s purpose was to calm the public. The insiders knew it was not true.

And so it may be with Wolf…

So here’s a bit of the inside story.

Wolf was given a gift different from all the musicians around him. It is a gift analogous to comparing a major or minor interval in music to a perfect fourth or fifth. Wolf had a gift of perfection that came not just through his compositions, but the energy that they created. It was also evident when he performed. All the controversy and chaos that regularly surrounded him was related to this unusual gift. Nobody would confirm to him that he had it. He had to figure that out on his own. I think he finally did — when he wrote his last major opera The Magic Flute. The flute that carries his voice will always stop evil in its tracks and use everything for good. Its energy can survive death and time. It is, in fact, a gift of shalom.

Those in Wolf’s inner circle went to drastic means to try to control him and this gift and use it to their own ends. I think he finally figured that out as well…

And I think Wolf may also have fought off a dark angel that was trying to take control of his gift, his family, and his life. That was the other part of the gift.

And so, following that hypothesis, Wolf was dealing with a spiritual battle every day, even as he cheerfully and masterfully (if occasionally annoyingly) created and composed his marvelous works.

And he never complained…

*M4B=Mozart for Believers

A few of the mysteries behind the opera The Magic Flute…

Almost from the moment of its premiere the public was talking about the occult significance of Wolfgang Mozart’s last major opera, The Magic Flute. There was so much to consider — after all, it was full of Masonic symbols, and, despite the fact that it was a jocular singspiel, it held a pregnant sense of awe — of things not explained. To make things even more convincing, Mozart himself died a few weeks later. Was there a connection? Was Mozart poisoned? What happened? Everyone wanted to know. Or was it just the hand of fate? Some asked. Perhaps writing the Requiem under someone else’s name was what did him in? Others questioned.

Well, for one reason or another, the mystery has continued to this day. And for good reason. What if the opera were, in fact, a prophecy that included Wolf himself? What if that prophecy was to come to life over 200 years later?

Unthinkable! said many. Impossible, said others.

However, if this were to be the case, let me provide some details that are implied in the opera. I don’t ask anyone to believe what I say, simply to test my words. Just for the moment take as an hypothesis that the opera being prophecy is simply a possibility — extraordinary though that might be.

Here might be a few insights —

Pamina’s father dies after presenting her with the magic flute. Her Mother, the Queen of the Night, flies into a rage as she feels her power is threatened by her daughter’s having the flute. Sarastro, Pamina’s step-father, steps in and kidnaps Pamina to keep her out of harm’s way, but says nothing to Pamina, who is confused and frightened.

The three children are Pamina’s children. They are an even greater threat to her Mother, who comes after them and tries to bewitch them and steal them from Pamina, who is terrified. The Queen of the Night holds the children ransom as she orders Pamina to kill Sarastro, creating even more terror. To make matters even more sinister, the Queen has a ‘spare’, so to speak, in Pamina’s sister,(the so-called ‘other Queen’) who helps her Mother against Pamina and her children. And, last-but-certainly not least — add to that the possibility that Monostatos, who happens to be a musician in an orchestra of false servants to Sarastro, has also attempted, frantically and viciously, to insinuate himself into the lives of Pamina and her children, in order to help the Queen.

Pamina has had glimpses of Tamino, but nothing more, except his picture. When she sings her desperate aria “Ach, ich ful’s”…she feels she has lost everything. As the children are being deceived by the Queen, even they cannot really help her. Me with my three K's...:-)

And yet, Pamina perseveres, in love and in faith…with the help of her longest best-friend, Papageno…

A missing piece…

I had an insight today that may help to explain some of the curious behavior of my birth family at the end of my senior year of high school, when I was preparing to go to college. All of a sudden, it seemed, my Father decided to leave his job as a lab mechanical engineer at the Bassick Company in Bridgeport, CT.  This was the job that had brought us from the Midwest to the East Coast in the first place.  It was a stable job, and Bucknell was not an inexpensive school.  Back in those days there was no financial aid, per se, and only good students who were truly indigent received scholarships — or so I was told.

He decided to switch to a job that was commission-based.  It required traveling in a territory that included New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  Everything seemed to be hush-hush about this, so I did not ask a lot of questions.

That summer we went to South Dakota for a family reunion. It became evident to me that my Father was not his usual self.  I did not know what to make of it.  Nor did I have any understanding as to why this was happening.

During my senior year I consistently made my own breakfast and lunch (for school).  The only meal that was cooked for me was dinner.  Ironically, my Mother suddenly decided to get up early and watch me make and eat my breakfast every morning.  I found this odd, as she usually liked to sleep in.  When I asked her she said, offhandedly, something about “your Father wants me to do this.”  Odd, again.

Every morning when I left the Fairfield house I shut the door on the pain and trauma connected with it.  I had to do that in order to function at school.  And so, no matter how uncomfortable I was having my Mother stare at me as I downed my soft-boiled egg on German rye bread toast, I somehow managed to leave all of that behind.

It was about three weeks into my first semester that I said to myself, “Wow, I haven’t thrown up since I’ve been here.”  This tended to confirm my suspicions as to what had happened in the Fairfield house.  But, it seemed, the next thing I knew, my Father had almost died by his own hand.  As you can imagine, my only focus was on his well-being.

Fortunately, he recovered.  And he managed to keep his job.  He always made sure to stop at Bucknell when he was in the area.  He insisted on taking not only me, but also my friends, to have a bite to eat at the Bison, the local hang-out…





My High School Equestrian Experience…

When I was a teen-ager, my parents insisted that I attend ballroom dancing classes given by the lovely and renowned Irene Comer at the Patterson Club in Fairfield, CT. Apparently, I was supposed to learn not only how to dance but also some social graces that would help me to meet the ‘right’ kind of young man. But I didn’t want to meet young men. I wanted to ride horses.

As it turned out, my best friend at these classes was a boy with the same birthday as mine — Dicki Bonnett. We got into all kinds of trouble in school and out, as he was something of what you would call in those days a ‘wise-acre’. But when we could, we kept company at the ballroom classes and he let me know when he had straight pins stuck outward in the lapels of his white dinner jacket that he would jam into the other unsuspecting young ladies as he crushed them close to him. He was like that.

But when I was circulating — as one was supposed to have many dance partners — I found myself dancing with the dazzling boys from the Hill. This is Greenfield Hill. It was mostly full of large estates and horse paths. My father was an engineer — a transplant from South Dakota — so we lived humbly at the bottom of the Hill. These boys were entitled.  They knew they were wonderful. They were also horrible snobs. They had everything. Even estates… with stables. That meant horses.

And so I found myself turning the pleasant patter expected of us toward the subject of horses. And before I knew it, I had a number of places where I could ride. My parents were refusing to help me with riding lessons in any way, so I thought this was an viable alternative.

So a few times a week I found myself riding before heading to Andrew Warde High School. Frequently we would ride on the wonderful horse trails throughout the Hill. One of the paths led to the beautiful Merritt Parkway, which happened to be a main throughway to New York City in the early morning hours. And there, on the 20-foot-wide stretch of grass was a riding experience of a different level.

And so, on one of those rides, a simple race along the grass turned into the horse taking the bit in its mouth and trying to run away with me. Fortunately, it tried to unseat me by heading toward the low-hanging trees, rather than into the traffic. (I have to admit that was one of the dumber moments of my white-knuckle riding days.)

My parents never knew. And as long as they insisted on paying for dancing lessons I smiled sweetly and went along with them. But, of course, it was a cheshire cat smile…

So you think you’d make a good Wolfgang Mozart? (You might want to think again)…

Most everyone who knew Wolf during his lifetime, as well as many people since his untimely death, have at one point or another compared themselves to Wolfgang Mozart, and may have even decided they would do a better job with his gifts than he did. Or have less turmoil in their life than Wolf did. Or are just plain more deserving than Wolf was.

Well, you just might want to find out what his life was really like. No, most of the biographies that you read about him are intentionally misleading. They leave a lot out — and for good reason. For one, they are attempting to cover up the fact that he was not as bad a human being as he tends to be portrayed. (Nore was he a nice guy. Just not as bad as they say.) For another, they are attempting to keep control of a number of secrets about him — things the insiders don’t want the general public to know.

Why? Because some of our most revered musical establishments juar might end up going dark for good. Oh, and a monarchy or two might be turned upside-down. Little things such as that.

So what was a day in the life of Wolf really like? Well, musically-speaking we have a pretty good idea, from his letters and scores, and from the excellent documentation that accompanies them. But I think the quality of his personal life was another matter altogether.

For one, he was never able to just be a child. He didn’t grow up gradually as most people do. He was thrust into the limelight at a very early age. All of his relationships were based on his phenomenal gifts. He was not protected. He was exploited. He did not know whom to trust. In fact, there was no-one he could trust. Even his family members had agreed not to tell him about the fact that there was something truly unusual about his gift — something beyond their comprehension. Instead, they tried to pretend that he was just like them.

Somehow, I think they developed a way to maintain that illusion — and that was to systematically poison him from a fairly young age. I don’t know just how it started, but I do know his sister Nannerl became increasingly jealous of him as his fame climbed and hers diminished. I don’t know how far his Father Leopold was willing to go to keep Wolf under control. But I do think that his Mother, ignorant as she probably was of these terrible shenanigans, failed to protect him.

I also think that when he married Constanze she continued to do this, also in order to control him and make him vulnerable. Wolf said himself at one point that he felt as though he was being poisoned — I just don’t think he understood the subtlety with which it may have been done. When he died, there was no autopsy and no burial. This might explain why.

So, following my hypothesis, at every turn Wolf was accompanied by a controller, so to speak. An assassin, a Judas, pretending to be his friend. I don’t think he put things together until late in his life. Everything he wrote, everything he performed or conducted I think he did under a threat of imminent death.

Wolf did his best. Always. And he never complained.

Now, if I am correct, would you even want to spend one hour in his shoes?

The threat of Monostatos…

While my children and I were held hostage, so to speak, by the person I call ‘Monostatos’, for approximately 666 days, in a time, fortunately, long ago, he enticed me to practice on the stage at Orchestra Hall. He would then attempt to create as much trauma about it as possible, whispering such things as, “You can’t play under pressure.” At the time I found these practice sessions and the accompanying attacks puzzling, to say the least. In fact, they did not make any sense at all.

But now, with the benefit of hindsight, and the blessing of the passing of time, I find there is a certain consistency to what he was doing. In fact, I can comfortably say that this was probably the reason he wanted to have anything to do with us at all. For, it seems, my playing was a threat to him, and this was the only way he knew to try to neutralize it.

In fact, I can say that it would not be surprising if everything Monostatos has was gained in much the same way — through deceit, threats and intimidation. Apparently, this is supposed to be considered ‘professional’ at some level.

As far as that threat to me, I can now answer that I indeed found it a challenge to do my best in every area of my life while my children were being held hostage by someone comfortable with monstrous behavior.

But don’t take my word for it. You can experience the “Monostatos Effect” today at his other orchestra…


What is Minnegeddon?

Minnegeddon is a name I chose to account for a number of seemingly-unrelated events that, in fact, may be connected to the lock-out of me, the Other Mozart, by players of the Minnesota Orchestra.  That happened some time ago, and may have been the underlying reason for the recent 18-month-long lockout of the players by Management. Don’t get me wrong — I am not trying to spin some crazy story.  And, I could be mistaken. However, there have been enough odd events for me to want to attempt to define a framework for them.

You see, I play die zauberflote.  Not the opera.  The real magic flute.  The players are well aware of this, and staged a revolt because, apparently, its sound put their playing somehow at a disadvantage.  Not that I had anything to do with this, mind you.  I was always friendly and humbled by the opportunities I believed I had been given by the man I call “Monostatos” and his colleagues to practice on the darkened stage at Orchestra Hall.  As other players crawled out of the woodwork I at first thought I was winning them over.  But there was instead apparently an agenda at work — to discredit me with slander and make sure that I never had the chance to compete with them again.  My three wonderful children have also suffered greatly because of the vicious cruelty of “Monostatos” — who also happens to be their ex-stepfather.  I cannot tell you depth of the the anguish that I have experienced on their behalf.

But you see, die zauberflote always works the same way.  Whenever it is played — with a proper introduction or total disrespect — it goes in and gets all the truth out.  Then it starts using everything for good.  It stops even the hidden agendas in their tracks.  And then, those who plotted against it end up with the consequences intended for their victim.

Believe me, after all this time, I am something of an expert on this.

So, as the opera Die Zauberflote, contains tests of all the elements, wind and waves and tragedy and building collapses in areas where the flute has been played might only to be expected.  And, since this is an opera, staged in the greatest house in the world — or it was when I was a child going to it on class trips every year — it is only logical that as Minnegeddon is playing out in Minnesota it has also created tumult at the Met…http://slippedisc.com/2018/03/just-in-james-levine-sues-the-met-for-unfair-dismissal/#comment-418133







Vortex of the Evil Eye…

When I began writing the draft for what has become “Vienna Mystery” I had a strong conviction that the real story of what happened to Wolfgang Mozart was yet to be revealed.  In all my research — and I have read everything I could find on his life, both in English and German — it became evident to me that there was a mystery of grand proportions around his death and the events that led up to it.  The irreverent movie “Amadeus” skirts around these issues, but in a mocking way — as though to say that there was so much lawlessness around what happened to Wolf that nobody would ever be able to get through it, much less communicate the truth in any manner that was coherent.

Gradually, I came to see that there appeared to be a vortex around Wolf, that consisted of those who flattered him to his face and worked to destroy him behind his back.  They acted in secret and in stealth.  This vortex of ill-intent surrounded Wolf, so that he was unable to see outside of it.  Instead, it seemed that he was dragged further and further down into it.

And then he died.

There was no autopsy.

There was no burial spot.

Those in the vortex expressed shock and dismay.  But then they quickly went about their business.  In at least one case, that involved making money off of Wolf’s music.

At one point I had an insight — that if a person of stature is removed from office, so to speak, that is not simply called a ‘murder’.  It is an assassination.  If this vortex of ill-intent consisted of people who had agreed to Wolf’s demise and then sandbagged him and tricked him until that happened, that would be an assassination that was supposed to remain undetected.

And, in unintended irony, did the dreadful “Amadeus” spill the beans? What if the vortex consisted not simply of Salieri, who is something of a red herring, but of all of those around him?

What if Mozart had been poisoned, not to kill him outright, but in small doses, to try to weaken him, so that he would then succumb to death by ‘natural causes’?

Oh wait — didn’t Wolf even say something to that effect himself?

While I was digging into those revelations, though I did find it curious that some of those around me seemed to find my involvement in research of the assassination of JFK somewhat hilarious, I was blessed with ignorance that something similar had happened to me.

I was systematically poisoned by my birth family.  I think the reason was to weaken me, and, in my case, control me.  I think this sinister treatment was part of a campaign to create a false persona.  I could be wrong.

Perhaps the one remaining member of my birth family can clear that up for me.





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