Greg Henry Waters Newsletter December 2006 Happy Holidays



Well, months and months have gone by and time marches on never stopping.  This is the process of life as we move forward and backwards at the same time.  Sometimes I think things are so wonderful and at other times I think the world is coming to an end.  I believe this is because of different time movements.  Just as a piece of music has a beginning and ending so do events in our lives.  We carry with us all the time these events and they are written in our soul.  I have been thinking about so many subjects, not so many really, three or four.  These are modern day pop guitar music, music education at Lincoln Center, Juilliard School, New York City Music, Music in General, War and what is art music?


My children asked me about the war and I said there is nothing we can do about it because ever since I was born the USA has been involved in some war or another, 2nd, Korean, Vietnam and now Iraq.  I do not understand the need for mankind to always be involved in killing others as if it was a normal thing to do.  Sometimes I think maybe war is normal for the ignorant masses.  This is their way of life.  They only know war and aggressive behavior.  I was on the metro yesterday and these four kids came into the train car and started talking.  Then one girl attacked the other girl with a verbal attack for no reason.  She said she was a very strange girl and said some other stupid things to her.  I really was ashamed to be there and hear this.  For the other girl, who was verbally attacked just sat there and said nothing.  I told the one girl you do not belong in New York City you belong in a right wing area where everybody is ‘superior’.  What was strange is that this girl did not even think anything was wrong with this way of speaking.  It was if she was blind to her own evil.  Evil way of life just controls so many people whether it is an institution, church, government, musical group, race, office, an individual, or our own families.  We are surrounded by this evil or as it written in the bible the devil within not from without.  I must say I have had this experience of being attacked many times and I am sure there are a lot of others out there maybe millions with this same problem.  It is a strange way to live I think.  People have to learn to be human beings they are not born that way.


I must say the invention of the electric guitar has been a real downfall for music.  All popular TV shows and movies use this sound for their background music and the level of harmony and its development has gone down and down to ever a lower degree about 90% of the time.  Now they play so loud and the distortion of the sound has reached an all time high with the tuning of the strings and special effects. The guitar is a beautiful instrument without electric, it cannot replace the big band or the orchestra the two most important groups in western music.  Music has to do with harmony not electric power or the overtone series. No matter how much they try to change musical notes they cannot for it is the overtones that make the sound of a note and the harmonic value of those notes. It’s truly a disgrace to music.  Why does the media promote such music? Even the Tonight Show has this instrument for its lead voice.  I harmonic ability of the guitar has many limitation compared to a big band or orchestra.  It is a disgrace to our society and these leaders, for me, are some of the biggest sinners in the world that promote this music for money and the ignorant masses.


You know, since, I have been recovering from my illness I have time to watch TV and listen to local media.  Sometimes I get physically sick from this listening and watching.  I wonder what it does to the uneducated and the (educated) ignorant?  I only think it makes them become helpless victims to their own unreality.  The time zone we all live in a time zone or history of when we were born and the events of the day and how they effect life.  The circles of ideas and history I call it.  All over lapping with the other and none are living in their own reality.  Having lived in three or four families I have learned that my reality has nothing to do with some of the closes people in my life.  I am sure we all experience this and pretend not to notice it to same our own illusions.


Even my own music is not related to popular systems of music.  I was listening to my Christmas Album today and I noticed it doesn’t sound like traditional Christmas Music, but I call it my Christmas Album because I use traditional old hyms.  Now I ask myself what is wrong with me that I have no desire to compose or write music for the masses?  How can I earn a living unless I please the ignorant and stupid?  Well, I really do not know.  I just think there are more important things to do then to try to please people who know nothing of music or its real value.


The development of a real musician takes 30 years.  Why does society have so little respect for the trained musician? Why are there so many educated musicians out of work when all you hear around you is music, music and more music?  I was at Alice Tully Hall, which is a beautiful room for music and sound, listening to Juilliard Orchestra with three student conductors. I have always asked myself how can you teach someone to lead? I always thought that some things in music cannot be taught it just must be there like your leg, arm or eyes are there.


The conductors all looked good, acted like conductors, but only one had control of the orchestra.  Now what is this magic all about? What is the music?  What is the style? What was it?  Well, I think it was the ability of the orchestra in relationship to the piece of music and the conductor.  You see, I learned many years ago one could compose a piece of music but to get someone to play it is another story and is another art form.  You sometimes have to compose a piece that the musician can understand.  One is really not free to compose in complete freedom. Poor musicians are in an environment that is controlled by other musicians who are full of prejudice and forms of musical historical ignorance.  One is not allowed to be creative because of musician peer pressure.  It is really an impossible solution to create music.



I read something really funny for me.  The Juilliard News reported that they are going to help New York City Schools improve their instrumental music programs.  Well for me this is a complete joke because the New York Public Schools took out instrumental music some 35 years ago and left vocal music and general music classes.  Now we have rap music because of it?  Thank You, New York Public Schools Directors and your lack of knowledge and complete ignorance when it comes to the power of music. 


The kids really played a joke on you with their rap music.  I hope you are happy now directors, you leaders, of education or is it leaders of ignorance I would rather say.


Some years ago I was promoting my non-profit organization to perform concerts in the school in the public school system here using all professionals.  But the Juilliard School had their hands in playing local school concerts with their students.  Because my institution was not connected to a large official organization I could not get to first base. ‘I was always striking out.’ So I must say I am not too impressed with these large money driven aggressive schools like Juilliard and their ideas of music and what music is.  For me they are nothing but dead museums for the most part collecting old information from times past and promoting their students like they are the only musicians in the world.  Such is the world of competition! The peer pressure of institutions and their devils I call them.


Anyway, how can the student of music become a real professional and not just live in the peer pressure world of society?  I really do not know I am just bringing up the subject if anyone cares to read and listen.


Anyway, words for thought and hope of a more creative world rather then this dark age of music.  Rap and Bach, what do they have in common?  What does the guitar have to do with Bach?

Electronics does not change the values of music only the sound.  What a joke on music the electric guitar!


What can I say to get anyone’s attention and have meaning and change in our society? I do not know!  I can only write and try to destroy some of the powerful forces of music ignorance.


Sincerely, Greg Henry Waters

Artist of Music and Yoga