Dear Dr. Hocker,
sorry about the delay in answering your letter.
There are many things we will have to discuss, when I am there. About
your immediate questions as to which hammer rail to use, whichever has
hardened hammers. I did increase the wind pressure on my pianos to about
40". However I do not think it is too important.
Sincerely, Conlon Nancarrow.
(Ich bitte um
Nachsicht für die Verspätung bei der Beantwortung Ihres Briefes. Wir müssen
viele Dinge diskutieren, wenn ich dort bin. Zu Ihren konkreten Fragen, welche Hammerleiste Sie verwenden sollten -
jedwede, die gehärtete
Hämmer hat. Ich erhöhte den Winddruck meiner Klaviere auf ungefähr
40". Ich glaube jedoch, dies ist nicht so wichtig.)"
Thanks for the wonderful photos. I am very glad to
hear that the piano is now in a good condition. I am planning to take
the other rolls with me when I go to Germany in October. Also, I am
taking another roll for Mr. Ligeti's birthday. Otfrid Nies already has a
tape of the piano part of the Toccata. I think you met Mr. Trimpin in
Amsterdam. He works in the conservatory there and also has a studio in
the U.S. He said he could bring equipments here for photocopying my
rolls, but it would cost about 1,500.00 dollars plus expenses. I don't
know whether I can afford that. I still don't know what our schedule is
to be. Best to you and your wife from all of us,
Hocker, herzlichen Dank für die wunderschönen Fotos. Ich bin sehr froh
zu hören, dass das Piano nun in einem guten Zustand ist. Ich
beabsichtige, die anderen Rollen mitzubringen, wenn ich im Oktober nach
Deutschland komme. Außerdem bringe ich eine weitere Rolle für Ligetis
Geburtstag mit. Otfrid Nies hat bereits ein Tonband mit der
Klavierbegleitung der Toccata...)
Thanks for your letter of May 24. We appreciate your
offer of travelling with you, and we would like very much to do so if it
is not too much a nuisance for you. I am trying to get the appearance in
Hannover changed from Oct. 18 to Oct. 19. If it can not be done it is
not very important. Also we have been invited by Réne Block to a
concert in Berlin Oct. 21. I do not know whether or not you are planning
to go there. Mr. Block did not mention it, but I assumend he was
counting on your appearance with the piano. I guess you will hear from
Also I just got a letter from Dr. Becker. He is expecting us from
Oct. 11 on for various rehearsals. He mentions Oct. 11 for "the
installation of the Ampico piano and its amplification system". I
did not know there was to be an amplification system. In any case, I
assume you will be there for that. I just heard that Trimpin, the person
I mentioned previously, is getting a grant to come here and fotocopy all
my rolls. He says he will bring all his equipment, and that it may take
about two weeks (it is not as simple as you seem to think). I don't know
when he will be able to do it. So far I have not heard from Mr. Duarte.
June 21 we are invited to a festival of the 25th anniversary of AMICA in
San Francisco. Best to both from all of us,
(Lieber Jürgen, herzlichen Dank für Deinen
Brief vom 24. Mai. Wir freuen uns über Dein Angebot mit Euch zu fahren,
und wir würden es gerne annehmen, wenn es nicht zuviel Umstand für
Euch ist. Ich werde versuchen, die Vorstellung in Hannover vom 18. auf
den 19. Oktober zu verlegen. Wenn es nicht gelingt, ist es auch nicht
sehr wichtig. Darüber hinaus wurden wir von René Block zu einem
Konzert in Berlin am 21. Oktober eingeladen. Ich weiß nicht, ob Du
ebenfalls planst, dorthin zu fahren.
Herr Block erwähnte nichts darüber,
aber ich nehme an, dass er mit Deinem Erscheinen und dem des Pianos
rechnet. Ich vermute, Du wirst von ihm hören. Außerdem habe ich gerade
einen Brief von Dr. Becker bekommen. Er erwartet uns am 11. Oktober für
verschiedene Proben. Er erwähnte außerdem den 11. Oktober für das
Aufstellen des Ampico-Flügels und des Verstärkersystems. Ich wusste
nichts davon, dass dort ein Verstärker-System sein sollte. In jedem
Fall nehme ich an, dass Du dort sein wirst. Ich höre gerade, dass
Trimpin, die Person, die ich kürzlich erwähnte, einen Zuschuss
bekommt, um hierher zu kommen, um all meine Rollen zu fotokopieren. Er
meint, er würde seine gesamte Ausrüstung mitbringen und es würde etwa
2 Wochen in Anspruch nehmen. (Es ist nicht so einfach wie Du glaubst.)
Ich weiß nicht, wann er in der Lage sein wird, dies zu tun. Bis jetzt
habe ich noch nichts von Herrn Duarte gehört. Für den 21. Juni sind
wir zu einem Festival aus Anlass des 25jährigen Jubiläums der AMICA
(Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors Association) in San Francisco
eingeladen. Beste Grüße an Beide von uns allen,
thanks for the deposit in a local bank, second, I never received any
royalties from Peter Garland nor Hanser-Strecker [for publishing the
scores]. I own the copy-right of my pieces.
but not least, is to decipher the letter you received about the
different concerts for the festival [Musik und Maschine - Nancarrow und
Ligeti in Köln, 17th of October 1988]. I gather that the first concert
will be with you and the piano. But I still do not understand what the
others concerts will be like. The second concert will be Charial and me.
don’t understand what the piano will be doing during that time. I
gather that the pianos will be live, but who is going to be playing them
(and what)? The third concert seems only mas vague. If you can decipher
these concerts, would you please let me know about them.
to you and Beatrix. Yoko has been meaning to write you, but she has been
very sick. Fortunately she is getting better.
for your letter. I am glad to hear that the rolls arrived safely. When
we get there I will explain
to you why the proposal of Mr. Duarte for copying the rolls is not very
son Mako is not going with us this time. Of course we would like to go
with you from Cologne to Hamburg to Hannover. René Block said he would
arrange for transportation from Hanover to Berlin and from Berlin back
hope you enjoyed your vacation in Spain.
regards to you and Beatrix from all of us,
Dear Beatrix and Jürgen,
can't tell you how much we enjoyed your company, and how much we
appreciate all of the things you did for us. I am sorry about the delay
in writing. Shortly after our return I had a bad attack of bronchitis
and was in bed for some time. Later Trimpin came and spent a week
copying the rolls. He now has the complete information of all the rolls
on his computer programs. As it is now he can play the pieces on the
vorsetzer which he invented (it fits on the top of the keys of any
piano). For building the instrument that can copy and punch the rolls
from the programs he is trying to get a grant for it because it will be
quite expensive. He says that with that instrument he can punch a copy
of a piece of mine that took six months to punch, in thirty minutes. In
any case he is going to write to you explaining all the details.
Almeida festival in London is going to do a concert of my music this
summer, and they want you to go there with your piano. Also, the New
Music Festival for 1990 is going to be in Canada, and they want to fly
you and the piano there (and of course with your technician). They may
have called you by now. I gave them your phone number. Some time in the
future you may have to resign from Bayer and devote yourself full time
to your career as a concert pianist [....] -
Best to all from both,
Auch Yoko schrieb - unabhängig von Conlon - wenige Tage später einen
Yoko wrote several days later:
we are still talking how wonderful it was the whole trip in Germany. We
know that without your company, it wouldn't be so pleasant. Frankly I
was worrying quite a bit, before, of traveling a long distance by car,
with the tight concert schedule, but thank (mainly) to both of you,
everything turned out to be so nice and pleasant ...Looking through the
fotographs, I can immediately perceive how much Conlon was enjoying with
you both. I hope sincerely that we will be able to see you again soon
somewhere in the world ... It will certainly be an unforgettable trip
for both of us. Thank you again, hoping to see you soon.
of December 1988
Just a note. Very busy. The cassette arrived,
the sound of that
hammer rail is perfect. I would suggest that if
you want an extra one modify the other metallic one to make it the same.
Jörg did a wonderful job on the piano (and his English is rapidly
improving). I hope you understood the things in the package I sent. The
German reviews were ones that you did not have in the scrap-book you
sent me. Also, you wanted to see some copies of my punching scores. Best
to you and Beatrix, also Jörg,
course: we are expecting you in April. Also, we would
like to have you stay in our house (unless you would be expecting very
luxurious quarters). Later please let us know the details of your
arrival including your flight number. I think your proposal for the
two-piano arrangement is very complicated. The answer to that and other
problems is easily solved by Trimpin’s Vorsetzer, which is a simple
piece that sits on top of the keyboard of any piano. Also, it is
electronically controlled as a hundred pianos could be synchronized
perfectly. In November I am going to the New Music America festival in
New York, where there will be several concerts with me and Trimpin. He
is taking his Vorsetzer and will do various arrangements of some of my
pieces for four pianos and various percussion instruments, of which he
has made many. When you come we can discuss these problems in more
detail. (At the same time in New York Ursula Oppens is going to give the
first performance of a piece for piano which she had commissioned me to
do). I have heard no more from Toronto. I have a feeling that since the
N.Y. festival is doing a similar thing they have dropped the idea. I
hope the concerts in Warsaw went well. Best for you and Beatrix from
Am 21. März 1990
schrieb Yoko Nancarrow einen Brief, in dem sie über die schwere
Krankheit Conlons berichtet:
The 21th of March 1990 Yoko reports about Conlon's
serious health problems:
Letter from Yoko, 21.3.1990.
Dear Beatrix and Jürgen,
This is the first letter which I have written since 3 months ago. We
certainly had very difficult and anguished moments. At some point, we
almost lost our hope, because his health problem was getting more and
more complicated. But fortunately, Conlon survived his most difficult
test, test of life or death. As you may have imagined, Mako and I have
passed days after days of franticness ?? and exhaustion between the hospital and home.
letter sounds long and maybe a bit boring for you.
But I feel I should write to you what exactly happened to Conlon.
general health condition had not been well for some time, very probably
due to his badly done prostate operation. As you know, he had a second
operation at the end of last October. He had such a great illusion, that
with that operation, his problem will be resolved, which did not turn
out true. For one thing,
the anesthesia affected his right leg. His urination problem continued
to be a problem. Besides after 3 weeks from his operation, the doctor
gave him a permission to go to New York. The trip was too precipitated
and too overwhelming for Conlons fragile health. It was quite hectic and
draining for both of us. We came back exhausted and worn out to Mexico.
Beside by that time, I found out that I had several health problems. For
these, the doctor prescribed a lot of medicines and a stiff corset with
metal bars, which I have to wear all the time. He prohibited me driving
more or less at the same time, Conlon was developing prostatitis and he
became more and more depressed. He was so deeply depressed that he
forgot everything, which made him convince that he was suffering
fact, until the day before, I was not certain whether we should cancel
Theos filming. But the same urologist told us that Conlon could get
distracted by that. But, it had been too much a stress for Conlon, even
though they are very nice an thoughtful people.
an idea of many people in and out of the house was enough to make him
exhausted. I saw him tired and tense. By the time they finished filming
(one week), Conlon was also finished exhausted physically and
you know, he is quite different from other people. Things like filming
for other people is a distraction and fun: for Conlon, it was a stress
and strain, even with a friend like Theo. He got terribly ill the 16th,
the day after we came back from Acatlipa. That day, a friend of mine and
I went to see some regional museums for the purpose of five hundred
years of Americas discovery exhibition at Smithonian Institution,
Washington D.C. According to the maid’s story, he went to his studio
around the noon time, saying that he is going to shave his beard. Then
he didn’t come back. Apparently, while he was struggling for
connecting his electric shaver in a very uncomfortable position,
suddenly he could not get up; so he decided to stay on the very cold
studio for more than an hour, calling Mako. Finally, by chance, the maid
heard him calling Mako’s name desperately. Then she went to the studio
to help him get up and bring him home. I have a slight feeling that at
that moment Conlon has suffered a very mild stroke in his left brain.
The maid told me that he could hardly breathe.
by the time, we came back from Toluca, Mako was back already. He took
his father to the bed, but Conlon was having very difficult time for
breathing. His physical Condition was so weak, that he could even move
his body in the bed. Then he stayed one week in bed, taking again very
strong antibiotic. [...] Unfortunately, my physical condition was also
at the worst point: with my back problem, pressure on finishing an
article and my dissertation, attending people, etc. So taking care of
Conlon has then been a terribly exhausting task. By the end of the week,
when Conlon was already feeling much better, walking down to the living
room and doing a bit of exercises, I was totally worn out physically.
we canceled our trip to Berkeley/Calf. and Seattle: Both of the concerts,
that Conlon had been expecting for such a long time. Of course, that
made him quite depressed. Though with
all this, his health was really improving.
Sunday 21th, Theo and Berndt visited Conlon to say good bye and get
their stuffs left in Conlon’s studio. Unfortunately, Berndt was in the
most contagious stage of a grip, which affected many Mexicans this
winter. This grip was an especially aggressive and nasty one. Many
people got seriously ill. Well the very next day, Conlon got violently
ill again; a lot of cough, fever and lung congestion. Any kind of
respiratory sickness makes Conlon very ill, because of his bad lung
I called again the same young doctor from the hospital to check Conlon.
He came and told us that Conlon had grip, prescribing him only coughing
medicine, which turned out to be extremely irritant for the stomach. By
that day, he could not tolerate any food; remitting everything, also
having diarrhea. They made him even weaker. And the same night, we had
to take him to the hospital, under this doctor’s responsibility.
that was the greatest mistake we committed. We found out that he was not
a neumologist (his elder brother is so), but a general doctor. Since
then he stayed 10 days in the hospital. The doctor told us that
Conlon’s condition was not serious, and that he might leave the
hospital in few days. Though, he could not convince me very much,
because all those days, Conlon was not quite alert nor conscious enough.
He spent most of the time asleep and did not look quite well. The doctor
told us that Conlon’s problem was due to arteriosclerosis. [...] With
all this and the test of electrolyte, which clearly shows that Conlon
had very low sodium, potassium and calcium, the doctor sent Conlon home
the 7th. The doctor said that he did every thing that the
hospital can do. Conlon should be home, and be taken care by his family.
I saw him in bad state.
spite of the doctors opinion, we hired an ambulance, because he could
not stay sitting.
the ambulance, he vomited. After we arrived home, his condition became
even worse during the same afternoon. Then I finally convinced the old
neumologist to come and examine him. [...] When he finally came around
7.00 p.m., Conlon was already in a critical state. He was semiconscious.
He detected that he had vascular problem, which affected his right side
of his body.
his electrolyte was so low that it’s causing a sort of metabolic coma.
The nest morning, the 8th, he told us that Conlon had to be
sent to an intensive care to the hospital. Since then he stayed there
for 12 days. For the first few days, the doctors didn’t see much hope
for survival. [...] He was developing rapidly bronchial pneumonic and
kidney deficiency. [...] Meanwhile we got in touch with another doctor
[...] the neumologist finally pulled Conlon out from this crisis.
by this time (that was the fifth hospitalization for Conlon in less than
a year), my health and emotional conditions were in the worst shape. I
felt totally isolated, desperate, helpless, impotent etc. etc. And I’m
so sorry that I had to call you in such a lamentable state, causing you
problem. As you know, Conlon decided to stay anonymous in Mexico, so he
really does not have many friends, who will be able to give some support
(emotionally). All of his friends (or almost) are outside of Mexico. I
thought if Conlon hears his friends voice, he would got more supported.
So I called several friends in the States (USA) and to you in Germany.
[...] Anyway, finally Conlon left the hospital at the 26th of
February. Since then, he is slowly getting more strength physically and
mentally. At the beginning he was incoherent in thought. But now (21th
of March) he is very alert; though sometimes he has a little trouble
with memory. We have one day nurse and one night nurse.
[...] But day by day, he is getting better. Now he comes down
stairs; eats with us; do several times walking in the garden. [...]
speaking, I don’t know what I could have done without your and my
family’s financial help. [...] Before Conlons brother used to help us
a bit, but (this is still a secret that I haven’t told to Conlon), he
had recent a colon cancer operation, so he was not in a financial
condition to help us.
morning, 16th of March, John Cage called us; he said he just
received a letter from Herbert Henck about Conlon. He offers any
financial aids for Conlon. I said, we are surviving so far with the help
of a German friend and my family’s. But he insisted that any time, we
need help, we should call him. He wants to help Conlon, he said. He is
really a wonderful person (always he has been so).
By the way, Suite Coyoacan is reserved for you. Hoping to see you , soon.
22 nd of June, 90
Dear Beatrix and Jürgen:
Time flies away. Since you left, it had passed already two months. We
all felt very sad after your leave, even though we could not be able to
attend you the way we would like to do. Your visit was, in retrospective,
very positive for all of us. We felt more animated. It is always a great
pleasure to welcome our friends whom we appreciate deeply.
Since then we have been trying our best, so that his health would be
well enough to go to Italy, country which he was very anxious to visit
and to meet you again there. He had really a great illusion to attend
the concert [VIII Rassegna di Nueva Musica, Macerata, 5th of
June 1990]. As you have seen, at the beginning his recovery was quite
fast and much better than what the doctors have thought, taking in
consideration that his condition was extremely critical. Though since
you left Mexico, his progress has been some what slow.
This 26th of June,
it will be 4 months since he left the hospital, but his health condition
still goes ups and downs. Often he has to take antibiotics. On top of it,
he had a serious teeth problem. His only molars have come off, so he had
to eat with his front teeth. For two months we have been eating ground
meat and other soft goods. It has been a nuisance. Finally, 2 weeks ago,
he got his new teeth. Now he can chew, though it still takes some time
to get used to his new false teeth. I feel sometimes desperate as I see
him weak, depressed and impatient. Still I am trying my best.
So you can imagine how much disappointed he was, when he decided to
cancel the trip. But I know
that he just didn’t feel well enough to make such a long trip. Anyway
Stefano [Scodanibbio] sent him a telegram, so we know that the concert
I have been trying to encourage him as much as possible. I thought when
he is able to go to his studio, he will be better physically as well as
animically. That was the main reason that I decided to clean his studio
at all cost. Since you left, Mako, Angela and I have been trying
to clean without other
people’s help. We easily threw away 20 big garbage bags, but he work
was endless. It was really overwhelming, as you can imagine.
decided to call the company. They sent 6 people every day. Plus, Mako,
Angela, Carlos (he may be visiting you, there; because he will be in
Germany) & I worked with them from morning till night. It took one
week to finish cleaning and they took the amount of 3 trucks of garbage,
old magazines, etc.
By the time we finished
cleaning his studio, library, workshop & upstairs, we were
materially exhausted. It seemed an impossible task, but finally we
accomplished it. Before I promised to Conlon that he will be able to use
his studio from the beginning of June, so we did it.
Since then, Conlon has used his studio 4 or 5 times. Little by little.
Each time 1 or 1 ½ hours. At the beginning, he was furious and
desperate, because he could not find things as they were before. It is
true that we have throne away some of the strips (temporal scale).
Finally he decided he had to do those again. He said, it may be less
time and work to do them again than
try to find them. He was a bit
discouraged at the beginning. But I insist on him working on his music.
I know that he will not be able to live without his music. But also he
needs a lot of energy to create that music, which he does not have yet.
Psycologicaly & animically, though, Conlon still is not very strong,
since he gets new and old health problems one after another. Physically
he is still quite delicate, which does not help him emotionally. […]
These two last weeks he has been doing better; then suddenly the last
Sunday afternoon, when we were planning to go out to take an espresso
coffee at a bookstore nearby with a friend of ours, he started to urinate
with blood. […]
Finally, I could get in touch with the
saved his life, when Jörg [Borchardt] was here, last June. He came to
examine Conlon & prescribed another antibiotic. Fortunately this
doctor could come, otherwise we might have been in a terrible situation.
His bleeding has stopped by the next day […].
But since then
Conlon’s anaemic condition has been down. He is fed up with one
sickness after another, and one medicine after another. I understand him
and it heart me so much seeing him like that, but I can only encourage
him to overcome that state of being. It is very hard for all of us.
Conlon has, still, every day
his physiotherapy lesson, which, I think, helps him a lot. His body
coordination is better now […].
How have you been? We miss all of you. Please let us know how was the
concert in Italy. I really wish to see you and appreciated all your
advice both of you have given me. Well I should stop here, since I have
to go to get Conlon’s medical result.
18th January 91
Dear Beatrix and Jürgen.
I have been meaning to write you even before you called us. But all the
last three months, I have been terribly busy finishing my Ph. D. thesis;
many details which took me a lot of time. Then, I had to look for a
place, so that Conlon could be able to escape from the terrible
pollution, which every year accentuated around the Xmas time. (People
become crazy for Xmas shopping and new year’s eve party). Through our
friend we found a very nice place for renting at Cuautla; (1300 ms)
about 1000 ms lower than Mexico City; warm, beautiful climate, but 102
kms away from Mexico City, which means a lot of driving for me.
We came here (I’m writing
you from Cuautla) to spend my Xmas vacations. […]
As you know, Conlon
is a very determined person. So if he thinks, he can not do, (even
though he is capable to do), he does not do any effort. Then I have to
give double or triple energy to move him one step forward. As the doctor
said, his health has improved day by day; but he gets more and more
depressed; he thought he can not compose. And I know he will be; just he
has to be patient and little by little, he will be able to do something
with music. But for that, he has to work hard; step by step. The doctor
thinks he has quite a good possibility to recover; just he has to work
for it. But when you are depressed, everything looks so dark and no
solution. I have tried all my effort. […]
Mako came back on the 10th. He had a wonderful time in Japan.
Also his coming back gave a great pleasure to Conlon. Mako helps me in
cheering Conlon. Young people are full of energy and happiness, which
sometimes transmit to us. He has a very hard schedule this year, but
still he has a little time for us too.
The other day Nuritza Matossian came to interview Conlon. She is doing
several radio programs from Dutch Radio Station. Conlon enjoyed talking
with her. […]
From Norway, they have never
called Conlon. So who knows. If his recovery continues like this, I
think, soon he will be able to travel to some place quite far away from
Mexico. I hope so.
Soon we are going to have 20th
anniversary (wedding); I asked Conlon my anniversary pliant: you know
what “make his effort to combat against his depression”. He said he
will do it. I hope so. Otherwise, Conlon is much better, now I have to
think of myself a bit more.
Do you know what happened to
Theo [Jansen]? Did he finish his [film]editing? He mentioned to make a
contract with Conlon in last August. But no news. So who knows what had
happened to him. We are so far away.
I hope we will be able to see you again soon; I will keep on informing
you about the progress (I hope) of Conlon.
Love for all your family
P.S. Apparently Conlon has
started to compose some; he asked for a piano roll. I hope he continues.
sorry about the delay in writing, but I have been very busy. I hope that
all is well with you and Beatrix. I don’t think it is possible to
synchronize the two pianos. Whenever I recorded them I had to play them
several times until I got the right results.
don’t see any reason why this person from Bayer can not copy the rolls
am thinking of taking a roll to France that I have just finished ( I
have just started to work again). It is a very short piece, about one
minute of duration. It is called “Para Yoko”.
hope that you and Beatrix are doing well. We look forward to seeing you
again in France.
Nach unserem gemeinsamen
Parisaufenthalt schickten uns Conlon und Yoko sechs Fischteller mit
Jürgen & Beatrix
I hope you will remember
the always wonderful time we had with you. Thank you
Conlon & Yoko.
3rd of December,1992
Finally we came back from
Texarcana the 18th of November. Our stay over there (almost
seven weeks) has prolonged more than we thought. As we have mentioned to
you some time ago, we had some family problem after Charles’ [Conlons
Brother] death […].
We enjoyed clean air, very little traffic and efficiency of a little
town. Conlon and I walked twice a day around the neighbourhood
surrounded with trees. Each time we walked more than half an hour. It
was surprising how much was the difference between Mexico City and there.
Conlon does not have to sleep with oxygen tunk hooked to his nose like
he does in Mexico. He did not have to take rest nor stop during our
walk. He could even run. Texarcana is a small town of 60.000 inhabitants
and it has both good and bad things, characteristics of a town of that
size. But after all, Mexico is our country: We have already made our
roots here. At the end, we were anxious to come back to this polluted,
but somehow irresistibly attractive Mexico.
Conlon has been considerably well, though, from time to time, he gets
depressed. It is hard for us (Mako and I) to convince him that he can be
able to have a creative life. It is true that he has much less energy
than before and that making a music like his requires a lot of energy
and concentration, but I am also convinced that he can still be able to
write more music.
[…] Originally, we were planning to go to Texarcana in the beginning
of September, but Trimpin called us that he was coming to Mexico on the
19th of the same month, so we postponed our trip until the 25th
[…] Obviously, he does not compose music nearly as much as before, but
he uses his studio every day. He enjoys Carlos company, who respects
Conlon’s way of being. In fact Carlos is the only person who knows
everything in Conlon’s studio. He is the only person who can get into
his studio without Conlon’s permission or when Conlon is not at home
So when we knew you were in Mexico and that you wanted to copy
some rolls, Conlon told to Carlos to be responsible for it […] Anyway,
it was a shame that we did not know you were coming to Mexico and that
we missed you. We could have a wonderful time, now that Conlon is in al
better health (except that his vision got worse because of cataract on
his left eye).
Recently Conlon was nominated by The American Academy and Institute for
Arts and Letters as a honorary member (there were 75 honorary members in
the world, Ligeti is one of them). We had a simple but very warm and
friendly ceremony at the American Embassy in Mexico City. Thank you very
much for the chocolate. They are wonderful and we are still enjoying
them. Also thank you for the wonderful photos. Charles Amirkhanian did a
morning concert on KPFA on Conlon’s 80th birthday. He
interviewed Conlon by telephone. He had wonderful calls from several
people. Some of our friends in Texarcana invited us for the celebration.
During our stay in Texarcana, the local Texarcana Gazette wrote an
article on him, and the local public radio did a program on him with an
interview. We promised to send more writings on Conlon to the local
museum. Schott Foundation gave Conlon an award of ten thousand dollars.,
which came in a most needed moment.
Well, thanks to this award, we could
rebuild our entrance wall, which was virtually falling down. We also had
to repair outside wall of Conlon’s studio, which was also falling
apart. Since we did not have done any maintenance work before, our house
needs a lot of repairing.
Next year (November), ISCM festival will be held in Mexico: probably
Carlos is going to do an exposition on Conlon. Arditti will come to play
some of his music, according to the telephone call from Irvin Arditti
the other day. I am in a sabbatical year, so I have more flexible time
schedule, though I have to finish writing a book before the end of the
year. Conlon says that I am busier now than other time.
Hoping that the next time you come to Mexico, we will be able to see you
and enjoy our reunion.
Regards to Beatrix
May/June 93 (?)
was a pleasure to hear from you. I am sorry that I did not get to write
to you sooner so you could give the money to the person who is coming to
make the picture.
don’t look forward to the filming of the picture. He is sending an
enormous amount of people who will be all over the place.
make matters worse I have been having a problem with vision. I finally
decided to have my eyes investigated, and discovered that I have
enormous cataracts. I have to have an operation, but can not do it until
the picture is over. And to make matters worse after they finish the
picture, Japan wants to do another one. I gather that this one is not as
complicated as the first one.
strange thing happened. At the same time the BBC in England wanted to do
another one, but decided it was too much, and so they cancelled it. I
was very pleased.
am glad to hear that you are doing well in spite of the activities you
have to do. I
have been getting quite a few letters from Peter Garland during his long
excursion of several years that started in Australia.
to you and Beatrix from Yoko and Conlon