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  • Writer's pictureThomas

In memory of my brother, 1975-2021

I've posted a new recording on my Bandcamp pages (to possibly be released as part of a physical package in the future). It is dedicated to the memory of my brother.

As many of you already know, my brother Tim was diagnosed with lymphoma in May of 2020, and passed away on the 23rd of this past June. It has been a year of excruciating physical and mental pain and humiliation for him, and if nothing else I can say that he is free of that burden.

Tim and I had some extremely turbulent times during our relationship over the past 45 odd years, with the time directly preceding his diagnosis being, regrettably, the absolute nadir of that relationship. For the vast majority of that time, however, he was either willfully or unwittingly helping to shape me into what I've become, selflessly lending support and generally saving me from myself. My ability to speak somewhat intelligently on music, on world history and on all other matter of obscure yet interesting topics mainly started with him. When I myself was too sick during my childhood to even leave the house, he was causing my imagination to light up with curiosity about faraway places and hitherto unexplored possibilities, and so it's not a stretch to say that I owe him a massive debt of gratitude for almost everything interesting to have happened to me.

He was not a "happy" man by anyone's estimation, and I don't view that as a character defect. I will never know exactly what motivated this, since it came during an otherwise easy time in our lives, but he immersed himself extensively in literature on man's inhumanity to man, having an encyclopedic knowledge of our contemptible cruelty towards one another. From this he came to realize, and pass on to me, that this is what makes our great works of art so truly extraordinary, that somehow against this constant background noise of stupidity and cowardice, we have managed to create astonishing things that are greater than the sum

of ourselves and which keep us from "perishing of truth".

To that end, he leaves behind a life rich with explorations into that territory. He was among other things an immensely talented concert cellist and electric bassist, a technically versatile photographer and digital artist, skilled martial artist and weight trainer, and for a brief time attended the same writing workshops in Chicago as myself (thankfully, leaving me *one* creative arena in which he did not thoroughly and resolutely kick my ass - but even there, he could have if he tried).

If anyone is a fan of my more "long tone"-based music pieces, the linked piece may be one of the best things I have done in that particular idiom. I would like to donate proceeds to the St. David's medical facilities here in Austin, so please know that - more than ever - your contributions will be greatly appreciated.


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