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August 23, 2009
Vol. IX, No. 13

"Hey, I'm on a Roll!"
Two Rampages in one month--that hasn't happened in a while. There are a couple of articles that I wanted to comment on. The first is from the New York Times, "Flutes Offer Clues to Stone-Age Music"
This flute is a sophisticated instrument. It's delicate. It can play melodies. It occurred to me that we know the person who played this flute. He (or she) is one of us. Maybe he went off by himself to practice for hours at a time. Maybe he came up with ways to make his instrument better. Maybe he was even a bit nervous when he played for the tribe. It amazes me that what drives us as musicians today is no different than what drove someone in those early times. But while we have a direct link to that past, I don't think it informs us in any way other than as a musician. Still, it's very interesting. If nothing else, it illustrates that the more things change, the more they stay the same. You know, that music is the one bright light in these primitive times.

The other article is the Deep Survival blog from Adventure magazine that I've recommended previously. This latest installment is Lessons From an Oil Rig: Why Dangerous Places Are More "Safe"
Reading the article makes me appreciate how "safe" we have it on the organ bench. And while what we do isn't life or death, our success as players does depend on our ability to pay attention. In fact, when we practice a piece, are we not just practicing notes but practicing concentrating as well?

Inducted! The shoes of Virginia Gathings. It's too bad the government doesn't have a "Cash for Clunkers" program for organ shoes!

Susan Burkhalter is back the next installment of her blog "Organists' News". In contains the fourth and final installment of her series on Albert Schweitzer

Have a great week!

Dan Long

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