There is a man that sits at the bar,
Most look at him and see old fat and ugly
Within that man, is wisdom and great knowledge
He’s stood on the lines
He’s fought the battles
And within him resides
A heart of Gold!
He’s asked for something special
A pan of cornbread
And a few homemade muffins
From a very special kitchen
I hear that request
From a friendly bartender
It’s a special request of me.
A bright ray of light
Has just filled my life.
I’ll make the cornbread and muffins
And a little something extra special
I’ll make it very special, from my special kitchen
God put this special moment, in my life
Just when I need it also,
A diamond in the rough, is extremely valuable
Although, it has no brilliance, yet.
The first cut, begins to reveal that brilliance.
Just to behold God’s wonderful creation,
At it’s first conception,
The brilliance still held within it,
Just waiting to be developed.
Many things will develop that brilliance.
Each facet that’s cut,
Opens that brilliance for all to see
The final product
Of a life’s work
Is a gem that shines
Forever more brilliant
Than life itself.
In my life I have been around some amazing people and heard their stories. This man, Olivier Messiaen and a personal friend of his, Jean Langlais befriended me on a performance trip to Europe in the eighties I made. The “Quartet for the End of Time” was a piece I had heard and thought it to be way outside my boundaries both on technical and artistic aspects. However, when I heard his and Jean’s story, they inspired me to move beyond my self-imposed boxes and explore different realities in interpretation and performance.
I was not aware of the life history of Olivier but I found out as he shared with me about the conditions around the composing of the Quartet and that sharing was so powerful to me that I made a decision to tackle that work. At the same time, there was another influence in my life, a young artist named Marshall Fine, who saw the potential in me and pushed me to look outside my personal boundaries and become the artist that was trapped inside me.
There is another work that is performed a lot by Charles-Marie Widor, one of the mentors of Olivier, the Widor Toccatta. It’s a powerful, fantastic work and every time I hear it here in Houston, I go to a different place mentally and remember.
Today, as I am preparing these pieces again, I feel very blessed to be surrounded not only with memories but with amazing artists and composers. Paul Pellay, Don Freund, Marshall Fine, John Bell, William Shumann, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, John Rutter, William Matthias, John Williams and the list is endless it seems. I did attempt to communicate with J.S. Bach but he was decomposing at the time and it didn’t go well. Maybe another day…..(smile).
“Jere Douglas, Founder of the Parlor Project, is the premier Arts Experiences Curator. He empowers us to see and live life as an art form! Through the Parlor Project, he connects professional artists and musicians to rabid professional arts lovers, their organic fan-base. As the Man in the Penguin Suit, Jere curates multi-sensory artistic experiences that challenge staid traditions in the arts and antiquated concepts in arts presentation. In a powerful combination of access, interaction and adventure the Parlor Project puts a human face to the marvelous sounds that people hear and provides an opportunity for its members to explore their creativity in all aspects of life.”
American Fuzion! What a concept with the US of A being the Melting Pot of the world and a dynamic diversity of food, art and music combine into one. ROQ hopes to develop this concept in a multi-tiered approach to the inspiration of all these cultures combing into one people. Continue reading JKROQ COMES OF AGE!