One of our readers (and my very dear friend), Adelaide Edelson, has made a name for herself in the DC area as an accomplished pianist. Although music is not her day job, she has a stellar background, including training at Julliard, Vassar and Yale School of Music. Performing everything from religious music to musical comedy -- and doing so for decades (!) -- Addie has proven she can handle whatever comes her way, including music written in an unfamiliar tonal and rhythmic system.    

This video blends traditional Indian music with Western motifs, but I hear fleeting Appalachian riffs and a hint of ragtime piano. Where did that come from?  

Go, Addie, go!   

Notes about the piece:
(from YouTube)
This piece is V.S. Narasimhan’s quartet arrangement in his ongoing efforts to combine the beauty of Indian melodies with the glory of harmony present in the Western music system. The music used is the piano reduction of the quartet score. Ms. Edelson is a well-known pianist and performer in the Washington area. 
It was amazing [to] Narasimhan …how quickly she got the feel for this music, which is really foreign to her. In addition to her focus and dedication to music, it was clear that she possesses a unique perception in order to be able to play this without having ever delved into Indian music.

(from Addie)
He originally scored his pieces for string quartet. He could only bring his sound engineer with him on his recent trip from India, however, so he wrote piano reductions, scanned them, and mailed them to me as e-mail attachments. That is how I was able to practice the music in advance of his arrival in the U.S. 

This, from Birds reader and long-time friend Ellen Mendlow:

“Instead of standing on the shore convinced that the ocean cannot carry us, let us venture onto its waters, just to see.”
-P. Teilhard de Chardin

One day I went to tea and met a couple just celebrating their 1st year in a relationship. They’d met at work – he shy and she nervous and both coming off failed relationships. Celebrating a year in Cape May

Seconds after I took the sunset pictures a young couple approached breathlessly begging a photo of them…I was annoyed to be interrupted in my solitude. But the girl beamed “we’ve just been engaged” and I relented taking several pictures against this beautiful backdrop.  They literally had just pledged 15 minutes before…and had told no one.

That night, I woke suddenly from my sleep and though I should have stayed in bed I really, really felt I wanted to go to the shore, so in a half conscious stupor I got up and walked across Ocean Drive. Three doors down were some young folks having a party and they were also headed to the beach. Again I felt invaded in my peace (at 1:30 AM no less!)…but I followed a girl in a long white dress—she’d been married  that day and, still in her wedding gear, was headed with her party for a late night plunge in the ocean. I told her about the other couples I’d met and the sense of seeing the whole story (courtship, commitment, wedding) in one weekend…how I got up just in time to witness this  — she said it was the best story she’d heard and she regaled her wedding party with it all night.

On November 22, 1963, I was hired by Peace Corps headquarters at Lafayette Square [in DC] and was shopping at Garfinkel’s when I heard that John Kennedy had been shot.  That death tore me out of the ‘50s and flung me into the ‘60s. 

Peace Corps Director Sargent Shriver, a vestige of Kennedy glamour, once appeared in a white linen suit, tanned and gorgeous.  I worked for a moody Baptist minister, a Texan and friend of Bill Moyers.  Another Texan, Lyndon Johnson, was willing to lose the Dixiecrats to the Republicans because of his civil rights stand. While on a Peace Corps recruiting trip to the U. of Alabama, Gov. George Wallace gave a speech.  I happened to be standing at the door when he exited and extended his hand to me.  He had tried to stop integration at that same door the year before, and I refused to shake his hand.  He said, “You don’t like me very much, do you?”  Uppity women and blacks just didn’t seem to “know their place” anymore.