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Post No. 1982
06/19/2008 09:23 AM
Email eaburke81  go to the Homepage of eaburke81
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Thinking, not thinking, park benches and sitars

Von Cello wrote (from an old song of his):

"I've sat in city parks and watched the day slowly receed.
Love, truth, and doing right is all you need".

That's a great verse, Aaron. I can relate to it cause most of the time I'm out and about by myself....(I have friends but I'm not constantly going out with them every weekend).

But I find that since I'm alone most of the time I have plenty of time to think my own thoughts and process what the world means to me....just yesterday evening I was sitting on a bench on campus waiting to go on the air with my fellow DJ on "Krunch Time". I don't remember what I was thinking about- I guess I was just thinking about nothing and just enjoying the evening breeze - it's been in the 60's and 70's and not humid in the least here this week; BEAUTIFUL weather in my book! Thinking is good, but sometimes not thinking and enjoying God's creation is even better.

Of course when I DO think, I think how lucky and fortunate I am to have had the chance to go to and graducate from High school and college, and now, to have had the chance to participate weekly in creative interests. Recently, I even got to do something I wanted ot do before I die: a group I interviewed on my show let me play their was an incredible experience just strumming the thing for a few minutes, but from those few minutes I could see why a professional sitar player has to take years to learn his or her instrument.
Let me start a new sentence here and explain if I may: you have to look at the BACK of the neck while playing, and while in a cross-legged postion on the floor. As if that were'nt enough, there are smaller strings under the main strings that you are sometimes called to play to add effects. Phew! Sitars are beautiful, and their sound is hypnotic, but I don't know If I'd have the stamina to spend a lifetime mastering such an instrument.
Anyway, one of my goals before I die was simply to strum a sitar and I did that thanks to a Celtic fusion duo. Check them out at
(And "Krunch Time" with The Hurricane and DJ Seamus can be heard WED. 8-10pm E.S.T on
Von Cello 

Post No. 1981
06/19/2008 08:58 AM
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People come, people go ...

I wrote a song during college that went:

I sit on a bench and watch the world whirl around.
People come, people go, variety abounds.
And always beyond the river goes flowing by.
Setting sun, colors come, night descends to the ground.
I've sat in city parks and watched the day slowly receed.
Love, truth, and doing right is all you need.

Post No. 1980
06/19/2008 08:13 AM
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gone dead hiding
j landers
stuart kessler
dan zelman or daniel zelman
scott kurpit
gwen sherman 82street
any others)===??????
Von Cello 

Post No. 1979
06/18/2008 01:12 PM
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Where are they now?

I've looked for old girlfriends on the net and have not found a spec of information. One was a good cellist but there is nothing about her. I suppose one day in the future everyone will be on the internet. It will be mandatory. You literally will not exist if you are not logged, categorized, and filled. They don't call it the WEB for nothing!

Be scared. Be very scared!!

Post No. 1978
06/18/2008 12:52 PM
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some folks dont exist on the net as jerry unless i kno or guess his city. Landers or landis might be a lawyer or doctor as i have found both. And theres an aaron minsky who is a wellknown doctor in long island. I knew an aaron minsky back in my old HEY bore hood
Von Cello 

Post No. 1977
06/18/2008 10:20 AM
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To be or not to be ... on the internet

Some people are still not into the internet age. Every now and then I talk to a musician or someone and I say, "I'll email you", and they say, "Hey man, I'm not up on all that high tech stuff. Just give me a call on the old fashioned phone." It's only been about ten years since most people have been on line, and yet it seems so weird now to HAVE to call someone.

Post No. 1976
06/17/2008 02:19 PM
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i was in florida for college and i remmber i had an accent as well but lost it in a yr in albany ny.Mitch diamond has a thick accent from the yall . hes been in tampa about 20 years. I even today say some english words with a slight spain accent.

charif in florida landis where?
nobody knows
I wonder why some are internet everywhere wjile others are illiterate nonothing or dont care.
Von Cello 

Post No. 1975
06/17/2008 12:59 PM
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Atheists are true believers!

Hey Canarsie, I found an interesting video about Atheists. Check it out when you can and let me know what you think.

Anyone else have a comment?
Von Cello 

Post No. 1974
06/17/2008 12:31 PM
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Yes ... No ... Maybe ...

Jerry moved to Florida when we were teenagers. I don't know what he did down there. The family moved because the father, Moe, worked for a coleslaw making company and they moved the business to Florida. Jerry was the oldest of three. One died several years after they moved. I believe I met Jerry once down there when I was on vacation and I remember him having a southern accent but that's all I can remember.

Jonathan's last name was Landis. We were good friends in elementary school. When we were in high school he became distant. I once went to his house for a City As School party. I remember that the kids were really into the group "Yes". That was quite a contrast as most of the Canarsie folks were Dead Heads. I think the difference in musical taste spoke volumes about the different mentalities. We can discuss this if anyone is interested.


Post No. 1973
06/16/2008 02:44 PM
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what did jerry study
or landers
gimme anything
Von Cello 

Post No. 1972
06/16/2008 12:06 PM
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Blasts from the past

Well, post away! I would love to see pictures of our old friends popping up here. Jerry Charif moved to Florida years ago. Jonathan Landis went to City As School with me, but I lost track of him after that. We were best friends in elementary school. He llived around the corner from me, which meant that he was right across the driveway in the back. I don't know if I ever went through his front door. I would go from my basement door across the driveway and into his basement door.

One thing we loved to do back then was dig. Yeah, dig. We would borrow some of my grandfather's shovels and dig in the dirt hoping to find something. One day we found that there was a lot behind the stores on Flatlands and 81st. There was a little passageway between the back of the stores and the first two family house. Like a story by Mark Twain, we got up one day at around 6:00 A.M. and gave each other a signal from our windows. Then we met in the back and took our hammers and shovels and went to through the secret passage. We started digging and digging and believe it or not, we came upon an old quartz mine! It was totally amazing. Then at around 10:00 the police arrived. We were scared and had no idea why they were there. Being kids we never told our parents and they woke up to find us missing!!

I got hell for that, and my parents did not believe me about the quartz mine. Shortly after that a little fence was put up to close off the passage and I was never able to go back there again. To this day I wonder about that mine!

Post No. 1971
06/16/2008 10:34 AM
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many are easy to find except jerry charif john landers...
Von Cello 

Post No. 1970
06/13/2008 06:34 PM
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Von Cello Rocks!

I played the solo for Stairway to Heaven on electric cello in a concert with a school orchestra this week. It was a great experience to be hired to tell the kids how I went from public school orchestra player to Von Cello. The kids really respected what I have done in the field of rock cello and were excited to meet me. I guess I am entering that time in life when your accomplishments have created a bit of a legacy, so I often meet people who know of me before they know me. I see a gleam of respect in the eyes of young musicians that I didn't see years ago. That is perhaps the coolest part of all!
Von Cello 

Post No. 1969
06/12/2008 11:33 AM
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Extremely amazing

That is amazing. If you find any other pictures of our old friends post 'em. I also have a clip of Craig and I playing and singing a song that he wrote on this site. It is under the audio clips in the history section. He wrote it on a trip cross country that he took during high school. Can you imagine now how friends of ours were just hitching out to California and stuff like that when we were at the ripe old age of like 15!!

Post No. 1968
06/12/2008 09:50 AM
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below is craig weiss

Post No. 1967
06/12/2008 09:49 AM
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Von Cello 

Post No. 1966
06/12/2008 09:22 AM
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Mother Truckers

You say life is better without the truckers ... better without the stores ... better without the traffic ...

You may be right. We may end up back in that kind of situation eventually. It's a catch-22 though. I once spent a few weeks in an Indian village way up in the mountains of Peru in a town not on the map. The people totally lived off the land and seemed to have a peaceful existance. But one day I noticed someone without an eye. Then I realized that I had seen quite a few people missing an eye. Then it dawned on me ... there was no hospital, no doctor, no modern medicine. If you got an eye infection, you lost your eye. That was a real eye-opener for me!

Post No. 1965
06/12/2008 07:38 AM
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truck drivers want more money
but lifes better withoutem
less traffic
empty supermarkets so we are forced to eat rice pasta no chocolate
Von Cello 

Post No. 1964
06/11/2008 01:20 PM
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3 Strikes and you're out!

Today I am not on stike. I am posting this from a school in Rockland County where I have been hired to demonstrate my rock style of cello playing and to play "Stairway to Heaven" on electric cello with the orchestra. We had a couple of demos today and the kids were really into it! One came up to me at the end and said, "Mr. Von Cello I just want to say that I was amazed at your cello playing." Mr. Von Cello ... I like that!

Post No. 1963
06/11/2008 03:02 AM
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its a strike
Von Cello 

Post No. 1962
06/10/2008 07:39 PM
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The Gas in Spain

I heard on the news today that the truckers are revolting in Spain and preventing gas shipments. They said that people are lining up for gas. Some can't get gas and are wondering how they are going to get to work. Is this true?

I have plenty of gas. In fact, if you'll excuse me...


Post No. 1961
06/10/2008 02:18 PM
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a jew will be the new top general in the usa air force
Von Cello 

Post No. 1960
06/10/2008 08:35 AM
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Minsky's Follies!

Hummable tunes, aye? Some of the most memorable are from Broadway composers. Take for instance Gershwin's "Summertime", or "Someone to Watch Over Me". How about Porter's "Night and Day"? Richard Rogers is perhaps the king of the hummable tune: "Oklahoma", "Surrey With the Fringe on Top", "It's a Lovely Day Today", "Shall We Dance", "My Favorite Thingss" - to name a few. And a host of other show by other composers: "Sunrise Sunset", "Music of the Night", "Summer Nights", "On the Street Where You Live".

But here's the NEWS FLASH - I am going to write a Broadway show! It's Top Secret, so don't tell anybody!!

Post No. 1959
06/09/2008 10:38 AM
Email eaburke81  go to the Homepage of eaburke81
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Humming through the Cenutries

Von Cello wrote (summarizing an audience member's thoughts from the recent New Directions Cello Festival):
"It is music for the centuries". for the centuries. I like the sound of that and would have to agree. (I have not yet have the pleasure of hearing your Ten International Cello Encores, but I have no doubt that they are in fact enlighteningm pioneering peices of music with interesting melodies).

On the subject of melodies, I was talking with my mother yesterday and the subject of music came up. I stated that you just don't hear any interesting melodies on the radio anymore....melodies you could hum easily if there were no lyrics to them. I can't remeber what she said in responce to that, but I thought it would be something for the guestbook here.
I like a song I can sing along to; lyrics are great if they reach beyong boy/girl love and dating situatiions (phish songs being an example of a group singing non-love lyrics). So lyrics are good, but sometimes I just love to hum...and for that I need a group or artist to give me a good, simple, yet expressive melody line. Now it's going to be hard for me to give examples here on the guestbook since it is a visual medium, but recent songs I've heard with melodies I love include the following:

"Still Alive" by singer-songwriter Johnathan Coulton. I believe he's based out of Connecticut. The original song is about a mad scientist and was featured in the soundtrack to a popular video game. Recent parodies of the song have been made of the song on Just google this and you might get to hear the song. The melody line is simple, yet expressive as I said before. Those parodies are "Still Annoyed" by Rob Balder, and "Still a Nerd" by Tom Smith, two comedy artists I think are worth checking out.

"Bouree" by Jethro Tull. Of course, this was originally written by Bach, but Anderson's flute elevates it to the next level. I can't accurately hum this tune all, but again, it's simple and expressive.

"MMMM MMMM MMMM" by 90's rock group the Crash Test Dummies (and parodied by Wierd Al).
Google this one too, it's worth a listen just for the music behind those lyrics. And how about that title, eh?

Of course the Beatles, Zappa, and now Minsky, have some hummable tunes as well....I think the most hummable (AKA memorable) songs of our time have been from artists who have a real ear for music, and thus can create melodies that almost twist, turn, flow up and down and turn inside out..I mean, music with "shape" to it..."wriggling air molecules" as Zappa described the output of the work of a composer.
As Zappa also said " is the best".

Von Cello 

Post No. 1958
06/09/2008 09:43 AM
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Aaron Garr Minsky

The trip to Ithaca was very intersting for many reasons ... too many to discuss here, but one thing that was really cool about it was that I performed my original music not as Von Cello but Aaron Minsky. I hope I don't sound self-obsessed if I discuss this, because this issue must affect many performers and others who use stage names. For instance, I wonder how Mick Jagger would feel if he performed as Micael Phillips. Or how would Elton John feel if he performed as Reginald Dwight? So many rockers use different names!

Performing as Aaron Minsky meant to me that this was really me. Von Cello is me to a large extent, but I am the first to admit that Von Cello is a character ... just as Mick Jagger is a character and many others are characters. For instance, Alice Cooper has this scary, violent image, but if you've ever heard him interviewed you find out that he's actually an intellectual who loves to play golf! The same is true of hip hop stars. They act like tough gansters, but in reality they are shrewd businessmen and women making a living off of an image they have crafted.

As Aaron Minsky I am less in the line of Jimi Hendrix and Ian Anderson, and more in the line of the classical composers. I do not like to toot my own horn but judging from the audience response and the comments that were made to me, and also to my wife, there was an understanding by many people there that a great new work for the cello has been born, a work that will be performed around the world and will probably live on after we are all gone. One participant said, "This is the New Directions Cello Festival, but you brought us a REAL piece of music." What he was saying is that this piece goes beyond "New Directions". It is music for the centuries.

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