Always when my wife visits her hairdresser I have to make company to odd peoples. This Friday made no difference. The doorbell rang and there stand an elder gentleman in his shabby suite and began to speak.

- Good afternoon, can I step in?

I immediately noticed that now, as time being, this was not a missionary of any kind, not Mormon or Yahveh witness (both represent themselves always in two person – however, Jehovah witnesses speak always Finnish). I let him in. Maybe this guy belonged to janitor Sarajärvi’s team, a refugee, who wanted to read running numbers of our electricity meters.

  • I’m quite sure you don’t know who I am!

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    I think you were listening my composition Concorde sonata in Leppävaara library in 1969.

  • How do you know…

  • That’s not your business… I know, what I know

    How it is possible that almost all composers visiting me are angry old curmudgeons. Yes, Ives’ Concorde sonata was one of my favorites in that time. A special character in that sonata is that besides a grand piano a violinist must be present for playing a very short melody at the end of the piece.

  • I said: if I remember right you should have died in 1954, when I was nine years old and now it is year 2016.

  • Death is not an end. You may take it granted.

  • I remember this sonata. The first performance of it was given by Aloys Kontarsky. He has been rehearsing this opus six years before he had the courage to play it in public.

  • Never mind – I myself did not learn to play it never. Instead I established an insurance company – said Ives.

  • Funny thing happened, when I was singing (in a choir) your quite insane composition. There were two choirs singing same melody but in different keys. How this came in your mind.

  • I had heard so many church choirs in my life, and I wanted to compose, how they were sounding in my ears.

  • The leader of the choirs was so concerned, how we could sing it that he asked an organist to play it with the choir. In the notes it is especially expressed: for rehearsal only. This concert we made in a church. What about your Lied. The first ones seem to be like that of Schubert – very naïve and lack of invention. Then comes this very well know song of Salvation army. I have sang it: “Booth led boldly his big brass band”. That might bee the only one that is somehow presentable.

You may be right. However, the Tent meeting is surely one of my best. There is mingled holy songs in a tent and the sound of the secular parade nearby. That’s a real cacophony. That’s why they gave me the Pulizer price. Never mind. Now I have to go back and start counting, how much money I have left from my insurance business. It is nice to be an American composer that is known only in Finland and Järvelä. And your name was…