TULSA, MOSTAR, ROME, RAVENNA, VICENZA, TABERNELLE VAL DI PESA, CITTA DELLA PIEVE, TRASIMENO, ABRUZZO, AQUILA

5 August 2011

 

Tulsa, Oklahoma

 

Michael Eisenberg playing Helter Skelter.

 

Cathy Richardson and Peter Albin.

 

Mary Bridget Davies, Slick Aguilar, Ben Nieves.

 

Not a very Italian name, but it was near the Rome airport in Fiumicino.

 

Ben Nieves marching toward Spain in the Mediterranean.

 

Beautiful land still being Balkanized.

 

With my friend Bojan in Mostar, Bosnia.

 

Ben Nieves looming over Dubrovnik.

 

Mary Bridget Davies and Rick who came to get us at the Dubrovnik airport.

 

New and not so new.

 

Ben Nieves and Eso who drove us from Dubrovnik on the coast to Mostar a little inland.

 

When we arrived in Mostar, Bosnia, there was Stephen Long whom I haven’t seen since the 1990s, when I knew him in Seattle. I met him through Craig Arrowood.  Stephen married a Bosnian woman and they have a beautiful family and life in Mostar.

 

The Muslims advanced in Europe almost to Vienna and they reigned over this land for centuries.

 

Ben Nieves practicing in the Bristol Hotel lobby, waiting to go to sound check.

 

With Lejla and her son. Lejla sounds like “Leila,” but she told me that in Australia people called her Ledgela.

 

This mosque was atop a hill and there were paintings for sale.

 

Mary Bridget Davies on the Dalmatian Coast. That shirt is very appropriate for this place.

 

The people in Bosnia looked very familiar to us.

 

Bosnia is part of what used to be Yugoslavia.

 

Imagine that in San Francisco the Chinese threw the AngloSaxons out of the City and into Marin County and the AngloSaxons began firing artillery into the City from the heights of Marin, as the Chinese began to war on the Mexicans and African Americans. This is essentially what happened in Mostar, Bosnia.

 

After centuries of peaceful coexistence, Muslims, Croatians, Serbians, Catholics, Christian Orthodox peoples all began to war on each other. The entire region went insane in the 1990s.

 

In 1992-1993, Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence from Yugoslavia which began bombing Mostar. Everyone entered the war sooner or later. Croatians fought Serbians fought Muslims.

 

Today there are a lot of graves in Mostar with markers like these.

 

Many beautiful buildings were destroyed and there are bulletholes everywhere.

 

This high school was built after the madness and insanity had ebbed.

 

Now there is peaceful coexistence again. In our audience were members of all these groups who warred on each other a short time ago. So strange.

 

On 26 July, we gave a little lecture and talked with some interesting people  here at The Pavarotti Center

 

The way the Romans think of themselves: Senatus PopulusQue Romanum. The Senate and People of Rome.

 

Roman ceiling.

 

Silvio Berlusconi, the Bunga Bunga man.

 

This was the first bridge in Rome that Mary, Ben and I crossed, named for the Risorgimento, the unification of Italy in the 19th century.

 

In la piazza di San Pietro.

 

Yea, be at peace ye multitudes for verily we have arrived.

 

Cleveland meets Rome.

 

Such a peaceful religion.

 

Make the jump to Binacci.

 

You’re out on the street looking good.

 

Petrus Maccaranius, 1817.

 

Pope Sixtus built the Sistine Chapel. “Sistine” is the adjective for Sixtus.

 

Catharine means “pure.”

 

Julius Caesar slept here.

 

I like the movement in this sculpture.

 

Il Tevere, the Tiber.

 

Now you know we just had to have one photograph of the Spanish Steps.

 

Ben was thinking about buying this underwear.

 

Augustus Caesar brought this Egyptian obelisk to Rome.

 

And three photographs of the Coloseum.

 

Ravenna almost became the capital of Italy because it was on the Adriatic and thus nearer to Byzantium, the new center of the Empire. There is still a Byzantine feel to the city.

 

Reflecting on the ancient city of Ravenna.

 

In an alley.

 

Before the concert.

 

I love you. I am sincere, you know it. I love you little piggy mine.

 

Two wild and crazy guys. Three?

 

Valeria. Her band didn’t get to play.

 

Antea Salmaso and her Cheap Thrills sneakers.

 

The dance of the four seasons. This is the floor of a villa found when excavations began for the building of an underground garage.

 

Ravenna is a good city for walking.

 

The Byzantine influence.

 

Rainy weather in July.

 

Sails of the port.

 

Arianna Antinori in Brendola. She sang three songs with us, so much fun, so good. The little grove where we played in Brendola felt like Hawaii, warm, lush, fragrant.

 

Brendola is near to Vicenza, Arianna’s hometown, although she is originally from Rome. I asked this fellow if he knew what his T shirt meant.

 

Agriturismo. Agritourism. We stayed in this farmhouse feeling building while we were in Vicenza. it reminded me of places we stay in Germany.

 

My friend Cesare. We did an interview that was like a good conversation.

 

Lots of flowers in this beautiful place.

 

Mary is still a real Catholic.

 

We drove to Toscana, Tuscany, the land that took its name from  the Etruscans, a soft, beautiful, green land. The Green Heart of Italy.

 

This is Tabernelle Val di Pesa where we stayed at the Hotel Chianti.

 

A little south and a little west of Toscana, Abruzzo.

 

Città della Pieve in Latin is Civitas Plebis, City of the People.

 

Ariana and Antea at our hotel in Città della Pieve. This is near Lake Trasimeno.

 

I went to a LOT of churches. That’s where the art is.

 

I watched these men practice soccer for a while marvelling at their ability to do anything in that August heat. Then I remembered that I played football on Okinawa, hotter by far than here. We used to practice in pads and helmets in August.

 

A lovely little hilltop city.

 

Aquila where the terremoto, the earthquake, was. Maurizio gave me a little tour of the city. This is our hotel. Amiternum could mean “eternal friend” or “eternal friendship.” Something like that.

 

Beautiful people in Italy, beautiful people everywhere.

 

Flying out of Rome…

 

… and spending three hours at JFK.

 

We had a lot of fun playing in Europe this time. Ben and I made some significant progress in inventing new arrangements and new styles of ensemble playing.

 

Arrivederci.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company

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