Total Pageviews

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Das Alte Werk


  1. Fascinating pictures! I'm always amazed when I see Indians in western clothing juxtaposed against their cultural homes. When I think of what happened to Native Americans in North America it makes me crazy. I have some experience of the Indian schools in Northern Canada in the early 1960s when the Canadian government was aggressively trying to separate Indian children from their native cultures and to assimilate them into western ways! The people in these photos have such magnificent faces.

    I think when I was at the Venetian in Las Vegas to see "Phantom of the Opera," the Phantom played the opening bars of this musical piece. Gorgeous music. It reminds me of Professor Gmeiner at Acadia. He was an amazing organist! Thanks for the memories!

    Have a good day.

  2. When I was eight, one beautiful autumn day I was walking alone past University Hall. From inside came the most amazing sounds and the whole building was vibrating with them. I opened a big door on the south side and reluctantly went in, drawn by the sound coming from inside the congregation hall. I crept down four or five isles hiding behind the seats thinking I was hidden, given that there was only the person responsible for making that sound and me. After a few minutes the music came to an abrupt halt. "Why don't you come down here so I can show you how the organ works" came a voice. It was Friedel Gmeiner and he came forward to me in my hiding spot wearing long black robes. He asked who I was then after our introduction took me to show me the instrument and voice of "god" he said. He played Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and it has lived like a voice inside of me ever since.

    The photos of the aboriginal people above are from Canso about 1900. In Canada, diversity is our strength, not our weakness as some would have it. The human face of Canada from its beginning was vested in people passionately connected to their community, the land, water and skies. They had and have a sense of place. Alas, most modern peoples have lost that sense of place, and with it community and purpose. It haunts me.

  3. What an incredible memory of Professor Gmeiner! He was a friend of our family thanks to my friendship with his daughter, Lella. When he played the organ it truly became the voice of "god!" Thanks for the background on the Canso aboriginal people. You are right about many modern people, and it haunts me too.