“We’re Writing a Concerto, for Chrissake!”

“Your mother’s mad at me again,” my father says as we’re driving around, running errands on my parents’ recent visit to Los Angeles from Scottsdale, AZ. “It’s the place”, my dad always says, “where every day feels like Saturday!” I think they’re happy there!

“Oh Yeah, what for this time?”, I ask, bracing myself for something wild . . . it’s always something wild!

“For This!” he exclaims, pulls a CD out of a brightly colored case and feeds it to his dash. He hands me the case, Colors of Brazil, composed and performed by Peter Vamos. Peter Vamos, a Hungarian pianist and a virtual Virtuoso the way my father talks about him, works alongside my father at a private lessons school in Scottsdale. The two keyed up an unlikely friendship that would crescendo into a melodious partnership, and it’s all about the music! The music fills the car and I take notice of the visual and audible colors of Brazil.

“I did the whole CD and Case design, the writing inside the sleeve, I even named the songs! Peter just wrote the music. Pretty good, though, huh?”

It is pretty good. Stirring. Heart-pumping. Rhythmic. My dad has always had a refined ear and eye and he’s always involved in some musical composition or other creative design project. “So what’s all the fuss about? Why is mom mad about this?”, I ask him.

“Well, you know your mother,” my dad starts. I do know my mother. Bless her heart, but she never really “gets” the overtone of the measure and why dad continuously pours himself over his music or design projects. Peter Vamos is just one more virtual virtuoso in a long line and she complains that other people take advantage of my dad’s time, talent, and timbre, because he’s never once drawn a salary off of any of the projects. But he does draw great satisfaction, another piece for his portfolio, and the project itself! That’s when he emphatically professes, “She doesn’t understand what Peter and I are doing. She thinks I’m doing all this for him for nothing! Not the 15% on the CD, concert tickets and music sales that we are also arranging. We’re writing a Concerto, for Chrissake!”

The scale of humor in this statement may only strike a chord with my siblings and I! Only our father would say such a thing! But I start to wonder, why should the tempo of this canon change now, especially now that he’s semi-retired, has the time and obviously has the talent and passion. Tempo allegro! Isn’t that what the Golden Years are supposed to be about? Let’s not forget the power of friendships, unlikely or otherwise! May kindred spirits always bridge a “prelude legato” and compose the desires of the heart and mind! Experience and creativity always has meaning, purpose and a story to tell, viva al Fresco! A creative, purposeful life is the Cadenza my father will ultimately leave for us and all others who may be in the mood for a 21st Century Concerto! Vivacissimo!

Sorry mom. We love you anyway!

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