10.4.16

congrats sir, mr. hartenberger of nexus!

today, my work brought me to a quite an important junction point of many people's lives: russell hartenberger's retirement concert at the faculty of music, full of percussionists of all ages and times. especially the young ones.

snowy april, dreadful outside. but people trickled in all afternoon, carrying snare drums, for the snare drum olympics (haha this is an annual ritual… i wonder if i can find a vid clip of it); and by 730pm, the walter hall lobby was full of friends, families, students, mentors, just people who shared memories, laughters and marking of passage of time.

all these people came because they have been given something real when they crossed prof hartenberger+nexus. nexus is bit special, the first percussion group that became a western classical music standard format.  AND they are all good people. throughout their entire career, life and performance.

https://youtu.be/h2Rm8oFIMmk
*here's a lovely performance from 1980s!

i have seen them in so many different shows, with so many different ideas and people since i came to the faculty in 1999.  on stage. in teaching studios. in hallways. libraries. lobby. rehearsing. performing. loading and unloading. and never in my life i have seen any of them losing their grace, talent or humanity.

today, people came, and those who could not, sent messages. so many lovely messages. and the younger generation, they are playing on the stage. of music they love. the music their teachers love. the music that we hear now- making us stop, to take a look, to have a listen.

in some of the musical selections, i keep seeing each members of nexus, as these parts were written for each person in mind.  with recent loss of robin engelman,- a dearest figure in my university life, during this retirement concert, i cannot help but to think how beautiful life can be, to live through our short life spans, by transferring, inspiring and provoking one into quest of beauty.  and when i look back on the stage, i see these young people, full of life and excitement, playing these music with vigour and life.

the reality of life lives in the presence of beauty.
of humanity.

days like today, i love my job and i think of people who i may no longer see physically. but they are in my heart. as i chew on so many engelman jokes, i wonder what it will be like, to look back and wonder if i have managed to share beauty with others.  after all, that's all what's about isn't it?

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