Dear supporters, 

Wishing you all a happy Independence Day, 240 years on!

To put things in a bit of musical historical context, Beethoven was 5 years old when the original 13 colonies went #brexit. The author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, may even have heard Beethoven play on a visit to Bonn around 1787. At that time, the 16 year old Beethoven was playing viola in the Court Orchestra in Bonn, which was the seat of the Elector of Cologne (don't ask), and would have certainly played as part of the entertainment organized for Jefferson's 3 day visit to the Elector. It was also during these years that Beethoven was developing his political consciousness and becoming a progressive supporter of revolution and the march toward freedom that both the United States and France were on in those years. 

While this country's independence was not all the things it should have been, especially in regard to the abominable institution of slavery, its ideals were important to the overall progress of humanity, and had a direct impact on European politics and on young Beethoven, whose belief in the people as the paramount body politic was key to his inspiration for the 9th Symphony with its famous "Ode to Joy". 

A lot of great things have come out of the American Revolution. But the revolution is not complete! There are still many details to be worked out, and we can't forget to play our part in this process, each with our talents, in a constructive fashion. 

Thank you so much for your continued support of my work. I'm doing lots of prep work on all aspects of my artistic output: practicing Bach every day (I'll share something soon), preparing the launch of the podcast (a little delayed but it's nearly complete), and spending more time writing. In fact, I just published a mini-article on Medium. Check it out if you have not.

Although I am starting slow, my first goal on Patreon is to get 100 supporters or $1,800, whichever comes first. We're not there yet, but I can't tell you how thrilled I am that you are here now. It's extremely motivating.

My next article on Medium is going to be dedicated to the concept of patronage for the arts. I think it is important for people to know how patronage works and what good it does, and why it continues to be relevant, even more so with the advent of platforms like Kickstarter and Patreon. 

So, if all goes well, this week you will get the podcast, and the article. And a special for you patreoners, some new footage of me playing.

Lastly, as we all learn more how to best use Patreon, one of the things I've discovered is that it's hard to know if you read my posts. The best way to show that you have read this is to click the heart at the bottom, which is the equivalent of the "like" button on Facebook. It's a nice easy way to let me know you've read this and are staying on top of it! 

Also, don't hesitate to add a comment to anything I post. 

My goal is to post an average of once a week starting this month. Since this is a closed community, open only to those of you who have subscribed, I will write more informally and about art and life.  Only here will you get the inside story on what's going on behind the scenes! It's easier in that you are part of my team, whereas publishing on my blog or in Medium, both completely open to the world, will have to remain more formal, more carefully worded, readier to withstand contrary opinions. 

So the lesson to retain is: don't criticize my wording and my syntax here! It's all stream of consciousness, totally organic. That's the special plus of joining me here on Patreon, 100% organic, free roaming.

Enjoy the fireworks and the grill, and please be safe.