Composer  Geoffrey  Bush
 
A Conversation with Bruce Duffie


bush


One of the many fun things about working for WNIB was the freedom I was given to present programs.  Besides the typical fare of single-composer shows with music and interview, I also came up with gimmicks that allowed for unexpected couplings of divergent styles.  [To see a full list of the various series and specials, go to my résumé.]  There was
Composers Alphabet, which displayed works by several composers whose last names started with that months letter, and an instrument series — which included voices — that, again, just drew on my guests works for that months specific solo.  But perhaps the most intriguing was the use of music by composers whose family names were the same as U.S. Presidents.  Each February there would be a program with music by (Lou) Harrison, (Elliot) Carter, (John(!)) Adams, (John Luther) Adams, (Olly) Wilson, (Roger) Nixon, (Ben) Johnson, and others who fit the criteria.  The composers, though mostly American, did not need to be from the U.S.  I would mix and match various names and pieces to make up the ninety-minute show, and after my conversation with Geoffrey Bush in 1991, I added his music to that list. 

Bush, an English composer born in 1920, was not a well-known name, but had a strong reputation and by the 1980s was represented on several discs.  In the nineteenth century, it was the piano transcription which carried music to the home; in the twentieth century, it was the phonograph record and the compact disc.  Apparently, the twenty-first century will rely on downloads and other methods of streaming and digitizing music just as these words are being beamed to you now from my website.  Keep up and adapt, or get left behind and die...

But before we are all reduced to the dust from whence we came, allow me to give you this conversation I had with Geoffrey Bush.  We arranged to speak on the telephone, each in our respective homes; I was in Chicago and he was in London.  The sound was clear and there was no delay, so I was able to use portions on the air in later programs.  Now the entire interview has been transcribed, and this is what was said . . . . .


Bruce Duffie:    I appreciate your taking a little time from your schedule to chat with me today.

Geoffrey Bush:    That’s all right; pleasure.

BD:    You spent quite a bit of your career both teaching and composing.  How did you divide your time between those two very strenuous activities?

GB:    I was very fortunate because most of my teaching was evening teaching, to mature students who would come after their day’s work.  That meant I had the mornings clear, which I composed, taught in the evening, and generally put my feet up in the afternoon so as to get a bridge passage between them!

BD:    What kinds of courses were you teaching to the adults?

GB:    They varied.  I suppose the most important one we had was a four-year diploma the students could do for the University of London, covering roughly four centuries of musical history.  And I used to do the contemporary music section, the twentieth century, but I also taught general appreciation to adults who just wanted to enjoy music more.  I have also a generally twentieth century course for undergraduates at King’s College in London.

BD:    How does one get someone else to enjoy music more?

bushGB:    That’s a good question.  The answer is to make them listen to it.  The hardest thing, I think, for uninstructed people, is to listen continuously, particularly in our twentieth century situation when one is surrounded by noises one doesn’t want to hear; you switch your ears off almost automatically.  The task of a teacher in the sort of class we’re talking about is to make them open their ears, and also see that music progresses in time from one bar to the next, that they hear one bar after another, just as they read one sentence after the other in a book.

BD:    So it’s not just a series of notes, but it’s a complete thought?

GB:    Exactly.

BD:    You say you want to discriminate between noises and sounds they want to hear.  When you are writing music, do you particularly make sure that these sounds you’re putting on the paper are going to be sounds they want to hear?

GB:    A friend of mine once said to me, “A composer must always remember that he has no prescriptive right to have his music liked.”  I think the only thing a composer can do is to work as hard as he can, with complete sincerity, to put down what he thinks and hope it will be useful and enjoyable to other people.  I don’t think he can take in their likes and dislikes more than that.

BD:    Obviously, you write so that you yourself enjoy it.

GB:    That’s exactly it, yes!  Exactly it.

BD:    Do you consider the audience at all when you’re writing?

GB:    Of course, if I’m writing a commissioned piece for a particular purpose, I pay attention to that.  My music on the whole does communicate fairly directly, so I don’t think I have to take that too much into account.  Other composers perhaps have a more — what shall I say? — complex message than I have.

BD:    Yes.  I was going to remark that your music is much more from the tonal school than from the atonal school.

GB:    That’s right.  That’s for a variety of reasons, I think.  German music is, on the whole, not very sympathetic to me, and I haven’t got really a constructivist or mathematical turn of mind.  In fact, my friends say I can’t count up to twelve, and that’s why I’ve never been interested in serialism!

BD:    [Laughs]  You’re talking about the German music of the current century?

GB:    That’s right.  But German music has been a very profound influence on British music, as indeed I think it probably has been on American, too, partly because of its excellence and partly because it has always very generously encouraged the music of other countries.  It’s been a great place to visit and study, and for English people to have their works performed.  Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius was welcomed in Germany before it was welcomed in his own country!  But the effect has been to make our music rather too imitative of German models, instead of pursuing our own line — which I hope we are doing more now.

BD:    Do you feel that you yourself are part of a line of English composers?

GB:    Yes, I do.  In fact, that’s just what I do feel.  It’s partly due to my training.  I was trained as a choirboy at Salisbury Cathedral, and there we sung an immense repertory of church music
not only British composers, but a large number of them stretching back to the Tudors and beyond, and right up to the present day.  And it gives one a great feeling of being part of a tradition of music.

BD:    Does it stretch continuously back to the Tudors?  Once you get back behind Vaughan Williams and John Ireland, and perhaps Parry and Stanford, there seems to be a big gap between then and Henry Purcell.

GB:    Well, [laughs] I’ve partly spent some of my life trying to disprove this.  There’s a whole series of publications now in a series called Music of Britannica, which are the classics of British music.  It was an edition started in 1951, at the time of the Festival of Britain.  If you look at that, you’ll see there are, in fact, several works and composers dating from this so-called blank period.  Just to name one which I think will be familiar, is Thomas Arne, composer of Rule, Britannia, who wrote a great deal of excellent music!  It is not as good as Handel, not as good as Bach, but individual, and with a special flavor.

BD:    With the advent of the printed series and now with the recordings, do you see a renaissance coming of these forgotten composers?

GB:    Yes, I think so; definitely, and particularly with the rediscovery of early music, the early music movement and the discovery of the authentic instruments on which these things should be played.  To give you one example out of many, because it’s the Mozart year, this year, I was asked to give a lecture on Mozart’s English friends.  I don’t suppose many people would know them, but there was a wonderful family called Storace.  The brother, Stephen was actually commissioned to write an opera for Vienna.  That’s a very fine piece.

BD:    I’ve heard the name, but I don’t know that I’ve heard any of his music.

GB:    Well, it’s a very good opera, which is a Da Ponte libretto based on Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors.  It’s a good piece.  It’s not as good as Mozart, of course, but who is?

*     *     *     *     *

BD:    Coming back to your own music, have you basically been pleased with the performances you have heard through the years?

GB:    Yes, I think I have.  There are always disasters that happen around when there’s not enough rehearsal time, or some frightful gremlin attacks the performance.  But in general, yes.  And I’ve always found, in my experience, that in a sense, the better the performer, the more keen they are and the more able they are to give a good representation of your music.

BD:    Are there ever times when the performers discover something in your score you didn’t know you had hidden there?

GB:    Oh, yes, absolutely!  They can do it differently from the way the composer intends.  I have a very vividly memory when Sir John Barbirolli conducted my Overture, Yorick at the Charleton Festival.  He’d prepared it beforehand, and he played the fast bits too fast and the slow bits too slow, and I’ve never heard such a good performance!  It was absolutely staggering!  I felt quite drunk with excitement!

bushBD:    Did you go back then and alter your tempo markings in the score?

GB:    No, it was just his view of it.  I don’t think anybody else could have done it.

BD:    You are often performer of your own music.  Are you the ideal performer of your music?

GB:    [Laughs] Not really.  In some ways, when another intelligence gets to work on it, new layers are revealed.  I think I’m a pretty good accompanist of my songs, and the great advantage is I do know what, for me, are the right tempi.  I don’t have to explain those things.  But I’m not a first-rate pianist; I wouldn’t dare go into public with somebody else’s music!

BD:    So you only perform your own music?

GB:    In public, yes.  In private, that’s another story.

BD:    It would be interesting to see if you could bring something different to other people’s compositions, looking at it through the eyes of a composer rather than just an interpreter.

GB:    Well, as I say, I would do it in private, but I wouldn’t risk it in public.  I’ve got to have a certain sense of humility, you know!

BD:    Probably false modesty, I’m sure.  A number of your works have been recorded, and some new recordings are coming out.  Have you basically been pleased with those?

GB:    Yes, very pleased indeed with the end product.  It’s a fairly agonizing process, as I’m sure you know because time is money.  There’s only a certain amount of time that’s available, therefore, to get the thing, as they say, in the can.  And to see the minutes ticking away sends a cold chill down my spine sometimes.  But the results are marvelous!  I’m particularly pleased with the recent recording of my Summer Serenade, conducted by Richard Hickox, which I think is really quite staggeringly good!

BD:    What is it about that that makes it exceptional
— or is it just simply a first-rate performance?

GB:    It’s first-rate performers, a conductor who really cared for the piece and a general commitment all around.

BD:    Do you have some advice in general for performers who are going to perform your works in public?

GB:    No, I don’t think so.  As I said, it’s not really complex music; just put your heart into it.  If they’ve got a sympathy for it, it’ll be all right.

BD:    I’m assuming that you get quite a number of commissions.  How do you decide which ones you’ll accept and which ones you’ll turn aside?

GB:    I would accept the ones particularly that the minute the commission came, ideas started to come with it.  That can quite often happen.  I’d also accept one that allowed me to do some sort of pet project.  I’m very interested in writing for the theater or for the stage, so anything that might give me an opportunity to do that, which doesn’t come very often, I’d accept.  In some cases, I would say, “I’ll have a shot at it, but I don’t guarantee anything.”  I’ve just finished a new work for Eric Parkin, the English pianist who plays a lot of John Ireland amongst other things, and I sent it to him with these words, “This is exactly what you want, except it’s not a sonata and it’s five years late.”  [Both laugh]  I find solo piano quite difficult to write for.  I did say to him originally, “You know I’ll try, but I don’t promise.”

BD:    Why is solo piano particularly difficult for you?

GB:    I don’t know, altogether.  I think it’s partly that you really have got to write an enormous lot of notes!  Take a French horn — you can put a French horn on middle C for two pages and it’ll sound absolutely wonderful!  With a piano, you’ve got to find something for the man to do
haven’t you? — or the thing will fall apart.

BD:    So you’re more of a tunesmith.

GB:    Yeah, I think that’s a reasonable answer.  Yes, melody is primary with me.  I think it’s how I was brought up.  I think it’s in my nature.

BD:    Tell me the joys and sorrows of writing for the human voice.

GB:    Ah!  I love writing for the human voice, and that’s because I was a choirboy.  I spent five years between the ages of eight and thirteen singing all day.  In fact, we had three hours, roughly, a day, including practices and church services.  So I think I have a feel for the voice.  I’m also, not surprisingly, a tremendous admirer of Purcell, who above all knew how to write for the human voice, particularly when setting English words.  Of course, it’s exasperating when you have a strong feeling for a climax, and you feel you have taken the voice too high; you have to rethink the whole passage.  That’s one of the problems of writing for the voice.  Unless you write for a specific professional who has a very wide range, you have got to take into account that most singers have a compass which is limited, to some extent, at each end.  But in any case, I suppose that’s true of all kinds of composition.  Composition is the art of the possible, like politics.

BD:    But at least with most instruments, you know exactly where they can go, and most notes are fairly much the same at either end.  Whereas the voice gets a little bit different at the top and bottom.

GB:    That is true.  That’s perfectly true, and of course it varies from singer to singer.  One of the important things is to make quite sure that you’re not asking singers to sing impossible vowel sounds on impossibly high or low notes; also not to block the voice in its lower register with the accompaniment.  All these things come with practice and experience, but I sometimes wonder...  I know one shouldn’t criticize one’s contemporaries, but I sometimes wonder whether they wouldn’t write a little bit differently if they’d sung themselves.

BD:    Do you think that everyone who writes for voice should take a few voice lessons?

GB:    Yes, I do.  A composer cannot have too much practical experience.  Duly speaking, he’d learn a lot of instruments, too.  There was one man from British musical history — he’s not a man of any significance in any other respect — but he was first-class singer.  He name was Tom Cook.  A first-class oboist, a first-class actor and singer, and at his benefit he also played eight instruments in public!  That’s the ideal!  [Both laugh]  I’m nowhere near it!

BD:    He seems to have been a jack of all trades!

GB:    That’s right, that’s right.  A composer ought to be, really, or it would help him if he was.

*     *     *     *     *

BD:    When you’re sitting at your desk and you’re working on a piece of music, are you always in control of that pencil, or are there times when you feel that the pencil is guiding your hand across the page?

GB:    When that happens, that’s the most marvelous sensation!  I’ve never forgotten an anecdote of William Faulkner, the American novelist.  He was apparently discovered in a heat wave in a room in New York, at his typewriter, scantily clad and bouncing up and down with excitement and saying, “They’re coming alive!  They’re coming alive!”  Anyway, that’s a true anecdote or apocryphal, but when the music comes alive and to some extent dictates what you’re going to write, that’s thrilling!  It really has come alive!  For example, one piece I remember, which I had planned a fortissimo ending, I was just compelled to make it a pianissimo ending!

BD:    It just worked that way?

GB:    It just had to, yes.  That was exciting!

bushBD:    When you’re working on the piece and you’re getting it ready, and you’ve got all of the notes down and you’re tidying up and making the corrections, how do you know when to put the pencil down and say, “It is finished and ready to be launched”?

GB:    [Laughs]  I think it’s largely by instinct.  Sometimes you feel you’ve got it absolutely right.  Sometimes one feels, “Well, I can’t get it any righter.”  A thing which I find very valuable, if it can be done, is to write the first sketch and then put it in a drawer to sort of marinate, so to speak, for a month.  It’s extraordinary; when you get it out again after that period, you suddenly see it with slightly different eyes, and you can see what needs to be put right.  I think at the end, one just hopes that it’s okay.

BD:    When you come back to it that first time, are you generally pleased, or are you generally horrified?

GB:    I think generally pleased, because if I’d been horrified, I should have probably been horrified earlier and thrown it away before it got that far.  I’ve done that before and that’s very sad!

BD:    Do you usually work on one piece at a time, or have you got two or three going at once?

GB:    I usually work on one at a time.  I have ideas for others floating around, waiting to explored.  And sometimes, as at this particular moment, I’ve got two or three different ideas and I’m not quite sure which one to start on first.  But I expect gradually, as they clarify themselves in my mind, it’ll become apparent.

BD:    Is that the craft, rather than the inspiration?

GB:    I think it’s a mixture of both, probably.  It’s a little difficult to analyze what one does, you know.  As the work progresses, it sheds light on itself.

BD:    Let me ask a different kind of balance question.  In your music, or perhaps in music in general — concert music, which we’re talking about — where is the balance between an artistic achievement and an entertainment value?

GB:    That’s a very, very difficult question.  I think I’d have to have about three weeks notice before answering that one.  I see no reason why music should not have an entertainment value if you’re a composer of that particular character.  In my view, the composer’s task is to find out what sort of things he should be writing, and that’s the apprentice composer.  He shouldn’t really be learning too much technique until he knows the sort of composer he is.  Then, if you’re a composer who likes entertainment, who’s able to entertain, that’s the thing he should do — preferably, of course, with as much artistic content as possible.  Again, I’m sometimes worried by some of my contemporaries who feel that to entertain is a rather shameful thing.  I don’t.

BD:    Where do you feel that music is going these days?

GB:    One never knows.  I think at every stage in musical history people have felt the limits have been reached.  It’s very curious.  Perhaps the most interesting thing about the twentieth century is the rapidity of change, the way in which, for example, the complexities of serialism suddenly gave way to minimalism, which again has had quite a short run.  It’s very difficult to forecast where it will go next.

BD:    Is this peculiar to music, or is this the way of everything in this century?

GB:    I think it’s particularly noticeable in music, but perhaps not so much in literature; perhaps in painting.

BD:    I was wondering more of science and technology.

GB:    Yes, that is absolutely true there!  Yes, science and technology have seen a staggering rapidity of change, and perhaps that’s one of the reasons.  Of course, technology has really altered the face of music.  The sheer invention of the tape recorder has thrown the composition of music open to people who can’t read or write!  Suddenly, you might say, music’s been handed back to the amateur — which is no bad thing, perhaps.  It’s like most human affairs — it’s both good and bad.  I believe that human beings are basically creative, and it’s a marvelous thing that people without necessarily a great deal of professional skill are able to join in making music, just as most people can write the odd poem and most people can draw something.  It’s very good.  However, one shouldn’t put an exaggerated value on the end product.  That sometimes rather vexes me, when I open a newspaper and find a sort of whole page devoted to a close analysis of the latest pop punk record; doesn’t seem to be quite worth it.

BD:    [Laughs]  Moving this back to the concert hall, is it surprising to you that audiences today seem to demand that every new large-scale piece be a masterwork?

GB:    Yes, they demand it be a masterwork.  It’s partly because big scale new works, don’t appear that often — at least not in our concert halls.  I don’t know how well off you are in your country.  Certainly operas are very, very difficult to get produced over here simply because we haven’t got the resources.  We haven’t got the opera companies and they haven’t got the money to risk.  So not a great many new works are performed, so perhaps when one is done, great expectations are aroused.  And people would like to feel, perhaps, they are present at the birth of a masterpiece.  But it’s difficult, certainly, to persuade the average concert-goer that he would like to hear a new piece instead of just another Brahms symphony for the ninetieth time!  Do you have that problem?

BD:    Oh, yes!  The repetition of the standard repertoire is just staggering.  But do you feel that audiences tend to want either a masterpiece or nothing — that it’s an all-or-nothing proposition?

GB:    I wouldn’t say I’ve noticed that.  When we say audiences, are we talking about the ordinary concert audience?  There is a small but vociferous audience for some kinds of new music.  I think they would expect to feel that they were listening to masterpieces.  I’m not so sure about the ordinary concert-going public.

BD:    I just wonder if the ordinary concert public would be able to discern a masterpiece if you were to play the best of Brahms or the worst of Brahms.

GB:    [Laughs]  I don’t think they would, really!  And perhaps — let’s face it — it doesn’t altogether matter!

BD:    Well, let me ask the great big philosophical question, then.  What is the purpose of music?

GB:    Oh!  [Laughs]  That’s another one I require several weeks to think about.  If you want a really deeply serious answer, the first thing is to glorify God.  The second thing is for man to enjoy
whether he’s playing it, whether he’s composing it, whether he’s listening to it.  And also, if I’m not being too priggish, to open new worlds to him.  I remember somebody once came out of Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion and they said, “For five minutes after hearing that work, I really believed I might be able to be good!”  It does take one to absolutely new worlds of feeling.  It’s rather a sort of grandiose answer, but it’s the best I can do!

BD:    It’s a very poignant answer, actually.  You continue to write all the time.  Do you start immediately with the next piece once you’ve put the double bar down on the previous piece?

GB:    No, I put my feet up with great gratitude, feeling I needn’t do anything for a bit
— unless, of course, there’s a new job absolutely waiting and pressing to be done.  I find composing quite hard work.  Not so much hard work, exactly, but there are moments when things go wrong, when you get stuck, when you take a wrong turning, and they’re rather agonizing.  I’m rather inclined to be a bit slow in starting.  I remember an American composer, Robert WardI expect you know him; he wrote The Crucible which I think was fairly successfulsaying, “I’m always very reluctant to start, but once I get going, I’m carried along and enjoy it.”  I think that’s probably my case, in the reluctance to start.  [See my Interview with Robert Ward.]  It’s nice thinking about it and it’s nice finishing, but the middle bit’s a bit hard.

*     *     *     *     *

BD:    You are in your early seventies.  Are you where you thought you would be when you arrived at that age?

bushGB:    I don’t think I had any expectations, particularly, one way or the other.  I think when one’s young, one has great ambitions for oneself, but these soon take on a much more realistic air.  I think I’m very fortunate to be where I am now!

BD:    Are there more recordings coming along?

GB:    I hope so.  A couple have just come out.  My Songs and Chamber Music for Wind and Piano have just been released on CD.

BD:    Right.  Will the music on Lyrita be coming back on CD?

GB:    Richard Itter, who runs the firm more or less single-handed, has been rather slow in coming to CD.  But he’s at it now, and of course he’s got a huge catalog to transfer.  I had a card from him the other day saying he’d been held up yet again, but perhaps in a couple of years time, he’d get my work on CD.  I shall certainly do my level best to keep him up to it!  That’s very important for a composer.

BD:    The recordings do have a certain sense of permanence and universality.

GB:    They’re very good recordings, indeed, yes.  And he’s done a wonderful job in putting so many British works into the catalog.

BD:    I do hope that they do come back out on CD to gain even more recognition.

GB:    Yes.  I’m hoping that perhaps Eric Parkin will make a recording of my piano music soon, but these things take a long time to set up, as I’m sure you know.  You’ve got to get the artist, the studio and the company to agree, and then the record has to be made.  It’s about a one or two years job, at least.  So keep your fingers crossed for me.

BD:    [Laughs]  I certainly will!  I certainly will.  Do you have any advice for younger composers coming along?

GB:    No, I don’t think I have more than what I’ve already said.  The great thing is to find yourself, and this is always difficult for a young composer because he looks around and sees a certain type of music is in vogue at any given moment.  It looks as though that’s the way to get performed, that’s the way to get published, that’s the way to get known.  If that happens to be your way, okay, but one must resist these pressures if that is not the sort of music you should be writing.  I would also say to a young composer, “You’ve got to be very patient and believe in yourself; but remember, it may be a long time before others will believe in you.”  My last thing is something that William Alwyn, the English composer, said to me when I was starting.  We both had a piece done in one of the Promenade Concerts.  He came up to me and he said, “Now remember this.  Enjoy it because you don’t know when the next performance is coming!”

BD:    Good advice, indeed.  It’s been wonderful being able to chat with you across the ocean today.

GB:    Great, great!  I’ve enjoyed it, too, very much.  I’m afraid composers are dreadfully self-indulgent people.  They leap at any opportunity to talk about themselves!

BD:    Well, in my business, that’s fine.  It makes for an interesting interview. 





Geoffrey Bush


Born: March 23, 1920    Died: February 24, 1998

bushBorn in 1920, Geoffrey Bush was a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral, and later educated at Lancing College and Balliol College, Oxford. He joined the staff of the Extra-mural Department of Oxford University in 1947, moving to London University in 1952. Elected Chairman for the year of the Composers Guild of Great Britain, in 1964 Geoffrey Bush visited the USSR as delegate of the Guild. From 1952-1987 Geoffrey Bush was the Staff Tutor in Music at the Extra-Mural Department of London University. An ardent champion of English music, he wrote widely on the subject, also contributing regularly to BBC Radio 3 programmes, including Music Magazine and Music Weekly.

Geoffrey Bush's catalogue of works is far-ranging in scope and content, including 2 symphonies, many smaller scale orchestral pieces, and music for chamber ensemble. Bush's music is as varied as his tastes and interests. His Symphony 1 (1954) was first performed at the Cheltenham Festival in July 1954 by the City of Birmingham Symphony orchestra, conducted by Rudolf Schwarz. This symphony, as with the structures used in much of his work, has its roots in neo-classicism. It was performed at the Proms in 1958 by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maurice Miles. Symphony 2 ("The Guildford") was commissioned for the 700th anniversary of the City of Guildford in 1957. Among the most popular titles from Geoffrey Bush's catalogue are the Concerto for Light Orchestra (1958), and his two choral works A Christmas Cantata (1947), and In Praise of Mary (1955). His music for theatre is often witty, as shown in the scintillating one-act opera Lord Arthur Savile's Crime (1972).

Perhaps Geoffrey Bush's most characteristic music is for voices: stage-works, choral pieces and solo songs. With a natural affinity for a wide range of texts (from Chaucer to Stevie Smith via Jonson, Wilde and Virginia Woolf) - his music always serves to embellish and illuminate the given word.








© 1991 Bruce Duffie

This interview was recorded on the telephone on October 21, 1991.  Portions (along with recordings) were used on WNIB in 1995 and 2000.  This transcription was made and posted on this website in 2009.

To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.

Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001.  His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well as on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.

You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests.  He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago.  You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.