A mystery of artistry…

My post on the Slipped Disc blog:

Mr. Isserlis articulates something that, to me, separates the true artists from the accomplished performers — namely, that they search the structure of the piece to find its architecture. They put themselves into the mind of the composer, and perform from that position.

I first became aware of this mystery in listening to Heifetz. I stand in awe of those who do this…

– See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2015/11/steven-isserlis-so-why-do-i-still-practise/#comment-89291

The significance of die zauberflote, and the price that some have paid…

  1. Since the time of my experiences with “Monostatos’ Orchestra” and the demise of some of its members, I have said with regret that it seems that the aisles of Orchestra Hall are full of the corpses of those who have tried to block die zauberflote (the flute, not the opera) and slander me.  Why, I have asked plaintively, would I want there to be any more?
    Here is a current example of what happened to someone who tried to do this…
    During the summer of 2014, for some unknown reason, Andrew Patner decided to attempt to slander me on a blog called Slipped Disc.  Less than six months later he was dead:
    When I read his first slanderous post I contacted Norman Lebrecht, who manages the blog.  Although it is my thinking that Norman realized I was only posting under my own name and that there was no basis to Mr. Patner’s rant,  he did nothing to bail me out, which he occasionally does when a thread gets too far off base.  I found that disappointing.
    Here is the thread including his rant and my replies…
    Andrew Patner says:

    Ah, are you all just now learning about Ms (?) Pamela McElwain-Brown of Minneapolis USA (and always “born in Fairfield CT”? For seven years (until January 2014) she ran Blogspot weblogs called AndrewAndJoshua and JoshuaAndAndrew in which she impersonated a young gay male couple in Minneapolis and Boston as well as all of their friends, relatives, *and* site commenters. Behind these sock puppets she went after the then longtime critic of the Cleveland newspaper mercilessly and falsely. Again hiding her (?) identity she viciously went after individual orchestra players in Minnesota by name during their lockout. She is also very active — in this case using the Pamela McElwain-Brown name — as a JFK assassination conspiracy theorist. Apparently PMcEB at last lost interest in her web children and left them all hanging seven months ago. Here is her flute website: http://www.themagicflute.org She reminds me overall of a character in a late Hitchcock film. (And of course “George Kaplan” is the man who does not exist in Hitch’s “North by Northwest.”) Caveat lector! I know from experience, I admit. Oy!

    1. Amy says:

      Good to hear from you regarding Pamela, Andrew! Those creepy blogs savaged some good friends, some musicians I admire and some strangers I have always had compassion for, having been hurt for no reason other than pure malice. (Just what the world doesn’t need any more of.)
      Oy! back at you…!

      1. Amy, it is my impression that you are well aware that someone created a false blog about me and is using my image without a release.

    2. sdReader says:

      Thanks, Andrew. I always thought she was a bit odd. Then I realized she was a musician, and she seemed genuinely interested in the Minneapolis war, so I have given her comments a little more weight recently.

      1. What purpose can you possibly have into taking this thread OT?

    3. Why would anyone take this thread OT with a mismash of fact and libel? :-0

    4. Elise says:

      Thanks for the info, Andrew. In case anybody wants to keep track, “Pamela” also uses the following aliases: Joan Marshall, Claudia Menlo, Andrew van Zeveren, Joshua Adams, Sarah Westfield, Ron Brown, Hiram Foster, David von Pein, Anna Smith O’Hara, George Kaplan, Edgar Brenninkmeyer, and others.

      1. sdReader says:

        Edgar B is Pamela too? Oh, this really does need to be policed. It’s just wasting people’s time!

      2. That is false. I post using my own name and a photo. And, again, of course, OT.

      3. OT and false. Unlike you, I post using my first and last name and a photograph.

        1. sdReader says:

          Good. I’m glad to read this — because I can tolerate a wacky someone coming here with 2 or 3 identities and engaging in what Amy Adams aptly called dolls talking to each other, but Elise’s list of 12 or 13 false names, including one I spent time conversing with, just turns me off completely.

          You are claiming, then, that Andrew Patner’s research about you no longer applies?

          1. I only post on this blog using my real name and a photo. Why don’t you do the same?

            Andrew’s posts are a mixture of fact and libel. However, as this thread has been hijacked from its original topic, which is the Met, I do not plan to reply to it line-by-line on this blog.

  2. Andrew Patner says:

    One can hope that exposure lessens the audacity of these sorts of folks, Amy. At least people now know who this one “is” and can screen her (?) out. Sigh. And thanks!

    1. Guess I’ll have to work harder to win you over. :-0

      1. sdReader says:

        Or Slipped Disc will have to work harder to get rid of you. Annoying sick woman!

        1. OT.
          Plus, I post using my own name and a photo. You don’t and are making a libelous claim. Just which is ‘sick’?

          1. sdReader says:

            “I post using my own name and a photo” tells us nothing.

            “I post using ONLY my own name and a photo” would begin to address the concerns you have raised this week with at least three bona fide readers.

            Wondering what Norman thinks of this … .

          2. I do apologize for not making myself sufficiently clear to you. I only post on this blog under my own name and with a photo. Any other claim is false.

            And Norman manages to deal not only with those who are not hiding behind an alias as well as those who are with considerable aplomb, imo.

  3. Andrew Patner says:

    Thank you, Elise. Six years ago (!) when I rather belatedly cracked the scam of “her” bizarre “Andrew and Joshua” weblogs and then shared the story on my website, I wrote, “So I guess the great unraveling is done now. ‘La commedia è finita.’” Perhaps now, with your larger catalogue of this person’s mischief-making — sometimes trivial, sometimes seriously harmful — aliases, this nonsense will at least subside. Probably not, though: A person living in his/her own universe with time on his/her hands . . . At least people now know the web that has been woven.

    1. OT, Andrew.

      I am surprised that someone using their own name would post information they have already been told is false. I have nothing to do with “Andrew and Joshua” blogs. Someone other than me created it and is falsely using my image. I am working to have it removed but WordPress is not helping me and def lawyers, as you may realize, are expensive.

  4. Andrew Patner says:

    I certainly have no plan to respond to whomever it is who regularly clutters up these and other pages with some 15 different aliases (though almost always the same personality and phrasing). But as Norman Bates (certainly not Norman Lebrecht! 😉 )/Mother Bates has several times tossed the word “libel” out the window of his/her Motel, one notes that truth cannot libel nor is it clear how imaginary characters and sock puppets could be libeled, harmed, or defamed even if there were any intention or malice, which, of course there is not. I and others here are only calling attention to the single identity of an individual who has sucked in enough people and wasted enough of their time one place or another for at least the past seven years. If people wish to engage with this individual about any subject, or let him/her post comments on their websites, that’s not my affair. As I said initially: Caveat lector!

    1. sdReader says:

      It is Norman’s duty to police this blog.

      For the time being, we must accept Pamela Brown’s assertion that on Slipped Disc she uses only her own name and image.

      But I’m somewhat turned off. 24 hours ago I didn’t understand what Amy was getting at.

      And I’d still like to know whether my dialog with “Edgar Brenninkmeyer” was honest or not, in light of Elise’s post!

    2. Andrew, I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. I only post on this blog using my own name and a photo. I have only posted on this blog since the MO lockout began.

      I sincerely hope that you will apologize.

  5. SDreader said, “For the time being, we must accept Pamela Brown’s assertion that on Slipped Disc she uses only her own name and image.”

    This is your viewpoint while hiding behind an alias? With all due respect, just what color is the sky in your world today? :-0

    BTW, I will be responding in detail to Andrew Patner’s ‘research’ on a post on my own blog and will provide a link here when that happens. In the meantime, let me just state for the record that he has my name right, he used my actual website http://www.themagicflute.org, and I am a JFK researcher. Everything else from almost the first word is false. I was not ‘born’ in Fairfield, CT. I was born in Chicago.

    1. Come to think of it, SDreader, you don’t have to ‘take my word’ for anything. All you need to do is Google my name, “Pamela Brown”. I quit using my birth family name some years ago to give them a layer of protection.

      It has been my privilege to be a “public figure”, so to speak, in the narrow yet international niche of JFK research for some time, have been published, have presented at conferences and participated in a number of TV programs.

      On the other hand, if you would prefer to keep your head in the sand, don’t let me stop you. :-0

  6. Andrew Patner says:

    My sincere apologies to all! Wherever this person was born, the claim PB makes is that she “is originally from Connecticut,” “grew up in Fairfield, CT,” and that it is her “Hometown.” I am sorry to have so grievously misread those statements and to learn that, under whatever name, she now says that she was born in Chicago. She also writes: “Unquestionably, the most unusual musician of her generation, Pamela Brown has been called ‘the most exciting musician since Mozart’ and her playing ‘the real magic flute’ by ‘professionals’ we will just refer to as “Monostatos”, who then shunned have attempted to lock her out.” PB also tells us that these people were known to “target my children.”

    As stated twice before, this is not someone people want to spend time with/on without open eyes, if then. Have a nice day, all!

    1. Andrew, while I appreciate your apology, it is a bit difficult for me to understand if you are directing it to me or someone else. I sincerely hope we can find a way to move forward in a positive manner.

      BTW, I was born at Cook County in Chicago. My family moved to CT. I grew up in Fairfield.

      I’ll discuss your other references on my own blog soon and provide a link here when I do.

– See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2014/08/met-latest-artists-celebrate-gelb-in-disarray/#sthash.UDzg9rEo.dpuf

A possible mystery surrounding “The Star Gatherer”, the abduction of Jacob Wetterling and the disappearance of Josh Guimond?

All of us who were living in Minnesota in the late 80’s remember the horror we felt upon hearing that Jacob Wetterling had been abducted while riding his bike near a small town north of the Twin Cities.  At once, especially for those of us blessed with children, Jacob became ‘our child.’ We have reacted with fury and frustration as leads came up with what looked like dead-ends, as there seemed to be a dearth of valid information.  It was tempting to think that Jacob had simply disappeared off the face of the earth.  But everyone knew that was not so. How could a crime of such magnitude elicit so little tangible information?  The answer that might be the case may be even more sinister than the question.  It is that people have known, to one extent or another, just what occurred, but have not yet come forward.  It may be that some of them have even sworn to the death never to tell what they know.

The arrest last week of a person of interest, Daniel Heinrich, has proved both valuable and frustrating.  While evidence linked his DNA conclusively to the abduction of another boy, Jared, prior to Jacob’s disappearance, the statute of limitations on that crime had ‘run out’.  There was no evidence found directly linking him to what happened to Jacob, but there was ample evidence to hold him on other grounds.  I can only hope that while he is in custody he will voluntarily or unwittingly give up all the information he has.  It is my gut feeling that his arrest is of as-yet untold significance.

I would like to add to this impression my feelings about experiencing the premier of an opera by Steven Paulus by the St. John’s Boys Choir in Collegeville, not far from where Jacob disappeared.  This is the story of a father who is grieving over the death of his son.  There was something about this theme of grief that kept calling my attention to Jacob.

Synopsis of The Star Gatherer

Was there some sort of mystery surrounding this opera, I began to wonder?  Were there somehow clues to what had happened, or the environment in which the truth  had been kept secret for so long?  Or was this all simply a matter of ironic coincidence?

There was something very puzzling to me about it all.  To add to my perplexity was the fact that a young man, Josh Guimond, had disappeared from the St. John’s University campus in 2002:

Disappearance of Josh Guimond

Could there possibly be some sort of connection?  Could Josh have been considered a threat by someone? Is there any possibility that anyone trying to keep the lid on what happened to Jacob tried to silence Josh?  Wild thoughts perhaps, but unsettling just the same.  Until there are answers, what stone do we leave unturned?

In short, has there been and is there some sort of conspiracy of silence surrounding both the abduction of Jacob and the disappearance of Josh?  Is there some sort of allusion in The Star Gatherer, or is it simply a mysterious and odd coincidence that a boy and a young man disappeared not far from each other in a place where an opera about the death of a boy is the theme?

Songs from the darkened stage at Orchestra Hall…(or Mr. Heifetz and me…)…:-0

Long ago, when my flute lessons took place at Orchestra Hall, my teacher, the then-Principal Flute, Sid Zeitlin, would turn me loose to practice on the darkened stage afterward.  “Monostatos” did that as well, once or twice a month.  Needless to say, it was a heady experience.  Apparently whoever was playing on stage was piped throughout the building.  I didn’t let that bother me. The sound of the flute with the acoustics at OH was sufficiently fascinating to take the edge off of any discomfort.  However, as if by some sort of dark magic, players would crawl out from the woodwork to attempt to insinuate themselves into my life through flattery.  I learned later that they were slandering me behind my back.  Such is the life when one is born with a target on their back. :-0

For as long as I can remember I cherished every recording I could find made by Jascha Heifetz.  My parents went to hear him once, at the Stratford Theatre in Connecticut, and refused to take me with them.  It took me years to forgive them for that. That sound, that grace, those chops.  I was mesmerized.  When I began to play the flute seriously I realized that I wanted to play it as though it were a violin.  I began to dream of somehow becoming one of Heifetz’ students, but even I realized that he would probably balk at having to deal with a flute player (or, more likely, roll his eyes and fall on the floor laughing) :-0 I would have been deliriously happy as a gofer, just sitting on the floor and listening to him play and teach, actually. I even had family in the LA area. I had everything figured out, I thought.  I had the privilege of hearing one of Heifetz students perform the Haffner Serenade with the Minnesota Orchestra.  The exquisite quality of Adam Han-Gorski’s sound and technique brought me to tears.  Heifetz, the master, had done his job well.  I tried to convince Mr. Zeitlin to write a letter of introduction to Heifetz for me, but he declined.  So I wrote to him on my own.  But a few months later he was dead, and my dreams were crushed forever.

So now I own the Complete Heifetz, and can honestly say that I have listened to virtually everything he ever recorded.  The whole is far more patchy than the parts — in pieces where I would have expected him to be brilliant, he might sound annoyingly ordinary.  Some of the itsy bitsy’s he so loved just make me grit my teeth. Some of his playing seemed stilted, as though he had not quite found the soul of the piece but was playing it anyway.  Some of his playing (horrors!) sounded even ordinary.  But on the whole I found I had uncovered one of the mysteries of his mastery — that when he learned a piece, he owned it, as though he were the composer.  Not only did he know every nuance of style and phrasing, but he understood the architecture of the piece.  He structured his performances so that there was only one real climax per movement.  His playing was never flashy, it was always in proportion to the music.

I have heard it said (when he was alive many people said this) that Heifetz’ playing was ‘cold’.  That, I feel, is another of his mysteries.  Heifetz was from Vilnius, in Lithuania.  He had the heart of a gypsy, but his playing was cool and his style eminently classical.  Because the fire was controlled, it shone through the cool technique.  The result was, as we know, simply breathtaking.  During the years after that, when my chidren and I were locked out of Monostatos’ Orchestra, I found, as one of the clique I call “Monostatos” was a string player, that I could not longer tolerate the sound of stringed instruments.  Except for Heifetz.  During all the times of struggle and disappointment, his music was my lifeline.  It still is.  I do listen to other string players now, and recently enjoyed Hillary Hahn’s new recording of the Mozart V#5.  She is splendid, and the recording is wonderful.  Then I said, “Hmmm…how did Heifetz interpret this piece?”  Different — light and delicate, yet with considerable power and speed.  Flawless…

So, back to the darkened stage, where, at that time, I practiced not only the Mozart flute concerti, the Neilsen, the Khat, Bach, etc…but also parts of the Mendelssohn, the Brahms, even the Tchiakovsky. During the next few weeks I plan to record excerpts from some of those pieces.  Stay tuned…:-)

Speaking out about "Minnegeddon" in Minnesota…


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