My 96th Music Video

Sounds from Desert Quest 2013

When the Light Beings counseled me about my upcoming Desert Quest back in February, they basically told me to refrain from doing too much music.

Well, that’s like asking me not to breathe. I managed to hold my breath for a few weeks (though we did attend some Phoenix Symphony concerts). But after awhile, I just had to inhale again. This recording is what happened when I exhaled... (click here to read my 4-30-13 Desert Quest Progress Report of which this is a part)

Sounds from Desert II (from Sedona-Apache Trail trip)

Sounds from Desert III: "Blue Danube"


SCOTTSDALE, Arizona, Apr 30, 2013 - When the Light Beings counseled me about my upcoming Desert Quest back in February, they basically told me to refrain from doing too much music.

Well, that’s like asking me not to breathe. I managed to hold my breath for a few weeks (though we did attend some Phoenix Symphony concerts - right photo). But after awhile, I just had to inhale again. So I went to two Scottsdale piano stores and tried out various Steinways, Bosendorfers, Yamahas and other magnificent instruments.  I had no intention of buying anything until I got some more specific guidance from the Spirit realm. So I told the people in the stores that I was looking to maybe rent an instrument for a few months for our second home here in Scottsdale, with an option to maybe buy it afterward.

In the process, I discovered something I never expected. Even the experience of playing on a Bosendorfer or Steinway concert grands (9.5 foot pianos) paled in comparison to the sounds and the joy I derived from a little Yamaha upright that’s smaller than your average apartment upright piano.  That’s because it wasn’t a piano.  Or let’s say, it was not JUST a piano.

The instrument that won my heart was really a music box that can produce at least a dozen different orchestra sounds besides the piano or other keyboards. That includes the strings, two organs, two basses, a classical guitar, a harpsichord and voice (choir) sounds. The best part is that this “Orchestra in a Box” allows a musician to overlay two sounds. So you can play, for example, piano with the strings. Or the guitar with a bass. Or the strings with voice (such as in Beethoven’s 9th symphony). It is like magic - combining the left and the right brain activities, or merging of the arts and sciences in one box.

The joy of creating new versions and interpretations of old pieces seemed endless. So as soon as I got the green light from the Spirit realm for us to return to Arizona more permanently, I rushed back to a piano store and ordered this Yamaha Music Box.

Its Japanese engineers gave it quite an idiotic name, like CLP-470 or something. It’s as if IBM mainframe developers christened the instrument. The entire series has a more user-friendly name of Klavinova (Klavir is the German word for Piano - in case you may not have known that).

My new “bundle of joy” wrapped in black was delivered on April 4. I have been discovering its magic ever since and sharing it with Elizabeth and the neighbors who kept their windows open.  And now, I also want to share some it my new musical creations with you.  Here’s my first recording of it:  

Sounds from Desert Quest: Mozart Symphony #40 Theme


6:51 PM  4-30-13

Going on to Beethoven...

Sounds from Desert Quest: Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata


By the way, some viewers have commented that I look more relaxed.  This new Yamaha music box has been real therapy.  Maybe that's what making me come across as relaxed?

Ironically, the Light Beings counseled me to refrain from music during the quest.  As I said in my progress report, that was like asking me not to breathe. I held my breath for a while. And when I exhaled, out came the music such as this and the earlier Beethoven and Mozart recordings.

And there is much more to come. But no hurry. I am trying to refrain from using the computer too much. :-) I also feel like a leaf being carried by the wind. It's a new experience for me, even for someone who already owns a Leaf. :-)

And now, back to the desert and Mozart. Continuing with the Sounds from Desert Quest:

Sonoran Concerto (May 3)


This is the Mozart Clarinet Concerto which I adapted first for piano, then for piano, strings and bass (May 3, 2013). The  photos from our trip to Tucson, Arizona on Apr 15-16, 2013

And now, here are the sound files of the other recordings I made on Apr 29 and in May 10 on my Yamaha Music Box:

Beethoven Violin Romance Concerto (May 9) - click here for piano version (2011)

Vivaldi La Primavera (May 9) - click here for piano version - Vivaldwig" - "La Primavera" - Music of Rebirth of New Era (2012)

Black Orpheus - Carnival Morning Theme (May 11) - click here for piano version (2012)

Concierto de Aranjuez (May 9) - click on "Concierto de Aranjuez" for piano version (2009)

Gnossienne No. 1 (May 10) - click on "Gnossienne No. 1" or piano version (2013)

Mozart Concerto #21 (May 10) - click on "Mozart Piano Concerto #21 - Special Tribute for 12-21-12 (Nov 5, piano, flute, Tibetan bowls), and Mozart Concerto #21 - piano version (2009)

More to come...

Sounds from Desert II: El Condor Pasa, Ghost Riders

From a trip to Sedona-Apache Trail May 13-14, 2013

El Condor Pasa in Boynton Canyon, Sedona, Arizona (May 13, 2013)



Sedona Boynton Canyon: Hike to Sacred Caves with "Ghost Riders in the Sky" (May 13, 2013)



Views from Sedona Airport Mesa with "Concierto de Aranjuez"


* * *

After spending a leisurely morning in Sedona, we left the town around 11:30, heading north toward Flagstaff up the beautiful Oak Creek Canyon. Our intention was to head east on the I-40 toward Winslow, and then circle back to the Phoenix area via the White Mountains and the spectacular Mogollon Rim ( Elizabeth has never been in this part of Arizona, and I have always enjoyed driving through the high elevation mountains. (The highest point of our road trip was about 7,500 ft).

The ride was leisurely almost to the point of being boring. By the time we reached Payson, it was just after 2PM. I thought we'd make it home by about 4PM and have a nap to rest up after our arduous hike through the Boynton Canyon the day before.  But it was not to be.

As we were enjoying the scenery south of Payson enroute to Scottsdale, I was telling Elizabeth how I used to drive to Lake Roosevelt in the 1980s with my family and in a 4WD vehicle. The roads were dusty and rough, but that's what made trekking through the desert that much more fun.

As we were approaching the intersection of Hwy 87 (that we were on) and Hwy 188 (which leads toward Lake Roosevelt), I suddenly said, "do you want to go to Lake Roosevelt?"

The "Bluebird" (our Honda Civic Hybrid) steering wheel turned in that direction simultaneously with Elizabeth's affirmative answer.

Some 33 miles later, we reached Roosevelt Dam (built in 195-1911 - before Arizona was a state).  We stopped to take in the scenery and some more pictures. I was not sure if that treacherous road I remembered from the 1980s had been paved. I have not been back here in over 25 years.

Another car's occupants who also stopped the take pictures provided the answer.

"What did you think of that dirt road on the way to here?"

"We did not take it," I replied. "We came the other way."

Bluebird is certainly not a 4WD car like the ones I took through the Apache Trail in the 1980s. Bluebird is a nice city slicker sedan. So Elizabeth and thought we'd turn around and go back to where we came from.

I then looked down the dusty Apache Trail and something in my heart pulled me back there.  

"Let's go there," I said. "Let's give it a try. So whatever happens, happens..."

And off we went into an adventure that spanned 22 miles of dirt, dust, rock cacti, sweat... and BEAUTIFUL scenery. At one stage close to the end of the Trail, we even saw three deer right in the middle of the road.  They disappeared quickly into the bush before we had a chance to reach for the cameras.

So with that as an intro, here's now the last part of our Sedona-Apache Trail travelogue - Part 4:

Sedona - Apache Trail Adventure in "City Slicker Car"


Sounds from Desert III: "Blue Danube"

May 27, 2013


Ever since a musical download I received the night of May 16-17, I seem to have been obsessed with Johan Strauss' "Blue Danube" piece. I do not recall ever playing it before. Yet, it flowed through my fingers almost instantly. At least the opening themes.

Over the next week or so, however, I discovered that this famous waltz has many themes and subplots (11 to be exact) as well we several changes of key.  Which made playing it by ear without sheet music quite challenging.

What helped was the fact that I could actually visualize the scenes on the Danube which the Strauss music interpreted. I used these visual images as guideposts in lieu of sheet music. 

And then this morning, in a sudden burst of inspiration, I created these two videos. That's so you can also enjoy the visual as well as audio artistry that this waltz evokes.  At least in me. Most of the images in these videos came from my camera during my last visit to Vienna in 2008, when I attended my elder daughter's wedding there. That includes the "fireworks" version of "Blue Danube."

So with that as a preamble, here are now two different interpretations of the "Blue Danube" waltz.

Blue Danube: Visual and audio interpretation of famous waltz




Blue Danube wedding fireworks - a Bob Altzar Djurdjevic visual interpretation


End of "Sounds from the Desert Quest 2013"


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