...my youth in California when I was inspired, exuberant, energetic, optimistic. To say that I was a professional musician is no exaggeration. Despite my reckless, shiftless Hollywood years, I also managed to (later) go to college and study with some of the finest teachers in the country. I composed, conducted, worked as an accompanist, and gave solo concerts. I also performed with numerous orchestras.
After I left California at the age of 34 (for too many reasons to go into) I embarked on a life far removed from any semblance of excitement, fulfillment, glamor, or inspiration. I lived in the Missouri Ozarks, West Texas, and now Tennessee. During this time I encountered more problems, obstacles, and incredibly bad luck than I'd care to remember - which eventually expunged my heart and soul. I was rendered nothing more than a bitter, cold relic - a pale shadow of my former self.
Despite everything, I still had my music and my memories to hang onto. When I moved to Tennessee, however, the movers lost all of my diaries, journals and mementos. They also lost many of my California photos and more than half of my music manuscripts. That's when I finally completely gave up. My past was rudely severed forever.
During my active years as a musician, I made over 300 piano recordings (all are catalogued). Many of them were lost, but - fortunately - I still have some of my ancient, original cassette tapes.
The other night I started listening to some of the tapes, and somehow my spirit was rejuvenated. They are completely unedited, crude, and in mono - but at least they retain glimpses and glimmers of my musical past.
I'm presently in the process of transferring (some of) these tapes from cassette to 3MP files - via Audacity.
Last night I made two of these files into videos for YouTube. The videos themselves aren't very good, and the audio is extremely poor - but at least it gives an idea of my former piano virtuosity.
These piano tapes were both recorded in Los Angeles when I was in my very early 20's.