Music Or Books?

Just Askin’



A question I’ve often asked of people is “If you had to choose between music and books, what would you choose?”  For me, that is not an easy question to answer.  I eat words and drink music, and I crave both.

If you were on an island, with wild beasts and wild people all around you, would music appeal to them, or the sound of the human voice speaking?

If you were in a strange land, where others spoke a language unfamiliar to you, could you communicate with music or with words from your language?

If you were all alone, anywhere, would music fill your days or would words?

On the island, I could see a Rachmaninoff Concerto or some heavy metal or some pipes and drums perhaps scaring beasts and people into the forest, but there have been cases where shouted words have scared wild animals away as well.  Hmmmm.  A book might have a chapter on how to tame animals and communicate with primitive people, and they would then perhaps treat you like a god;  but would you just want to listen to tom-toms the rest of your life?

In a strange land, if music is a universal language, you could perhaps choose a song that conveys sadness, longing, or despair so that people would feel sorry for you and feed you and take care of you.  Or you could use a book that teaches you how to draw a picture of a destitute person with a tin cup (with people dropping coins into it), an arrow pointing to you – and people might get the message.  Or you could jump around to wild music and they might take pity on you and put you in their loony bin, thus solving the feeding problem.  Or you could use a dictionary, say a word, and draw a picture with a stick in the dirt, and slowly get your message across.

But mainly the question has real depth when you have to consider being all alone, anywhere.  Which would it be?  Music or books?  What would I choose?  It would be books.

Why?  A book could teach me how to make a musical instrument, how to play the instrument and sing.  Wouldn’t give me my favourite bands or singers, though, and that would be a sadness.  But perhaps a book could teach me how to make a radio with a powerful receiver, so that I could pick up music from all around the world.  While I read in between broadcasts.  In the meantime, I’ll play it safe – and keep on keep on collecting books – and music.


If it were in our hands to choose
The time for birth – the time to die –
I’d wish my destiny to be
When man controls the farthest sky!

Someday, somehow I know, will go
Beyond the bounds of time and place,
A restless few who cannot stop
Until the very end of space.

This pod of mine is rooted here,
And only Earth will know its deeds,
My final planting here will be —
But ah! My seeds ! My seeds!

Someday a part of me will gaze
On unfamiliar shore and hill:
O! restless spirit, patience yet —
O! yearning, wandering one, be still!

© E Joyce Finn (Collie)


Susie Arioli Band

Susie is a jazz singer from Montreal, singing mostly in jazz clubs.  Of the four albums she has produced, three were nominated for Juno Awards (2002, 2003, 2005).  The band was started by Susie with guitarist Jordan Officer.

Her silky-smooth, warm, vibrant voice keeps echoing in your mind long after the song has ended.  Jordan Officer and Michael Jerome Browne on guitar, and Shane MacKenzie on bass perfectly complement her.  I love the whisper of the brushes across the drumheads by Susie herself.  Get comfortable, close your eyes, relax and enjoy this sound that massages your soul.

If you’d like to visit Susie Arioli’s site click here: Susie Arioli

A few YouTube samplings of her music: all live from the Montreal International Jazz Festival, June 20, 2006.

Honeysuckle Rose (by jbc772)

Ruler Of My Heart (bymtl6009)

Pennies From Heaven (by mtl6009)

…if you’re interested in hearing a few more from Susie just click the YouTube links below:

Husbands And Wives (by mtl6009) Husbands And Wives

He’s Funny That Way (by mtl6009) He’s Funny That Way



Guido Daniele

Guido Daniele Website

Guido Daniele was born in Soverato, Italy, and now works in Milan.  He has been painting and holding personal and group exhibitions since 1968.  In 1972, he began working as a hyper-realistic illustrator, using and testing different painting techniques.  Since 1986, Guido worked with airbrush: painting back-stages (up to 400 sq. metres) for artistic and advertising pictures, t.v. commercials and programmes.  He also creates trompe l’oeil for private homes and public buildings.

In 1990, Guido added a new artistic dimension, using a body painting technique for commercials, fashion, and exhibitions, using the talents of Francesco Radino in the photographic shoots.  Guido has created great international interest from 2000 on, with his marvelous “Handimals”, a sampling of which he has graciously allowed me to present to you, and for which I thank him.


Elephant Guido Daniele


Short and to the Point – the A’s have it

Didn’t come up here to read.  Came up here to hit.  (Hank Aaron)
A drink a day keeps the shrink away.  (Edward Abbey)
Taxation: how the sheep are shorn.  (Edward Abbey)
Marriage, in life, is like a duel in the midst of a battle.  (Edmond About)
They’ve got us surrounded again, the poor bastards.  (General Creighton   Abrams)
I keep reading between the lies.  (Goodman Ace)
Women like silent men.  They think they’re listening.  (Marcel Achard)
Always remember that the future comes one day at a time.  (Dean Acheson)
I don’t want to be a passenger in my own life.  (Diane Ackerman)
Don’t be a blueprint. Be an original.  (Roy Acuff)
I don’t believe it.  Prove it to me and I still won’t believe it.  (Douglas Adams)
I’m spending a year dead for tax reasons.  (Douglas Adams)
If it’s free, it’s advice;  if you pay for it, it’s counseling;  if you can use either one, it’s a miracle. (Jack Adams)
Self-conceit may lead to self-destruction.  (Aesop)
Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons. (Woody Allen)
America’s attic.  (Canada) (Patrick Anderson)
Keep Canada beautiful.  Swallow your beer cans.  (Anonymous)
Dear, never forget one little point.  It’s my business.  You just work here. (Elizabeth Arden)
Well begun is half done.  (Aristotle)
An eye for an eye only leads to more blindness. (Margaret Atwood)
Canada was built on dead beavers.  (Margaret Atwood)
Greetings and death to our enemies. (Dan Aykroyd)

Signing off…. ej.

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