Also, Girls’ Day in Japan, “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” (2010), Magical Alpine Ceremony (2012)

What an auspicious day this has been in my life – a triple whammy on the third day of the third month of the year – which is also celebrated as a Girls Day in Japan (Hinamatsuri) and some other parts of the world.

On this day in 2010, I recorded my last piece of music on my old antique piano. The same day, Elizabeth and I used helium balloons to mark up the eight nodes of a celestial network – a planetarium, if you will – I was building at the Rainbow Shower at the time. This $7.50-solution, saved me over $1,000 which a helicopter rental would have cost to do the same geodesic job.

No wonder they say the #3 is the number of CREATIVITY. If you look closely at the video below, you will see that I was even wearing an orange sports shirt with a number 3 on it. I only noticed that after I had already made the video at the end of the day – Mar 3, 2010.

It was also the day on which in 2012 I had an amazing experience in the Alps during a shamanic healing ceremony:

Alpine Healing Ceremony Part 1: Innsbruck-Bolzano (Mar 3, 2012)

Alpine Healing Ceremony Part 2: At Lake Vernago (Mar 3, 2012)

Alpine Healing Ceremony Part 3: Film (Mar 3, 2012)

And in 1978, at age not quite 33, I also resolved to live the rest of my life WITH NO REGRETS. As a first step, I left my “safe” job at IBM and started my own business. And the rest is history.

“Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien”

Eight years ago on this day, I recorded the last piece of music on my antique piano (c. 1929). Nine days later, my new Steinway arrived. And my musical life was never the same again.

That last musical recording was also very poignant in my life. It was Edith Piaf’s farewell song – “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” (No, I regret nothing). At age 33, I also resolved to live the rest of my life WITH NO REGRETS. As a first step, I left IBM and started my own business. And the rest is history.

http://yinyangbob.com/HI2010/Mar/Mar_1.html [March 3, 2010 – STORY]

Here’s now that March 3, 2010 recording on my old piano which I made as a virtual improvisation, with almost no prior practice.





Chopin was never one of my favorite composers. I played his pieces mostly to please others who reveled in his melancholy music.

What did I say last summer about Chopin when his Grand Valse Brillante came to me in a dream – that I thought some of his music was fluffy and maudlin? (too sentimental). And yet here he is, late my life, knocking on my doors and moving into my life again (see From my Dreams Journal: IBM AND CHOPIN, Feb 12, 2018).

Which inspired me to work on a “Chopiniada” music video.  It will be a”ballet blanc” (white ballet), a shorter version of Les Sylphides, also known as “Chopiniana.”

Alexander Glazunov had already set some of the music in 1892 as a purely orchestral suite, under the title Chopiniana, Op. 46. In that form, it was introduced to the public in December 1893, conducted by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. I have also done the same, recording some of it on my Clavinova, some on my Steinway.

Once I have mastered the five new Chopin waltzes, including the two from my dream, I may produce the full version of Les Sylphides. Meanwhile, here’s an introduction to the project:

And now, here’s my abbreviated, 16-minute version of Les Sylphides ballet, which runs for about 30 minutes with a full Chopiniana suite.

“CHOPINIADA 2018”, MY PRELUDE TO “CHOPINIANA” – a film by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – recorded in Scottsdale, Arizona – Feb 19, 2018 on a Steinway and a Clavinova – with Mariinsky Imperial ballet Les Sylphides dance (video only)

By the way, the term Les Sylphides fits perfectly Chopin’s music. Its a French expression that comes from the “Sylphs” – mythological air spirits, like air elementals akin to Santa Tierras (female earth spirits. Maybe that’s why I used a sort of derogatory term “fluffy” to describe Chopin’s music, without realizing that at higher levels that actually means ethereal – divine – heavenly.



America’s vulgar and militaristic “culture”


Oversexed, overweight and undernourished – spiritually and intellectually – masses led by beasts in priests’ clothing

Some 81 million Americans believe the Sun revolves around the Earth!

The D’EVOLUTION cartoon in the header of this editorial was published as a Jan 2018 cover by a leading German magazine Der Spiegel. It makes a case that America is devolving – going backward, not forward. And I can add, the country has probably never been more polarized than it is now.

That’s a political view. But where politics go, culture can’t be far behind. And in some cases, culture has been actually leading the way – backward, appealing to our most base and primitive instincts.

Look at the above images. Those are some of the icons of America’s “music.”

This is what I wrote on that subject in  my “Dumbing Down of America” piece – the title of my August 1997 Washington Times column “Dancing ‘Round the Golden Calf“:

“America is rapidly becoming a nation of mutts. Our country’s traditional character is being systematically destroyed by nihilistic “liberals,” the New World Order’s centurions whose only God is the Almighty Dollar.

The same kinds of people invented the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” and applied it to the unsuspecting Russians. Now, they are trying to ram a “dictatorship of the minorities” down the naive Americans’ throats…

Take the music., for example The romantic serenity of the “classical” (Christian) composers – like Bach, Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Liszt and others – has been usurped by the pagan beat of rap or the heavy metal rock bands which dominate our airwaves…

Why? Because the powers that be in today’s America have chosen to put their money into… pagan music and violent movies. Or into gladiator-like sports, like football or basketball. Meet America’s role models, the superstar gladiators.”

That’s what I wrote 21 years ago. Yet every word of this opening passage rings even truer today than it did in August 1997.

Some 81 million Americans believe the Sun revolves around the Earth!

You think I am kidding? Tragically, I am not.

In 2012, a survey of 2,200 people by the National Science Foundation posed this question, among others: “Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth?”

A quarter of Americans chose the latter. That’s about 81 million people, according to the population census.

Vulgarity in “Music”

Or just look at the vulgarity of today’s “music” stars, for example, the idols of new generations of dumbed-down Americans.

Just like the tawdry bars and strip joints, they flaunt nudity and sex, even sometimes on stage. They act like the pagan priests and priestess while mocking the traditional morality icons, such as Jesus and Gandhi, for example. in this Lady Gaga video.

They even shrink from promoting the use of drugs (again, Lady Gaga) and other forms of self destructive behavior.

As a result, they are splitting up the country and tearing down the traditional American values to shreds, like that tattered flag, while promoting sex, violence and militarization of our society.

That is the new “culture” the New World Order, or Deep State, if you prefer, have been trying to impose on America for over half a century now. Only the people who hate this country and our traditional values and morality would want to do that. And the modern rock stars are their centurions in the war against the American family (also see – NEW WORLD ORDER’S WAR ON AMERICAN FAMILY, Jan 2015).


* Defeminize the female, emasculate the male

* Destroy the American family by sending women into the work force

* Brainwash children to become obedient dolts and shopping automats as adults 


Also see my 1995 Truth in Media editorial “Green Interstate” which I reworked into a WASHINGTON TIMES column “When Cultures Collide…” published in Aug 1996 and this June 2016 update NO MULTIETHNIC COUNTRY IS SECESSION-PROOF. The piece predicted a break up of America along ethnic and cultural lines – just as what the New World Order engineered in Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.


Let us now compare the modern vulgar rock star images to these cultural idols of the 1930s and 1940s.

Yesteryear stars

What do you see?

You see wholesome Christians. What’s not visible on these images is that they are also TALENTED musicians or actors. Like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire for example (see below).

They did not flaunt sex. That trend started with Elvis Presley in the 1950s.. Artists like Rogers and Astaire, Shirley Temple, Doris Day and others tried to use their gifts to uplift the SPIRITS of their audiences. Just like Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, Wagner, Verdi, Tchaikovsky… and other great 18th and 19th century composers did.

We can deduce, therefore, that the modern “music,” “art” and film are being pushed upon us by the ruling “elite,” who are really a vulgar mob, so as to SEPARATE us from God and our spirit guides. That is also part of the New World Order aka Deep State agenda. They want us only to worship money and power money can buy.

Just as I said in my 1997 Washington Times column “Dancing ‘Round the Golden Calf” – culture, the priests of the New World Order – the rock and movie stars – are actually leading back to animalistic behavior. So…


And now, with that as background information, I invited you to check out my recent correspondence with a programming director of Phoenix’s only classical music station – KBAQ. Whether by design or subconconnciously, their programming selections are also contributing to the dumbing down and militarization of American culture.


Feb 5, 2018


Subject: Programming complaint

Hello. I am a supporting member and a regular listener of your classical music programs. And I have a complaint about your programming selections. You have entirely TOO MUCH HAYDEN and TOO MUCH TRUMPETS/MILITARISTIC music.

Please tell your programming director that music is one of the highest levels of SPIRITUAL connection with the Divine – as Beethoven, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Berlioz and Mozart have amply demonstrated. It is not about military parades and marching bands. Save that for the Superbowl crowds and their animalistic “music.”

So I respectfully request less or no Hayden and other trumpet-based militaristic music.

Thank you.


Feb 7, 2018

FROM: Brian Smith, KBAQ’s associate programming director

Hi, Mr. Djurdjevic,

Please pardon the delay in addressing your concerns. Thanks so much for being both a listener and a member.

On Monday afternoon, just a little while before you wrote, I see that Linda played the Haydn Drumroll Symphony — and an hour before she played the Haydn Trumpet concerto .Please believe me: that is not common! In looking at today’s programming, we have four Haydn pieces evenly spread across 24 hours. Yesterday, there were three.

Haydn, as the father of both the symphony and the string quartet, is a composer who must get his due. Moving forward, the odds are good his music will be distributed as evenly as yesterday and today.

It’s more difficult address your other concern. Marches can be seen as militaristic, of course, as can certain brass passages in music. Overall, we strive for balance in mood and pace, and different times of day bring different focuses. Listening between 9 PM and 5 AM, for example, is going to be a different experience than listening from 9 AM to 4 PM.

All that said, we are always assessing our programming, and comments from members are important to us in making changes. We are not likely to make sudden and major shifts, but we’re always adjusting. Your comments are helpful in that process.

Kind regards,

Feb 7, 2018

TO: Brian Smith, KBAQ

Thank you for your reply, Mr Smith. I appreciate your explanation.

I only used Hayden as a case in point for that day. It’s not just Hayden. I don’t know if it is my bad luck or what, but it seems every time my wife and I get into our car and go somewhere with your radio music on, there is some trumpeting going on, either Baroque or from the 20th century. As my wife is my witness, I just turned the radio off when that happens. And lately, I have been having to do that quite a bit.

It seems to me that unfortunately your station is fitting in with its programming the overall militarization of our society. I feel that you should not only LISTEN to your audiences, but also LEAD them and EDUCATE them about the spiritual quality of music, not to mention the HEALING aspect of it. Which is why I finally set some time aside to write to you and let you know how I feel about your programming.

But I realize I am probably not your average listener. I am a pianist and music arranger myself who has made several hundred music video, mostly of classical music. Most of my music comes to me in dreamtime. And then play it and record it often not knowing what the piece is. Until some of my musically educated friends around the world identify it for me. If they can’t, well, perhaps some of my recordings are originals then.

If you’re interesting, you can check some of them out if you’re interesting at my https://altzar.net/ (current) and altzar.org (2013 and prior) websites.

Thank you again for your reply and explanation.


UPDATE FEB 15, 2018


Florida school shooting: Another result of militarization of American culture

NEWS STORY, FEB 14, 2018 – https://on.rt.com/8z87: The attack on a Florida high school on Wednesday, is the eighth school shooting to result in injury or death so far this year, and the 18th incident involving gunfire in schools.

The figure is more than double that of the same period last year, according to data from Everytown for Gun Safety, a group which tracks gun violence at schools and universities.

Last year’s figures show that by mid-February there were seven school gunfire incidents, of which two resulted in injuries or fatalities. The total number of school shootings for 2017 stood at 65, according to the group. 

ALTZAR: What just happened in Florida is but one result of the militarization of the American culture has led to. To defuse this, we don’t just take the guns away from people. That’s just treating the symptoms. We take out Hollywood – the source of this disease. And stop our government’s global warmongering.

Screen Shot 2018-02-15 at 10.01.39 AM copy

UPDATE FEB 19, 2018


Elizabeth and I attended our first concert yesterday within the Arizona Musicfest 2018, a classical music festival that has been held for 27 years. It was encouraging to see and sellout classical music event, and hear the story of the Musicfest success.

By the time the festival ends in early March, more than 20,000 people will have attended the carious concerts. Which is great, although it does not change one iota of my editorial on the devolution of American culture – BEWARE OF BEASTS IN PRIESTS’ CLOTHING (Feb 5, 2018).

Why not?

Because over 95% of the audience were people over 60. The current and future generations of young people. In 1937, the median age at orchestra concerts in Los Angeles was 28. Think of that!

For more on that, check out this very good 2014 article article on how the classical music in America is going down the drain:

Requiem: Classical music in America is dead


UPDATE FEB 21, 2018


Last night, Elizabeth and I attended another classical music concert in downtown Scottsdale. This time, it was just the piano rendition of Bach’s and Chopin’s music performed by Jeffrey Siegel.

Here are some photos we took…




From my Dreams Journal: IBM AND CHOPIN

From my Dreams Journal


Last night (Feb 11), I had another very detailed dream about my work as a consultant for IBM. I even still remember the visuals I used in a presentation I was making to a group of executives.

But what I recall most vividly was the Chopin music that accompanied or followed that dream. It was one of his waltzes.

Later on when I awoke, it listened to about 19 Chopin waltzes and figured out that it was actually two waltzes:

Waltz in E-minor, which was published posthumously –

(Arthur Rubinstein)

…and in another part of the dream…

Waltz Op. 64 No. 2 in C# minor –

(Yuji Wang)


INTERPRETATION: During my research into this dream, I also downloaded the music for five (for me) new Chopin waltzes which I will try to learn to play. Some of them sound very familiar, so I may have played them as a teenager.

Looks like Chopin and Beethoven are becoming dominant music guides for me in the last 12 months. I am actually getting ready to work on a Chopin-inspired ballet video.

Sorry, Her Mozart. You and Master Tchaikovsky have had your run for quite a few years. Or maybe you guys are all working together and taking turns in bringing me up a notch or three on my music ladder?   That’s most likely what’s happening.

​And what do IBM and Chopin have in common? Beats me. Maybe they were two separate dreams that I fused into one after I woke up?​




A month ago I had a dream in which Chopin’s Waltz in E minor figured prominently (see From My Dream Journal, Feb 11, 2018). So I decided to try to play it. It is not yet ready for recording but it has been with me every day in the last month since that dream.

Meanwhile, I have found out that Chopin’s Waltz in E minor was probably composed circa 1830, but was not published until 1851, two years after the famous composer’s death. Nobody knows why not. It was the first of Chopin’s posthumously published waltzes not to be given an opus number.

I have no idea why that particular mysterious waltz came to me in a dream. Perhaps it was because in 1830, the year he is believed to have composed it, Chopin left his native Poland forever as I left my native Yugoslavia in 1970.


But unlike me, Chopin did not realize at the time that he was leaving for good. For, by the time he had reached Vienna, news reached him of the Polish uprising against Russian rule. This event, added to the disturbed state of Europe, caused him to remain in Vienna until the following July, when he decided to make his way to Paris. Which is where his creativity blossomed.


What I do know about this waltz s that when I was playing it today, I was suddenly seeing quite vivid images of Dance on Water. Or more accurately, Dance OF Water.  Like an ocean or a lake. So I decided to make this film using Arthur Rubinstein’s soundtrack until my own version of the waltz is good enough for a recording.


Chopin Waltz in E minor (with Arthur Rubinstein soundtrack) – DANCE ON WATER – a film by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – March 10, 2018




I set out this evening to create a 7-second video for the header of my ALTZAR website. And this is what I ended up with – a 1-minute trailer about my journey from the left to the right brain:


Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.00.15 PM




Beethoven Yang

Over five months ago, in dreamtime on Aug 29, 2017, I received my next musical assignment for 2017. It was Beethoven’s hellishly difficult 3rd movement of the otherwise serene Moonlight Sonata.

Elizabeth and I were about to leave on our planned road trip to Canada. Which turned out to be a Tour of the SIerra Nevada because of all the forest fires up north.

So I really did not get started on this piece until late September.

And it was like hell. My arthritic hands hurt. My music sounded like sh**t. Some of the notes in the lowest register I could not even read. I played them purely by ear.

I can’t tell you how many times I decided to give it up – only to be drawn back to this amazing Beethoven piano composition by some magical force. Probably the author himself.

And so this evening, almost five months later, I decided to record my “work-in-progress” audio version of this piece.

Here it is. It is far from perfect. Or even close to perfection. But it is what it is as of this Sunday, Jan 21, 2018.

Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, 3rd Movement – YANG – recorded on Jan 21, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona – a film by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic\



Beethoven Yin

The 3rd movement of the Moonlight Sonata, which I recorded and posted last night, shows us the YANG-side of Beethoven. It is fast and furious, burning with passion like an inferno.

By contrast, here’s now the 1st movement of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” – which gives us his YIN aspect, mellow and serene, line moonlight.

Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, 1st Movement – YIN – recorded on Oct 12, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona – a film by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic


Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 11.44.47 AM


My greatest satisfaction comes in that forte section at about 1:50 mins of the piece where both hands are playing simultaneously partly dissonant staccato chords. It is that section that made me try to play this 3rd movement in the first place. I feel Beethoven’s RAGE in it over his loss of hearing. He wrote this Sonata in 1801 when he became first aware that he would be going deaf. He was only 31 at the time.

Can you imagine the pain such a realization would cause to a composer and pianist of his talent and skill? And yet, he never gave up. Even when he was almost completely deaf, he created his greatest masterpiece – the Ninth. I did not realize this until this moment, but perhaps that’s what is also keeping me coming back to this piece even after giving up on it. What’s a little arthritic pain compared to something as terrible as deafness for a composer?

So maybe subconsciously, I am doing this as a tribute to good old Ludwig. Hm… And maybe, he has been the one nudging me to do it.

images.duckduckgo 12.45.16 AM.png


From Bob and Elizabeth

Here’s our Christmas Message 2017 video which we made on Saint Nicholas Day – Dec 19, 2017 – at our Scottsdale home.


Here are also some still shots from that recording session.




Christmas Message 2015: Merry Christmas! Mele Kalikimaka!

 * * *

UPDATE DEC 24, 2017


These photos were taken right after our tonight’s Christmas Eve dinner with her family.





On our drive back home from Los Angeles via Palm Springs, Elizabeth and I kept humming the entire time the famous Va Pensiero aria from Nabucco.

This music even played in my third ear in dreamtime the night of Nov 10-11.

So when I woke up on Nov 11 (two days ago), I knew I had to record my own version of it. So I downloaded the sheet music – to be sure I played it in the same key as written by Verdi (F major).

Here’s now my second recording of the famous Nabucco aria without the imperfections of the first (Nov 13) impromptu version.

NABUCCO: VA PENSIERO – recorded by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic on a Clavinova in Scottsdale, Arizona – Nov 16, 2017 – a film by ALTZAR, edited Nov 17, 2017

I had worked on it on and off during the last two days, and On Nov 13, on a spur of a moment, I decided to record it “as is” in one fell swoop. And this is a result:

NABUCCO: VA PENSIERO – recorded by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic on a Clavinova in Scottsdale, Arizona – Nov 13, 2017

Here are now some still shots from this impromptu recording:


When the last sounds of the “Va, penciero” encore died down on the LA Opera stage at the end of the three-hour “Nabucco” opera on Nov 8, 2017, I had tears in my eyes. I am sure many others in the audience did, too. There was a momentary pause, a second or two of silence. And then thunderous applause and ovation broke out anew.

After several minutes of a standing ovation, the ensemble of the LA opera, lead by Placido Domingo (tenor), Liudmyla Monastyrska (soprano) and James Conlon (conductor) performed “Va, Pensiero” again as an encore to Verdi’s “Nabucco.”

Monastyrska, the soprano, started singing first, appearing to do so spontaneously. Then Domingo joined her in a duet. Then the chorus also pitched in, followed by the orchestra. It was a musical cascade with the conductor doing his work on the stage rather than in the pit.

At the end, the audience also joined in and sang the last bars with the opera cast and chorus. That was about 3,500 people singing together as one. The encore was followed by another standing ovation by everybody, including the cast and the orchestra.

The same thing happened in January 1901, when Giuseppe Verdi died. At his funeral, Italy wept an sang as one. Almost a quarter of a million people took to the streets, marching to “Va, Pensiero” from Nabucco – sung by a massed choir under the baton of celebrated maestro Arturo Toscanini.



Elizabeth and I learned about that and many other interesting facts about Verdi’s life at the one-hour pre-show lecture we attended by the conductor, James Conlan.

It was only on Wednesday that I began to understand the patriotic significance of this opera to the Italians. The opera is ostensibly about the Hebrew slaves in Babylon in the 6th century BC. But when it premiered in 1842, there was no such thing as the country of Italy.  Unlike the Jews in Babylon, the Italians were exiles in their own land, divided by rivalries between the various city states and principalities.

With “Va, pensiero,” Verdi helped create a united Italy – without trying to do so. This aria has become an unofficial Italian anthem. It is something that every kid in Italy can sing, according to the conductor.

Which is not necessarily true of the official national anthem. They come and go with the change in the winds of history and various kings, rulers and dictators. But Verdi’s Nabucco stayed, like an anchor forever grounding the Italian people to their country.

Here’s an excerpt from a BBC story published on the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth.

“Can you imagine any country today in national mourning over the death of a classical composer? When Giuseppe Verdi, born 200 years ago next week, died in January 1901, Italy wept as one. Almost a quarter of a million people took to the streets, marching to Va, Pensiero from Nabucco – better known as the Chorus of Hebrew Slaves – sung by a massed choir under the baton of celebrated maestro Arturo Toscanini.”

The reason the Italians took to the streets that wintry day at the dawn of the last century was about much more than just music. Verdi’s operas had provided the soundtrack to the politically tempestuous half-century that preceded his death, and his most famous arias had become quasi-anthems for a nation recently unified. When Nabucco had its premiere at La Scala in 1842, ‘Italy’ was  simply a cluster of geographically contiguous kingdoms and principalities with little more to unite them than a common language.

So when Italians sang the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves at Verdi’s funeral procession, it wasn’t just because it was a catchy tune they knew the words to. Its subject – the Israelites giving poignant voice to their longing for the promised land – had become a powerful analogue for the long-frustrated desires of the Italian people. When they cried  “Viva Verdi!” during the funeral procession, they were still acutely conscious of the slogan’s double meaning and its clandestine resonance for the agitators of ‘the Risorgimento’, as the cause of Italian nationalism was known.

The letters VERDI also spelled out the name of the King of Sardinia who, in 1861, finally took the throne of a unified nation for the first time since the 6th Century – Victor Emmanuele Re D’Italia.” (for more, see http://www.bbc.com/ culture/story/20131002-verdi- when-music-meets-politics).”


All these photos were taken before the opera started.

Verdi’s aria was inspired by the biblical Psalm 137, one of the best known psalms. Its opening lines, “By the rivers of Babylon…”  express the yearnings of the Hebrew people in exile following the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 607 BCE. The rivers of Babylon are the Euphrates river, its tributaries, and the Tigris river. The psalm reflects the yearning for Jerusalem, the Hebrews’ home.

Gebhard_Fugel_An_den_Wassern_Babylons.jpgScreen Shot 2017-11-13 at 7.32.13 PM



  • All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween) – Oct 31 (also Reformation, Cross-Quarter Day) + 
  • All Saints Day – Nov 1 +
  • All Souls Day – Nov 2

Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve, is a relatively modern “invention” (though when you dig deeper you can find out that even that day has its roots in a 2,000-year old Celtic and Druid tradition of Samhain – http://www.history.com/topics/ halloween/history-of-trick-or- treating).

Samhain is celebrated on Oct 31 in northern hemisphere, and May 1 in the southern hemisphere.

Halloween is the modern name of an ancient Celtic and Druid holiday “Samhain”. People celebrate this day as a spiritual beginning of a new year. The various activities done in Halloween are mostly associated with the idea to obtain good fortune.

Ancient people believed that ghosts came back to earth on this day. It is said that on this day, the spirits of the dead come back to earth in search of living bodies to possess for the next year and try to return to the homes where they were living. So to appease these spirits, people offer them fruits and nuts. If the spirits are not pleased, it is feared that the spirits would kill the people or destroy their property.

Trick-or-treating is a modern rite for children on Halloween. Children in their costume go from house to house, asking for treats, with a question, “Trick or treat?” The word “trick” refers to a threat to trouble the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. People generally give candy to the children who come to their house.

ALTZAR: In other words, they still buy make-believe “INDULGENCIES” (Medieval term for buying salvation and favors). So Martin Luther’s Reformation, which also started on this day 500 years ago, is perhaps unwittingly set side even by the devout Protestants.

For more on that, see my next post… REFORMATION DAY


October 31, 1517

Five hundred years ago on this day, a simple act of spiritual rebellion by one man changed the world for the next five centuries.

Reformation Day commemorates Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses which he nailed on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517. This act triggered the Reformation, as they were immediately translated and distributed across Germany in a matter of weeks.

The Protestant Reformation was the rediscovery of the doctrine of “salvation by grace alone (Gal. 2:21), through faith alone in Christ alone.”

It was a protest against the corruption within the Roman Catholic Church. false doctrines, biblical illiteracy, and superstition. Monks, priests, bishops, and popes in Rome taught unbiblical doctrines like the selling of indulgences, the treasury of merit, purgatory, and salvation through good works.



But if we dig deeper into reformations BEFORE the (Lutheran) Reformation, we will discover that Luther was inspired by Jan Hus (1369-1415), a Bohemian (Czech) who was burned at the stake a century earlier.

Hus, in turn, was inspired by the writings of John Wycliffe (1320-1384). Who was inspired by Thomas Bradwardine (1300-1349). Who was inspired by Boethius (480-524). Etc.

So the Reformation was a chain of events over a millennium, carried out by brave and enlightened individuals of which Martin Luther is perhaps the best known.

Reformation stands for a rebellion of human spirit against the church dogma. And not just the Catholic church which Luther took on. Reformation stands for throwing off the yoke of intellectual bondage and coercion by one man of another.



From Бобан Шљивић: “There is an interesting anecdote… when they were burning Jan Hus at the stake (“Hus” means “Goose” in Czech), he yelled through the flames, “I may be a goose, but there is a swan coming after me.’ Luther was the swan.” [translated from Serbian by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic at Boban’s request].


The evening before October 31, 1517, the Elector Frederick of Saxony had a dream which was recorded by his brother, Duke John. The dream, in short, is about a monk who wrote on the church door of Wittenberg with a pen so large that it reached to Rome. The more those in authority tried to break the pen, the stronger it became.

When asked how the pen got so strong, the monk replied, “the pen belonged to an old goose of Bohemia, a hundred years old.”

The Elector was unsure exactly what the dream meant, but believed he had an interpretation which he thought may be accurate. The very morning he shared his dream (October 31, 1517), Martin Luther was posting his theses.


Martin Luther himself, who clearly would be familiar with the history of Jan Hus, referred to himself as the swan of which Hus prophesied. In fact, Luther’s fulfilling of Hus’ prophesy is even mentioned in the sermon at Luther’s funeral in 1546. After the death of Luther, the great Reformer was frequently portrayed with a swan in Lutheran art (see the c. 1591 fresco from the Brettach church in Wittenberg).

For more, see – http://lutheranpress.com/the- swan/


And now, in honor of Martin Luther on this 500th anniversary of the REFORMATION DAY, here’s my recording of the SWAN LAKE finale (Tchaikovsky’s ballet) recorded in its entirety on a Clavinova on Halloween – Oct 31, 2014:

https://youtu.be/iCRwqhshFlA [Swan Lake – finale – video]

For the full story, see… https://wp.me/p1jFeo-Ys


By Camille Saint-Saens’ – https://youtu.be/8N-cH2T0krg

I just realized for the first time the reason a swan has been appearing to me through musical downloads at this time of the year for at least the last five years. It was to remind me of Martin Luther and his Reformation.

Except that I was not aware of it until today, Oct 31, 2017 – the 500th anniversary of his famous proclamation.

It was in November 2012 that Camille Saint-Saens’ “Swan” landed in my life after about a five-year flight. That’s when I recorded my piano version of that piece, originally written for cello and piano (or a harp) – see “The Swan,” Nov 2012 – https://youtu.be/KwokGiIgEl.

This a story about how that particular Swan landed in my lap for the first time in early 2008 in Scottsdale, Arizona: http://www.altzar.org/Music/90_Swan.html.

Here’s now a cello, harp and orchestra rendition I recorded on October 25, 2013 on my Clavinova:


October 31 is not only a significant date in the spiritual realm. It is also an important marker in astronomy.

This is a cross-quarter day, which is probably why Samhain occurred when it did. Ancient people were keen observers of the sky.

A cross-quarter day is a day more or less midway between an equinox (when the sun sets due west) and a solstice (when the sun sets at its most northern or southern point on the horizon). Halloween – October 31 – is approximately midway point between the autumn equinox and winter solstice, for us in the Northern Hemisphere.

In other words, in traditional astronomy, there are eight major seasonal subdivisions of every year. They include the March and September equinoxes, the June and December solstices, and the intervening four cross-quarter days.

In modern times, the four cross-quarter days are often called Groundhog Day (February 2), May Day (May 1), Lammas (August 1) and Halloween (October 31).


For more, see… https://goo.gl/XqqgBw

Happy Halloween everyone!



More than a quarter century since I thought I was finished with my theatrical experiences, THE PROFESSIONAl, a play I translated and adapted for American and English stages in June 1990, has come back to life. This time, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, courtesy of Michael Staley, the play’s director, and a group of Colorado theater enthusiasts.

Here’s a message I just received from Michael:

“Hi Bob! I hope that your trip is going nicely? Thank you so much for adapting “The Professional” and sharing your experiences with us! We had great fun and really gave our audiences something to think about! Best, Michael”

The “trip” to which Michael is referring was our recent Tour of the Sierra Nevadas. It was during our stay in Mammoth Lakes 12 days ago that I first heard from Michael. At the time, he wrote:

“I am currently enjoying your adaptation and translation of “The Professional.” We first staged it in college in 1996 and now I’m bringing it back to the Chief Theater in Steamboat Springs, CO (we are putting it on again later this month).”

Michael asked me if I could offer him some “words of wisdom” or comments about my work on this drama so he could share them with the cast and the audience. I sent him the link to the story about my FIRST SIX BRUSHES WITH THE THEATER WORLD.


I was amazed. Earlier the same day I had mentioned my work in the theater world and THE PROFESSIONAL to Elizabeth. It was serendipity on steroids! I had not thought or talked about this play for years. Maybe decades. The last premiere I attended was in New York in 1995.

And I thought that was it. I had moved on to other endeavors in my life.

Evidently it was not to be the end. Because this weekend (Sep 21-23, 2017), THE PROFESSIONAL was revived again in Colorado.

Here are some more pictures Michael has sent me from that performance.

An excerpt from…


My first brush with the theater world took place in January 1990, on my second visit to Yugoslavia, after a voluntary exile from its communist government for nearly 20 years. Getting involved in theater was the last thing on my mind when I agreed to attend a premiere of a new play, THE PROFESSIONAL, in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. on January 10, 1990.

Back then, Yugoslavia was still a communist country.  So the theater was full of important government officials on the opening night.  I had just met the playwright the day before, who invited me to attend and said he would make sure I get a ticket even if he “had to take it out of the hands of a politician.”

The play moved me to tears.  Here’s what I wrote about that unforgettable experience six months later, on July 4, 1990:

“It was a typical cold January (10th) night in Belgrade.  At 19:30, Miodrag Perisic, editor of “Literary News,” his wife Zhanetta, a teacher of world literature, and I met for a prearranged cab ride from Studentski Trg (the Students’ Square) to the Zvezdara Theater.  Earlier that day, Perisic had given me a message from Dusan Kovacevic, the author and director of the play Professional.”  He said he’d get me a ticket to tonight’s opening performance “even if he’d have to lift it from the pocket of some high-ranking politician.”

At the time, I had no idea who this “Kovacevic” was, what the play was about, or why I — an American and a Yugoslav emigre who had not been back to his country of birth for nearly 20 years — should rank higher than a local politician.  I agreed to go to the premier basically for two reasons.  Because I’ve always liked theater, and because I felt a sense of allegiance with Perisic, the person who invited me and who, as I had just found out, like myself, faced Tito’s Communist police and the army during the 1968 student uprising at the Belgrade University.

For more, see… http://altzar.org/Drama-professional.html


“The Professional” (A “Tragi-Comedy”)


Translated/Adapted by BOB DJURDJEVIC

       Chief Players’ Cast:






Chief Players’ Crew:


Stage Manager – ROBIN DAVID

Production Designers – DANNY DAVID, A.J. JENNINGS

Scenic Artist – ANNA BAGLEY

Technical Wizardry – LOCK McSHANE



Additional Costuming by – SANDY PUGH

Make-Up Artistry by – CAROLINE WILSON




Theatrical Producer – SCOTT PARKER

*”The Professional” (complete with didascalias) opened in San Francisco, CA in July 1992, in London, England in November 1992, and at the Off-Broadway Circle Repertory Theater in Manhattan, New York in May 1995.