SUNDAY REQUIEM: Based on Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata

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This morning, I thought I was just going practice my piano technique. But it was not to be. Even before finishing the first warm-up piece – Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata – I kept hearing in my head heavenly sounds of human voices and the full orchestra performing it.

So I switched instruments.  I walked over to my Clavinova and started playing it using various orchestral combinations. I even introduced the jazz ballad rhythm section to this classical piece.

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And then I began to visualize it being performed in the great cathedrals of the world – from Westminster Abbey to Hagia Sophia.

Elizabeth and I have been lucky enough to visit many of them. So my imagination was enhanced by actual experiences.

“How do you like this version of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata?” I asked Elizabeth when I was finished.

“I loved it,” she replied.

So I decided to repeat the process, this time recording my new musical creation. And this was a result.  Today being a beautiful Sunday here in Maui, I named it “Sunday Requiem” – music for all souls present and departed.

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Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

HAGIA SOPHIA – “Mother of All Christian Churches” – as we saw it on Oct 11, 2011:




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The first recording of this wonderful piece by the 19th century French composer Erik Satie was my musical gift to all Creation on Valentines Day last year, also our anniversary (see Gnossienne No. 1 by Altzar on Piano, Flute: Valentine’s Day Gift – Feb 14, 2013).  I received this gift in dreamtime upon our return home to Maui from Europe last year.

But I actually have a long history with this music. It all started on a Maui beach in January 2006. And it ended three years later in my moving from Arizona to Maui (see “Welcome Home Musical Gift,” Feb 11, 2013).

What makes this music so extraordinary is an irregular and ever-changing rhythm throughout the piece. Like the ocean waves washing up on shore.

Satie reportedly got the inspiration for it on the island of Crete in Greece. I received mine on the island of Maui while walking on a beach and listening to the sound of breaking waves.  Yet its rhythm is like the Guajira dance in Cuba, now almost forgotten.  One century ago, it emerged from the rural areas of this Caribbean island as a new genre upon the musical stage.

imgres imgres-1 Fleming_Beach,_Maui (Crete, Cuba, Maui – left to right)

All three places are islands – Crete, Cuba, Maui. All are surrounded by beautiful oceans washing up on their shores.

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So that’s what this Satie piece connotes to me – the sound of the ocean, the sound of the gentle surf washing up on a beach. And now I have also recorded Satie’s Gnossienne No. 1 as a slow Cuban Guajira dance.

So in this version, you will have a chance to experience it both in its original version on my Steinway, and on the Clavinova as a Cuban Guajira played on various orchestral instruments – cello, pan flutes, flutes, even a sax – accompanied by the full orchestra. Imagine it being performed barefoot on a beach.


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It has been quite a while since I felt up to recording some music. I have been playing every day both my Steinway and my Clavinova more than ever. But I have been mostly working on techniques. Never felt a piece was quite right for a new recording. Until today…

It actually started last night. I was playing various arias from the operas like “La Traviata,” “Fledermaus,” “Rigoletto,” etc. when suddenly “Carmen” and her “Habanera” knocked on my musical door again. It has been more than four years since they first appeared (see “Habanera by Bob Djurdjevic”, 11-11-2009). And I have not played it ever since. Till last night…Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 7.20.59 PM

So I was quite surprised when I found out that I was playing it in the exact same key (D-minor) in which Georges Bizet composed the famous “Carmen” aria. Furthermore, after playing it first on my Steinway, I started tinkering with various rhythmic and orchestral arrangements on my Clavinova.

I settled eventually on Guajira, a Cuban rural dance that emerged circa 1900. Which is now virtually extinct. In fact, prior to last night, I had never even heard of it. Yet it fitted the “Carmen Habanera” like a hand in glove.

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I even discovered that a typical Guajira dance starts our in a minor key and then changes to a major one. Just like “Carmen.” In my own improvisation of the “Habanera,” I had already figured that out subconsciously by starting in D-minor and transitioning to D-major.

So this morning, while Elizabeth was attending her hula dancing class, I recorded the new version of the famous Bizet opera theme. And then when she returned home, she and I both improvised our own version of the Guajira dance to the tune my my prerecorded “Carmen Habanera” theme.  We had lots of fun doing it, as you will see.

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And then something surprising happened. I combined the sounds of “live” playing on my Steinway and later Clavinova with the prerecorded version.

And now, check out our new version of “Habanera” with Elizabeth starring as Carmen… 🙂

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Here are also some still shots from this video..

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Here’s now also my first recording of “Carmen Habanera” made on my old antique piano on Nov 11, 2009:

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PS: Another “coincidence”… Check out the pants I am wearing in the two videos filmed 4.5 years apart. They are the same blue jeans. Only now, there are probably more patches on them that Elizabeth had sewn on than the original denim… 🙂

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Valentine’s Day. Our Anniversary. Full Moon…

Today, Valentine’s Day 2014, is a rare triple celebration for Elizabeth and me. It is a confluence of cosmic and human Love. 

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The walking stick I made for Elizabeth was a Divine gift I received at the Rainbow Shower on Aug 3, 2011 – see the picture below (Wood – is the 5th anniversary symbol, for those who may not be aware).

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The first one is at home, before we took off for Lahaina/Kaanapali. The other two at the “Leilani” restaurant. — with Elizabeth Fuentes.

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This is also an action-packed Full Moon. The Sun is in Aquarius. The Leo Moon is opposing the Sun. Saturn is Aquarius traditional ruler.

Elizabeth and I are planning a sunset anniversary dinner at “Leilani,” a Kaanapali restaurant. By the way, “Lei-Lani” means “heavenly wreath” in Hawaiian (Lani=heaven; Lei=flower wreath). Quite appropriate for such a special day, don’t you think?

Valentine Full Moon 2014

The exact time of the next full moon is:

Friday * 14th February 2014 * 1:53:00 pm Hawaiian time
Moon sign: Leo 26° 12′

Here you find this time converted into different timezones for other cities:
WELLINGTON = Saturday * 15th February 2014 * 12:53:00 pm (NZDT)
SYDNEY = Saturday * 15th February 2014 * 10:53:00 am (AEDT)
TOKYO = Saturday * 15th February 2014 * 08:53:00 am (JST)
BEIJING = Saturday * 15th February 2014 * 07:53:00 am (CST)
BANGKOK = Saturday * 15th February 2014 * 06:53:00 am (ICT)
DELHI = Saturday * 15th February 2014 * 05:23:00 am (IST)
MOSCOW = Saturday * 15th February 2014 * 03:53:00 am (MSK)
RIYADH = Saturday * 15th February 2014 * 02:53:00 am (AST)
BERLIN = Saturday * 15th February 2014 * 12:53:00 am (CET)
LONDON = Friday * 14th February 2014 * 11:53:00 pm (GMT)
RIO = Friday * 14th February 2014 * 09:53:00 pm (BRST)
NEW YORK = Friday * 14th February 2014 * 06:53:00 pm (EST)
MEXICO CITY = Friday * 14th February 2014 * 05:53:00 pm (CST)
LOS ANGELES = Friday * 14th February 2014 * 03:53:00 pm (PST)
HONOLULU = Friday * 14th February 2014 * 01:53:00 pm (HAST)


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“Approach your Fear without fear. Welcome it into your life. For, Fear can be as great a teacher as Love.”

“The Lake needs the Earth to cradle it. The Earth needs the Lake to nurture its flora and fauna. Neither can flourish without the other.  It is the same with Love and Fear.”

(just received these downloads – 8:50 AM HST, 2-08-2014)


19 – Lin / Approach – Earth-over-Lake

19 – Fear – Welcome it!



The Image

The earth above the lake:

The image of APPROACH.

Thus the superior man is inexhaustible in his will to teach,

And without limits in his tolerance and protection of the people.

The earth borders upon the lake from above. Just as the lake is inexhaustible in depth, so the sage is inexhaustible in his readiness to teach mankind, and just as the earth is boundlessly wide, sustaining and caring for all creatures on it, so the sage sustains and cares for all people and excludes no part of humanity.



Breaking Silence

What did I learn during my monthlong “quiet period”?

Hello everybody. How are you? How was January for you?  Did you miss me? With this story, I am breaking my month-long “radio silence.” imgres

Before I tell you what happened in our neck of the woods in Hawaii during the first month of 2014, I need to refresh your memory about what led me to this quiet period.  Here’s the Spirit guidance I received as we entered the new year:

“Clear your plate of that which does not serve you”

  • Go inward, not outward. During the month of January, refrain from posting anythingiphone-v1-just-say-no non-essential on my web sites by email or on Facebook.
  • Reduce your reliance on, and the use of, man-made technologies for the rest of the year.
  • Sell the Rainbow Shower. My mission in Hawaii is over.
  • Move the Steinway to the Honolulu piano dealer who has a better chance of selling it than the Maui store.

What did I learn during my monthlong “quiet period”?

If you click on BREAKING “RADIO SILENCE:” RECAP OF JANUARY 2014 at my sister-web site YinYangBob, you can see what happened in January 2014 as play-by-play. Now I will share with you the “story behind the story.” I will try to explain first to myself, and then to you, too, what I learned during this quiet period.

  • Let’s start with what did not happen. I expected that I would be reading a lot more during this quiet period. I read some. But only about four or five times out of 31 days.
  • I expected that I would spend a lot of time in nature, in the gulch, just vegging out. Meditating. Instead, I spent a lot of time in the gulch during “farmer’s yoga.” Working.  Hard. I fired my weed-whacker who had neglected certain parts of the Rainbow Shower while we away this fall. It took me a dozen or more long weed-whacking and machete-wielding sessions to (re)tame the jungle to the point it was at before we left for Arizona back in September. And I also hired a new landscaping team who will start next week.
  • I expected to send my Steinway from the Kahului store to the Honolulu dealer. Instead, I brought it back home. With the Spirit’s blessing, of course.

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Man-made technology sucks… sucking out our freedom and privacy

Two decades ago, I likened the PC and the Internet revolutions to the invention of a handgun.

“They empower the individual and small companies to compete with industrial giants on a level playing field,” I wrote in a landmark Annex Bulletin (End of Western Dominance? Refusion of Arts & SciencesNov 1994).

I was wrong. True, the PC and the Internet did empower individuals to compete with industrial giants and even win.  Witness Google, Apple (resurgence),  Facebook, and hundreds of other companies that have emerged as IT leaders since then.

And the PC and the Internet also facilitated a “re-fusion of arts and sciences, returning man back to Leonardo da Vinci’s era,” as I also predicted 20 years ago (End of Western Dominance? Refusion of Arts & SciencesNov 1994).

As a result, they unleashed a tsunami of creativity around the globe.  Which, in turn, led to a restructuring of the social and political order in many countries.

But an unfortunate side effect was that high tech also gave the industrial giants an opportunity to hijack the new technologies and subvert them to further their personal agendas and gains. And the biggest of them all – governments – usurped them to suck out remaining morsels of our freedoms and privacy after the end of Cold War.

So instead of the New Dawn we were promised, the world has experienced the new Dark Age following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Wars have proliferated across the globe. Along with them genocide, “ethnic cleansing,” economic and physical devastation,

But the worst and the most insidious enemy was invisible. Yet it spread like cancer and penetrated nearly facet of our lives. It was spying. Under the pretense of fighting terrorism and providing physical security to the people, western governments, led by the U.S. and Britain, have shredded centuries-old constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and rights to privacy.

If you do not know who Edward Snowden is, you have probably just arrived from another planet. It was this young man who, eight months ago, exposed the full extent of unconstitutional behavior of the US government officials, including the President, who had sworn to uphold the Constitution.

“The National Security Agency and its UK counterpart GCHQ have been developing capabilities to take advantage of “leaky” smartphone apps, such as the wildly popular Angry Birds game, that transmit users’ private information across the internet, according to top secret documents.

The data pouring onto communication networks from the new generation of iPhone and Android apps ranges from phone model and screen size to personal details such as age, gender and location. Some apps, the documents state, can share users’ most sensitive information such as sexual orientation – and one app recorded in the material even sends specific sexual preferences such as whether or not the user may be a swinger.

Many smartphone owners will be unaware of the full extent this information is being shared across the internet, and even the most sophisticated would be unlikely to realise that all of it is available for the spy agencies to collect.”

(An excerpt from US and UK spy agencies piggyback on commercial data to extract personal information  of millions of people, including even sexual preferences, The Guardian, London, UK)

So sure, the PC and the Internet revolutions could have been be rightfully compared 20 years ago to the invention of a handgun. Since then, however, governments and large corporations have seized the handgun and are pointing it right at the people – you and me. So the counter-revolutionaries have the upper hand at the moment.

What’s to be done?

  • First and the most obvious, we need to keep on speaking out against such usurpation of unwarranted power. Just as President Eisenhower did 53 years ago in his farewell speech to the nation:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of snowden eisenhowerunwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

See the quote at 1:38 min of this Jan 17, 1961 TV clip:

  • Second, we should minimize our dependence on, or addiction to, man-made No iPhonestechnologies.  If you don’t have an iPhone, the NSA cannot track your personal or sexual preferences. If you do not carry a cell phone with you at all times, the government cannot track your whereabouts so easily. If you do not post copious messages or stories on Facebook, especially about your personal lives, the spooks will have a harder time garnering that information.  And if you don’t text maniacally all the time, as so many (especially young) people do, your social life will improve. Maybe even your sex life. 🙂

Ditch or minimize use of man-made technologies

So that’s what my quiet period was about, I came to realize by the end of January. In fact, just yesterday, the last day of the month, Elizabeth and I discussed over breakfast the latest case of governmental abuse of our rights and freedoms (US and UK spy agencies piggyback on commercial data to extract personal information  of millions of people, including even sexual preferences, Jan 31, 2014). And I told her that our best line of defence is ditching or minimizing the use of our man-made technologies.

Which is what I intend to do as much as possible the rest of the year. Will you join me in this “silent revolution?” For your sake, of course.


Will you join me in this “silent revolution”?