Eleutheria (Song for the Next Fifty Years)

November 4th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

My dad is dying tonight.  

I’m in Ann Arbor, Michigan and he’s in Green Bay, Wisconsin and he’s dying and there’s nothing I can do about it.  I saw him a few weeks ago and made a real good connection.

I love him.  Him.  Joseph Thomas Bilich.  Born in 1933.  Grew up in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania.  Great Musician.  Husband.  Father of my two brothers and two sisters and myself.  A good man.

And I don’t want to write your obituary while you’re still with us but pretty soon, this week, next week, you’re going to be dead and it’s going to hit me like an iron fist and it’s going to take me years before I collect myself enough to do you justice in music.

Now, this is odd.  Really odd.  I started writing this piece about my dad because my actual project for tonight was to post a pod to theWheel about a song called The Immigrant, which is about my grandfather – my dad’s dad’s life story.  And it felt odd to be celebrating my grandfather, who I never met, while my dad lies in what is very possibly his death bed in Wisconsin right now.

And then I remembered.  I wrote a piece of music for my dad’s 50th birthday back in 1983.  I guess I turned 26 that year, and I remember I wanted to do something special for my dad’s 50th and I wrote – well, wrote is not really the word, I was not much of a notator – but anyhow, I composed a piece of music that was actually somewhat beyond my capacity to grok in fullness.  It was a piece inspired by the music my father brought into my life, which was in large part the music of the Balkan peninsula.  I had heard this music all my life, but found it more necessary to come to terms with the American music of my immediate experience.

So I didn’t have a great grasp on what I was trying to accomplish.  Just my ears and my heart and an immature composer’s technique.  I just barely hung on.

But it’s beautiful.  And there’s a whole ‘nuther story about this piece of music – two stories actually, but tonight I remember I called it “Eleutheria” – ancient Greek for liberty or freedom – and subtitled it (Song for the Next Fifty Years).  I think I meant, “may you live another fifty years, as majestic as this music.”  And you know, he made it for thirty-four plus more years, which is a pretty damn good ride for a human of our century.

I love you Dad.  Joe.  My father. My friend.

Here it is.

The Sun and the Moon

November 7th, 2015 § Comments Off on The Sun and the Moon § permalink

Why are the discs of the sun and the moon, as seen from the earth, so remarkably congruent?

Explain this, and shake the world.

I believe there IS an explanation beyond “coincidence” to be had, and also that we have all the data and observations we need to do the job.

Read David Deutch’s books “The Fabric of Reality” and “The Beginning of Infinity”. Read Julian Barber’s “The End of Time”. Read Max Tegmark’s “Our Mathematical Universe”.

I’ll get back to this.

Slomped

April 2nd, 2013 § Comments Off on Slomped § permalink

DB

Driving the bus.  4 minutes down on my third trip of the day.  The 4th trip at 8:30 can be crazy on a Tuesday.  All the kids go to their Tuesday classes, I guess.  I say to myself, “I better pick up these 4 minutes or I’m going to get slomped.”

“Slomped.”  Where did that come from?  I thought about it for a few seconds and figured it must have been some kind of a synthesizing double elision between “slammed” and “stomped”.  I thought about John Lennon’s advice to George Harrison about finding the right word for a lyric – “you just keep saying the line over and over and saying whatever comes to mind in the empty place.”

Something in the way she moves

Attracts me like a rutabega

 

I thought of Pete Maravich’s game when no one, least of all Pistol Pete, knew what physical genius was about to instantiate.

Stevie Wonder’s melisma.  Charlie Parker’s phrasing.

And then I thought, “hey, I bet my elision was actually between ‘slammed’ and ‘swamped’.”  I hadn’t even had immediate access to my own thought processes in retrospect.

Take a flyer.

Trust the universes to provide for the completion of the gesture.

Embark upon the worthy gesture at a moments notice.

Here lies Genius.

 

 

This is Your Brain – Working Hard to Keep Up.

July 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Saving Valentina

July 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

This is inspiring. We share this planet with these magnificent creatures.

Don’t Worry…

June 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

dnb

This is what we’re dealing with. And no, there is probably no direct correlation between any one extreme weather event and the broader climate change that certainly appears to be unfolding. But they are of the same fabric, the same weave. Our species’ choices are interwoven with every chaotic molecule in that tornado in Joplin. I feel in my bones that the totality of that event is of a piece with our changing earth’s atmosphere.

Pendulum Waves

May 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

This is so cool…

Double Rainbow Redux

January 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

dnb

If you haven’t yet checked out this pod, please do so first. It’s worth it. This is deep stuff. Then watch this next video. To the end. God Bless You, Bear Vasquez.

Double Rainbow

January 5th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

DB

I’m going to have something more to say about this one, but for now I just want it up to be seen and heard on theWheel. There are double rainbows to be seen everywhere, when we bother to look for them.

I knew I’d write more (it’s been about 10 minutes…). I found this other video of the same guy on the Jimmy Kimmel show talking about the first video. I really like this guy. In the second part of the interview, he’s asked about how various people find the first Double Rainbow video either funny or touching, and he says “It’s a mirror”. Very interesting. Here’s the first part of “Bear Vasquez” on Jimmy Kimmel’s show:

And the second part:

More to come.

Catch-22

December 23rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s downright beautiful…

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he were sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.

Joseph Heller, Catch-22, 1961.

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