36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 165: Electronic music class; a horn recital; dreams


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 165 — Electronic music class; a horn recital; dreams
14-January-1972 (Freitag–Fri.)

1971 Electronic music class with Dieter Kaufmann.


Good day. Played new electronic sounds for Kaufmann. Good possibilities. Next—music. Possibility of going to Innsbruck for a music seminar.

Have info for future scholarships. I hope, in a couple of years, that I might be able to come back.

Herr Gabler’s horn recital. A tape. Basically very good. Nerves took a hold and more mistakes than usual. I played in two ensembles. What was good was that the comparison between Vienna style horns and horn playing, and the American style horns and playing, can be heard on the tape. Excellent job by Gaudette on Hindemith.


Electronic music. It’s my turn to play my electronic sounds in electronic music class for Professor Kaufmann. It sounds like the response was positive. Next, I need to turn those sounds in a music composition. That’s the hard part. In class, we talk about the possibility of taking a trip to Innsbruck. That would be nice.

The photo above is of the 1971 Electronic Music class under the direction of Professor Dieter Kaufmann. We are listening to student music in progress. Notice the analog 1/4" x 15" tape recorders and analog mixing console. This was
musique concrète—creating music from analog real-world sounds, using the tape recorder as the primary composing tool. From left-to-right we have: Professor Dieter Kaufmann, Roget Bedard, myself (John Maryn), Koshi, Judi Olson and Balzac seated at the console. Camille, another student, is not in the picture. Perhaps she took the picture. We learned a lot and had a lot of fun in that class (though you couldn't tell by the picture). I have such a serious look on my face. (I broke my rule of not using first names. I think that's ok here.) I enjoyed this class immensely.

Scholarships. I want to explore the opportunities to come back to Vienna on scholarship. That was a dream of mine at the time. Remember, a theme of this blog is about starting your journey on the path to your dreams. Looking back, this dream never happened. Why? Like many of us, I returned home, found a teaching job, started a career, tried to make some money, bought a new car, and many other things—that’s life. Life takes hold. It happens to all of us. Here is my question to you…

Dreams and reality. How might each of our lives have changed if we had followed through on some of those dreams? How might my life turned out differently if I had returned to Vienna a few years later? Would I be a composer today or teaching composition in a university? Would I have earned my doctorate in Vienna? Might I be living in Europe or traveling the globe?

As Steve Jobs recently said, it’s easier to “connect the dots” (what happens in your life) later in life, than at the time you are making those decisions.

Horn recital. My horn teacher, Professor Gabler, also had a class horn recital today. I played in two ensembles and probably made a couple of mistakes. There is a difference in sound between the traditional Vienna horns and American horns. The Vienna horns can get very brassy. One of my classmates played the Hindemith Horn Concerto and did nicely. A year or two later, I remember traveling to Quebec, Canada, in the middle of the frozen winter and over the frozen St. Lawrence River, to visit him and his friends. Friendships go beyond national boundaries.


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