Category Archives: Allison Guest Edberg

Painting to Music

Here’s a painting-in-progress, done to a recording of songs by Indiana folk musician Joe Peters.

I’d never seen someone do a painting live, with a music performance, until I saw it done at Joe’s CD release party last year (on which I played).  Then I saw it done on one (or was it two?) of Mike Block’s GALA NYC concerts last spring, and at the opening Summer Stage concert by Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble in New York’s Central Park (Times review here).  It’s a fascinating collaborative, creative component for a concert. Does it add anything to “the music”?  Not really.  To the overall human experience?  Sure!  I definitely want to program it this coming summer on a Greencastle Summer Music Festival concert.

Anyway, I love Joe’s music.  Enjoy.

(BTW, if you like the cello playing in the intro, the player’s initials are “E.E.”  If you don’t, then, uh, I don’t know who the guy is.  The wonderful violin/viola playing is definitely my dear friend and former spouse, Allison Edberg, who did the string arrangement.)

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Filed under Allison Guest Edberg, Folk Music, GALA NYC, Greencastle Summer Music Festival, Joe Peters, Mike Block

Making a living making music: how Allison does it

I think I feel a bust of blogging energy coming on, so we’ll see.

Right now (I started writing this on Saturday December 11), I’m sitting in the “Boardroom” of the West Lafayette, Indiana, Public Library.  (What a wonderful thing it is that libraries offer free wireless access these days.)  Why,you ask, is a guy from Greencastle sitting in the West Lafayette library, over an hour from his cozy home?  I’m listening to a violin recital, performed by an array of well-dressed children (most of the boys wearing ties, some of the girls in amazing Christmas/party dresses) playing selections from the Suzuki violin repertoire.  Each is one of the thirty private violin (well, there’s at least one studying viola) students of my ex-wife, Allison Guest Edberg.

And how many guys, even cellists, voluntarily attend and help set up their ex-wife’s student violin recital?  I really don’t know.  But we have that kind of post-divorce loving friendship.  Why we got married, both of us knowing I was more attracted to men than women, over twenty-five years ago is a long story.  When we divorced, though, it was a loving gift to each other more than anything else.  Sure, it was wrenching and there were tensions, but by and large it went smoothly and there’s no question we are not only friends but also love each other.

Allison and her boyfriend put me up last night.  My mother is going to be moving into a memory-care facility in Lafayette (just, um, east of West Lafayette) early next week.   Right now she’s in the hospital in Indianapolis.   I visited Mom there last night, came up to Allison’s, and after the recital this morning I’ll take her to lunch and then we’ll pick out a room for Mom and figure how much stuff I can bring up for her from her house I Greencastle.

The wrenching, horrible experience of deciding that it’s time to move Mom from her home to an institution, no matter how great it is, is something I won’t dwell on now.  When I mentioned what was going on to Janos Starker the other day, he said, “That is the most excruciating thing a family can go through,” and he was right.

We’re all doing a lot of hand wringing these days about the future, or seeming lack of it, for professional classical musicians.  Allison, meanwhile is someone doing quite well with a multi-faceted career.  She has a growing reputation and expanding amount of performances as a Baroque violinist (we’ll call that career 1), does some freelancing (recordings, weddings, church services, pick-up orchestras, occasional chamber music concerts) on “modern” violin (career 2), has a class of thirty private students (career 3), and is the part-time education director for the Lafayette Symphony (career 4).

So four simultaneous careers, or, put in another way, income streams.  I think she has a slight positive cash flow from the house she owns in Greencastle (once our marital home), which she now rents out, so that’s actually five income streams.

It is not a huge living.  But it’s enough that she and her boyfriend live together comfortably, if not luxuriously.  They have good friends they embrace as family, including me. She loves what she does. Sometimes she’s too busy for comfort.  There are occasional professional, artistic, and personal frustrations and tensions. As there are in every life.

Overall, I’d say she’s one of the happiest people I know.

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Filed under Allison Guest Edberg, making a living, Uncategorized

That’s no violinist, that’s my (then) wife!

You know the old joke.  A suspicious friend asks, “Who was that lady I saw you with last night?”  He replies, ‘That was no lady, that was my wife!”  Oops.

Anyway, Googling myself I came across this photo taken in 1986(!) at Florida State University on the www.floridamemory.com site.  It’s captioned “Eric Edberg, cellist kisses a violinist.” (Yes, another comma is needed, but I’m quoting.) Who was Allison Guest Edberg, then my wife and now my best friend and ex-wife.  I remember the session; Florida State was sending us to perform somewhere and had a staff photographer take some photos, I think.

erickissingallison1986

Here’s a more serious pose:

ericandallison1986

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Filed under Allison Guest Edberg, Photos