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Book by FD

A Door to New Worlds

Hey There!

You may have noticed a book I published on Amazon titled A Door to Old Worlds. Well, I also have a book on Amazon Kindle titled A Door to New Worlds. In fact, the New Worlds came before the Old Worlds.

Who knows how this all happened.  It just did, and there‚Äôs no explaining it or understanding it.  ELLIE and CHRIS SWENSON were chosen to make a fantastic journey into the American musical past, a journey that changed their lives forever.

Their experience, though, began with their great-great grandfather and his twin sister, chosen to make the same fantastic journey almost a century earlier, which leads one to wonder why these four individuals were chosen.  Eleanor and Christian were gifted and brilliant students of music.  Likewise, their great-great grandchildren, Ellie and Chris both showed early signs of extreme musical talent and interest. Come to find out, all serious musicians make the same journey, a fact no one knows except those who have experienced it.

Go to Amazon Kindle and read my first book, A Door to New Worlds. You will not only be dazzled with an interesting story, you my also learn some important musically historic information about our country’s musical past that happens to be intertwined with its future .

You will be especially delighted if you are a Czech enthusiast since the central character is one of the greatest of Czech composers, Antonin Dvorak. You will find the answer to these questions:

*Why did Dvorak come to America?

*Why was his presence in America significant for the world of music?

*Why did he and his family spend a whole summer in Iowa?

*Why did he want to visit Minnesota?

*Why did Ellie and Chris go with him to New York city?

Read the book and come back and answer the above queries.

Bye for now!

FD Sutherland

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Book by FD

“Life Was Transformed…”

Hey there.

This may be way too philosophical for most of us, but we love to entertain ideas that are profound. Say, LIFE for example. Here goes.

Ever thought about some of the things we take for granted that have been part of human existence for multi-millennia and before?

Cell phones? No.

Computers? No.

Automobiles? Uh, no!

The internal combustion engine? The telephone? The shoe? Still no, no, no!

I’m talking like, rope and knots. Paper and ink. The fulcrum, blocks and tackle. The wheel. How far does the wheel go back?

Who knows? But here’s another set of objects that have been around almost as long as the wheel and continues to change our lives everyday. Thing as common as “a hollow log, pithy reed tubes and dried animal intestines.” (From A Door to New Worlds, by F.D. Sutherland, p. 5.)

Drums were discovered when ancient humans realized that a hollow log made an interesting sound that could be used for long distance communication. And for stimulation and relaxation.

Bamboo, that hollow grass that grows all over the world in abundance, and other plants that, can be hollowed into a tube to be fashioned into whistle-like objects that can make wonderfully soothing sounds.

Animal intestines that have been stretched and dried into strings that, when plucked, the vibrations can make miracles happen in the ears of discerning humans. Yes! We’re talking Music!

Music is as ancient as humans. It is possible, maybe likely, that musical instruments in their most primitive forms were discovered by humans maybe even before they realized the concept of a round rock that could help them be more efficient. (I said ‘Maybe’ for effect.)

Hmm. Makes one wonder doesn’t it? Just how powerful the simplest things are in our world may be. Take the wheel. Was that revolutionary or what? How about the shoe? Paper and ink? Blocks and tackle?

What about a Beethoven symphony? As the great master used to say, “Never give up Music!” It is a powerful expression of what lies deep within the heart and soul of all of us.

“Life was transformed when humans realized their uniqueness. They were more than plant and animal. Their thinking and reasoning surpassed the rest of creation. They saw beauty in the world. Then they discovered aesthetic uses for hollow logs, pithy reed tubes and dried animal intestines.” (A Door to New Worlds, F.D. Sutherland, p. 5)

Bye for now.

Categories
Music and Art

“…art must be propagated ceaselessly.” Beethoven

Hey there!

Hope you are well on this fine hot August evening.

In researching for writing my Premiere Series of books highlighting great composers from the past, and since Ludwig van Beethoven is a prominent character in all of them so far, I ran across an interesting account of a lock of his hair which now resides in the United States.

The book Beethoven’s Hair by Russell Martin, published by Broadway Books, New York, 2000, is a well researched and well told saga about a lock of hair cut from the great composer’s head the day after his agonizing death.

Weeks before, one of the great master’s good friends from earlier and healthier years came to visit. Johann Hummel brought his student as well, Ferdinand Hiller who was able to converse with the composer as he was feeling relatively well on that day, March 8, 1827, just sixteen days before his death. Beethoven was actually able to sit up and enjoy his visitors.

After reuniting with his friend Hummel for several minutes, Beethoven’s attention turned to young Hiller. He asked him about his studies and marveled about how wonderful it was to see his good friend bringing his student to visit him. It reminded Beethoven of when his teacher, Joseph Haydn did the same with him, taking him to visit the musical genius Mozart, after which the dying Beethoven made an astute observation. He said to Hiller, “…art must be propagated ceaselessly.”

It is good for us now to have that statement from one who had every reason to know what he was saying. It is fortunate for us that Herr Hiller wrote it in his journal as he recounted his visits with one of the greatest of all composers. It was also good that in the ensuing days, Ferdinand would return to visit the old dying master several more times, the last of which, the day after the master died, March 27, 1827, when he bravely cut a lock of the dead man’s hair.

So how did that lock of hair get from Beethoven’s 1827 apartment in Vienna, Austria to San Jose, California where it resides in 2019? Read the book. It is a great story!

By for now.

FD Sutherland