Jess Pepper's review of the Avalon Strings:'In a land so very civilized and modern as ours, it is unpopular to suggest that the mystical isle of Avalon ever truly existed. But I believe I have found proof of it right here in Manhattan.To understand my reasoning, you must recall first that enchanting tale of a mist-enshrouded isle where medieval women--descended from the gods--spawned heroic men. Most notable among these was the young King Arthur. In their most secret confessions, these mystic heroes acknowledged Avalon and particularly the music of its maidens, as the source of their power.Many a school boy has wept reading of Young King Arthur standing silent on the shore as the magical isle disappears from view, shrouded in mist.The boy longs as Arthur did to leap the bank and pilot his canoe to the distant, singing atoll. To rejoin nymphs who guard in the depths of their water caves the meaning of life. To feel again the power that burns within. But knowledge fades and memory dims and schoolboys grow up. As the legend goes, the way became unknown to mortal man. Only woman could navigate the treacherous blanket of white that dipped and swirled at the surface of the water.And with its fading went also the music of the fabled isle.Harps and strings that heralded the dawn and incited robed maidens to dance evaporated into the mists of time and silence ruled.But I tell you, Kind Reader, that the music of Avalon lives. The spirit that enchanted knights in chain mail long eons ago is reborn in our fair city, in our own small band of fair maids who tap that legendary spirit to make music as the Avalon Strings.Theirs is no common gift. Theirs is no ordinary sound. It is driven by a fire from within, borne on fingers bloodied by repetition. Minds tormented by a thirst for perfection.And most startling of all is the voice that rises above, the stunning virtuoso whose example leads her small company to higher planes.Could any other collection of musicians achieve the heights of this illustrious few? I think not.I believe, Friends of the City, that when we witnes their performance, as we may almost nightly at the Warwick Hotel, we witness history's gift to this moment in time. And for a few brief moments in the presence of these maids, we witness the fiery spirit that endured and escaped the obliterating mists of Avalon.'s Dime
Bailey Bristol
The humanitarian philosophies that have been developed (sometimes under some religious banner and invariably in the face of religious opposition) are human inventions, as the name implies - and our species deserves the credit. I am a devout atheist - nothing else makes any sense to me and I must admit to being bewildered by those, who in the face of what appears so obvious, still believe in a mystical creator. However I can see that the promise of infinite immortality is a more palatable proposition than the absolute certainty of finite mortality which those of us who are subject to free thought (as opposed to free will) have to look forward to and many may not have the strength of character to accept it.Thus I am a supporter of Amnesty International, a humanist and an atheist. I believe in a secular, democratic society in which women and men have total equality and individuals can pursue their lives as they wish, free of constraints - religious or otherwise. I feel that the difficult ethical and social problems which invariably arise must be solved, as best they can, by discussion and am opposed to the crude simplistic application of dogmatic rules invented in past millennia and ascribed to a plethora of mystical creators - or the latest invention; a single creator masquerading under a plethora of pseudonyms. Organisations which seek political influence by co-ordinated effort disturb me and thus I believe religious and related pressure groups which operate in this way are acting antidemocratically and should play no part in politics. I also have problems with those who preach racist and related ideologies which seem almost indistinguishable from nationalism, patriotism and religious conviction.
Harry W. Kroto