Plus an early birthday dinner at our favorite Honolulu restaurant

Our 2015/2016 opera season started in Santa Fe with “Salome.” It ended this weekend in Honolulu with Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” (Troubadour). In between, we had also attended performances of Mozart’s “Magic Flute” in Honolulu (http://wp.me/p3R16m-297), and of “Carmen – http://wp.me/p1jFeo-1JK,” “Don Giovanni” and “Falstaff” in Phoenix. So this was probably our richest opera-filled season ever.

But first, when we left home to go to the airport on Saturday morning, it was raining at the Rainbow Shower.  And a lovely double rainbow wished us a “bon voyage.” When we got to the airport, bright sunshine.  So I took this picture from the terminal building which illustrates the typical Yin and Yang climates on our island of Maui.

On Saturday night, Elizabeth and I had an early birthday dinner for me at our favorite Honolulu restaurant – HY’s on Kuhio Ave. As regular patrons, they gave us a complimentary birthday dessert treat, along with a complimentary photo to mark the occasion (the largest shot below).

Afterwards, we went out for a leisurely stroll along the Waikiki beach where we caught this lovely sunset.

The only thing we had on the agenda for Sunday, May 22, was the matinee performance of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” opera. On our way in, a lady who runs marketing and promotion for the Hawaiian Symphony recognized us.

“Oh, so you are back from Arizona,” she remarked.

I told her how surprised and pleased I was that she recognized us in such a big crowd. Small world…

And now, here’s a composite shot of us with our wind-blown hair over that Waikiki sunset…


Eliz Bob Waikiki sunset.jpg





Garland Waltz from Sleeping Beauty – the latest musical challenge I received from the Spirit realm

For the last four years, my spirit guides have been giving me musical assignments which I was to turn into birthday songs. This year, it was the Garland Waltz from the “Sleeping Beauty” ballet by Tchaikovsky.

My earlier musical challenges from the Divine – which I was to turn into my birthday musical gifts – came from Brahms and Liszt (Gypsy Suite: Dance of the Planets, 2010),  Ghost Riders in the Sky (2011), Liszt again (La Campanella, 2012), Strauss (Blue Danube, 2013), Rachmaninoff (Rhapsody on a Paganini Theme, 2014), Mozart (Symphony #40, The “Roo Symphony”, 2015), and now – Tchaikovsky (Garland Waltz from “Sleeping Beauty, 2016) .

The recording I am about to share with you, made last night with Elizabeth working one of the cameras, has been over four months in gestation. There is a story to follow in which I will explain what happened during that time. For now, here’s a preview…

GARLAND WALTZ FROM “SLEEPING BEAUTY” (Tchaikovsky) – by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – recorded in its entirety on a Clavinova on May 17, 2016

* * *

Garland Waltz from Sleeping Beauty – Birthing the Birthday Song of 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 8.25.37 AM

This year’s birthday song – Garland Waltz – had a gestation period of over four months. Unusually long for me, but only half the time Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky took to write the score for the entire Sleeping Beauty ballet (see Creation and Premiere in 1890 below).

The inspiration for this music came on February 12 in Phoenix. That’s the night Elizabeth and I saw a performance of Tchaikovsky’s ballet “Sleeping Beauty” at the Phoenix Symphony Hall. Of course, I’d heard the music before. But this was the first time I got to see the “Sleeping Beauty” live.

The famous line from the Chorus Line – “everything is beautiful at the ballet” – might as well have originated from the Garland Waltz of the Sleeping Beauty.

Everything was beautiful at the ballet that evening of Feb 12. It was a night of magic and enchantment. I savored it for several days. And then I forgot all about it. Until two months later.

The Sleeping Beauty came to me in dreamtime on April 10. More specifically, the Garland Waltz did. I was just about to return to Maui from Arizona and did not have time to do much about it except to research various scores. But I knew I had to study the score, learn it, and record my own version of it.

Working on the Music at the Rainbow Shower

Back at the Rainbow Shower, I started working on this piece a little bit at a time. The Sleeping Beauty score is a work of overwhelming beauty and depth. Tchaikovsky himself thought it some of his best work. Its complexity and richness challenged the dancers and the musicians to greater heights, wrote one reviewer.

I quickly started to understand why. Nearly every bar represents a change of key.  And I had to discern them all by ear. As for the orchestration… wow, that was one of the most challenging things I have ever worked on.

That’s when I understood why I got this assignment from the spirit realm for this year’s birthday song.  They are guiding me up the musical ascension scale, evolving from technically challenging pieces (e.g. Rachmaninoff) to harmonically more sophisticated ones (Mozart, Tchaikovsky).

By the time Elizabeth returned home a month later, the Sleeping Beauty Garland Waltz was still sort of “raw.” But I kept at it every day. And then it all jelled in the last week or so. I stopped using the sheet music except for the most complex passages and playing it all by heart. And then not at all in the last three to four days.

“I feel pretty close to being able to record it,” I told Elizabeth three days ago.

And then last night, right after sunset, I did it, with Elizabeth working one of the cameras.


 * * *


Escape to a World of Dreams and Magic: “Everything Is Beautiful at the Ballet”

Apart from the harmonic and orchestration complexity, I wondered WHY did my spirit guides give me this particular piece of music as my 2016 birthday song assignment?

I think it was because the Sleeping Beauty storyline, and the Garland Waltz in particular, offer a way out of the ugliness and harshness of everyday life. With so much greed, deception and bloodshed in the world, we need a safe place to escape to, a place of beauty, magic and unlimited imagination. And that’s what the Sleeping Beauty is.

If “everything is beautiful at the ballet,” it does not get much more beautiful than the Garland Waltz of the Sleeping Beauty. And flower dances are universal, practiced in many cultures around the world.

Here in Hawaii, for example, we call a garland a “haku lei” (a head lei). You can even see yours truly wearing one as a “Hawaiian Kokopelli” – part of my 2011 Halloween costume.

To me, the Garland Waltz is a flight from harsh reality to flowering fancy. Both the dance and the music are as poetic as can be. A young princess is coming of age. She is in the spring of her life.

The Garland Waltz from the Sleeping Beauty is a reminder that there is a better world available to all of us. All we need to do is unleash our imagination and dream the way we used to when we were children. Which in and of itself is liberating.

That, I think, was the key spirit message woven into my birthday song of 2016. And why they wanted me to share this music with you all.

As is the case with all of my music, this interpretation of the Garland Waltz from the Sleeping Beauty does not exactly match up with what Tchaikovsky wrote. I have made little changes here and there to make the music come out the way I hear it in my Third Ear.

GARLAND WALTZ FROM “SLEEPING BEAUTY” (Tchaikovsky) – by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – recorded in its entirety on a Clavinova on May 17, 2016

 * * *


In Act I of The Sleeping Beauty the Garland Waltz takes place as part of the celebrations of Princess Aurora’s birthday. The corps de ballet dance with hoops and garlands of flowers to create elegant, evolving shapes, and also bring a bucolic and charmingly youthful quality to the party. 

The famous line from the Chorus Line – “everything is beautiful at the ballet” – might as well have originated from the Garland Waltz of the Sleeping Beauty.

Tchaikovsky composed The Sleeping Beauty, his second of three ballets, over the course of about eight months, but devoted only 49 days in all to the work. He was busy with other projects as well: during this time he composed his Fifth Symphony, the overture for Hamlet, and Six French Songs (Opus 65), and he also conducted numerous concerts. 

When he finished the orchestration for the ballet in August 1889 he wrote, “a whole mountain has fallen off my shoulders.”

In a note to a benefactor he wrote, “. . .the subject is so poetic, so inspirational to composition, that I am captivated by it.” The composer and choreographer collaborated closely, with Petipa (choreographer) supplying detailed instructions about what style and tempo of music were needed where. 

Tchaikovsky was famous for over-doing it: for the “Garland Waltz” in the Prologue, Petipa requested 166 bars and Tchaikovsky gave him 297! 

The Sleeping Beauty score is a work of overwhelming beauty and depth. Tchaikovsky himself thought it some of his best work. Its complexity and richness challenged the dancers—and Petipa (French-born choreographer) himself—to greater heights. 

Ballet historian Jennifer Homans credits Tchaikovsky with the ballet’s enduring appeal, a result of the way his music “works on the human body and spirit.”*

Tchaikovsky had the overture, prologue and outlines of Acts 1 and 2 completed in three weeks. Rehearsals began in August of 1889 and the ballet premiered on January 15, 1890. 

The Sleeping Beauty captivated the hearts and minds of its audiences. By 1892, it had been performed an astonishing 50 times. The dancers marked the occasion by presenting Tchaikovsky with a crown on stage.

 * * *


2013 – STRAUSS

SOUNDS FROM THE DESERT QUEST (Blue Danube, May 27, 2013) – http://www.altzar.org/Music/96_Sounds%20from%20Desert.html#Sounds_from_Desert_II:Blue_Danube

Also see…


“‘Blue Danube’ – is actually an ancient shamanic dream or transept” (Ancient Egyptian spirit, June 5, 2013) “You are coaxing more out … Continue reading… – http://wp.me/p1jFeo-jV



Evolution of My Birthday Song of 2014 – Variations 1 and 18 – a film by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – http://wp.me/p1jFeo-HQ

2015 – MOZART


MOZART SYMPHONY #40 (“ROO SYMPHONY”) – RETURNS AS MY BIRTHDAY SONG THIS YEAR A few days ago, a birthday card … Continue reading… – http://wp.me/p1jFeo-1bi


GARLAND WALTZ FROM “SLEEPING BEAUTY” (Tchaikovsky) – by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – recorded in its entirety on a Clavinova on May 17, 2016




Lunar Rainbow voice recording: 



May 15, 2016

Let me say at the outset, if you’re not a creative artist, chances are the story I am about to share with you might result in a shrug.

“Not my problem,” you might say. 

Well, maybe it is. I’ll explain why at the end.

So what’s the story?

From time to time, I have been getting copyright notices from Youtube (Google) according to which some corporation somewhere around the world claimed a copyright for some of the music I had recorded.  Here’s, for example, one such message I got on May 13:

Copyright owner using Content ID claimed some material in your video.

This is just a heads up

Don’t worry. You’re not in trouble and your account standing is not affected by this.

There are either ads running on your video, with the revenue going to the copyright owner, or the copyright owner is receiving stats about your video’s views.

What’s next?

If there are no problems, you don’t need to take any action. You don’t need to delete your video.

Since the Youtube/Google said there are no problems, I have been mostly ignoring these messages. Until now.

Something made me dig a little deeper into one particular claim. It was about my June 2009 recording of a tune from “Chorus Line,” the musical – https://youtu.be/UNKzp7bF65M.  I am the only performing artist, playing my own rendition of this song without any sheet music, on my own piano, and filming it using my own camera.

“How can somebody claim a copyright on a recording like that?” I wondered.  “A recording cannot be any more original than that.”

And then the penny dropped. My research turned up three companies that had the gall to do that.  They evidently want to be able to sell their ads under my music video and thus make money off of it. 

“So it’s all about greed,” I concluded. “These companies want to steal my art, slap a fraudulent copyright, and try to cash in on my creative gifts.”


That made me angry.

The whole point of my creating and sharing things with people is their spiritual enlightenment. That’s why they are FREE. That’s why I have never tried to make money off my musical or other creative gifts. BECAUSE WE CO-CREATE IT WITH SPIRIT, AND THUS WE SHOULD NOT OWN IT OUTRIGHT. Unless we first pay royalties into some Divine bank. 🙂

And yet here are these shysters trying to do it instead. And worse, Google is siding with them.

“Of course, Google is a corporation,” I thought. And birds of a feather flock together.

So I got my dander up and filed a counterclaim. I appealed Youtube/Google’s decision to honor such a fraudulent claim, and accused them of collusion with these three corporate fraudsters (see the image – left).

I got a reply from Youtube/Google within 24 hours. 

After reviewing your dispute, Kobalt Music Publishing has decided that their copyright claim is still valid,” they wrote.

Who the hell is Kobalt Musik, I wondered? So I looked them up. It turns out they are a British company  based in London. http://www.kobaltmusic.com/page-contact.php. “Chorus Line” is a Marvin Hamlisch musical which became a hit on Broadway in the 1970s. In other words, it has nothing to do with any Kobalt Music or any other British company.

Their copyright claim was plain FRAUD for the sake of GREED. And by siding with them, Youtube/Google became an accomplice to it. As if wanting to confirm that conclusion, today, I got another notice from Youtube. Same thing. Only this time it was my Mozart concert honoring the great composer on the 222nd anniversary of his death.

Google copyright claim Mozart Rondo Alla Turca


“Our society is getting rotten to the core,” I told Elizabeth today over breakfast, as I explained to her what had happened. “It just sickens me that everything seems to revolve around money.”

“And you know what,” I continued. “Mozart and Beethoven would also be sickened to see this.”

The great composers freely collaborated with each other and would have never dreamed of charging for their art, beyond the concert ticket or sheet music sales. They mostly depended on sponsorship by appreciative fans, typically well-heeled aristocrats. 

Composers in Europe were generally supported by wealthy patrons…  It was not until the 1886 Bern Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works that an international agreement on copyright was made. Originally, 9 countries signed the text created at the Berne Convention. Since then, the text has been amended six times and has now been signed by over 130 countries.


As for myself, like Mozart, Beethoven and others, I feel that my gift of music is not mine to own, only to share with others. Its origin is Divine. So how could I copyright something that doesn’t fully belong to me?

Well, evidently some can. If you are a fraudster and have Youtube/Google in your corner.


And now, why does that matter to you, the audience?

Because if Greed is allowed to prevail and rule the world of art, creative artists may stop providing their work for free, and limit or stop uploading their creations to Youtube/Google. 

And that would be a sad day for the world of music – that you have to BUY music to enjoy it. 

Shame on you, Google, for choosing fraud over creative arts.

MozartBeethoven copyright hdr



May 6, 2016
Happy Saint George’s Day No. 2!

No. 2?

Yes. No. 2.

May 6 on the Eastern Orthodox (Julian) calendar is the equivalent of April 23 on the Gregorian (western) calendar. Same saint – two different dates. You can see both icons on the walls of our home at the Rainbow Shower in Maui.

Ever since 2008, I have been celebrating St George’s Day as my second “Slava” (Saint-protector Day). But it was not until St Nicholas Day on Dec 19, 2015, my first Slava, that I found out why. “Djurdjevdan,” or St George’s Day, was my maternal Bogdanovic family’s Slava, my elder sister told me as she called from Serbia to wish me a Happy St Nicholas Day Slava.

The reason I was guided to start celebrating St George’s Day in 2008 had a lot more to do with my spiritual awakening and becoming a Shaman than it did with the Orthodox faith. So it was a wonderful “bonus” to learn six months ago that there was also a strong familial reason for it.

Eight years ago, I had an opportunity for the first time to participate in St George Day celebrations in Belgrade. First, I went to a 9AM service at the Saborna (Congregational) Church. Churches frown at photos being taken inside, but I figured St. George would not mind it if I tried to educate some of my worldwide friends about him and this special day

Second, I was invited to a St. George celebration at the Serbian Medical Society building in George Washington Street in Belgrade. It turns out St. George is the patron of the Serbian doctors, as well as of the whole country, since the medical society was formed on this day in the 19th century.

After a private tour of the facility, I attended my second St. George’s service of the day. This time, it was performed by Archbishop Atanasije on the steps of the Medical Society’s building. This archbishop was one of several I was introduced to when I was meeting the late Serbian Patriarch Pavle during my many wartime visits to Belgrade. But this was the first time he and I had an opportunity for a private chat.

During his sermon, Archbishop Atanasije spoke lovingly of the Roman war soldier George who was loved by his troops as well as his superiors, both for his courage and his wisdom.

“But what set him apart from other men was his sense of timing,” said His Grace. “He chose exactly the right moment when he would have the maximum impact on his people to declare himself a Christian publicly, in front of his troops. And for that, he suffered terribly. But not only did he endure all the tortures, he rejoiced while it was happening. Only a man imbued with the Spirit of God could have done that.”


Here’s now also a link to a short clip I made on May 6, 2008 of my first St George’s Day service in Serbia:


After this service, I walked to St. Mark’s Cathedral. Which is the second largest church in Belgrade.

I also spent some time inside, where a procession of St. George celebrants were saying their prayers and offering their respects to the Patron Saint. That’s where you can also see a crypt of the Serbian Czar Dusan (1355) who was the ruler of the country before the Ottoman conquest. At the time, Serbia was one of the most powerful empires in Europe (late 14th century).

And so with that personal note, once again, Happy Djurdjevdan! (St George’s Day).

By the way, for those interested in etymology, the surname stems from the ancient Serbian first name DJURADJ. Which was the old Serbian equivalent of GEORGE. The ending “ich” is equivalent to Mac or Mc in Gaelic names. So the Irish/Scottish name corresponding to Djurdjevic would be MACGEORGE (or McGeorge, Macgeorge. McJore, McJoar).
Here’s the Celtic genealogy of MacGeorge aka. O’Djurdjevic as I call myself on St Patrick’s Day… 🙂
MacGeorge, originally Mac Jore, the surname of an old family which, from an early period was settled in Galloway. Towards the middle of the 17th century they had became divided into several branches – all land proprietors and all in the same district, chiefly in the parish of Urr.
There were branches of several distinguished Irish families settled in Galloway (Galway), such as the clan Carthy (called in that district as Macartney) and others: and the late Mr Brydson, the author of an excellent work on Heraldry, is of the opinion that the family Macgeorge is descended from the ancient Irish clan Mac Yoris, which had settled, he says, at an early period, in Galloway (Galway), and which in the time of Henry II, was reckoned among the great families of Ireland. This is confirmed by the manner in which the name at and early period was pronounced and spelt in Galloway (Galway).


As for the DJURDJEVIC family history, that’s what my 2oo8 trip to Serbia and Montenegro – the Djurdjevic Mountain was about – visiting the mountain where my ancestors had lived for about 300 years (between the late 1300s and late 1600s, before migrating northward toward Belgrade -see the maps).

Before the 1300s, the Djurdjevic’s were the nobles with properties in the area of today’s southern Macedonia-northern Greece, near Pella, the birthplace of Alexander the Great. In fact, I discovered several years later that I had been Philip II of Macedon in one of my past lives, the father of Alexander. And my father in this lifetime, Jovan, was back then my son – Alexander the Great.

But I had not known any of that back in May 2008 when I arrived at the Djurdjevic Mtn in Montenegro. What I did know is that, when I was a kid visiting my father’s homestead in Srem, just west of Belgrade, I’d heard that the local villagers nicknamed  us”the Greeks.”  I never knew why until I did this genealogical research a quarter century ago.

Shortly after that, in June 1990, I visited the Djurdjevic Mtn and the Djurdjevica Tara river (above right) with my family for the first time (see the photos with my daughters).

I had only been there one more time, in 1994, during one of my wartime trips through Bosnia.  My escorts and I crossed the border from Bosnia into Montenegro in the vicinity of the Djurdjevic Mtn. So I just could not pass up the opportunity of stopping by, even just for a few minutes (right photo).

Back to 2008, this time, it was not just a casual visit.  There are certain rites that I needed to perform on “my mountain.”  So it would not get “jealous” of my new patrons in the Andes.

For more, see… ANSWERING A MOUNTAIN CALL –  http://yinyangbob.com/Photos/Europe5_08/Montenegro2.html