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CONTINUE MARTIN BERKOFSKY'S JOURNAL, PAGE FIVE

VIEW ALAN HOVHANESS MEMORIAL AND UNVEILING CEREMONY

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May 4, 2009. The Guardian Angel was here again. Starting at the base of Mt. Monadnock, exactly where I had left off after climbing the mountain two days before, I ran, seemingly without effort, some 17.5 miles along the historic New Hampshire highway that had started its life in 1790 as a toll road to Boston. Less than a mile after starting, I passed a strong reminder of Hovhaness' presence: a mailbox with the name "Bacon." Francis Bacon was greatly admired by Hovhaness; his work "Dawn on the Mountain of Initiation," which I was to play in the memorial dedication concert two weeks later, was dedicated to Bacon. Bacon's name was to appear once again later in my journey.

How much of this journey would be an internal journey, a journey into the workings of an artist's mind, a journey of self-realisation? I pondered again Hovhaness' every-day climbing of Mt. Monadnock realizing that my own path, too, had to continue to climb that mountain of artistic realisation, improvement, growth. At age 66, there were still more musical mountains to climb. Life had to be simplified, musical ideas had to be worked out without distraction.

Years ago while in southern France preparing for a festival performance, I used the off-rehearsal hours to train for my coming 880-mile Celebrate Life Run marathon. I went out on a 94-degree day wearing only running shorts, running shoes and socks. Some seven miles into my run, I became thirsty. I found a woodland stream flowing through the fresh grass under a small bridge, and like a little animal sipped from it on all fours. It was the most delicious water I had ever tasted. Right then I realised that I didn't need anything else at all. Life was complete with such a simple joy.

Was there an external journey to be realised? Hovhaness had written in his introduction to the "All Men are Brothers" Symphony, that although one may meet 1,000 men, all would be his brothers. I knew that everybody had their own story, unique and unusual.

I engaged Joe LaCroix, the taxi driver who every day was so kind to put me on the road at my daily start point and pick me up at my finish point. I was rewarded with a wonderful story: he confessed that as a youth he and his friends would "hop" long-distance freight trains. They had discovered that long trains pulled by multiple locomotives would have a refrigerator and food supply in the last unmanned engine, giving them free refreshment along with their free travel.

But this all came to an end abrubtly. While preparing for their free repast, the travelers suddenly heard a booming voice "we know you're there, don't you dare touch a thing!" announce itself from the train's intercom. There is no free lunch?

CONTINUE MARTIN BERKOFSKY'S JOURNAL, PAGE FIVE
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PHOTOS BELOW:

1: Route map of the All Men are Brothers Run from Mt. Monadnock, New Hampshire, to the Hovhaness/Chakmakjian home in Arlington, Massachusetts.

2: The Guardian Angel was not far away: a mailbox less than one mile from the base of Mt. Monadnock announced "Bacon." Francis Bacon was greatly admired and often mentioned by Alan Hovhaness. This was not the only time that Bacon's name would appear on this journey.

3: Historic marker identifying Martin Berkofsky's route as the Third New Hampshire Turnpike, dating from 1790.





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