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Old 06-14-2019, 02:06 AM
cmac2012's Avatar
Renaissance Dude
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 14,020
Passage of a great man

Easily one of the most impressive people I was lucky enough to call a friend passed last week at 65, heart failure. What a shock - we spoke by phone a while back and were planning a reunion.

He was a man of enormous gifts and talents. His mother was born in Russia and fled the revolution with her family as a young girl. He was raised in the Russian community in Seattle. Alex was touring the west coast as a balalaika virtuoso at age 15. Most people know of balalaika music from Dr. Zhivago. Nice enough but when you heard Alex you knew you were hearing the real thing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-QH5y8DC90

He was making violins by the time he was 17. At 18 he went to Bulgaria to study music, specifically the kaval, a balkan end blown flute. He began making those over there and also toured the region with his band.

Upon returning to the states he learned of a new thing that was catching on here and there: using a wooden head joint on a silver flute body, reportedly the arrangement favored by Boehm, the inventor. His work on kavals prepared him well for that and evetually he morphed into making full concert flutes from wood, silver, or 14 karat gold.

Here is the website of his company. I don't know if his apprentices are prepared or able to continue building his instruments. One hopes.

Eppler Flute Company. Seattle's leading flute repair and restoration specialist. Alexander Eppler, Flutemaker.

I relate this in hopes it might inspire readers. I know he inspired me. I'm struggling with regret on this. I need to somehow honor his memory, and not in some token way. I wish I'd reconnected in time. We spoke a couple of years ago. Time does not wait, oh Good Lord it doesn't. The Zen masters warn: "Impermanence is swift."
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1986 300SDL, 315K
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Last edited by cmac2012; 06-14-2019 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:04 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 34,224
Clearly he inspired you. Its not much but posting here about him is something.
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:35 AM
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Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
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Sorry to hear about loss of your friend cmac.
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:00 PM
cmac2012's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Berkeley, CA
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It is sobering. Thank you for your kind wishes. I don't want to dwell on this or get all maudlin but it gives me new focus on what matters in life.
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1986 300SDL, 315K
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:08 PM
cmac2012's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 14,020
Here’s another YouTube of his balalaika playing, starts with a bit of somber dirge vibe, but moves onto a happy excitement. Sort of the way I would like my experience at this moment to progress.

https://youtu.be/0F_wV3-wBdE

On a trivial but not unimportant point, I wondered several hours after posting the OP if it should have been “passing” instead of “passage.” I’m trying to get my English as close to ideal as possible. Hopefully one way to keep the mind fresh. Upon searching, it’s uncertain. Passing sounds more correct but the dictionary leans more to passage.
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