Here's a brief improvisation to another famous movie melody combined with a small selection of my graphic art. This independent artist thanks you for visiting. Please sign the imaginary guest book and help yourself to some imaginary hors d'oeuvres. Sure, all you can eat!

And on the literary side of the corral, where do writers find inspiration? Any fans of family-friendly pop culture, Erik Satie and awesome grandmothers?

"Experience is a form of paralysis."
-- Erik Satie

My grandmothers enjoyed Satie and did me the favor of introducing me to his hauntingly fine music. Eventually I read Ornella Volta's revealing book, "Satie Seen Through His Letters" - one of the best ways to learn about Erik Satie. Very informative. I was so impressed by this unusual composer's life and times that I could not resist writing a Roald Dahl-like homage to Satie in the form of a sci-fi-steampunkish ersatz "screenplay" (cinematic literary experience, to be read but never spoken aloud) featuring Erik Satie fictionalized in the style of Willy Wonka.

Anyone ever hear of Entr'acte? Some of the inspiration came from this antique comedically surrealistic fantasy from 1924 in which Satie can be seen hopping around in slow-motion together with artist, Francis Picabia. Fascinated by the technology of his age, Satie was among the first composers to purposefully apply his talents to the art of cinema, notably in the film, Entr'acte (much recommended): https://archive.org/details/ArteReneClairwFrancisPicabiaErikSatieEntracte1924 Entr'acte originally premiered as an entr'acte for Relâche. Relâche being the humorously self-deprecatingly named ballet by the versatile artist, Francis Picabia.

Btw "relâche" is the French word used on posters to indicate that a show has been canceled, or that a theater is closed. Ha. Get it? What a title! Now that's funny, self-deprecating humor.

So if you are in the mood for an avant-garde sci-fi adventure, here's a PDF-link to that:


For added clarity and pleasantries, the pages of the PDF file that refer to specific musical works function as clickable links to specific examples of said musical works by Satie and others.

It's supposed to be confusing and experimental - in the style of a Parisian avant-garde topsy-turvy funhouse ride. Thus does it intentionally attempt to yank the reader's expectations all over the place. Although it turns out to be entirely reasonable.

The nonstandard antique typeface and artistic look of the work is in honor of Satie being a talented calligrapher and graphic artist, and to make the work appear to have been cheaply micro-computer-printed onto a roll of cash-register tape with a built-in 'end of roll' visual warning that lets the reader know when the end is nigh.

"Our heads are round so our thoughts can change direction.”
-- Francis Picabia

Additional piquant satire: Here's a cautionary tale based on an arcane viola joke that explains the true value of music in our increasingly tastelessly auto-tuned and brute-force-mass-marketed lowest-common-denominator-driven modern world: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1R0zc_NrKCYGxrodvR85VqC4i-WliZv4H/view?usp=sharing

Learn more about the proud and venerable history of viola jokes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viola_jokes

Further reading: http://www.violajoke.com/

Anyway, I'm guessing that if you have found your way to this off-the-beaten-track artsy channel and have actually taken the opportunity to read all the way down to here (congratulations on having nothing better to do, I know how you feel!), then you may be wondering about where all this tediously convoluted Blarney might be going. Answer: Nowhere in particular. So thanks for stopping by.

Graphic art, originals, commissions, prints, murals, graphic design, photography and literature by Dave with an assortment of musical guests including Triple Happiness Hot Club du USA, the West Coast's premier modern interpretive swing ensemble.

Graphic art, prints and music...contact: [email protected]

"Cheer up! I know a man who can play a scherzo on the violin - and does it all with his TOES!"
-- Charles Chaplin, from his 1952 film, Limelight.
Speaking of thinking outside the peg-box, here's an antique daguerreotype of a man who taught himself to play the violin beautifully and very successfully with his feet. His career predated audio recordings, so I combined the image with my own improvisation of a famous melody by the superb composer, Larry Kusik. Isn't it about time you learned about the godfather of toe-violin? Yes, thank goodness! Just for some added perspective, meet Carl Unthan. For purposes of encouraging objectivity, this uplifting soul sometimes performed from behind a blind. The image is of twenty-year-old Unthan at his first concert engagement in Vienna in 1868, conducted by none other than the "Waltz King" himself, Johann Strauss. Learn more about this multifaceted toe-violinist on his informative Wikipedia page. Or read the book entitled: The Armless Fiddler, a pediscript. And coincidentally here is a thoughtful review of Unthan's enjoyably otherworldly yet down-to-earth autobiography (by Vivian from Goodreads):

On April 5th, 1848, Carl Herman Unthan was born, without arms, into the household of the school teacher in the East Prussian village of Sommerfeld. Villagers speculated as to what his parents' sin might have been, to have brought this curse upon the household. The midwife offered to suffocate the baby. His father said that "wilful murder does not form part of a schoolmaster's duties" and dismissed her offer with disgust and contempt. When his mother took him into her arms she said, "It is our child; God has sent it and will not forsake it."

During the boy's earliest years the father declared three rules: "The boy is never to be pitied by anyone! Leave the boy without shoes and socks. Let the boy have his way - whoever helps him will have trouble with me!" These three foundations shaped the boy's life. He had an innately cheerful nature. He was "all boy" and got himself into many scrapes through which he found he could swim, undress and dress himself, feed himself, and even play a violin which was attached to a chair.

This autobiography is an engaging narrative of his life, during which he travels the world, rides horses, becomes a sharp shooter, and marries happily. He lives to the ripe old age of eighty, living through the tumultuous years of revolutions and world war. There are photographs of him shaving, typing, applying collar studs, etc.

His greatest desire was to be instrumental in opening a school for the armless. He declared that he never once felt that he would have been happier with arms. Furthermore, he never met anyone whom he had reason to envy. He was grateful to parents who taught him faith, hope, and love - the greatest being love.

It is an amazing account. To read this one, you may have to submit an inter-library loan request. The copy I read came from the University of Oregon.
- Vivian

Great work, Vivian. Also the point about inter-library lending is super-helpful. That's how I managed to find a copy. The Armless Fiddler: Certainly a "must read" from the perspective of anyone who enjoys books about intrepid toe-violinists.

Graphic art, prints and music...contact: [email protected]


Created 1 year, 7 months ago.

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Category Arts & Literature

Hello internet friends. This independent artist thanks you for visiting his portfolio of acoustic music, art and literature. Please sign the imaginary guest book and help yourself to some imaginary hors d'oeuvres. Sure, all you can eat.

Ergonomic violin, viola, cello, blockflöte, art, murals, graphic design, photography, originals, commissions, prints, fiction, satire, content writing, teaching by Dave with an assortment of musical guests including Triple Happiness Hot Club du USA, the West Coast's premier modern interpretive swing ensemble.

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