.by Anura Guruge
1. ‘The English Concert’
>> — Feb. 1, 2014.
2. ‘Ricardo Lemvo’ — May 31, 2014.
3. The Hopkins Center Program
>>2013/2014>— July 16, 2013.
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Behind me as I write, on the floor, of my study, is a very old 1990s boom-box with 9 CDs, many without cases, alongside. I think of these 9 CDs as my ‘writing’ or more precisely ‘book writing’ CDs. Since writing, after all these years, is something I still struggle with, daily, though with unmitigated relish, I typically require total silence. But every once in awhile, typically when I am within a week or so of finishing a book, when I have an intense craving to have music as I write. In December 1995 when I scrambling like mad to get the 582-page “Reengineering IBM Networks” book completed by its deadline, and was writing up to 7,000 words a day, I had this craving for Garth Brooks — who I have always liked. There was no choice. I had to dispatch wife to Nashua, late at night, to go buy me the newly released “Fresh Horses” CD. Then for the next week or so I played it non-stop while I wrote like I never have and never will. Met the deadline. And I could not have done it without Garth. But, Garth is not among my 9 CDs.
That must say something. Yes, Oliver helped me finish my 371-page “Web Services: Theory and Practice“ book in 2004. That also was on deadline — which I met (since I did meet the deadline for all of my books, on principle).
Not sure how I came to know Oliver. Maybe it was through “Ladysmith Black Mambazo” — who I used to avidly follow at the time. The first concert that Deanna and I went to, as a couple, was to see “Ladysmith Black Mambazo” at the Capitol Center in Concord (N.H.), in February 2003, shortly after we got married. Yes, I know that they have collaborated. I cannot remember, BUT maybe he opened the act for them in Concord. All I know is that by 2004 I had one or more Oliver CDs in my study.
Other than Oliver the other 7 CDs are essentially ‘Chant‘ music — though two are Indian ‘Bhajan‘ by “Krishna Das“. [The kids and I are BIG Krishna Das fans and we even have some of his CDs in the KIA and the kids will sing along to them.] Yes, the ‘Chant’ and ‘Bhajans’ often help towards the end when I need as much help as I can get to get it all done and published.
So to say that I am ‘excited’ that Oliver is coming to the HOP doesn’t really capture the whole sense of elation. Of course we are going. Might even try and get front row seats. Funny that it is January 30, 2015. I had a feeling that we had gone to a concert at the HOP this year — on January 30. I just went and looked. It wasn’t the 30th it was January 31st — the brilliant, mesmerizing ‘The English Concert‘. Yes, weather can be an issue but we have been lucky so far given that we typically go three or four times to the HOP each ‘winter’ — the Christmas Revels a must.
The new program for the HOP 2014 – 2015 came out today. It was on press embargo for the last 4 days. So I had known about Oliver since Monday BUT couldn’t share it with you! I don’t violate embargos. That is silly.