Last night Elsa and I made our very first trip to the famous Frank Gehry-designed Disney concert hall, a cathedral-like space and acoustic marvel that was a fitting venue for the LA Master Chorale's program of selected highlights from the Sacred Concerts of Edward Kennedy Ellington - The Duke!
The original concerts were held in the sixties and early seventies towards the end of Ellington's life and career as he turned his imagination to the spiritual and the infinite.
It was an inspiring evening of unusual and stirring music, a smoking Jazz Orchestra backed by something like 180 singers, and for one incredible number, the whole ensemble was accompanied by a brilliant indefatigable tap dancer who glided around the stage like a human beat box.
Something 'bout believing that keeps me unfolding. Something 'bout believing that makes my soul sing. Something 'bout believing that keeps me holding On to GOD Almighty. Something 'bout believing that helps my mending, Something 'bout believing that there's no ending, Believing all the way because I'm depending On The GOD Almighty. I don't light a lamp to see the Sun, Don't need proof of GOD, Because I know that there ain't a-gonna be but One. Something 'bout believing in the creation, Something 'bout believing the information. Something 'bout believing there's just one nation, Under GOD Almighty. I want to be hip, I want to be cool, I got to be with it all the way, Because I ain't about to be no fool. Something 'bout believing that's greater than pleasure, Something 'bout believing that's more than treasure, Something 'bout believing that's beyond measure, Just one GOD Almighty.
It was almost enough to turn atheists into true believers, especially when the masterly chorale harmonized to the Duke's invocational lyrics to "Something 'bout Believing".
And it was the perfect way for Elsa and I to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary!
Something 'bout believing that keeps me unfolding. Something 'bout believing that makes my soul sing. Something 'bout believing that keeps me holding On to ELSA Almighty.
Thanks, Duke, and to quote your contemporary 20th Century master Luis Bunuel: "Thank God I'm an atheist!"
Giant Robot is the brainchild of Eric Nakamura, and a brand that includes a cool store, magazine, art gallery, music label, and line of toys and clothing. But it is much more than the sum of its individual parts - it is an expression of a way of seeing the world as a place of boundless imagination.
Eric discovered Elsa's work on the web and invited her to participate in a group show, and the result was the delightful "Realms" featuring some of Elsa's latest papercuts, along with beautiful drawings and paintings by artists Ako Castuera and Yellena James.
Eric has a real talent for bringing people together and an eye for new talent. Elsa and Ako had not met before the show, but both their work and their personalities were muy simpatico.
Yellena James had a conflict and could not personally attend the opening, but her work spoke for itself.
Eric told me that one day a few years back a young man walked into the Giant Robot store and showed him a prototype for what was a really strange looking stuffed doll. He had never seen anything like it, and encouraged the artist to make a few more and bring them in for sale. The rest is history, and the "Ugly Doll" dolls have been a ubiquitous presence in kid's lives for the last decade.
Natalie and Diego enjoyed attending the opening of Mom's art show, but they enjoyed reading their newly purchased Ugly Doll book, from the many treasures on offer at the Giant Robot store, even more!
I want to thank my readers and friends for all of their kind comments, well-wishes, flowers and gift-baskets in the wake of my accident and surgery. But most of all I want to thank my wife Elsa for her sacrifice and dedication to my home care and recovery!
Her most recent card which I found on my pillow last night at bedtime seems to perfectly express the generosity of spirit and selflessness which mark the true sentiment of this modern-day Florence Nightengale!