Friday, April 10, 2009

A Good Friday Tale

Does the name Hans Wurman mean anything to you? If you have ever heard the sound of a synthesizer, it should. He was an arranger and composer who pioneered the Moog Synthesizer by being the first serious artist to record on it in the late 1960’s. He was also one of my very favorite college professors. He had a sardonic sense of humor and we got along wonderfully at the American Conservatory of Music where he taught for a number of years.

One day he wrote an ascending perfect fourth on the blackboard and before he could continue on to the next note I shouted out, “O Sacred Head!” He gave me an exasperated look and said, “Well, why don’t you just teach the class.” But we understood each other, and I knew he was pleased that I had read his mind.

More than 13 years after I graduated from the American Conservatory I was driving home from a job. It was afternoon, and at that particular time of day I tried to avoid the local classical station because I could not abide the announcer’s voice. But my Spirit said, “Listen.” So I tuned the radio to “Chicago’s Classical Experience” and heard what sounded suspiciously like a Moog Synthesizer. I wondered feverishly what Dr. Wurman was doing at the time, how he was, and thought that he must be getting very old by now. After the piece was over, the announcer informed the audience that it was Hans Wurman, who had just passed away, playing the Moog Synthesizer. I thought, well, that answers that question. I sent Dr. Wurman a special blessing from my Spirit.

As I parked the car, I thought about the idea that when you find a penny, it means somebody is thinking about you. I wondered if Dr. Wurman had caught my blessing. I got out of the car, looked down and there was a penny lying on the ground. I picked it up thinking, “Thanks for settling that issue, Dr. Wurman!”

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