San Francisco ….Our Paris by the Bay(Start Playing The Musical Now!)

(Credit Image: © Mark Avery/ZUMA Press)

I San Francisco Overture

Well, it all started when I was four…I started taking piano lessons with my aunt…and I started singing in a church choir the same year….at one point, my piano teacher wanted me to be a professional concert pianist and my voice teacher wanted me to be in opera….well, each of these takes 12 hours of practice a day…I decided that I wouldn’t spend my life doing either…. and this is just talking about music…there has been a lot more to my life than just music…They say that art and science don’t mix…it is either one or the other…a person is either one or the other…I am writing here to say and prove that this is malarky….Thought is of one whole cloth….A person needs all of it to be a complete person….Thought needs all of it for the greatest progress to be made. And as a bipolar sort of person…in a good, healthy sort of way…this was just the reflective side of me…There was also boy scouts and 4-H…I was also a leader…My life was sort of like both of my German grandfathers rolled into one…one a wildcatter who ended up an executive of the largest oil company in the world with only an eighth grade education…because he and his buddy had come up with over 100 inventions…100 inventions that are on every oil well today…and my other grandfather, a captain of industry, who ruled an empire that spread across the Los Angeles area….a businessman…a man of action…who was in Who’s Who in California and personally knew the ‘Big Boys’…Neither were able to go to high school….both had great abilities…but both worked with guys who had ‘other’ abilities…they realized that America is the land of all abilities…You can discriminate and hate those different from you…or you can appreciate differences…work with others and rule the world…impact the world…change the world …for the better… Thought and action…art and science…right and left sides of the brain… The world is either locked in separate prisons…Or it is allowed to flow…move act think sing love climb…together…. We have had a century of oil…money…material things…Now is a time for culture….But culture is not just an indulgence…Science has run into roadblocks in so many directions…When art and science, research and music, both sides of the brain…work together…they all run together…the disciplines run work together…There is power in several rivulets pouring into one coursing stream….In art, each master work deserves attention…yet the most powerful are those in which many art forces flow together…as in musical drama…that is, like in musicals…The six songs that are offered to you at this time…is a real musical……Because we have computers…because we have the Internet…we do not require the usual number of 18 songs that make live performance profitable…profit is no longer the goal…With the Internet we are moving into a new age…an age of thought, art, culture…Love….Materially, we have enough….The fact is…machines are taking our livelihoods away…we are left with those activities that only humans can perform…Thought….The New…The Powerful…The Power of the human Mind… Yes, the 20th century saw both the good and bad sides of all of this…I mean, we really are scarred with warning…from war that has been too horrible to talk about…It is time for us to hold hands with one another…and offer our abilities to the Good, the Beautiful, the Power to Act… to Transform…I mean, the Cosmos is exploding in magnificent, unconscionable splender…yet there is little that is new…The new is left for us…left for humans to do…if only we can put differences aside…and climb the Mountain…Together….

II One Pool of Light

Well, when I was six…my piano teacher showed me how to play ‘Mary had a Little Lamb’…he wrote out the melody and over each part of the song he wrote the chords that went with the melody….He said that that was the secret to music…there was melody and there were chords…once you understood that..you could play anything more easily…you could even compose…Well, I was six and I composed my first piece…and my teacher was so proud of me…but I knew better…I had just copied stuff I was playing…I swore right then that I would not compose again until I could compose stuff that was really mine…so the next time I composed was in college, when I was given a Beatles’s song book by my fraternity brothers…there were two songs that caught my attention…they were not my favorite songs…in fact in a way they were quite ugly…yet they were ugly because they dared to move into harmonics that were never permissible… they took me to a new land…’I want to be your lover baby, I want to be your man’…and ‘I saw her standing there’…both of these songs were in the key of C…so they should have made me play only white keys on the piano…but there was a shock…there was a black note…there was a B flat…a C chord then a G minor chord…and this was not the Blues, this was not jazz…this was regular popular music..this was rock and roll!…. Immediately I took that B flat note seriously…I played a C triad and then a B flat triad…and somehow before I even thought about what I was doing… I overlapped a C triad with a B flat triad and miracles happened…I knew from the Blues that if you had a B flat note, then you could have an E flat note and then an A flat note and the rest of the black notes could follow from there…if you played them in the proper order…this meant that I could play the E flat triad and the A flat triads also…until I played all the triads in the octave….so all of a sudden I thought of myself playing in the key of C with a lot of extra notes and triads thrown in…I was really playing 12 tone scale music…but I didn’t really have any theory…I was just messing around…. Then I ran into Fats Waller…in some of his songs, he was playing an F triad in his left hand…and then simultaneously he would play all the triads in the octave…all twelve of them…just as I was teaching myself to do…in the same order that I found worked…in the right hand…Yes, he had discovered what I had discovered a long time before I discovered it…and we all think we are doing something new…but I looked carefully…his left hand did not move…the right hand played 12 different triads one after the other ….the left hand did not move…what did this mean?…I saw right then and there what he was doing… his recording company made him break up the triads into broken chords…playing one note at a time…so it would sound more like jazz…so it was just some crazy black music or something…but I saw what he was doing…Instead of playing the triads broken up…I played all the notes at once and his triads were the same as mine…plus…he was overlapping triads (emphasis)…yes I saw right then and there that one could play more than one triad at the same time…well, later on I saw that this was what Debussy and Ravel…had done…staying in one traditional key…that is, all white notes no black ones…just overlapping the normal triads in a scale….but Waller was overlapping triads that weren’t in the scale…then it occurred to me..that I could overlap three deep, four deep, even five deep, if one note could stand for a triad…then I could play many many chords…every time the melody changed notes there was a new chord, this made music really interesting…7 tone scale music had become soooo boring…now I was writing music that was mine…and it all was really interesting and exciting….

II The Journey

Well, the 20th century was supposed to be the century of 12 tone scale…music-wise… but we didn’t get very far…Debussy and Ravel tried to diverge from traditional 7 tone scale first…then came things that sounded less and less like music..and more like noise…there was Richard Strauss, then Schoenberg, then Stravinsky…then about 100 other people…each trying something different…

Well, I started with the Beatles, then Fats Waller and by the time the 1990s came around, I thought that my music was pretty revolutionary…

the reality is…those hundred composers had tried just about everything including what I had found…the problem is we all had one thing in common..we all were starting from scratch…I was just taking 7 tone scales and adding notes and triads if they sounded okay…other people just started with a scale of 12 notes and played them in sequence note after note…no chords at all..they called them a ‘row’ without repeating…until something sounded okay…I said, ‘okay’, but to me these people were more painters than composers…Haydn taught us that one must use his or her ear…step by step…music is for ears…not eyes…so as I say these people really didn’t have chords, just like the Middle Ages they had ‘melodies’ one note at a time and they would play more than one melody at once…of course, these sequences of notes did not sound like real melodies…they were ugly, raucous, strident, stressful, sounds the ear does not appreciate….as I say…in some ways these sounds had form and had more in common with painting than with music….

What was missing was a theory…Joseph Haydn was the first to develop a musical theory…he developed 7 tone scale theory…No one seems to know this..but I just looked at his first ten symphonies…He was a scientist…first he took one note at a time…if you just play the white notes on the piano…that is, just play in the key of C…where do you start, where do you stop…which notes can be played one after the other successfully…as far as your ear is concerned?…This last is the admonishment he was obviously most adamant about…If something sounds good…it is good…If it sounds bad…it is indeed bad…So Haydn that you should start on the note C and you could end on either C or G…As far as which notes could be played one after the other… you could play any notes in any order and it was legally fine…I personally would learn later on from Tchaikovsky that there was more to melody than that…when one is composing at the piano, one never thinks to hum…every time I hum, there is a new melody…a melody that a person’s ear likes to hear…it is like the male bird singing to his mate…he innately knows somehow what she is longing to hear…somehow the right side of the brain has inherited all of this….

Then how about two notes at a time…in an interval called a ‘third’…In the key of C…a C note and an E note played simultaneously is what is called a ‘major third’…this would seem to be close to performing the same thing as playing one note…but no!…this third it turns out… is a completely different dimension…a third in terms of overtones and harmonics is really stating a triad…and a triad is as different from one note as hardware is from software in computer science…without fully realizing what he was doing, Haydn started to let these thirds linger in some instruments in the orchestra over measures while other instruments doddled over single notes at a time… Mozart would crystallize this into music form…when he put triads in the left hand while playing the piano, and put melodies in the right…

Again Haydn, the scientist, found that you should start with a C triad and end with either a C triad or G triad…and you can play triads in any order… except…and this is a big exception…except for the seven triad…B diminished…it must always move to the tonic…the C triad….

Well, all of this seems really simple…yet it is theory…and Mozart and Beethoven took this theory and wrote some of the best music ever composed ….I decided that I would continue where Haydn left off…He found that the seven chord, the ‘diminished’ one, could be made more powerful by adding one more third above that…which was a black note!…see, he was in 12 tone scale right there and did not know it…that chord was so powerful that he found he could use it move to other keys…many other keys…

So I started right there…and utilizing his basic rules…moved into a complete 12-tone theory…this musical is my presentation of a theory that is all mine…I know of no other person who has ever utilized it…That wonderful piano teacher when I was six…gave me so much…One thing he gave me was the circle of fifths…it is a circle with the key of C at the top..and then you move to the left..to F, to Bflat, to Eflat, to Aflat, Dflat, and finally Gflat…see you have moved down the piano keyboard five notes at a time which takes you to different keys…and these keys are related in a magical way…each key increases with one flat every step…until at G flat you have six flats..at this point you have reached the bottom of the circle….Well, the next step…you move to the right of C…five notes at a time…to G, to D, to A, E, B and finally to Fsharp..which on the piano, with its tempered scale is the same as G flat…the movements right and left…meet at the bottom…As you moved to the right each key increased by one sharp…It is a Cosmos of music theory…all keys are related..it is a powerful thinking tool…but it seemed to have little use for anyone at the time that he gave it to me…it just made you feel good about things…in control of the things…

Well, in the 1990s, I made a decision, I was going to devise a theory… yes, I was going to continue what Haydn had started quite unintentionally a long time ago…I was building on what he had discovered…I was not starting from scratch…and the circle of fifths was going to be an important part of this…well, each of my songs were like Mozart, like the Beatles…they were in sonata form…where you have three themes, each in a different key… ABABCABCAB….like that…so I decided to devote one third of the circle of fifths to each theme…so I would be using four different keys at a time, one main chord with chords added from the keys around the main key…chords from the keys surrounding the main key on the circle of fifths…Well, to make a long story short…this musical has come a long way, baby, from that…when I worked on this musical, there were ten breakthroughs while I was working on the musical!…utilizing the circle of fifths…In one phrase of music, for example, all through the musical…I am whirling completely around the entire circle…I am in all the keys at once!…so take that Stravinsky!…and this music is not strident or ugly…in each key I have one million chords to choose from using overlapping of triads…I can choose precisely the chord that reflects the energy, in the idea in each word in the lyrics I am using…and my theory reduces the number of chords I need to look at…offering me instantly the best options…I don’t have to consider one million chords at each step…

So this musical is not just another musical…it is classical music…it is 12 tone scale music…with a theory…but it is also popular music…just like the Beatles…

Well, science and imagination is never done…there are always new enchantments to discover…

IV A World Springs Forth

So the 20th century was supposed to be the century of the 12 tone scale… why do I say this?…Well, it is time for some history…boys and girls…of Radioland…(this dates me)…Well, the first world war was over…it was time for things more modern…The word ‘modern’ in this context is confusing…in literature there was Joyce’s Ulysses and Virginia Woolf’s Room of One’s Own.and The Waves..as well as T.S. Elliot….in painting, the impressionists, then the post impressionists…well, think of Matisse and Picasso…then van Goch…well, the horrid music of Strauss, Stravinsky and Schoenberg were supposed to be born of similar impulses..What in the heck was this all about? Okay…let’s make all of this history short, but sweet…When one says the word ‘modern’…what one is actually referring to…obviously…is industrial revolution…I mean…come on now…nothing represents more of a break from the Middle Ages…I mean, mediaeval in all of its dark, sordid, disgusting aspects…than the revolution that lifted man and woman from the gutter to the realm of angels…well, humans became powerful…not slaves any longer… as was proclaimed by Napoleon and Beethoven… Well, industrial revolution occurred in England…1760-1790… approximately…So not so surprisingly, the nineteenth century was the first ‘modern’ century…I mean, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and all of the classical music composed during that span of time…were all modern impulses…the result of the waves of economic power that spread rapidly throughout Western civilization… So what was all this new 20th century ‘modern’ stuff…well, I maintain…spoiler alert…I am herewith jumping to the conclusion part of this letter in an attempt to help organize all of this…it is my thesis that all attempts to develop something new during the 20th century was not so much an attempt to develop a culture that was more closely aligned with the modernity created by economic transformation…as it was a new yearning for something more than what the ravages that material consumption and its absorption can wreak upon the earth…The search for modernism, post-modernism, and postpost-modernism, I maintain…was really a search for a future…to quickly move beyond what mere materialism can deliver…. Modernity in culture that was the result of waves of economic betterment…the modern culture of the 19th century…had been discredited partly because it had been grabbed by reactionary forces…primarily the aristocracy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which was adamant about avoiding the excesses of this new industrial frenzy that was disrupting its entrenched medieval ways…and so almost all the opera, ballet, symphonic and chamber music was sponsored and paid for by elites in this Empire and in Russia who asserted that materialism obliterates culture…only the aristocracy had the virtue of knowing what was truly great and wonderful…and was devoted to perpetuating it…saying this while millions of serfs were in misery, dying daily…in this way, ironically, much of the modernity in culture that occurred during the 19th century was indeed in response to economic revolution…except it was conducted by reactionary forces… A second aspect to this was an European squabble..during the 19th century, Germany was on top of the intellectual ladder with great syntheses in geology, history, and philosophy…Darwin, tho English, was part of this time of great hypotheses and towering intellectual thought…well, world war popped the economic bubble of optimism that had offered up what had seemed to be a transcendent future for all of mankind…it also popped the bubble of great world embracing syntheses….somehow, however grand a thesis might be…a Hitler or Stalin seemed to be lurking in the corners of it…. So economically the 20th century was a century of cheap oil, and the logic of mass consumption was allowed to play out until cheap oil was completely gone by the century’s end..also the reaction to this excessive materialism and to the unspeakable horrors of the wars that sprang from it…spread across the same expanse of time… So now we are here…. An Age of Culture and Creativity Humbly…humanity…is attempting to build…a future…a future without inexpensive energy…in the 1950s and 1960s, gasoline in American had been almost as cheap as water…which had led to cars and the alienation and the television and cinema culture of the suburbs…Can humans come up with a future that is better than this? It also must be a future that can accommodate another almost unspeakable idea…As a result of the delineation of the human genome…it must be a future that will somehow accept the fact that man and woman…are indeed…an exotic type of chimpanzee… Well, machines can replace most of what human can impart to the earth…our only hope is to concentrate upon those bits of our physiology that rise above the ingenuity, cleverness of other animals….we are the tool bearing animal…because we are able to create the new…Creativity must be our hope, our salvation….out Future….Machines themselves…have consumed what man and woman have wrought economically…can we find any work to do at all?…We are left with ourselves again…and fortunately for us…that spark of Mind…can be the most mighty of Forces…

V Joy and Happiness

Well, this musical is music…and art and science are supposed to be completely different things…As I say…it is believed that if one is an artist there is no way he or she can be a scientist in any way…Well, this musical stands as evidence that such thinking is not true…First, as I have laid out…my development of 12 tone music was conducted in a scientific way after some breakthroughs in the 1990s…utilizing the basic approach, which was a scientific sort of approach… that Haydn developed…So from the get go…modern music was founded with the help of science… Then too there is the fact that this musical has lyrics….yes, I know…I am not the greatest lyricist in the world…but the fact is..in this case, the lyrics are the fruit of science…from my 55 years of research…the ideas in the lyrics come from a compilation of many of my ideas that are found in my science fiction adventure, Omicron Blue….In this book, the ideas that I had come up with in my philosophical exercise…Man and the Cosmos…The Science of Everything….were made concrete…drawn out in five dimensions…hee, hee, I am alluding here to ideas in my books…economic revolution is taken to its logical end…automation follows a logical path to complete mechanization of cities with only a handful of people in charge…the rest of humanity is now free…to return to the land…to live in a Nature with which our bodies are most consistent with… I mean, evolution of our bodies stopped when a great many humans could live to the age of reproduction…our bodies stopped evolving and our tools evolved instead…Well, there is nothing automatic about the evolution of tools…tools must be developed, created…man and woman must be vigilant, attentive, and energetic to keep the cavalcade of tools progressing… nevertheless, this explosion of tools has continued until now humans have become enmeshed in their tools…this age has given us refrigerators and washing machines…however, we have been condemned to live in a world of glass and steel…condemned to live for two centuries experiencing the psychological agony and loss of potential creativity in a desert of commuter suburban life… It is time for us to return to the land…to the Bay..that we scarcely have had time to enjoy in our frenetic lives…the land, where we might utilize those abilities that only humans possess…abilities that machines shall never acquire…regardless of the wondrous things that I-phones can do….It is time to recognize that there are two sides of the brain…the analytical Einstein side and the inductive, synthesizing Hegel side…when we put the sides of the brain together…we add I.Q.’s…explosions like the industrial revolution happen…the Beatles…happen… Yes we must continue here what the so called ‘modernists’ began during and after too much war….There must be a better way…There must be a way… to build a future..in which humans can safely…and happily…live…

VI San Francisco Finale So here we are..back where we started…yet is not the music in this sixth song now… in a way really quite new…I mean, we have come so far in such a short time…now the words and music have become something else…each word, each note, each chord…carries a load of thought and history with it…. Such is the power of musical drama…which includes all the arts..and thus wears the crown…over all…. So what I am saying is…that musicals must be merely a device utilized for propaganda purposes…this reminds us of Hitler all over again… No…human thought creates the new…the new are tools which we may use to impact a world…hopefully our tools become better, more powerful over time…power is not merely economic or political might…the explosions of the Cosmos may merely the concatenations of Cosmic thought of some sort…our thought may actually be allied to this Cosmic exercise, in some way…My thesis is…all art is really communication of ideas…thought and art are always combined…a Picasso painting presents what LSD teaches us…not me but the royal ‘we’ in general…that perception has already screened much of the reality about us…out…we think we see, understand everything…but Picasso shows that the eye has already made form…created a form … empowered by the left side of the brain…that does not actually exist in Nature…except in a way that is entwined with the laws of mathematics and thus with the Laws of the Cosmos…Wagner shows more about the right side of the brain than it communicates a history of a people..again flesh is made of atoms and thus is made consistent with the fabric of the Universe…so the right side of the brain reflects Cosmic Truth also… Yes, I know…all this San Francisco stuff is a bit chauvinistic and combative…but the lance has been thrown down…Come on…Show us what you have to give the world…Look up from your phones, your cars, your cable …reserve a part of your day to yourself…yet for the world…You can do great stuff too..especially now with the Internet to empower us…We have seen the best a material world can give us…We have also seen the worst…It is time for us to move on…move up…to the Cosmic…Creative world …of the Future. It’s a Brand…New…Day!!!!!

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