Shepherd Flutes Of Slovakia

In centuries recently past, but not before men’s memory, deeply haunting and evocative calls echoed over valleys between adjacent hills, under the wing of night in the rural countryside of central Slovakia. The shepherds who loosed these sounds, it is told, communicated observations about wolves numbers and directions to others of their trade. Sometimes five kilometers their informative melodies would traverse. And an art form grew from this, the shepherd musicians soothing one another and flocks alike in the loneliness of the dark central European nights. Whether this legend was ‘true’ no long mattered to me when first I came across it; I knew I had to go there.

[ 3 fujarists under a crystal sky ; Details of traditional fujara decorative carvings ; Young musician integrating an alto fujara into her performance art ; Dushan Holik, selling his musical wares ]

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Antje’s Anniversary Present

Stuart was the first philosopher I’d ever met. At least he saw things that way. He was actually studying it in university, in South Africa I think, and could hold forth about Nietzsche’s opinions on this or that matter while as a 19-year-old hitchhiking through Europe in the early 70’s, all I could muster was a general awareness that the guy was cool for our generation because he said God was dead and dug the concept of superman…

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