Blog

All entries

Filter by category: RSS Feed

Capitalism trumps Democracy

December 28th, 2016 at 10:38 pm

Forget Love trumps Hate because capitalism has trumped democracy.  That's the real issue.   And how can anyone ever believe it when someone tells them that every vote counts when in 2016 there were 3,000,000 people whose votes didn't count.... 

Go figure.

Tags: #everyvotecounts

 

Up in the Air

May 22nd, 2016 at 11:21 pm

I am closing a chapter in my life in order to make room for the next one.  This chapter has run its' course and we're planning to leave Silicon Valley after 72 challenging months here.  Looking over the horizon to see if we can find that distant shore to call Home.  I've less than two weeks of teaching left and then free to explore the options. 

I'm having some very touching parting moments with my students which make me realize how much the time we have spent together was meaningful and is appreciated by them and me.  I am limiting my committments as much as possible in order to let the new life emerge slowly, gently, and naturally.  Many things are up in the air but the air is fresh.  Let's see where it goes...

Tags: none

 

The Last Word

June 4th, 2014 at 4:35 am

....The endless cycle of idea and action,

Endless invention, endless experiment,

Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;

Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;

Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.

 

.....Where is the Life we have lost in living?

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

                                                                                             - T.S. Eliot, Excerpts from Choruses from 'The Rock'

 

"The presence of that absence is everywhere."

                                               - Edna St. Vincent Millay

Tags: none

 

Time and Tide: A Road Trip

May 16th, 2014 at 4:43 pm

After arriving in California four years ago, last month we were finally able to take our first, long overdue, whirlwind 10 day road trip back east to reconnect with family and friends, and it was great. 

We flew into Newark airport on Sunday around noon, rented a car and spent an overnight visiting my dad and step-mom at their new place in New Jersey. 

On Monday we drove from there to Portland, Maine where we stayed with a close friend, arriving just in time to go out for dinner with her and another friend at an old favorite haunt.

On Tuesday we went out to breakfast, took care of some business and I caught up with my daughter over some pizza as Betsy was treated to dinner with a couple of friends. 

On Wednesday after waking up to a light snow, we roamed the Old Port before going to see a designer's preview of a live stage production opening the following week.  What a treat to see so many old theater friends!  That night I had an outstanding time with my 2 sons at dinner together. 

On Thursday we went to lunch on the ocean at the Lobster Shack, drove back into town, had some steamers on the waterfront at J's as we reconnected with more friends, and then finished the day by going to Katahdin (another restaurant) to meet with theater friends again after their rehearsal ended.  (By now you must have noticed that eating out at good restaurants was a recurring theme.) 

After breakfast on Friday we bid a fond farewell to Portland friends, drove to my mother's in the Catskills and went out to dinner with her shortly after arriving there. 

We tried to make the most of Saturday in a country setting as our first and only real day of down time. 

Sunday was Easter which we celebrated with my mom, sister, niece and a close friend. 

On Monday we bid farewell to the Catskills and went to Manhattan where we visited with 2 nieces, a nephew and his wife, and my other sister before getting back to our hotel after midnight. 

Tuesday we took the train back to Newark Airport, returned our rental car and flew home. 

What a wealth of relationships we experienced, leaving me feeling enriched, strengthened, and humbled by the experience of seeing so many dear family and friends.

 

Tags: none

 

Music In the Castle of Heaven

March 9th, 2014 at 12:28 am

When Bach improvised for a half hour for the composer Reincken on a theme of Reincken's, the older master responded by saying, "I thought that this art was dead, but I see that in you it still lives."  What a moving tribute to the young Bach who was not interested in merely replacing the older composer's ideas with newer ones of his own, but instead was invested in keeping something of value alive.

Anecdote from Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven by John Eliot Gardiner

Tags: none

 

What really matters in 2014....

January 31st, 2014 at 8:05 pm

...is to choose, and focus on the things that really matter, which are.....

Tags: none

 

What are The Hidden Places?

December 17th, 2013 at 8:16 pm

The title and theme of my new CD for 2013 is The Hidden Places.  I have been engaged in a life long fascination with, and search for what I call the Hidden Places.  In general, they are those deeply personal, meaningful, and wondrous discoveries which we sometimes find only after great effort, and other times are fortunate enough to stumble upon.  The more of these you have discovered, the harder new ones are to find, which is why they seem to be more difficult to discover, the older you get. 

On my CD, the first hidden place represented through music is Chopin's expression of profound exasperation over the accelerating deterioration of his health during an intended holiday beset with continuous cold and rainy weather.  The second hidden place is Liszt's expression of self consolation following his friend Chopin's death.  The hidden places of the title cut are the tones themselves, arrived at through a searching and circuitous process.  The Hidden Places in the Easter Suite are embodied in Christ's parting, suffering, and sacrifice, but most of all in the Miracle of His Resurrection and Ascension.  In Paradise Lost, the Hidden Places are the Abyss, Paradise itself forever hidden from mortal sight, and the unknown challenges and opportunities which lay ahead of Adam and Eve after their Fall from grace.

Good luck in your search, and Merry Christmas!

Tags: none

 

That's Entertainment

November 3rd, 2013 at 5:41 pm

As I flip through the hundreds of TV channels and internet outlets that are now available to us, it quickly becomes apparent that the world's disfunction has become our chief form of entertainment.  From sectarian violence to climate change, to public and private sector surveillance, to politicians, journalists, and reality TV celebrities constantly competing and haranguing each other over every imaginable topic it is clear that disfunction has now attained a real commercial value which perpeteuates more disfunction.  After all, if viewers will watch, and advertisers will pay for disfunction, let's give them more.  But take a moment and try to imagine where it all leads to.  If there is more financial reward in presenting disfunctional behavior, where is the incentive to make things better? 

Tags: none

 

The Website as Art

October 8th, 2013 at 5:30 pm

My original and continuing intent is to shape this website into a multi media form of artistic expression through the inclusion of a broad array of creative forms.  If you take the time to explore this site you will find it rich in content including music, poetry, lyrics, photography, drawing, painting, video, and dramatic material.  These days there is so much information being generated on the web that the quantity of so called metadata has become the big sensation of digital media.  I have made it my goal to emphasize quality over quantity in order to make this website one that is worth your time to explore. 

When talking about the ancient library of Alexandria, Carl Sagan once said on the program Cosmos which aired before the advent of big data, that through the ages an enormous quantity of information, more than we could ever hope to read in one lifetime, has been generated and put into books.  The important thing is to find the right books to read.  True then, and true now more than ever.  As the haystack of trivial, inaccurate, and often negative content grows ever larger, the proverbial needle in it becomes harder and harder to find. 

Tags: none

 

Website update in progress

September 11th, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Now that summer is almost over, I am working on the next generation of this website which will include major changes and/or additions to the composition spotlight, musical drama, gallery, and poetry and lyrics pages with lesser revisions to the home page and the customary updates of the news page.  There will be a new CD out by the end of the year, and I would like to draw your attention to SoundCloud.com as another online venue where you can listen to recordings of my work. 

I'd love to hear from you.  Thanks for being there!

Tags: none

 

For George Duke

August 6th, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I was saddened today to learn of the death of George Duke, one of my favorite jazz, fusion, and funk keyboardists, composers, arrangers, and producers.  He was immensely gifted and leaves behind a great legacy of music.  Farewell George.  And thanks for the fun, feeling, and inspiration your music will continue to provide.   You will be missed.  Gone, but not forgotten.

Tags: none

 

Midsummer Madness

August 2nd, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Amidst all the midsummer madness of 2013 I am drawn to look for wisdom, peace, and guidance in the words of others.  So I would like to share two quotes from jazz pianist and composer Bill Evans who said, "In art, do what is natural and fundamental to yourself," and "Intuition leads knowledge."

 

And so my life and art is a journey away from stereotypes as "the whirligig of time brings in his revenges."

- (Shakespeare from Twelfth Night

 

Tags: none

 

The Wonderful World of Widgets

June 25th, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Hi!  I just wanted to let you know that I have replaced all the music playback widgets on this website with a format that is compatible with both Windows and Apple operating systems.  I should have done this to begin with but am learning as I go.  Thanks, and hope you enjoy the new format!

Tags: none

 

Thanks!

June 21st, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Thanks to everyone who took the time to visit and respond to my official web site launch last month.  Your feedback was positive, affirming and much appreciated.  The website was down for a few days from June 7 to June 12 while my website domain provider was trying to fix a problem of unknown origin, but everything is back up now and running smoothly.  Please stay in touch with any comments or suggestions, and have a great summer!

Tags: none

 

5-4-3-2-1 Welcome to the official website launch!

May 16th, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Welcome to the official launch of robertgansmusic.com.  Whether you are responding to my invitation, or just happen to be here, thanks for visiting.  I hope you enjoy exploring and experiencing the site.  Please feel free to leave a message.  Cheers!     

Tags: none

 

Breaking the Sound Barrier

May 8th, 2013 at 6:18 pm

I am very happy and excited to announce that I finally have the means of integrating audio recordings of my work into this website.  I've added three recordings to the home page (Dreamscape Nocturne #2, Prisms Movement 2 and Dreams of Rio), one to the spotlight page (Blue Ballet Movement 4), one to the compositions page (Returning to the Place We Started) and three to the musical drama page (Clair de Lune, Moving On, and Is It You.)  I will be updating and adding to these on a regular basis, so please listen and enjoy.  I think it's finally time to officially launch this website.

Tags: none

 

My Happy Moment

May 3rd, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Yesterday I was helping one of my young students prepare for an upcoming musicianship test.  One of the questions asked her to name a composer.  She turned to me and said, "I would say Robert Gans."  I was very surprised and touched by her answer, thanked her and said that the question was asking for the name of a more famous composer, to which she responded "Boathaven."  Of course she meant Beethoven, but at least she got my name right, and more importantly provided a bright moment to my day.

Tags: none

 

Spring Break

April 16th, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I just got back from a much needed week of Spring Break.  After spending a day finishing a revision of my piece Mantra for flute, vibraphone, viola, cello and bass, and then a couple of days dealing with taxes (Ugh, don't even ask)  Betsy and I headed down the coast for a brief getaway to Carmel, Big Sur and Santa Cruz.  When we got back I finished our taxes (once more with feeling), and finished reading an excellent novel entitled The War at the End of the World by Mario Vargas Llosa.  By then it was already Sunday and I decided to reread my new play Debussy's Daughter which although it is a play, and not a novel stood up quite well in comparison with the complex, dark, imaginative, tragic and masterful novel I had just finished reading.  We ended the week with a birthday dinner for my niece, and then its Monday again, and off we go......

Tags: none

 

Paradise Lost

March 8th, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Wow!  Has it really been a month already since my last entry?  Staying in tune with the Valentine's Day theme of my last entry, I have been spending a lot of time reworking my 2007-2008 three movement composition for string orchestra, Paradise Lost based on the epic poem by John Milton which in turn, is of course based on the story of the first two valentines, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  The first movement called Awakening and Escape from the Abyss portrays the devil reviving, and escaping from the abyss where he has been imprisoned after being blasted out of heaven by God and the angels for his arrogant pride.  The second movement called Paradise Found portrays Adam and Eve's lives in the Garden of Eden, and the subsequent arrival and plotting by the devil for their undoing as revenge for his defeat.  The 3rd movement called The Fall portrays Adam and Eve's temptation by the devil, their fall from grace, and expulsion from the Garden of Eden into the cold, hard world we all inhabit today.  I've got two movements reworked already and am working on the third.  Choreographers take note:  It would make a great ballet.    

Tags: none

 

Land of Confusion

February 5th, 2013 at 6:57 pm

As I experience the world around me on a daily basis, I am continuously reminded of the song Land of Confusion by Genesis, and in particular the lyrics:

There's too many men, too many people

making too many problems

and not much love to go around.

And so in honor of Valentine's Day I am putting some love poems I wrote on my Poetry and Lyrics page.  Please take a look, and perhaps also recall the lyrics from another great song about love entitled Nature Boy by eden ahbez which contains the lyrics:

The greatest thing you'll ever learn

is just to love and be loved in return.

Tags: none

 

Next page �