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Robert Avalon: in memoriam

There are certain people that change your life. Robert Avalon was one of them. He was the first person to introduce me as a composer and pianist. Until then, I never imagined that I could introduce, let alone, define myself by my passion. Work, yes. Passion, no.

Once you define yourself by your passion, you open the possibility of pursuing your passion legitimately.

When I met Robert Avalon for the first time, I had just become an editor. I made a functional transition from a research/analysis/consulting role to a publishing role --- all in the same industry -- energy. Playing the piano and composing music were hobbies that I could afford to indulge in because I had a steady income.

I didn't think I could pursue music because I did not have a degree in it. Neither did Robert Avalon. The lack of a formal qualification in music did not deter this man from filling his life with music. He was a musician in every sense of the word.

Musicians get acquainted by playing pieces for each other. The first time I met Robert, he suggested that we play a piano duet --- without sheet music. What kind of duet was it? An impromptu --- an improvisation. We listened to each other for cues and anticipated what the other was going to do. Robert Avalon was a big advocate of improvisation. A year later, I was invited to participate in his improvisation ensemble in Amsterdam.

Robert Avalon pointed out that composing was a dying art. Most people play music of dead composers. He wanted to change that. He encouraged children to compose. I hadn't thought about composing in that way. After all, I composed because I had to --- out of necessity, whenever I felt inspired, and often accidentally.

I would like to contact everyone who has known him to share his or her thoughts on the Remember Avalon MSN Group I created yesterday. How were they influenced by this man's personal philosophy? What do they remember of him? How can I do this - other than getting these pages easily found on the World Wide Web?

7 May 2004 Friday

Related links:
Houston Chronicle announcement,
May 1, 2004
In remembrance of Robert Avalon - WRR interview
Passion of music - getting to know Robert Avalon
Robert Avalon - site
Foundation for Modern Music
Carlota - Robert Avalon's opera
Related journal entries:
Introducing Avalon
Improvising piano duets
Creation not re-creation
First class to Brussels
Hotel Le Plaza
Soirees, soirrees, swa-ray
Full moon in Houston



Piano Guitar Duo of Robert Bekkers and Anne Ku
official website
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Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
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