36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 354: In Vienna, last day, 1320s

Day 354 — In Vienna, last day, 1320s
21-Jul-1972 (Fri.)

Farewell - Vienna Hofburg
The excitement builds towards the conclusion of my trip as I spend my last day in Vienna. My mom sends me $100 (surprise) but I can’t cash it (bigger surprise). What to do? What to do? I think we all know the answer.

Even in 2009, I’m getting a little emotional over everything. I
feel like I coming back home again. Deja vù.

Day 326: Leaving—no, still in Vienna

Day 326 — Leaving—no, still in Vienna
23-Jun-1972 (Fri.)

I goofed. I missed my train. My journey to Poland didn’t happen yesterday. Do I make it to the train on time today? Certainly.

Day 325: Leaving for Poland

Day 325 — Leaving for Poland
22-Jun-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

It’s the last page of my journal and I’m leaving for Poland. What is going to happen? They journey continues.

Day 324: Spanish Riding School, Vienna at night

Day 324 — Spanish Riding School, Vienna at night
21-Jun-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

Votiv Kirche at night
A nice day with a lot going on—packing, swimming, the Spanish Riding School, and taking some night pictures of Vienna.

Day 323: Horn recital and goodbye and hello to friends

Day 323 — Horn recital and goodbye and hello to friends
20-Jun-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

Today is a big day. My horn class recital and saying goodbye to my friends and teachers in both my horn and electronic music studies. What a wonderful year!

2009 brings in a surprise—Ragtime.

Day 322: Time for psychology

Day 322 — Time for psychology
19-Jun-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

I enter a trans-hypnotic state to see if I can convince myself to play horn without making any mistakes. Does it work?

Day 321: Music to relax by

Day 321 — Music to relax by
18-Jun-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

An opera puts me in a better mood. Today, I say I’m relaxed.

Day 320: Recital pressure

Day 320 — Recital pressure
17-Jun-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

I’m stressing out for my upcoming horn recital. Uh, oh!

Day 319: Winding down

Day 319 — Winding down
16-Jun-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

Giusippe Verdi Wikipedia
It looks like I’m winding down to the end of the school semester. What’s next? I don’t know. We have to wait to see what the journal reveals.

Day 318: Der Freischütz, again

Day 318 — Der Freischütz, again
15-Jun-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

Der Freischütz for the third time.

Day 317: Nothing new

Day 317 — Nothing new
14-Jun-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

Nothing new. Skip today.

Day 316: Preparations

Day 316 — Preparations
13-Jun-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

Non-interesting preparations for my trips.

Day 315: Technical difficulties

Day 315 — Technical difficulties
12-Jun-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

Just some minor technical glitches in continuing to make my final
Fantasy copies.

Day 314: Horn quartet in church

Day 314 — Horn quartet in church
11-Jun-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

Schonbrunn Palace 01
I play in a horn quartet today in Prof. Gabler’s church then take a walk through Schönbrunn.

Day 313: Thank you Prof. Lintz-Maues

Day 313 — Thank you Prof. Lintz-Maues
10-Jun-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

In 2009, I receive a CD from Vienna with the lost recordings of
Fantasy on Broken Glass, newly digitized by Prof. Lintz-Maues. What a thrill to hear those recordings after all of these years. Thank you, Prof. Lintz-Maues.

Day 312: Goodbye to Dieter Kaufmann

Day 312 — Goodbye to Dieter Kaufmann
09-Jun-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

It’s the last day of class for the electronic music class, and we say our goodbyes. What a great year it has been!

Day 311: Warm-cold, good-bad

Day 311 — Warm-cold, good-bad
08-Jun-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

Normal day of life’s opposites. Nothing that drinking at night won’t solve.

Day 310: World premiere—Fantasy on Broken Glass

Day 310 — World premiere—Fantasy on Broken Glass
07-Jun-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

Fantasy concert program
I make a last-minute, desperate attempt to remix my Fantasy composition for tonight’s world premiere. Do I make it? Does the audience like it? Do I need to drink my sorrows into the ground?

Day 309: Almost there

Day 309 — Almost there
06-Jun-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

I’m trying to finish up a “new” version of my piece. The concert is tomorrow.

Day 308: Preparing Fantasy

Day 308 — Preparing Fantasy
05-Jun-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

I remiss a bit about going out with friends for casual conversations over drinks and food. I am preparing my composition for a concert. I am being asked to play in a horn recital. The pressure is mounting.

Day 307: Beautiful Sundays

Day 307 — Beautiful Sundays
04-Jun-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

Vienna has a ton of beautiful Sundays in the spring. It brings everyone to the parks. I am trying to figure out my summer plans. What to do?

Day 306: National Hungarian Symphony

Day 306 — National Hungarian Symphony
03-Jun-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

It’s the Hungarian National Symphony at night. I love em. I talk about their style of horn playing.

Day 305: Planning a trip

Day 305 — Planning a trip
02-Jun-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

I’m planning—to go to school at Indiana University, and to visit Poland.

Day 304: Good deed at Prater

Day 304 — Good deed at Prater
01-Jun-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

It’s a holiday and I go to Prater. I do a good deed there.

Day 303: Live Kaufmann

Day 303 — Live Kaufmann
31-May-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

My professor, composer Dieter Kaufmann, presents a very interesting “live” musical piece that he wrote based on live manipulation of a soprano voice. I liked it.

Day 302: Shostakovich

Day 302 — Shostakovich
30-May-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

A light day. Shostakovich’s
Symphony No. 1 enlightens me.

Day 301: Paris says no

Day 301 — Paris says no
29-May-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

Today is the day that I actually get the news that I am not going to Fontainebleau this summer to study composition. I’m depressed.

Day 300: Big music day at Mai Fest

Day 300 — Big music day at Mai Fest
28-May-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

Gundula Janowitz
Vienna, the city of music, lives up to its name today—the Vienna Boys’ Choir, Mozart with the Vienna Philharmonic, Böhm conducting and Gundula Janowitz singing Weber’s Der Freischütz are all on the menu. Wow!

This is 300 days of blogging today. Come on Google, you say content is king. Give me a #1 ranking. (I used to be in the top 3 for a short while.) That said, we do use Google as a time machine to travel back to some of today’s concerts.

Day 299: New music from Prof. Kaufmann; Mai Fest

Day 299 — New music from Prof. Kaufmann; Mai Fest
27-May-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

Vienna park and Rathaus at night
A full day. Lots of things. Significant is that composer Dieter Kaufmann is beginning work on a new musique concrète composition. Mai Fest is also beginning.

Day 298: First Fantasy in class

Day 298 — First Fantasy in class
26-May-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

A big day—I play my composition,
Fantasy on Broken Glass, for the electronic music class and Prof. C. It is also a day of coincidences with Berlin, Vienna, and Fantasy.

At night, in my inflated state of ego, I hit the discotek attempting to meet some girls. Strikeout. Ha!

Day 297: Electronic lecture and party


Today ends with some (loud) electronic music by composer Iannis Xenakis in our electronic music lecture. Later, Camilla invites us to her house for a party. Party time.

Day 296: Opera’s expression

Day 296 — Opera’s expression
24-May-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

A light day. Just a short discourse on opera’s use of dialog to communicate the story.

Day 295: Angelo Badalamenti and Twin Peaks

Day 295 —Angelo Badalamenti and Twin Peaks
23-May-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

A regular day. I feel good about helping some American tourists. In 2009, I take a lazy day and talk about the coincidences of a
Twin Peaks rerun that I happen to see on TV and composer Angelo Badalamenti.

Oh! NJ is closed for business. House prices are way too high. No one can buy a house. Rents are high and ever rising. Time to leave?

Day 294: A holiday with Hesse

Day 294 — A holiday with Hesse
22-May-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

A day mostly about Hermann Hesse, the author. I really seem to connect to his writing and philosophies. Time to read him again. I’m waxing philosophical today.

Day 293: A lazy day with the Meistersinger

Day 293 — A lazy day with the Meistersinger
21-May-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

A well-deserved lazy day ending with Wagner’s
Der Meistersinger.

Day 292: My fingers are on TV

Day 292 — My fingers are on TV
20-May-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

Today is mostly about my being on Austrian TV for a whole two seconds. The TV documentary about the Electronic Music Studio is finally on TV.

Day 291: Opera, electronic music, computer music

Day 291 — Opera, electronic music, computer music
19-May-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

Today, I talk a bit about my growing interest in the emerging fields of computer music and electronic music, and some of my follow-up study and teachers in the genre. I add a couple of thoughts on operatic vs. orchestral climaxes, including Paul Pott and Puccini.

Day 290: Ing. Gottwald to the rescue

Day 290 — Ing. Gottwald to the rescue
18-May-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

Ing. Gottwald to the rescue to help me make a better copy of my
Fantasy on Broken Glass. I talk a bit about tape hiss and that musique concrète techniques naturally reduce the quality of sound.

Day 289: Richard Strauss day

Day 289 — Richard Strauss day
17-May-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

A day of Richard Strauss at the opera and in a student performance. Problems with the electronic studio equipment leads me to ponder the absence of problems with newly-emerging synthesizers.

Day 288: Very enjoyable

Day 288 — Very enjoyable
16-May-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

What can I say? Another opera is “very enjoyable.”

Day 287: Contemporary ballet and OSU

Day 287 — Contemporary ballet and OSU
15-May-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

I speak today to contemporary ballet and modern dance and relate to a modern dance/music composition that I wrote while a student at The Ohio State University. The composition was a musique concrète/electronic work titled, “Ruth,” based on the Book of Ruth from the Old Testament.

Day 286: Beautiful spring; Opera #50

Day 286 — Beautiful spring; Opera #50
14-May-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

Enjoying the parks and ducks
Not much happening today, on a beautiful Viennese spring day. Wait—tonight I attend my 50th opera performance in Vienna. Yes, Vienna is the city of music.

Day 285: Amazing teachers, amazing friends

Day 285 — Amazing teachers, amazing friends
13-May-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

I take a seemingly slow journal day and turn it around into a post about amazing teachers, friends (Mike), melodies, hooks, DJs, and trance. Intriguing. Now you’re “hooked,” right? You have to read this post. I have hypnotized you into a trance. Read…read…read…

Day 284: The Electronic Music Studio TV shoot

Day 284 — The Electronic Music Studio TV shoot
12-May-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

Today’s a big day—they are doing a TV shoot about the electronic music studio. It should be a great day, but I am upset. Why?

Day 283: Birgit as Isolde

Day 283 — Birgit as Isolde
11-May-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

Birgit Nilsson as Isolde
A look and listen at Birgit Nilsson as Isolde in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde.

Day 282: Noise, rauschen, clicks

Day 282 — Noise, rauschen, clicks
10-May-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

Come on, you’ve always wanted to hear a pointed discussion on how to edit out clicks from a tape. Well, here it is.

Day 281: Documenting the Fantasy

Day 281 — Documenting the Fantasy
09-May-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

Handwritten Fantasy score and timings
I talk a bit about the documentation that I am preparing for Fantasy on Broken Glass and the educational aspect of documenting the techniques and creation of the composition. Includes some scans.

Day 280: Time travel with YouTube—Mahler 4

Day 280 — Time travel with YouTube—Mahler 4
08-May-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

Bernstein Mahler 4
The real Mahler 4 concert at night. We enter a time-vortex through the magic of YouTube and see two videos from this same concert—36 years ago. Yes, I was there.

Day 279: Bernstein & Beethoven

Day 279 — Bernstein & Beethoven
07-May-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

A Mahler symphony and Beethoven opera are on today’s venue, along with a YouTube video. Nice.

Day 278: Old lady at the opera, with a score

Day 278 — Old lady at the opera, with a score
06-May-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

I talk a bit about the old lady at the opera—she saw Mahler conduct at the Staatsoper.

Day 277: Note from Nadia Boulanger

Day 277 — Note from Nadia Boulanger
05-May-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

Nadia Boulanger note part 1
A wonderful note comes to me from Fontainebleau in France. Nadia Boulanger has written me a handwritten note. A treasure. Today’s post is one of the most important to me, personally, in this entire year of blogging.

Day 276: About reading

Day 276 — About reading
04-May-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

Today I talk a bit about reading books and the price of books. Buy printed books now, they may not be around ten years from now.

Day 275: My Vienna songs

Day 275 — My Vienna songs
03-May-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

One Summer Day lyrics
I talk a little about the original songs that I wrote for Anjali back in 1971–1972. Yes, they were corny and my singing is very bad. I post the lyrics of my first song, “One Summer Day.”

Day 274: Avant-garde

Day 274 — Avant-garde
02-May-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

A day of backup work in the studio and an avant-garde film in the evening.

Day 273: May Day, May Day!

Day 273 — May Day, May Day!
01-May-1972 (Montag–Mon.)(Feirtag)

Austrian folk dancing at the May Pole
It’s May Day, a national holiday celebrating the working people. Today, there are lots of pictures from the Rathaus festivities. Enjoy.

Day 272: A lazy day

Day 272 — A lazy day
30-April-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

A lazy day. It’s about time.

Day 271: A history of John’s hair in Vienna

Day 271 — A history of John’s hair in Vienna
29-April-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

John college yearbook 1971
I go to the 60s hippie rock-musical, Hair. Inspired by the theme of hair, I present a history of my hair in 1971 Vienna. What happened? Plenty of pictures today.

Day 270: Fantasy on Broken Glass—Finished, yay!

Day 270 — Fantasy on Broken Glass—Finished, yay!
28-April-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

Fantasy rough score 01
A great day. Fantasy on Broken Glass—that’s my musique concrète work—is finally finished. Yes. It’s a good feeling to complete a project. Be thankful to your teachers. Some pictures of the rough score.

Day 269: RPO, Tchaikovsky 4, Pirates of the Caribbean

Day 269 — RPO, Tchaikovsky 4, Pirates of the Caribbean
27-April-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

Michael Tilson Thomas Tchaikovsky 4
A good day for everything—horn, piano, electronic music, and a concert. Tchaikovsky 4 is on the menu today and a bit of Pirates of the Caribbean. Arrgh! My last day of German journal writing. Yay!

Day 268: German students

Day 268 — German students
26-April-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

A Bernstein tape and some drinking at night.

Day 267: Partying with Bernstein

Day 267 — Partying with Bernstein
25-April-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

Bernstein 1972 in Vienna
After another rehearsal of Mahler’s 5th, I get a surprise. I’m invited, along with a group of students, to go to a party for Leonard Bernstein.

I’m partying with Bernstein.

Day 266: Missed Mahler, not Mozart

Day 266 — Missed Mahler, not Mozart
24-April-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

A missed opportunity to see another Bernstein Mahler concert ends up with me at a lesser-known Mozart opera.

Day 265: Bernstein and Vienna Boys’ Choir in Mahler 3

Day 265 — Bernstein and Vienna Boys’ Choir in Mahler 3
23-April-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

Bernstein Mahler concert in Musikverein
What a day, again! A long post for a great day. The Vienna Boys’ Choir, first in church, and then in concert with Leonard Bernstein performing Mahler’s 3rd Symphony. Wow. Today, was the day I took pictures inside the Musikverein. Then an opera at night. Is Vienna, the City of Music or what?

Day 264: If you have a bad day, wait, the next day may be better

Day 264 — If you have a bad day, wait, the next day may be better
22-April-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

Yesterday was bad, today is great. Once again, the Ying and Yang of life is upon us. Why can’t I stabilize my life? Because life throws you curve balls. Keep you eye on the ball. A good day, though with results. I write a letter home.

Day 263: Work to do, no time

Day 263 — Work to do, no time
21-April-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

A basically normal day—with plenty of frustration, and some relief via Buster Keaton films.

Day 262: Rehearsing at Schönbrunn

Day 262 — Rehearsing at Schönbrunn
20-April-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

Today, I discover that I’m playing in a rehearsal of
Don Pasquale at the theatre in Schönbrunn Palace.

Day 261: Tannhäuser nicht gut?

Day 261 — Tannhäuser nicht gut?
19-April-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

Not much today.
Tannhäuser the opera. Again in German.

Day 260: Back to German

Day 260 — Back to German
18-April-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

Nothing unusual today, but I’m back to writing German in my journal.

Day 259: Mahler 5 televised

Day 259 — Mahler 5 televised
17-April-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

Roland Berger 1st horn VPO
Today, we get to see Bernstein conduct Mahler 5 for the televised version of the concerts. I get to see Bernstein from the organ balcony and fifth row orchestra. I also meet Roland Berger, 1st horn of the Vienna Philharmonic.

A great day.

Day 258: Bernstein moves the Earth

Day 258 — Bernstein moves the Earth
16-April-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

Bernstein and the VPO
Bernstein literally moves the Earth today [read earthquake] in a concert of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 in the Musikverein. I snuck in for free and got Mr. Bernstein’s autograph after the concert. Yes.

Day 257: More Bernstein, more Mahler

Day 257 — More Bernstein, more Mahler
15-April-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

More electronic music, more Bernstein, more Mahler, and more translation.

Day 256: Kein bekamtschaft (no hookups)

Day 256 — Kein bekamtschaft (no hookups)
14-April-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

An easy day. Still writing and translating German. I hope that I don’t do this for the rest of the year. It’s a lot of work.

Day 255: Ein wunderbar Tage

Day 255 — Ein wunderbar Tage
13-April-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

Berger and Gabler
An incredibly full day—horn lesson, piano practice, electronic music composition and lecture, Leonard Bernstein rehearsing the Vienna Philharmonic, another Bach Heiler concert, and watching Buster Keaton silent films. I’m still writing in German. The big news—Leonard Bernstein is in town conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in a Mahler series. This is big. Photos from the 1972 Mahler Symphony No. 5, concert video, today.

Was this a full day or what? An incredible day.

Day 254: Schreiben Deutsch, zweimal

Day 254 — Schreiben Deutsch, zweimal
12-April-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

I’m writing in German again. Damn. Actually, it was probably good for me at the time, though no one would read it and perhaps correct me. I attend a silent film festival dedicated to Buster Keaton. I remember these being very funny.

Day 253: Ich schreiben Deutsch, heute (badly)

Day 253 — Ich schreiben Deutsch, heute (badly)
11-April-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

Today, I write my journal totally in German. What was I thinking back then? Was German the national language or something? Or did Anjali write me saying that I might learn German better if I tried to write it? Regardless, I test my 36-year old knowledge of German and try to translate on the fly (riding back home on the train from a music convention). How did I do?

Day 252: Ballet night

Day 251 — Ballet night
10-April-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

After a normal day, I take in a ballet at night. It’s contemporary music and dance.

Day 251: Mike and the Vienna Boys’ Choir; Idea book

Day 251 —Mike and the Vienna Boys’ Choir; Idea book
09-April-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

Today is a long post. I talk about my friend Mike and his work with the Vienna Boys’ Choir. About creativity, ideas, and writing down your thoughts in those old school marble notebooks or a journal.

Day 250: Erotic, neurotic

Day 250 — Erotic, neurotic
08-April-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

I don’t go see an erotic movie, I see a neurotic movie.

Day 249: Jean-Pierre leaves

Day 249 — Jean-Pierre leaves
07-April-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

A good friend leaves today and I discover that you can’t tell a composer by his published cover—until you see it.

Day 248: Strassebahn traffic jam

Day 248 — Strassebahn traffic jam
06-April-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

Strassebahn cleanup
Today the Viennese streetcars experience an unusual traffic jam. At night, we’re at the Volksoper with An Italian in Algiers and then have a drink afterwards with my horn teacher, Prof. Gabler.

Day 247: The end is in sight

Day 247 — The end is in sight
05-April-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

Today, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. No, not a train, but my completing my composition,
Fantasy on Broken Glass. And I’m philosophical—experiencing the opposites of Ying and Yang in life.

Day 246: Lost Glass, found—Thank you, Vienna

Day 246 — Lost Glass, found—Thank you, Vienna
04-April-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

Broken Glass, found. No, that’s not a code word to launch nuclear weapons, it’s news from the Institute of Composition and Electroacoustic Media at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. They have found my 36-year-old tapes and will digitize them and send them to me. It’s a miracle.

Day 245: A ginormous opera

Day 245 — A ginormous opera
03-April-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

On a national holiday, I take in a
ginormous opera – Parsifal.

Day 244: Easter Sunday; tourists

Day 244 — Easter Sunday; tourists
02-April-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

It’s Easter Sunday and I am playing tourist guide—meeting tourists at mass where the Vienna Boys’ Choir performs and then taking them on a walking tour. A German girl attracts my attention.

Day 243: Fragments, not sentences

Day 243 — Fragments, not sentences
01-April-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

A normal day with some music, reading, eating, and opera. I talk a bit about my journal writing—fragments, not sentences.

Day 242: A day in the park

Day 242 — A day in the park
31-March-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

Schonbrunn Palace Gardens
I spend a relaxing day in Vienna’s beautiful parks. They are beautiful.

Day 241: Back to Bohème

Day 241 — Back to Bohème
30-March-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

A good day ends with Giacomo Puccini’s
La Boheme at the Staatsoper, and a beer.

Day 240: Talking, learning

Day 240 — Talking, learning
29-March-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

Jean-Pierre continues to give me good horn advice.

Day 239: Looking for Broken Glass

Day 239 — Looking for Broken Glass
28-March-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

Vienna Ltr German
In 1972 it’s a regular day. In 2009, a few days ago, I send an email to the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, through their website, in an attempt to locate a copy of my lost Fantasy on Broken Glass composition.

Day 238: Best horn playing

Day 238 — Best horn playing
27-March-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

I’m happy with my horn playing and saying it’s the best since I’ve been here. Is it attitude? Relaxation? Better breathing? Or a change in my embouchure? As long as it seems to be working.

For some reason, I’m looking at Indiana University for future music study.

Day 237: Beautiful Vienna in the spring

Day 237 — Beautiful Vienna in the spring
26-March-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

Vienna park in spring
Spring has arrived in Vienna and the city is beautiful. I head off to church, and then off to practice, taking a long walk through central Vienna to the school. Great opportunities during these walks to take lots of pictures.

Day 236: Selfish John

Day 236 — Selfish John
25-March-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

I discover that I am a selfish, good-for-nothing, bum. I turn around 180-degrees that same day and let a good friend stay a week in my room.

Day 235: Old friends

Day 235 — Old friends
24-March-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

Phi Mu Alpha 1971
Nothing new in 1972. In 2009, I have recently run into some old college friends on the amazing social networks of LinkedIn and Facebook. I reminisce a bit about our friendships and dig up a picture or two.

Day 234: Studienbuch

Day 234 — Studienbuch
23-March-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

Studienbuch montage
What did I look like when I first arrived in Vienna? What did it cost to go to school? My studienbuch will reveal the answer.

Day 233: Bruckner 8 in the Musikverein

Day 233 — Bruckner 8 in the Musikverein
22-March-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

Vienna Musikverein concert
The student orchestra of the Vienna Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (Wien Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst) performs Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 in the wonderful Großer Saal of the Vienna Musikverein under the direction of Maestro Karl Östereicher. A great lifetime thrill and fun to play.

Day 232: Salzburg pics

Day 232 — Salzburg pics
21-March-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

Salzburg and Festung Hohenslzburg
Amazingly, my 35mm film processing from Salzburg was found. The last time I was in Salzburg was in August. To celebrate, I repost some of my pictures.

Day 231: On stage at the Musikverein

Day 231 — On stage at the Musikverein
20-March-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

Musikverein Golden Hall
I’m on stage at one of the premiere concert halls in Vienna, no the world—the Musikverein. Well, today is just a rehearsal. Bruckner is on. I love it. I talk a bit about this famous concert hall.

Day 230: Parks, Prater, Films, and Fairs

Day 230 — Parks, Prater, Films, and Fairs
19-March-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

People in the park
Not only is today a beautiful spring day in Vienna, but I head off to Prater to see Vienna’s International Fair and some smelly cows. Unfortunately, the film festival at night includes a film that shows the slaughter of those cows. Another example of the Ying and Yang of life.

I show a TON of pictures today of Vienna’s beautiful parks and sights.

Day 229: Group improv

Day 229 — Group improv
18-March-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

Kaufmann montage
An excellent day of group vocal improvisation in Prof. Kaufmann’s electronic music class. I talk a bit about group improvisations.

Day 228: From Bach to rock

Day 228 — From Bach to rock
17-March-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

It’s a packed day of electronic music, Bach organ magic, and a rock dance. Best part—I get additional scholarship money. Money is appreciated.

Day 227: Austrian “class” in the keller

Day 227 — Austrian “class” in the keller
16-March-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

After an electronic music lecture, we head off with Prof. Kaufmann to an underground keller and experience a pleasurable night of good company, discussion, wine, ambience and live opera arias as entertainment. Electronic music class. Austrian class.

Day 226: Good day

Day 226 — Good day
15-March-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

Skip me.

Day 225: Break it down

Day 225 — Break it down
14-March-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

I learn something about piano practice today and spend most of my day with piano. I’m slouching in electronic music—
only four hours.

Day 224: Skip me

Day 224 — Skip me
13-March-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

Skip me.

Day 223: Don’t be rude

Day 223 — Don’t be rude
12-March-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

Anna Moffo 1956
Don’t be rude at a concert. Be quiet. I am at an Anna Moffo recital.

Day 222: Taking a chance

Day 222 — Taking a chance
11-March-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

John Cage Berlin 1972
A brand new idea comes to me. Turning radio recordings into compositions. I talk a bit about John Cage and his influence on the genre of “chance” music and “happenings.”

Day 221: Disco at the Voom-Voom

Day 221 — Disco at the Voom-Voom
10-March-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

No, no. It’s not “zoom-zoom-zoom,” the Volkswagen commercial in 2008 and 2009, it’s Voom-Voom the 1972 Viennese disktotek and I visit it once again, hoping to meet a nice girl.

Day 220: Too little, too much

Day 220 — Too little, too much
09-March-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

I pose to you, the reader, these questions:

• Which is better—too little, or too much?
• Is it better to produce five top-ten hits or 200 here’s-the-idea pieces of music?

Then, I spend a lot of time talking about this stuff.

Day 219: Thinking of films

Day 219 — Thinking of films
08-March-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

Steven Spielberg, move over. Today, my journal tips me as to why I am suddenly in a film mode.

Day 218: Lofty musings today—Hermann Hesse

Day 218 — Lofty musings today—Hermann Hesse
07- March-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

Today is heavy with abstract concepts and thoughts. I want to make an abstract film about the human body and talk about influences. It’s Hermann Hesse’s fault.


Day 217: Positive progress

Day 217 — Positive progress
06-March-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

I’m making progress. Other than that, not much news. Skip.

Day 216: More score

Day 216 — More score
05-March-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

Today, I score, more. You can skip today.

Day 215: A bit tired

Day 215 — A bit tired
04-March-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

Work can tire you out. That’s ok. Skip today.

Day 214: A good, no, “excellent” day

Day 214 — A good, no, “excellent” day
03-March-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

An excellent day. Stravinsky, Berio, and Bruckner. Today, praise of contemporary music.

Day 213: Critiquing and my music

Day 213 — Critiquing and my music
02-March-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

Another full day and some critique of contemporary music, and my music. I talk just a little bit about my music.

Day 212: Pupofon Zweimal

Day 212 — Pupofon Zweimal
01-March (März)-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

Electronic scoring and electronic live performance, Prof. Kaufmann’s Pupofon, are the highlights of today. A good full day of music. I wonder about lost opportunities and lost composition.

Day 211: Leap Year with Bruckner

Day 211 — Leap Year with Bruckner
29-February-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

Wagner tuba
I’m playing Wagner tuba. I’m playing Bruckner. Well, we’re rehearsing. And in 1972 and 2008, we have an extra day this year. An extra day to play Bruckner.

Day 210: I’m playing Bruckner; Brothers

Day 210 — I’m playing Bruckner; Brothers
28-February-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

Bruckner 1894
Not only it is a good day but I am going to play Wagner tuba in Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8. Yes. Check out some Bruckner links and a YouTube video. I talk about brothers Steve and Frank.

Day 209: Scoring for sound

Day 209 — Scoring for sound
27-February-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

Graphic score Fantasy on Broken Glass

I present some brief examples from my “graphic” rough scores of my musique concrète piece and samples from the typed notes on how I created the work. Looking back at my actual notes, some of which I can’t read, reminded me of how much work went into this project. It was not a musical masterpiece, but it was a great learning experience.

Day 208: Teaching with sound

Day 208 — Teaching with sound
26-February-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

Student at synthesizer 1976
Music is sound. Sound is music. Later in life, as a teacher, I teach musical concepts and creativity through sound—musique concrète and electronic music. Add the ability to make student films—the young students loved it all.

Day 207: Sound as music

Day 207 — Sound as music
25-February-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

Musik Universal Edition
Prof. Kaufmann helps me to move towards the completion of my educational electronic music book project with both music and score. I am doing an extensive amount of work in the electronic lab on this music. I talk a bit about sound as music.

I may have discovered a long lost Viennese friend, Mike, on the Internet.

Day 206: The Viennese experience; the Valkyries

Day 206 — The Viennese experience; the Valkyries
24-February-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

Wotan and Brunhilde

I talk a bit about the Viennese experience and why I couldn’t recreate it back home. It’s another great night at the opera with The Valkyries. Check out Pierre Boulez conducting The Ride of the Valkyries on YouTube. I may use the Valkyrie motive as a ringtone for certain family members. No, not my wife, Brunhilde.

Here’s my wife and I in costume as Wotan and Brunhilde.

Day 205: Musique concrète—from Vienna to teaching

Day 205 — Musique concrète—from Vienna to teaching
23-February-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

Today, I talk about some of the techniques used to create music/sound in the
musique concrète genre and how they can be used to teach musical concepts to young students, exploring musical creativity through electronic music and filmmaking. The students, grades 7–9, presented a full program of their creative work in a special Bicentennial program to the school. They were wonderful. Read More...

Day 204: Jehudi Menuhin concert

Day 204 — Jehudi Menuhin concert
22-February-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

A busy day with a Yehudi Mehuhin concert at night.

Day 203: Lows, highs, and lip slurs

Day 203 — Lows, highs, and lip slurs
21-February-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

After hearing the Wagner Siegfried Horn Call the other day, you know how challenging playing the horn can be. My problem has mostly been the high register. These highs give me the lows. Don’t give me no lip, now.


Day 202: Horn players love Richard Strauss

Day 202 — Horn players love Richard Strauss
20-February-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

It’s Sunday and I need to take a break. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the brass section wows me at night.

I discover a ton of online videos relating to
Ein Heldenleben and the horn.

Day 201: Horn-o-phrenia

Day 201 — Horn-o-phrenia
19-February-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

Eriksson and Pizka collage

I discover that I may be afflicted with the rare, horn player’s problem, called horn-o-phrenia. Bipolar swings of good and not-so-good playing. After analysis of this journal, several professionals have concluded that I certainly demonstrate bipolar horn playing.

To cheer myself up, I watch some great Siegfried horn videos on YouTube.


Day 200: In 36 years, life hasn’t changed

Day 200 — In 36 years, life hasn’t changed
18-February-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

Life hasn’t changed in over 36 years. I was amazingly prophetic in 1972. I take you on a tour of my prophecies regarding my back, stomach, ego, brain, work, stress, eating chocolate, and girlfriends. It’s as if I stepped through a time-space continuum portal (with some warping) from 1972 to 2009.

Day 199: Practice, more practice

Day 199 — Practice, more practice
17-February-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

Skip today. Just a lot of practice and studio work.

Day 198: Practice Makes Perfect

Day 198 — Practice Makes Perfect
16-February-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

Lot’s of practicing today.

Day 197: 25s a day, oh my!

Day 197 — 25s a day, oh my!
15-February-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

“25s a day, oh my” can be sung to the
Follow the Yellow-brick Road song in The Wizard of Oz. 25 Austrian schillings a day. Money, money, money. It’s time to follow the yellow-brick road to budgeting expenses.

Day 196: Applying to Fontainebleau

Day 196 — Applying to Fontainebleau
14-February-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

Fontainebleau Schools

A full day of school and work along with an application to study at Fontainebleau, the famous school for composers.


Day 195: Gourmet Beethoven

Day 195 — Gourmet Beethoven
13-February-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

Beethoven by Stieler 1820
Today is a GOURMET day. First, my incredible culinary masterpiece—the Sunday meal. Second, wonderful gourmet Beethoven. Life is good.


Day 194: Conservatory style

Day 194 — Conservatory style
12-February-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

I talk a little about the differences between my prior experience with horn lessons and the conservatory-style horn classes that I attended in Vienna.

Day 193: Nothing special

Day 193 — Nothing special
11-February-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

Skip today. Nothing special, a day of progress in electronic music.

Day 192: Dreams, hopes, and scholarships

Day 192 — Dreams, hopes, and scholarships
10-February-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

I want to continue study and look to finding places to study and apply for scholarships. My 1972 youthful hopes and dreams are becoming apparent. Life’s choices and reality may change those dreams. My advice to young people…


Day 191: Life at Wickenburggasse; letters from Anjali

Day 191 — Life at Wickenburggasse; letters from Anjali
09-February-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

Anjali collage 1971
Just a few memories on life at home in my Wickenburggasse room. After a normal school day, I reminisce about my letters with Anjali. I come to the realization that I was probably in need of a girlfriend.

Day 190: The Sound of Breaking Glass

Day 190 — The Sound of Breaking Glass
08-February-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

1971 Electronic music class with Dieter Kaufmann
Today, I record the sound of a breaking glass in electronic music class and begin a satisfying journey of manipulating sound with musique concrète techniques. I find a small excerpt of this lost music on the Internet, over 36 years later.

Day 189: Pretty “well,” not pretty “good”

Day 189 — Pretty “well,” not pretty “good”
07-February-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

My grammar is not well, err, good. Sheesh! Thank goodness I bought Grammar Girl’s new book.

I won’t be a film composer anytime soon, but I am appreciating Prof. Kaufmann, once again.

Day 188: A Little Bit Every Day

Day 188 — A Little Bit Every Day
06-February-1972 (Sontag–Sun.)

After some practice, I’m studying languages again. I pass on to you the secret “key” to successful learning.

Day 187: Great horn website

Day 187 — Great horn website
05-February-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

Viennese horn section
In 2009, I present a wonderful website on the Horn and the Viennese Horn by Prof. Hans Pizka. Read More...

Day 186: Quality Education; Opportunity Knocks

Day 186 — Quality Education; Opportunity Knocks
04-February-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

Today, I have some thoughts on the wonderful educational experiences provided by Prof. Gabler in Horn, and Prof. Kaufman in Electronic Music.

We’re going to be famous! Two real-world opportunities present themselves to the students of Kaufman’s electronic music class.

Day 185: Viennese Horn teachers

Day 185 — Viennese Horn teachers
03-February-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

Prof Gabler in horn quartet
Today, I get a horn lesson from Dr. Paul, who tries to help me with my frustration. I may not be a pro but I want to be as good as I can.

I take this time to thank my main professor, Frederick Gabler. In my research I run across a great site filled with horn history and information.

Day 184: Friends leaving

Day 184 — Friends leaving
02-February-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

Two good horn-player friends are leaving soon. Jean-Pierre is from Montreal, and I do get to visit him, some years later.

I present two solutions to two regrets in my life. Here they are: (1) travel more, and (2) keep a journal.

Day 183: Nothing new; language study

Day 183 — Nothing new; language study
01-February-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

Nothing new today. I’m studying languages.


Day 182: NAMM 2009

Day 182 — NAMM 2009
31-January-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

M-Audio Torq DJ controller
Today, I talk a bit about NAMM 2009, the music trade show that introduces new music products to U.S. music retailers.

Day 181: Vienna in the snow, beautiful

Day 181 — Vienna in the snow, beautiful
30-January-1972 (Sontag–Sun.)

Vienna park snowfall
Today it snows in Vienna. The parks are quiet, serene and beautiful in the snow. Here are a few photos.

Day 180: Vienna Ice Follies

Day 180 — Vienna Ice Follies
29-January-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

Vienna Ice Follies
A good day for horn and electronic music. At night I see the Ice Follies in Vienna’s Stadthalle. It was enjoyable.

Day 179: Contemporary music

Day 179 — Contemporary music
28-January-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

Some thoughts on why I overly criticize contemporary music—at least from 36 years ago.

Day 178: Time Machine Tape Recorder

Day 178 — Time Machine Tape Recorder
27-January-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

I see a good cello concert. I throw out a free business idea to inventors that could reap billions of dollars for someone. It’s free, for you.

Day 177: Meeting Rotary; First Haircut

Day 177 — Meeting Rotary; First Haircut
26-January-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

I finally get to meet other Rotary students and learn that there are many students here. For the occasion, I get my first haircut in six months. No more hippie-John.


Day 176: Brother Mike in Vienna, yay!

Day 176 — Brother Mike in Vienna, yay!
25-January-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

Brother Mike comes to Vienna from Kitzbühel and gets a full day of sightseeing, and a Mozart opera (with actual seats) at night. Quite an excellent day.

Day 175: Back in Vienna

Day 175 — Back in Vienna
24-January-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

Straight to school from the train. Nothing of interest today.

Day 170: Get Ready, Munich

Day 170 — Get Ready, Munich
19-January-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

This year’s concert experiences have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a young music student. I have never been able to recreate this musical journey to this day, 36 years later.

I get ready for my trip to Munich to see my college friends of Montclair State, followed by a ski trip to Kitzbuhel to see my brother. I leave at night. Exciting.

Day 169: Good electronic music

Day 169 — Good electronic music
18-January-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

A good day in the electronic music studio. Not exciting in the journal but good news for my electronic studies.

Day 168: A Lulu of a day

Day 168 — A Lulu of a day
17-January-1972 (Montag–Mon.)

It’s a
Lulu of a day. I had two good lessons. It’s a day at the dentist. It’s Lulu at the opera. And, I learn a life-lesson from a young blind boy.

Day 167: Back to music

Day 167 — Back to music
16-January-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)

It’s back to some concertizing in Vienna. A Beethoven mass and Brahm’s symphony. Music heals the soul. In 2008, I need some soul healing—back to the blog.

My brother and college buddies are coming to Europe. I’m going to try and hookup with them.


Day 166: Relaxing today

Day 166 — Relaxing today
15-January-1972 (Samstag–Sat.)

Nothing going on today.

Day 165: Electronic music class; a horn recital; dreams

Day 165 — Electronic music class; a horn recital; dreams
14-January-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

1971 Electronic music class with Dieter Kaufmann
Today is a full day of school—electronic music class, a horn class recital, and dreams of returning to Vienna. This photo is that of our electronic music class. A good question to ask ourselves is how our lives would be different today, if we had pursued and followed those early dreams.

It’s never too late to dream and it's never too late to take those first steps on your journey.


Day 164: NAMM and the Vienna Symphonic Library

Day 164 — NAMM and the Vienna Symphonic Library
13-January-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)

VSL at NAMM 2008
In 2008, I visit the NAMM trade show and visit my favorite music manufacturers and software developers, including the Vienna Symphonic Library. If you are a composer, arranger, orchestrator, producer, or have aspirations of writing music for film, TV, commercial, or the record business, you need to discover orchestral sample libraries.

Day 163: The hair, the hair!

Day 163 — The hair, the hair
12-January-1972 (Mittwoch–Wed.)

John 1971 Student ID
It’s Day 2 of my blog catch-up. Today, in 1972, there is not much going on.

In 2008, I post my student ID from 1971. Talk about hair. Weren’t there any barbers in Vienna 1971?


Day 162: I'm back!

Day 162 — I’m Back!
11-January-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)

It’s been almost two months since I’ve blogged. Life in 2008 has been very hectic, with no time to concentrate on blogging. Just like Arnold,
The Terminator, I’m terminating that silence. It's back to the past! I’m blogging again.

To read these back posts, use my "Catch-up" posting, or look to the Monthly Archives in the right column.

I’m back!

Day 161: Thank you, Austria

Day 161 — Thank you, Austria
10-January-1972 (Montag—Mon.)

Back in Vienna, it’s back to the grind. I look back at a wonderful three weeks of vacation in Innsbruck, Vienna, and St. Anton.


Day 152: Glückliches Neues Jahr; New Year’s Day concert; off to St. Anton

Day 152 — Glückliches Neues Jahr; New Year’s Day concert; off to St. Anton
01-January-1972 (Sat.)

Johann Strauss statue at night
What a day! That’s how I end today’s reflections. I get into standing room for the world-famous New Year’s Day concert by the Vienna Philharmonic that features waltzes and polkas by Johann Strauss’ I and II, dad and son. What fun! Then, I head off on the train to the Austrian Alps, stop in Innsbruck to give Elisabeth a gift, and then head on to the world-famous ski resort of St. Anton for a week of skiing.

What a day! What a year!

Day 151: New Year’s Eve—Die Fledermaus

Day 151 — New Year’s Eve—Die Fledermaus
31-December-1971 (Fri.)

A day filled with New Year's Eve traditions—spending all day in a standing room line, an ad-lib performance of
Die Fledermaus, sneaking in champagne into the opera house (?), Kärtnerstrasse, Stephansdom Platz, and partying. Great performances. Great traditions. Too much to drink. Read More...

Day 150: Lord of Wagner's Ring

Day 150 — Lord of Wagner's Ring
30-December-1971 (Thur.)

Lucille and the Dixie Pixies
Before the Lord of the Rings movies, there was Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle. I go to see the first opera, Das Rheingold. Although there is no CGI (computer-graphic imagery) in these operas, as in the movie, the live staging and effects that an opera company often produces for a Wagnerian opera can often be quite dramatic and inspiring.

What do these girls (above) have to do with Wagner? Nothing. A Montclair State friend, Lucille, informs me that they are heading to Munich soon. Yay.


Day 149: My Google ranking drops; about the Blog

Day 149 — My Google ranking drops; about the Blog
29-December-1971 (Wed.)

Today has nothing to do with Vienna.

In 2007, my Google ranking seems to drop to ZERO. I am no longer viable. Is my content boring? Google engineers have programmed me into oblivion. No one likes me. A vacuum closes around me. I’m alone. I do not exist.

I talk a bit, once again, about the reason for this blog—inspiration—and the difficulties of getting a blog noticed in the blogosphere. Hmmm, I haven’t actually done any marketing yet.

In today’s post, I’m being rhetorical and dramatic purely for journalistic purposes. I hope Sergei and Larry from Google call me, and invest. I’m ready. Larry? Sergei?



Day 148: Fly Dutchman, Fly

Day 148 — Fly Dutchman, Fly
28-December-1971 (Tue.)

Richard Wagner PD
A normal school day; my first Wagnerian opera ends the day. Read More...

Day 147: Get your eyes checked regularly

Day 147 — Get your eyes checked regularly
27-December-1971 (Mon.)

I’m back at school and work. Today is about letters from family and friends. I reminisce about a good friend of mine, Andre, to whom I am indebted for my eyesight. Get your eyes checked regularly. I know the title has nothing to do with Vienna, but it's important.


Day 146: My Christmas present

Day 146 — My Christmas present
26-December-1971 (Sun.)


My Christmas present comes today—a package of candy from the elderly lady whose money I found on the bus.

Other than that, myself and two girls wander Vienna's famous graveyard, the Central Cemetery, where many a famous composer is buried. It is foggy. It is eerie. Are the spirits talking to me? Happy

A delightful Bedrich Smetana opera ends the day.

Day 145: Vienna! Frohe Weihnachten—Merry Christmas!

Day 145 — Vienna! Frohe Weihnachten—Merry Christmas!
25-December-1971 (Sat.)

Christmas market in Vienna Bernhard Vogl
A wonderful Viennese Christmas day with my roommate, Pavel, his sister, and her friend who have come to see Pavel all the way from California. A good day with some sightseeing, dinner, and conversation. A Verdi opera concludes a great day.

The spirit of Christmas is about families. Meet John’s family and brothers. A photo bonanza. (There are so many photos today—you may need a fast Internet connection for this post.)


Day 144: Goodbye Innsbruck; Christmas Eve

Scenic Innsbruck mountains
It’s goodbye to skiing, Innsbruck, the scenic mountains (see photo), Elisabeth, George, and a new girl I’m trying to pick up at the train station. (I’m now Don John.) It was an incredible week of skiing, beautiful scenery, friendships, spas, and picture taking. What a vacation! Back to Vienna. It’s Christmas Eve. Read More...

Day 137: Christmas in class

Day 137 — Christmas in class
17-December-1971 (Fri.)

While drinking a little wine in class, we create some Christmas tree patterns on an oscilloscope. How's that for education? We’re about to break for the holidays. Tonight I leave for Innsbruck.


Day 136: Nothing today

Day 136 — Nothing today
16-December-1971 (Thur.)

A busy day. Nothing to report.

Day 135: “Letter Home” is finished

Day 135 — “Letter Home” is finished
15-December-1971 (Wed.)

Anton Heiler concert
A good full day. I finish my electronic music letter. I plan on taking a skiing trip to Innsbruck. I see a second Anton Heiler organ concert.

Yay. Yay. Yay.

Day 134: Zappa's 200 Motels

Day 134 — Zappa's 200 Motels
14-December-1971 (Tue.)

It’s Frank Zappa at the movies today—
200 Motels.

Day 133: Wrote a new song

Day 133 — Wrote a new song
13-December-1971 (Mon.)

Wrote a new song today. I don’t know what that song is, but I wrote it. Maybe, one day, I'll release it to the public. Maybe. One day.


Day 132: Music and art

Day 132 — Music and art
12-December-1971 (Sun.)

A good day with both contemporary art and Romantic music. I have great subscription seats in the Vienna Musikverein, where I can see the conductor as he conducts the orchestra. From the front. Nice.

Day 131: Beautiful Burgtheater

Day 131 — Beautiful Burgtheater
11-December-1971 (Sat.)

Vienna Burgtheater
A full day of electronic music followed by a play in the absolutely beautiful Burgtheater.


Day 130: Electronic letter

Day 130 — Electronic letter
10-December-1971 (Fri.)

Nothing happening today. Just working on my electronic letter.

Day 129: Planning for St. Anton

Day 129 — Planning for St. Anton
09-December-1971 (Thur.)

I make reservations to ski at St. Anton in the Austrian Alps. (Wait until you see the pictures.) I am nervous about the money, but hope it will be worth it.

My French horn needs some fixing. Oh boy.


Day 128: My first “thunder-snow”

Day 128 — My first “thunder-snow”
08-December-1971 (Wed.)

Vienna is an amazing city. So amazing that there was thunder and lightening during a snow storm. Wow. I have never experienced that again, even to this day. The opera,
Othello, based on Shakespeare play, ends the day.

Day 127: Christmas $$

Day 127 — Christmas $$
07-December-1971 (Tue.)

In 2007, I come to the realization that Christmas is, has been, and will always be expensive. I complain about spending 20s for mailing Christmas cards in 1971. Today, I wish I was only spending 20 schillings.

Day 126: Guitarist Julian Bream

Day 126 — Guitarist Julian Bream
06-December-1971 (Mon.)

A Julian Bream guitar concert reminds me of the wonderful experience of hearing top artists perform “live.” Hey, I find some YouTube videos of Bream. Why didn't I think of this before?

I encourage you all to experience as many live music and concert events as are affordable and convenient to you. An apartment or condo in New York City would be nice. And convenient. And expensive.


Day 125: Good friends depart

Day 125 — Good friends depart
05-December-1971 (Sun.)

Christmas with Lisa and Kathy
Nothing happening in 1971.

In 2007, two good friends, Lisa and Kathy, are departing work.

Day 124: Improvisation

Day 124 — Improvisation
04-December-1971 (Sat.)

We’re improvising today in electronic music class. Yes, that means were making things up. I learn that improvisation is not easy and is a learned skill. As with everything, practicing helps to develop those skill sets.

Day 123: Splicing a letter home

Day 123 — Splicing a letter home
03-December-1971 (Fri.)

I start writing, err splicing, an audio letter to my family for Christmas. It is corny. I guess, back in 1971, I was just a corny young guy. Today, I am still a corny old guy, perhaps. Oh well.

Day 122: Frank Zappa rocks Vienna

Day 122 — Frank Zappa rocks Vienna
02-December-1971 (Thur.)

First 2007 mini snowfall
It’s Vienna—Mahler, Mozart, Beethoven, Puccini, opera, symphony orchestras, and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. Zappa rocks the Konzerthaus in Vienna. Hippies all over the place. It was a blast of a concert. 2007 sees its first mini-snowfall. Read More...

Day 121: Thanking Rotary

Day 121 — Thanking Rotary
01-December-1971 (Wed.)

Rotary Clubs award 1
Today, I begin writing Christmas cards to send home. I single out two cards that I am sending to two special Rotarians that awarded me the Rotary fellowship—Mr. Spaulding, the District Governor of Rotary #749, and Mr. Mitchell, the Chairman of the Walter D. Head Foundation. I am truly thankful to Rotary Clubs International and my sponsor and boss, Nick Lioy (pictured left, standing right), for this incredible year.

Day 120: Get a Grip; 2007 photo surrealism

Day 120 — Get a Grip; 2007 photo surrealism
30-November-1971 (Tue.)

Foggy tree
Nothing much today. I get the grippe (flu) shot in 1971. In 2007, I am into surrealism and take a few iPhone photos of stark trees with a foggy background. Check out the Slide Shows page.

Day 119: iWoz, iJon

Day 119 — iWoz, iJon
29-November-1971 (Mon.)

Steve Wozniak
Nothing happens in 1971, so I talk about how this blog—iJon—is similar to Steve Wozniak’s book, iWoz. Steve is the engineering genius behind the Apple I and Apple II computer and the cofounder of Apple Computer. Steve Jobs is the marketing genius and get-it-done cofounder who made Apple what it is today. Steve and Steve—they did it. Apple.

I am the founder of…

Uh, I’ll be founding something or other in the future.

Day 118: Music and art

Day 118 — Music and art
28-November-1971 (Sun.)

Contemporary art films are the focus of today’s journal. What do you see when looking at a film with flowers?

Day 117: Where’s my turkey?

Day 117 — Where’s my turkey?
27-November-1971 (Sat.)

No turkey for me this year. Totally missed Thanksgiving. I see a contemporary music theatrical event and seem to like it. Europe is generally more open to contemporary music and art.

My cousin, Walter, has left the Peace Corps. I was impressed that he joined them as a volunteer in an African village, building a village well.

Day 116: Meine klängen

Day 116 — Meine klängen
26-November-1971 (Fri.)

Today, I play my electronic music sounds (klängen) for the class, and think about what type of composition I may want to write.

Day 115: Polish electronic music

Day 115 — Polish electronic music
25-November-1971 (Thur.)

The World Series and football season are cancelled in Vienna. Not really,
Time Magazine has made me realize that I am missing these events overseas. In class, today I am happier with Polish electronic music.

Day 114: Looking dumb

Day 114 — Looking dumb
24-November-1971 (Wed.)

I am a little bit critical of student electronic music compositions today. I also make a comment about my looking dumb. What could I be wearing that would make me say that?

Day 113: First major snowfall; Heiler plays Bach

Day 113 — First major snowfall; Heiler plays Bach
23-November-1971 (Tue.)

The first major snowfall of the year makes me happy. The parks are beautiful and serene. A full school day ends with a world-renowed organist, Anton Heiler, in concert.

I love the snow.

Day 112: Thankful Thanksgiving

Day 112 — Thankful Thanksgiving
22-November-1971 (Mon.)

1971 Vienna sees a bit of snow, a good day of lessons, and a contemporary music concert. 2007 sees a Thankful Thanksgiving and my wedding anniversary.


Day 111: Getting things done

Day 111 — Getting things done
21-November-1971 (Sun.)

Getting things done feels good. That’s it for today.

Day 110: Theater—Meine Angemessene Dame

Day 110 — Theater—Meine Angemessene Dame
20-November-1971 (Sat.)

Johns famous horn photo
Mit ein wenig von der Liebe, yes, Mit ein wenig von der Liebe. Nothing like a theater production of My Fair Lady in German. An enjoyable production. I get to see my Baden 35mm slides (Day 083) back from film processing, and John's famous horn photo is taken today.

Day 109: Jerry Lewis in German

Day 109 — Jerry Lewis in German
19-November-1971 (Fri.)

A full day in school includes a music composition from Camilla in our electronic music class, whom I remember as a Scandinavian goddess. I end the day with a Jerry Lewis movie. The dubbing, in German, made me laugh at the visuals rather than understanding the German jokes.

Day 108: Will meet Rotary students

Day 108 — Will meet Rotary students
18-November-1971 (Thur.)

A full day at school followed by a Verdi opera at night. Two letters, from Anjali and Rotary Clubs International, complete the day.

Day 107: Concert nerves

Day 107 — Concert nerves
17-November-1971 (Wed.)

A young performer has a nerve-wracking concert. What does it take to be a top-tier performing artist?


Day 106: Raindrops and ripples

Day 106 — Raindrops and ripples
16-November-1971 (Tue.)

2007 is the focus of today’s post. I have had a few major events occur in a short period of time causing me to become overwhelmed and stressed. Things will be ok. In this short period, I think of a new way to look at life’s events—
raindrops and ripples.

In 1971, my concern over some silly students who have a lot of money to go skiing, and to the Caribbean, for holiday vacations now seems very inconsequential.


Day 105: I find money, a lot of it

Day 105 — I find money, a lot of it
15-November-1971 (Mon.)

Today’s big story is about money. I find a lot of it and ponder what to do. If I keep it, I will have about one month’s of living expenses. What to do? What to do?

Day 104: Homesick, girlsick

Day 104 — Homesick, girlsick
14-November-1971 (Sun.)

I’m tired. I’m homesick. I’m girlsick. Where is my new girlfriend?

Day 103: Death to the idiots

Day 103 — Death to the idiots
13-November-1971 (Sat.)

After a long day of practicing in horn ensembles, I take in a movie—the movie that really moved me a short while ago—
Death in Venice. Unfortunately, some of the audience were apparently making fun of it. No, I didn’t scream it out, but probably thought it—Death to the idiots.


Day 102: Can you hear me now?

Day 102 — Can you hear me now?
12-November-1971 (Fri.)

I’m in electronic music today. We’re looking at sound waves through an oscilloscope. Doesn’t sound exciting? Well, it’s not, but science and music are connected and learning can be exciting. It's acoustics. Can you hear me now?

Some issues are being resolved. A normal, busy day. Nothing exciting. Every day can’t be exciting, can it? Winking


Day 101: Good horn lesson, I want to practice

Day 101 — Good horn lesson, I want to practice
11-November-1971 (Thur.)

I finally feel like I have a really good horn lesson. Thus, I want to practice more. The only thing is that I can’t, there is a problem with the practice rooms.

At night, a Strauss opera. A Richard Strauss opera is not an easy listen.

Day 100: 100th Anniversary

Day 100 — 100th Anniversary
10-November-1971 (Wed.)

IU La Boheme stream 01
I take a single line of journal text and expand it into a discourse about my music studies at Indiana University. Read, you may find it interesting. The photos on this posting are from yesterday's Indiana Unversity live performance and streaming of La Boheme.

It’s our 100th anniversary. 100 days.

Day 099: Life events

Day 99 — Life events
09-November-1971 (Tues.)

1971 is uneventful. 2007 has an important announcement (though I don't talk about it). Lesson today—throughout life there will always be things that happen, surprise us, and cause us to make important decisions.

Day 098: John & Anjali (Romeo & Juliet)

Day 98 — John & Anjali (Romeo & Juliet)
08-November-1971 (Mon.)

Here is my Juliet
A productive day in 1971. In 2007, I listen to a tape from Anjali and realize that we were, perhaps, the Romeo and Juliet of Vienna in 1971. A tragic love story. Here's my Juliet. Ok, I may be exaggerating a bit. Happy

Day 097: Grab that shovel—Dig up your past

Day 97 — Grab that shovel—Dig up your past
07-November-1971 (Sun.)

While 1971 is a great day for music with two concerts, 2007 sees me digging up my past. I am having a blast and it is bringing up great memories, some slightly corny love songs, and a ton of music-on-tape that I haven’t heard in decades. I am so excited, that I ramble on forever in today’s posting.

I encourage you to do the same. Dig up your past and enjoy those memories.

Day 096: Mozart’s Nozze; 36yearsago perfect for iPhone

Day 96 — Mozart’s Nozze; 36yearsago perfect for iPhone
06-November-1971 (Sat.)

John in Vienna
We discuss Mozart’s Nozze today, Le Nozze de Figaro. I take some Mozartian pictures of myself in tribute to Mozart.

If you have an iPhone, the 36yearsago blog reads very nicely on it, or an iPod Touch. Try it.

Day 095: Death in Venice

Day 95 — Death in Venice
05-November-1971 (Fri.)

I see a movie today,
Death in Venice. It has a powerful effect on me and so I talk a bit about life and feelings. Read More...

Day 094: Meet brother Dennis

Day 94 — Meet brother Dennis
04-November-1971 (Thur.)

Brother Dennis at age 8
I have nothing to say about 1971 today. After a bit of digging in my past, I find some old photos. I introduce to you my brother, Dennis (age 8 or so), who saw me off at the airport on Day 001 of this blog. Dennis is a great kid.

Day 093: Meet Maurizio Pollini and Olga

Day 93 — Meet Maurizio Pollini and Olga
03-November-1971 (Wed.)

Olga in fall foliage
1971 in Vienna ends with an amazing Maurizio Pollini piano concert.

2007 in NJ presents my beautiful wife, Olga. I have been neglecting the family ever since I began this project. Thus, I make amends by offering her international attention. Yes, my readership will now go up to 15 or so.

Day 092: Tights, tutus, and tippie-toes

Day 92 —Tights, tutus, and tippie-toes
02-November-1971 (Tue.)

Austrian skiing
Excitement stirs. Plans for a skiing vacation are formulating. I talk a bit about my regret of not traveling more in life. Damn Euro/dollar ratio. Damn time.

I enjoy my first ballet in Vienna—
Swan Lake. There are men in tights, women in tutus, and lots of tippie-toes.

Day 091: Feiertag, Austrian Rotary

Day 91 — Feiertag, Austrian Rotary
01-November-1971 (Mon.)

Feiertag. Holiday. It’s All Saints Day, the day after Halloween. I’m spending money too fast, and trying to meet with Austrian Rotary Club members. Mozart’s
Magic Flute restores calm.

Day 090: A nice Sunday

Day 90 — A nice Sunday
31-October-1971 (Sun.)

Autumn park in Vienna
Sunday brings enjoyment. Walking, Vienna Boys' Choir, and a Puccini opera.

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Day 089: If a tree falls in a forest

Day 89 — If a tree falls in a forest...
30-October-1971 (Sat.)

An easy day today. I’m trying to record sounds for my electronic project. Again, I speak a bit about the learning process.

Day 088: Beyond routines—start a new project

Day 88 — Beyond routines—start a new project
29-October-1971 (Fri.)

The daily routine of 1971 is settling in. I present some thoughts on how to spice up your daily routine by starting new projects—perhaps something that you’ve always wanted to do. Write a novel. Write a song. Sing. Blog. Podcast. The list goes on. Do it.


Day 087: Tonight it’sa Italian—Rigoletto

Day 87 — Tonight it’sa Italian—Rigoletto
28-October-1971 (Thur.)

It'sa Italian a'night. After a normal day, I hit the opera house and see Guiseppe Verdi’s opera,

Day 086: Brother Mike is coming to ski

Day 86 — Brother Mike is coming to ski
27-October-1971 (Wed.)

Not much happening today. The practice routine continues. A care package from home provides needed winter clothing. My brother Mike writes me and tells me that he is coming to Austria to ski.

Watch out, Alps, we’re coming.

Day 085: Austria National Day, goodbye Pupofon girl

Day 85 — Austria National Day, goodbye Pupofon girl
26-October-1971 (Tues.)

I say goodbye to
Pupofon girl—the semi-clad, semi-naked girl tied up in ropes—from the opera, Pupofon. Come on, Google, index, index, index…

Today is an Austrian national holiday. I spend most of the day practicing.


Day 084: Pupofon - electronic music opera

Day 84 — Pupofon—electronic music opera
25-October-1971 (Mon.)

Pupofon II this is not a puppet
No complaining today, I’m getting better at the horn. See, practice makes perfect.

I encounter an arrogant American traveler who can’t survive on $1,000 a week in Vienna.

Finally, I end the day with a great electronic music opera by my very own teacher, Dieter Kaufmann. There are tall, giant puppets walking around. Great concert.


Day 082: Techie day—recording and editing sound

Day 82 — Techie day—recording and editing sound
23-October-1971 (Sat.)

I’m splicing up a tape storm in the electronic music lab, and give a detailed overview of the process of editing and composing with tape and sound. It gets a bit detailed and is meant for music majors interested in learning about these vintage composing techniques. If you’re not a music techie—skip to tomorrow.

I get a letter from best friend Lenny, and Anjali. That makes today, a red-letter day.


Day 081: Electronic music day

Day 81 — Electronic music day
22-October-1971 (Fri.)

Friday is my electronic music class. We begin the task of collecting sounds. I speak about the types of activities in today’s world that were influenced by both musique concrète and electronic music.

Day 080: Musique concrète sounds good

Day 80 — Musique concrète sounds good
21-October-1971 (Thur.)

It’s a full day. Most exciting is the start of my “electronic music” class and lab. I learn later that this class is rooted in “musique concrète.” No, we’re not making cement booties for the mafia’s hit list. We’re making music with sound. Very modern. Very avant-garde.

Day 079: John joins the Vienna Boys' Choir; Grammar Girl questions

Day 79 — John joins the Vienna Boys' Choir; Grammar Girl questions
20-October-1971 (Wed.)

John joins the Vienna Boys Choir
The big news is that I join the Vienna Boys' Choir. There is even a photo of me. I start my first day in electronic music, attending an acoustics class. And I have fond recollections of my new-found friend Alan [Civil, 1st horn of the BBC Symphony Orchestra] from yesterday.

I talk a lot about my writing style in this post and pose questions for Grammar Girl—should I be “true” to the journal?

Day 078: Three days, three world-class horn players

Day 78 — Three days, three world-class horn players
19-October-1971 (Tues.)

I've said it many times. Vienna is the city of music. In just three consecutive days, I see two solo horn concerts and an orchestra concert for a grand total of hearing three world-class horn players. AND I meet all three backstage, speak with them, obtain autographs, and try to assimilate their horn-playing skills into my body. I'm not certain if that last part worked, and so I take it upon myself to speak with them on a first-name basis.

That would be Herman, Barry, and Alan.

Vienna is the city of music.

Day 077: Barry's in town; Sight singing

Day 77 — Barry's in town; Sight singing
18-October-1971 (Mon.)

Wow! Surprises. First, being placed in the most difficult section of sight singing class, starting off with atonal sight singing. What’s next? Well, it’s a tremendous concert with world-renowned French hornist, Barry Tuckwell. After the concert, I’m speaking on a first-name basis with Barry.

In the U.S., I never get to meet anyone at concerts. In Vienna, I’m meeting everyone. It was magical.

Today’s a long post.

Day 076: Sunday walks and music

Day 76 — Sunday walks and music
17-October-1971 (Sun.)

Vienna park in autumn
It’s Sunday—a Bruckner mass, a walk in the park, and a great French horn performance by Hermann Baumann—remember, I’m a horn player. A frustrated horn player; though I haven’t been complaining lately. Happy

Fall/winter is on the way.

Day 075: My trumpet's Baroque

Day 75 — My trumpet's Baroque
16-October-1971 (Sat.)

A natural horn
A quiet day of practice, reading, and a chamber concert with a Baroque trumpet.

Hey, that's not a trumpet. Why is it here? Just a short science lesson on the natural horn and the harmonic series.

Day 074: Nothing exciting today

A day where nothing exciting happens. Finally. Let’s take the day off.

Day 073: Two concerts, two decades, too good

Day 73 — Two concerts, two decades, too good
14-October-1971 (Thur.)

2007 Oleg Chmyr and Ukrainian opera singers
The title says it all—two concerts, two decades, too good. 1971 features an incredible concert with the Romeros, a family-style classical guitar ensemble, known for their flamenco playing. The crowd goes wild! There are five encores. John is on stage with them! What? How did that happen?

A wonderful 2007 operatic concert reintroduces me to some well-needed live music.

Day 072: A day of hope, web changes, new RSS feed

Day 72 — A day of hope, web changes, new RSS feed
13-October-1971 (Wed.)

Not much today, but I experience a sign of

Some website changes and a new RSS feed, I

Day 071: Music—no boundaries

Day 71 — Music—no boundaries
12-October-1971 (Tue.)

A second performance of
War and Peace by the Bolshoi brings about some introspective thoughts on the power and influence of music on us. Music transcends politics. The arts have no boundaries.

A serious journal entry.

Day 070: Music theory, in German

Day 70 — Music theory, in German
11-October-1971 (Mon.)

Yay, I register for school and attend my first music theory class. It’s in German. Duh, what did I expect? Well, it’s more difficult than I imagined. This brings me to a discussion of foreign students in ESL classes. I can now relate.

I decide to write an opera, and some lyrics for a song for Anjali. Happy

Day 069: The early bird gets the book

Day 69 — The early bird gets the book
10-October-1971 (Sun.)

Brass band in park
Today is such a jam-packed day—from the early-bird in line for tickets, to a morning mass, reading books, walking in the park, taking pictures, and ending with a night opera—today was, well, jam-packed.

I take a tangent on the
benefits of reading. I’ll throw in a bunch of pictures if you promise to read about reading.

Day 068: Music appreciation, Vienna style

Day 68 — Music appreciation, Vienna style
09-October-1971 (Sat.)

I don’t practice today. I go to see
Boris Godunov for the second time. Again, performed by the Bolshoi. The Viennese really love their music and they show it. This is music appreciation at its best.

Day 067: *?!%?!!-@?

Day 67 — *?!%?!!-@?
08-October-1971 (Fri.)

I’m getting rubbery lips from trying to practice too much. Here it is again, I’m whining away about my horn playing. So redundant, so predictable. Well, I must have been frustrated.

I continue my long tradition (since yesterday) of swearing. See?

Day 066: One-step-in-front-of-the-other

Day 66 — One-step-in-front-of-the-other
07-October-1971 (Thur.)

Sergei Prokofiev Wikimedia Commons
Life goes on with my second horn lesson and the notification that I need to do better. I will. Once again, music fills the evening with a performance of Prokofiev’s War and Peace performed by the amazing Bolshoi Theater Company. Prokofiev is on the right here. Hi Sergei. (I like that name.) Read More...

Day 065: William Tell, meet Bonanza

Day 65 — William Tell, meet Bonanza
06-October-1971 (Wed.)

AES Show Mixer
Remember my horn audition? Well, I blew it. I guess I was very nervous. What will happen next? Will I get into school? I’m not certain. I need some soul soothing—Tchaikovsky and the Lone Ranger to the rescue.

In 2007, I hit the Audio Engineering Show in NYC to walk down the aisles of Javits Center and look at all of the music and recording equipment that I can’t afford to buy. Well, I can buy a few things.

Day 064: Boris is good enough

2007 Washington National Art Gallery
It’s the Bolshoi Theater Company at the Staatsoper with a rousing performance of Modest Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov. It’s an amazing performance. Mussorgsky is certainly good enough for me. In 2007, I spend a bit of time in Washington, D.C.

Day 063: My first Viennese horn lesson

Day 63 — My first Viennese horn lesson
04-October-1971 (Mon.)

2007 Washington DC
Today is my first horn lesson from Professor Gabler in Vienna. Holy cow, it’s an assembly line. I wait my turn as I listen to other students, and other students wait their turn as they listen to me. Uh, oh. What is this Viennese style lesson?

In 2007, I am in Washington, D.C. and get to see
Whistler's Mom. Winking

Day 062: A day of contrasts

Day 62 — A day of contrasts
03-October-1971 (Sun.)

Today is a day of contrasts. First, the wonderful experience of seeing a performance of a Benjamin Britten mass with the Vienna Boys' Choir in a church setting, followed by reading about the Vietnam War in Time magazine.

Day 061: Oktoberfest is here

Day 61 — Oktoberfest is here
02-October-1971 (Sat.)

Oktoberfest elephants at the Hofburg
It’s time for some serious partying at Oktoberfest, Vienna style at the Rathaus. We’ll also learn a bit about the actual festival, not from me, but from Wikipedia. Drink, drink, drink! (in moderation)

Day 060: Austria—beautiful panoramas

Day 60 — Austria 360—beautiful panoramas
01-October-1971 (Fri.)

Vienna National Library in Neue Hofburg
01971: Some letter writing to mom and my brothers relieves some of my horn-playing stress.

2007: I discover two new websites, one Austrian,
www.austria-360.at, and the other www.panoramas.dk, that display absolutely gorgeous 360-degree panoramic pictures from around Austria and the world. Absolutely gorgeous and a lot of fun. The picture at the left is from panoramas.dk and is of the Vienna National Library (© Peter Winkler). It is stunning in 360.

Day 059: Two resolutions—exam completed and new apartment

Day 59 — Two resolutions—exam completed and new apartment
30-September-1971 (Thur.)

Wickenburggasse apartment
Examination day—composition. I’m not sure if I passed or failed. I think I passed.

Then on to my new apartment. It’s nice to settle down.

Day 058: New music in 2007

Day 58 — New music in 2007
29-September-1971 (Wed.)

Nothing happened in 1971, but 2007 brought in a fall beach day, pirogies and stuffed cabbage, and a new music concert.

It’s nice to be living simultaneously in two decades. If one decade doesn’t pan out, do something in the current decade to make up for it.

Day 057: Hot cold, Ying Yang

Day 57 — Hot cold, Ying Yang
28-September-1971 (Tues.)

Experiencing the opposites of life, a bad hair day turns into a good hair day. Hair aside, I find a room to live in for the remainder of the year. It’s a great day.

A double-bill of two light Italian operas,
Cavalleria rusticano and Paglicacci at the Volksoper makes it even better.

Day 056: Viennese house hunting

Day 56 — Viennese house hunting
27-September-1971 (Mon.)

Vienna house hunting 02
A day of house hunting, and some reflections on the kinds of housing that was available. In 1971, finding apartments was difficult in Vienna. It is probably difficult now as well, and is often just as difficult in the U.S.

Stress reliever—opera at night.

Day 055: A Haydn Mass, Chicago II

Day 55 — A Haydn Mass, Chicago II
26-September-1971 (Sun.)

Vienna Musikverein concert hall
Music, music, music.

Haydn, horn, Chicago Symphony.

I’m just living music in this town. My horn teacher gets me backstage. I hob-knob with fellow “hornists” (no such word—but you can do anything as a blogger). What a musical year.

Day 054: Incredible Two's

Day 54 — Incredible Two's
25-September-1971 (Sat.)

Vienna Musikverein
What a day!

Two incredible:
• concerts
• conductors
• orchestras
• symphonies
• horn sections

The day was mostly two amazing concerts by two incredible, internationally renowned orchestras—the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Chicago Symphony. From Dr. Karl Böhm to Sir Georg Solti, to Dvorak’s
New World Symphony and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, I was in heaven.

What a day!
What a city!
Vienna, the city of music.

Day 053: Mozart's magical opera

Day 53 — Mozart’s magical opera
24-September-1971 (Fri.)

Mozart statue in park
There’s magic in the air, at the Volksoper, with Mozart’s Magic Flute opera. I imagine writing a multimedia version of an opera, though it hasn’t yet happened.

Magic Flute is a wonderful opera. Try to see it, if you can. Kids would like it as well.

Still practicing. Roommates leaving. Exam coming up.

Day 052: Standing room only, La Bohème

Day 52 — Standing room only, La Bohème
23-September-1971 (Thur.)

Vienna Staatsoper at night
Standing room only, please. That’s the ticket (10 schillings) to seeing a lot of opera for us students. And what an opera it is, “La Bohème,” a Puccini favorite.

Day 051: Standing room at the Staatsoper, friendly letters

Day 51 — Standing room at the Staatsoper, friendly letters
22-September-1971 (Wed.)

Vienna State Opera
I’m going for the composition exam. I hope that I don’t screw it up. Letters from friends are coming in and that’s taking my mind off of the pressure of entrance exams.

Letter writing and reading is fun, especially from friends. It’s a lost art though, replaced by email, social networks, and instant messaging.

I don't get to dine with the King and Queen of Belgium, but I learn the ropes of "standing room" at the Vienna State Opera.


Day 050: Wien apartment hunting

Day 50 — Wien apartment hunting
21-September-1971 (Tue.)

Apartment hunting
Spent the day apartment hunting. Fun?


Some musings on apartment hunting, the 2007 US$/Euro exchange rate, and other nonsense.

Day 049: The Vienna State Opera (Wozzeck)

Day 49 — The Vienna State Opera (Wozzeck)
20-September-1971 (Mon.)

Vienna State Opera
My first visit to the Vienna State Opera. The building and interior of the opera house, and the performance of the opera Wozzeck, all lead to a grand conclusion for the day.

Day 048: Stress relief: Donau Park and Tower

Day 48 — Stress relief: Donau Park and Tower
19-September-1971 (Sun.)

Two girls strolling in park
To reduce the stress of my daily frustration, I visit the Donau Park and Tower adjacent to the Danube River.

Great views. Ah, I feel better.

Day 047: Preparing for entrance exams

Day 47 — Preparing for entrance exams
18-September-1971 (Sat.)

I start preparing for the entrance exams to the academy. I’m feeling inadequate. I have an interest in studying composition. I am not certain as to how I developed that interest.

Interesting. (Sorry for the redundancy. Literary humor.)

Day 046: Another girl?

Day 46 — Another girl?
17-September-1971 (Fri.)

In the evening, I go to a dance and meet an American girl. We dance. What happens next?

Day 045: Starting over; photos arrive; social networks

Day 45 — Starting over; photos arrive; social networks
16-September-1971 (Thur.)

John pays tribute to Mozart
Today, I’m trying to start fresh with my horn playing. Change is always difficult and frustrating. All I can do is keep trying.

The scans of the 35mm slides arrived a short while ago. I hope to add them to the blog posts over time.

I'm gonna join some social networks.

Day 044: My new horn teacher–Professor Gabler

Day 44 — My new horn teacher—Professor Gabler
15-September-1971 (Wed.)

I get to meet my new horn teacher, Professor Gabler, at the opera. I’m in the pits, literally, during a Volksoper rehearsal. Great experience. Then, an opera at night.

I’m loving opera. I’m loving Vienna.

Day 043: Nothing new

Day 43 — Nothing new
14-September-1971 (Tue.)

Typical day.
Frustrated on horn.

That’s it today. Nothing new.

Day 042: Where is Joan? In Vienna

Day 42 — Where is Joan? In Vienna
13-September-1971 (Mon.)

• I learn where Joan was yesterday—not in Vienna.
• A second apology goes out to the entire city of Vienna.
• It’s nice to spend time with friends.
• I don’t get excited until I get a letter from Anjali.


Day 041: I am a 60's student radical

Day 41 — I am a 60's student radical
12-September-1971 (Sun.)

Today, I am supposed to meet a girl that I had met and dated before leaving for Vienna.

I am frustrated and blame everyone. I am a 60’s student radical. I am the stupid one.

Day 040: A typical day?

Day 40 — A typical day?
11-September-1971 (Sat.)

A typical day in 1971. Mostly practicing, study, German, and life chores.

I remark how September 11 is no longer a typical day after 2001.

This blog, and other ventures I hope will come about, will not be political, but will be about people—you, me, everyone.

Day 039: Der Freischutz—my first opera in Vienna

Day 39 — Der Freischutz—my first opera in Vienna
10-September-1971 (Fri.)

I'm in heaven.

I get to see my first opera in Vienna,
Der Freischutz, performed at the Volksoper. I’m really enjoying the opera, the horn playing, and the musical life in Vienna.

Did you know that the Viennese had their own brand of “French Horn”—the Viennese horn?

Did you know that the early Vienna F-natural horn had no valves? Just like the "Ricola" alpen-horn guys on the commercial. Try playing a Mozart horn concerto on your Boomwhacker™.

[The Boomwhacker™ is a plastic tube, used in elementary music education, that you whirl around your head to create musical pitches. The tubes come in different sizes, each tube length produces a single note. I was making a funny. A joke. Ok, it's not funny. It's clever.]

Day 038: Finally, a normal day

Day 38 — Finally, a normal day
09-September-1971 (Thur.)

Vienna park and Rathaus
Time to get down to business. I set up a daily routine for practicing. School (Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) will be starting soon.

I am getting to know my roommates—they’re fine, good guys.

The ghost of Anjali appears.

Day 037: Anjali leaves for home

Day 37 — Anjali leaves for home
08-September-1971 (Wed.)

Anjali leaves for home today—Paris. I am sad to see her go, but reflect on why she is special.

Will I get to see Anjali next summer in Paris? The city of love?

Day 036: New roommates arrive

Day 36 — New roommates arrive
07-September-1971 (Tue.)

Roomates Pavel and Jeff
I don’t get to see Anjali today, she’s preparing for her journey home. I do get a nice surprise—two new roommates, both English speakers—Pavel from California and Jeff from England.

It’s nice to make new friends.

Day 035: Dinner with Anjali's mom; Belvedere Palace

Day 35 — Dinner with Anjali's mom; Belvedere Palace
06-September-1971 (Mon.)

Austria360 Belvedere Palace North Vogl
Letter writing, Belvedere Palace, dinner with Anjali’s mom, and some discourse on living in the “analog” world. Link to a wonderful 360-degree panorama by photographer Bernhard Vogl.

I'm really sad, once again, and missing Anjali. Happy She is still here, but I'm missing her. Ah, young love!

Day 034: Anjali's mom comes to Vienna

Day 34 — Anjali's mom comes to Vienna
05-September-1971 (Sun.)

Anjali last couple of days
Anjali’s mom comes to Vienna to pick up her daughter—Anjali. But her daughter—Anjali—is the girl that I really like and want to be with. Anjali will be leaving for Paris in a few days.

John stars in
Meet the Parents. What am I going to do?

[2007—computer mishap, offline for several days.]

Day 033: Anjali in a dress—dinner and dancing

Day 33 — Anjali in a dress—dinner and dancing.
04-September-1971 (Sat.)

Anjali saying goodbye
A full day with Anjali. We both know that she will be leaving soon which brings a bit of sadness to the day. We start out with a Woody Allen movie and end with dinner and dancing. And, she wore a dress and became a young woman.

If you’re a romantic, read today’s journal.

I veer a bit from the day’s activities and revisit some of the reasons for writing this blog whether you’re young or older.

Finally, send me an email or note a comment on the blog. I would love to hear from all readers.

Take care.

Day 032: Amusement at Prater

Day 32 — Amusement at Prater
03-September-1971 (Fri.)

The Prater ferris wheel
A day at Vienna’s Prater amusement park with Anjali. I get a little dizzy, lose in ping pong, and eat a lot. As an aside, I comment on my use of emdashes and thus address some of the grammar issues of my journal writing, and plea to Grammar Girl to set me straight.


Day 031: Anjali; the National Library; Hofburg Complex

Day 31 — Anjali; the National Library; Hofburg Complex
02-September-1971 (Tue.)

Sightseeing with Anjali continues. Just a bit of info on the Austrian National Library situated in the Hofburg Complex in central Vienna.

When visiting Vienna, you can’t help but imagine the expansive power and influence of the Austro-Hungarian empire as you enter the incredible Hofburg Complex through the Heldenplatz and look upon the massive Neue Burg.

Day 030: Sightseeing with Anjali

Day 30 — Sightseeing with Anjali
01-September-1971 (Mon.)

Anjali smiling
With exams over, I spend some quality sightseeing time with Anjali.

And I admit that I really like her.

Day 029: The beautiful parks of Vienna

Day 29 — The beautiful parks of Vienna
31-August-1971 (Tue.)

Man with pigeon
Last day of German class exams. Studying in the beautiful parks of Vienna. Travel the world virtually with Google Earth.

Day 028: German class examinations

Day 28 — German class examinations
30-August-1971 (Mon.)

Examinations in German class and my usual advice for young people.

Day 027: My first song; Rick Steve’s Europe on PBS

Day 27 — My first song; Rick Steve’s Europe on PBS
29-August-1971 (Sun.)

A two-line entry today. I’ve written my first young-love pop-folk song ever—“One Summer Day”—for Anjali. It may be corny but it was from my heart. (all girls swoon)

In the contemporary world (today), I happen to see a Rick Steve’s Europe video tour of Vienna. Wonderful video and commentary.

Day 026: Mahler’s 8th Symphony; Schönbrunn Palace

Day 26 — Mahler’s 8th Symphony; Schönbrunn Palace
28-August-1971 (Sat.)

Schonbrunn Palace gardens 01
What a day. A visit to the incredible Schönbrunn Palace and gardens with Anjali, and an incredible performance of Mahler’s 8th Symphony. Shivers…shivers…shivers up and down my spine.

Practice on my new horn and sad to see Achille leave for Italy.

And a little rant on why the RIAA should change their policies and fees on licensing music for Internet-radio and podcasts.

Day 025: Coffee with Mozart, Hadyn, and Beethoven

Day 25 — Coffee with Mozart, Hadyn, and Beethoven
27-August-1971 (Fri.)

A short but historic day. Dining with Schubert, and drinking coffee with Mozart, Hadyn, and Beethoven. I meet my new horn teacher. It looks like the
music’s about to begin. Maestro!

And the first historical documentation of my career as a songwriter. It began in Vienna? Who would have thought?


Day 024: Burgemeister’s Reception at the Rathaus

Day 24 — Burgemeister’s reception at the Rathaus
26-August-1971 (Thur.)

Burgermeister reception at Rathaus
Back in Vienna, I return very tired and head off to German class. I’m not tired enough to miss the Mayor’s Reception that evening, however. A formal ball with everyone dressed up. Especially Anjali, in her soiree. Dancing and enjoyable company. Life is good.

Day 021: Busy, busy. Why am I writing this blog?

Day 21 — Busy, busy. Why am I writing this blog?
23-August-1971 (Mon.)

• “I’m busy, dude.” For myself, it’s busy in both 1971 and 2007 and in between.
• I revisit the reasons as to why I am writing this blog…

Mostly, to

• Encourage the "young" and the "graduated."
• Encourage the “middies” and “oldsters.”
• Be creative.
• Never give up.
• Follow those dreams.


Day 017: I'm trying

Day 17 — I’m trying
17-August-1971 (Thur.)

No news today. Just working on German language. I did invent a new literary language device that can be used in any language. Later today—2007—I bought the Berlitz German Premiere CD course. Will I use it?

Sending out over 600 slides to be scanned for this journal. Can’t wait to get them back.

Day 016: Innocence, first kiss

Day 16 — Innocence, first kiss
18-August-1971 (Wed.)

I explain that I typically don’t write about my daily routines in the journal.

This night is special for Anjali and myself. It is a great memory of youth and innocence.

Day 015: 1971—What’s an Austrian schilling worth?

Day 15 — 1971—What’s an Austrian schilling worth?
17-August-1971 (Tue.)

No journal entry today.

So, I explore my financial ledger to figure out the value of the Austrian schilling. We get the approximate value, then go into a price diatribe comparing today to yesteryear, confusing you, me, and the Federal Reserve.

Day 014: My first concert—Washington State Choir

Day 14 — Day 014: My first concert—Washington State Choir
16-August-1971 (Mon.)

• Uh, oh! I’m complaining about learning German again.
• Saw my first concert, a university choir from the United States. Yes!
• And a brief flashback to my student concert-going days at Lincoln Center.


Day 013: Vienna Woods, Kahlenburg

Day 13 — Vienna Woods, Kahlenburg
15-August-1971 (Sun.)

Vienna Woods
A quiet day of walking in the Vienna Woods, and then up the winding path to see a view of Vienna and outlying vineyards from the heights of Kahlenburg. An enjoyable day.

A little bit of an aside on my interest in photography and the Kodak slides that are from 36 years ago, and Austrians.


Day 012: Let’s go to the summer cottage, dear—Belvedere Palace

Day 12 — Let’s go to the summer cottage, dear—Belvedere Palace
14-August-1971 (Sat.)

Belvedere Palace
“Hello, yes it’s me, Prince Eugene of Savoy. Yes, the guy who defeated the Turks in 1683. Well, thanks. We want to take the kids and go to the summer cottage this weekend at Belvedere. Can you round up the 1,000-person staff and have them get the place ready? Chow.”

That was the owner of Belvedere Palace. This was the first palace that I saw up close. Palaces are huge. The gardens are incredible. The interiors are ornate and magnificent. This was only the
summer residence. Wow. I'm ready to move in.

Oh, and Anjali also plays folk guitar, sings, and writes songs. And
I’m supposed to be the musician?


Day 011: Danube boat party, the Iron Curtain

Day 11 — Danube boat party, the Iron Curtain
13-August-1971 (Fri.)

Danube Boat Party
No short posts here. Live on-the-spot journaling, documenting an exciting full-day excursion on the Blue, err Green, Danube River that flows by Vienna (Wein). Sightseeing, plenty of photos, and more.

I’m up to the task and only briefly let the armed patrol boat, barbed-razor-wire security fence (the Iron Curtain), and the armed machine-gun guards in the towers “shock” me. Welcome to Czechoslovakia and communism in the 60’s and 70’s.

Anjali, a young, pretty girl, comes to the rescue. We sightsee, eat, and then learn to dance. I’m her first dance partner.


Day 010: German is hard, yes it is

Day 10 — German is hard, yes it is
12-August-1971 (Thur.)

Today is a slow news day. All I do is complain about the difficulty of the German class.

I wax philosophical and give my non-professional advice on learning theory. Disclaimer: use at your own risk. Learning may be dangerous and contagious.

Day 009: Grinzing wine tasting

Day 9 — Grinzing wine tasting
11-August-1971 (Wed.)

After German class in the morning, where I make a non-funny German joke, we go to wine country—Grinzing—for some, eatin’, talkin’, drinkin’, singin’, and tastin’ some of that mighty-fine Austrian wine.


Day 008: German language class starts

Day 8 — German language class starts
10-August-1971 (Tue.)

Streetcleaning on the Ringstrasse
My German language class started today. Busy with school and enjoying the class and my professor. The photo is that of a streetcleaner on the Ringstrasse, close to where the University of Vienna German classes were being held.

And being that it’s a slow journal day, I make a plea for the young people of the world to save us.

Day 007: Dr. H.—Roommate 2 from Japan

Day 7 — Dr. H.—Roomate 2 from Japan
09-August-1971 (Mon.)

Roommate Doctor H
Roomate 2 arrives from Japan. It's Dr. H.

Today is a short day with not much entered. It was probably a busy day registering for the language course and taking some tests. I like Dr. H. We can only communicate in German. Ya! Das ist richtig!

P.S. Any German in this journal, especially in these reflections, is strictly off the top of my head from my tired-old memory, and may be totally incorrect. Read (“lesen” ?) at your own risk.

Day 006: Achille from Italy

Day 6 — A new roommate, Achille
08-August-1971 (Sun.)

Church stained-glass window
Today is a day of rest, and of meeting many people. First and foremost, I have a new roommate, Achille, who is from Milan, Italy. Together, we meet friendly people over lunch and dinner from South Africa and France, and attend Mass at St. Stephan’s Cathedral.

Day 005: Coffee and call girls

Day 5 — Coffee and call girls
07-August-1971 (Sat.)

Journal Aug 7
Ok, ok! I'm focusing on bra-less girls. I'm young, I'm 22, I'm male. And I still am not sure on how to spell bra-less. [Repeating theme.] Certainly, I'm trying to build up readership for this blog by shamelessly suggesting sexual innuendoes. All of these reflections are probably in my contemporary mind and of less importance those many years ago. Hmmm, I am writing about it a lot. So, I take it back.

Sex sells, they say. Oh boy, does it! [towards the end of the post]

Watch me sit on a bench next to a pretty girl and practice my knock-em-dead-pick-up-German-language skills. As Mastercard says, "priceless."

Did I tell you that I am really enjoying this project? I am. As I type and read the transcript, I'm smiling and going back to those days. It really is a blast. I'm not certain if it's that interesting to the rest of the world. But, heck...I'm going on.


Day 004: To the dorms, to the discotek

Day 4 — To the dorms, to the discotek
06-August-1971 (Fri.)

As a young male, I am becoming infatuated with the beauty of Vienna and the bra-less girls in the Voom-Voom discotek. I finally leave the hotel and enter the student hostel (dorms) where I will spend the summer while attending a German language course.


Day 003: New people, new languages

Day 3 — New people, new languages
05-Aug-1971 (Thur.)

Vienna people in park
Meeting new and interesting people is fun. I’m enjoying my newfound exposure to people that speak foreign languages. Wait a second, in their country I'm the foreigner with the foreign language. Read More...

Day 002: Arrival in Vienna

Day 2 — Arrival in Vienna
04-Aug-1971 (Wed.)

Vienna Burgtheater
Finally, arrival in Vienna. I learn that Vienna is a big city and has actual people. They wear business suits and go to work. Just like us. Helped by the Austrian National Student Service, I get a hotel room, try to make contacts, and mostly sleep.

Jet lag.

Day 001: The journey begins

Day 1 — The journey begins
03-Aug-1971 (Tue.)

First plane flight
Pan Am, Flight 72, 6:00 pm, 747

The journey begins. My first time on a plane. Heck, I had never been outside of NJ, NY, VT, and PA.

I'm on the way to Vienna, Austria for a year's graduate study. Perhaps one of the best years of my life.

For each day that I have a journal entry, I transcribe the entry and then give my retrospective commentary looking back from today, 36 years later. I have posted a few pages of the original journal in the Pictures/Photo section of this website. They are on the small size but give you the general idea of the original.

I hope that you join me. Enjoy.