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A Winter Solstice Gift For YouAuthor of this text: Kaz Dziamka
It may seem incredible to me (and
to some of you, too), but it is nevertheless a fact: I have been editor of the American
Rationalist for ten years now.
was in 1996 that Dr. Gordon Stein, the former editor, died, and soon after I was
offered the editorship by the Rationalist Association of St. Louis, the
publisher of AR at the time. It was exactly ten years ago: The November/December
1996 issue is the first one I officially edited.
Among the distinguished contributing editors at the time were Walter
Hoops, Paul Kurtz, and Frank Mortyn. Marge
Mignacca was already here, and so was Bernard Katz.
C. Lee Hubbell was the Associate Editor and Barbara Stocker, the Managing
may be that I sometime feel the same way as the guy who wrote the following
famous lines from a very famous song: „And then one day you find ten years
have got behind you. No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun."
Maybe I should have done more. Or maybe another editor would have done a better
job. I don't know. All I know is
that I am not taking anything for granted any more. And not taking for granted
anything any more also includes the likelihood that this may or may not be the
last issue of AR I am editing. After all, as I explained earlier in this
issue, I am now living in the here and now.
The future is just a mirage. So is the past. If fortuna hits, I will be prepared to move on.
Such a memorable anniversary — 60 issues of the AR — calls for some reflection
… and a gift for all of you who have supported us during the decade. So I am
offering a gift, a winter solstice present.
have always been fascinated by music, certain types of music, that is. I have
little interest in jazz and almost none in country music, for example. Otherwise
my music tastes are quite cosmopolitan. I am likely to be blown away as easily
by Pyotr Tchaikovsky as by Amon Amarth, a melodic death metal band from Sweden: I love to listen to „Swan Lake," but I also love to listen to "Across the
music I would probably not be able to live sanely. Like Vonnegut, I think there
is something magical, something supra-rational, something ultimately mysterious
about music. If I ever believed in a god, it would have to be a god of music,
music being the only evidence that there might be somewhere a being, who
although indifferent to our fate, is benevolent enough to give us the
consolation of a heavenly melody.
is more, but this is enough. My time may be running out, and my space on this
page, the last page of this edition of AR, certainly is. And I still need a quarter page to present my gift.
years now, over three decades in fact, I have been collecting gems of music. I have collected hundreds, and I listen to them obsessively, compulsively. My
music collection has given me endless hours of pleasure. I hope these gems will
also give you pleasure.
search of these gems, I often have my radio on 24/7 to monitor the music market.
Or I will spend hours listening to sample recordings online on Amazon.com, for
example. Much of what is played by radio stations in the US is trashy,
commercialized music. But once in a long while, after digging in a mountain of
dirt and garbage I will find a gem — I guess the only way to find gems. I would
then record it, as well as write down the artist's name and the title, if those
are available. If not, I would then try to track down the artist somehow.
Usually I would eventually identify most musicians or bands. In a few cases, I have never been able to determine who the artist is. I may not find out ever.
Below I am offering ten gems that I consider masterpieces of the kind of instrumental
music usually called New Age (not a good name). The label doesn't matter; the
music does. The list is strictly mine; I make no claim to be a music expert and
couldn't care less if experts should disagree. But I do care that you like this
music and that it will give you at least some of the pleasure it has given me.
is a good time: this is, after all, the great Pagan-Humanist holiday of the
Return of the Sun, our first and only „god" who actually exists and makes
all life possible.
wish you all — AR readers; our colleagues from
the Center of Inquiry, the publisher of AR; and Charles Klotzer, our man in St.
Louis who has printed all these 60 issues of AR — a Happy 2006 Winter Solstice.
Below is my gift: the ten best electronic-instrumental compositions I have found
in the last 30 years of my life:
DREAM, "Rubycon," Part I (CD: Rubycon)
LANZ AND PAUL SPEER, „Behind the Waterfall" (CD: Natural States)
„Milky Way" (CD: Mystic Island)
HARRIS, „Pirouettes and Promises" (CD: Vanishing Point)
„Midnight on Mars" (CD: Blackouts)
ARKENSTONE, „Ancient Legend" (CD: Valley in the Clouds)
„Without Cause" (CD: Between Places)
LANZ AND PAUL SPEER, „Rain Forest" (CD: Natural States)
ARKENSTONE, „Continue to Be" (CD „Spirit Wind")
DREAM, "Part I" (CD: Ricochet)
« Art (Published: 02-01-2007 )
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