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In this blog entry we remember David Maslanka (August 30, 1943 - August 6, 2017)

The quote in this entry's title was by Robert Hohner, who commissioned, performed, and recorded several works by David. I was lucky enough to witness and participate in their collaborations.

When David Maslanka was the featured guest at the composers symposium at Central Michigan University, he discussed topics such as the "Library of the Universe", as he called it, where one could go to learn about anyone, past or present. I imagined that one reached the library of the Universe through some sort of focussed, meditative state. He discussed his life, working regimen, family, nature, and time.
Maslanka's ideas about time were incredibly interesting. It seemed to me that he prescribed to the philosophy that all things were happening at the same time. Chronological time only exists for the sake of perception, and to make it possible to meet someone for coffee. He encouraged composers to see time in an expansive way, so as to work at a time when one is creative, and not feel confined to a schedule per se (unless that is what inspires you, or is necessary...).
The first photo below was taken at the memorial concert for Robert Hohner in Mount Pleasant, MI. David wrote a piece for the occasion, simply titled, Hohner. Pictured with David (center) are Jon Johnson (left), and Doug Corella (right). All three heroes of mine.

The second photo is from an old notebook of mine..a draft of a letter I sent to Maslanka over 20 years ago. This excerpt gives an idea of the importance I placed on him as a composer and a person. I was asking him to look at a score I was working on. He wrote back an expansive critique that was crushing and inspiring at the same time. Ultimately it was motivating. He was honest and genuine, direct, and extremely generous. A peaceful, loving, intelligent and kind genius. Thank you David.  Thomas Kozumplik

Maslanka Corella Johnson

photo by Scott Thompson

Maslanka Letter Draft