Composer  Tera  de  Marez  Oyens
A Conversation with Bruce Duffie

de marez oyens

In November of 1995, it was my distinct joy to be introduced to the Dutch composer Tera de Marez Oyens.  She is one about whom I had no prior knowledge, but after meeting her and experiencing her music, I count it among my lucky events to have been able to learn about her, and in turn present her on the radio and now on the internet.

Basic details of her life and career are in the box at the end of this interview, but unknown to me at the time was her illness which would claim her life less than a year later.

Here is what was said during that interview in Chicago . . . . .

Bruce Duffie:    Let me start out by asking a very dangerous question
do we still need to refer to you as a woman composer?

Tera de Marez Oyens:    No.  [Laughs]  I am a composer.  I am a human being, and I happen to be a woman.

de marez oyens BD:    But I notice, for instance, one of the CDs that you gave me is a collection of women composers.  Is it good to have programs or records of music by women composers?

TdeMO:    In some instances I think it’s very important, especially those women who otherwise would not be performed.  Fortunately, I am being performed also in normal programs, but there are a lot of women who really need such support to be performed.  As you know, it’s very important to be heard, and to hear yourself — your own pieces — to get further.  Otherwise you turn in circles if you never hear yourself.

BD:    Would you rather be performed on all-contemporary concert, or in a mixed program with music of the older masters?

TdeMO:    That’s an interesting question, and I must say that mostly I am performed in combination with other old masters.  But I don’t mind being in an all-modern program, too.  I have no preference.

BD:    You do some teaching along with your composing?

TdeMO:    Officially I stopped teaching in ’88 because I had so many commissions that I had to compose at night and teach during the day — that’s not a good combination.  For me, composing is really the most important, so I stopped teaching.  I had a very prestigious job at a music academy as professor of composition and modern music.  It was ideal because I was the first to have this position, and I could do as I pleased as I saw fit to do, so I did a lot of wild performances with my students.  It was great, but I stopped teaching then, and I am now a staff docent of the Wien Sommer Seminar für neue Musik in Vienna.

BD:    For just a few months in the summer?

TdeMO:    Yes, and I give workshops all over the world where I am asked.

BD:    I often ask my guests if when they’re teaching they have enough time to compose.  Obviously for you the answer is no.

TdeMO:    For me, it was decidedly no.  I compose all the time, but it was too heavy.

BD:    When you compose, are these all on commissions, or are these things you just have to get out of your system? 

TdeMO:    It’s a combination.  I have to compose every day, otherwise I feel sick.  But fortunately I have a lot of commissions to work on, and I prefer that.  In the first place, you get being paid; in the second place, you know that it will be performed, so these are two good points.

BD:    Both very important.  When you get a commission, how do you decide if you’re going to say yes or no?

TdeMO:    I don’t know.  I think I have only once said no, because I have to exist on what I earn by these commissions, so I have to say yes, even if I don’t like it so much.

BD:    Do you force yourself to like it?

TdeMO:    I got a commission for accordion concerto.  Now this instrument is not one of my favorites, at least the way I had heard it until then.  Then I started studying the possibilities of the instrument, and I discovered so much and such wonderful sounds that with great pleasure I worked on this concerto.  It has been performed three times already, so you can discover a lot of things.

BD:    Is that enough of an inducement that you would accept another commission for another work for the accordion?

TdeMO:    Oh, yes!  Oh, yes.  I really am now enthusiastic about the possibilities of it.

BD:    Maybe you’ll be their savior!  [See my Interview with Accordionist Robert Davine]

TdeMO:    [Laughs]  No, there are a lot of composers working for it.

BD:    When you have a commission, obviously it has a deadline.  Do you always meet the deadline, or do you ever ask for a little extra time?

TdeMO:    A painful question.  [Laughs]  Mostly I can meet a deadline because I’m very disciplined.  I start every day at 9 o’clock in the morning; I sit down and I compose six hours per day.  I have to be ready at a certain point, and I meet it, but once in a while I don’t succeed, and I ask for a little bit extension of the time.

BD:    When you sit down at 9 o’clock in the morning, do the ideas always come?

TdeMO:    Of course not.  But if I don’t sit, they also don’t come.  But when you compose, you have to do so many things that don’t ask for inspiration.  When you have a whole page of sixteenth notes, you have to cross all the dots.  You don’t need inspiration for that, but it has to be done.  Or you have to work out a motif that you have firmly notated already; it’s fixed, and you can work on that without too much inspiration.

BD:    So if the ideas are coming you compose fresh, and if the ideas are not coming you do some of the busy work?

TdeMO:    Right.

BD:    So there’s no wasted time.

TdeMO:    No.  It’s important that you sit down and work on it, and then while working you get ideas that bring you further.

BD:    When you’re working on a piece, do you ever get ideas that won’t fit so you save them for the next opus?

TdeMO:    I tried it when I was younger, but I discovered it doesn’t work.  I used to have a notebook with me, and whenever I was somewhere and I had an Inspiration, I would write it down.  I would take it home and would find I could do nothing with it; it was just an isolated thing.  So I don’t do that anymore.  I have discovered that when it’s really important, you remember.  Of course you have ideas when you walk around, and if it is an important idea, it sticks with you.  You don’t forget it.

BD:    That’s what defines it as an important idea?

TdeMO:    For me, yes.

*     *     *     *     *

BD:    When you sit down to write, are you conscious of how long it will take to complete the compositional process, aside from the fact that there is the deadline?

TdeMO:    Mostly I am a pretty good guesser how long it will take me.  For instance, for an orchestra work of moderate length, I take mostly half a year.  That’s the outer limit; I can do it quicker, but I take a half a year for that.  But of course there are always surprises, and it happens many times that I’m halfway and I am not content, and I start all over again.  That’s not such a good thing for the time.  [Both laugh]

BD:    But then you’ve learned what not to do.

TdeMO:    Right.

BD:    Are you aware when you start how long it will take to perform the work?

de marez oyens TdeMO:    That’s mostly included in the commission, but I must admit that I am not always correct on the time element.  I once had a commission from an American ensemble.  It was a piano quartet, and they wanted a piece of twelve minutes to fix in a program.  When it was finished, it was ten minutes.  I phoned them, but they said no, I should try to make it longer.  So I tried to extend the end.  It didn’t work, and I tried to put something in the middle.  It also didn’t work.  So in desperation I sent them a piece of ten minutes, and it worked all right.

BD:    I would think that would be certainly close enough to their request.

TdeMO:    They wanted twelve minutes, but in the end they played it a little bit slower than I intended, so it was twelve minutes.  [Both laugh]

BD:    Are there ever occasions where you get working and working, and you find that the musical ideas just will not fit the time
— either it’s much too short or much too long?

TdeMO:    That happens, but then you have to change what you are doing if it really is a big difference with what the commission is.

BD:    You mentioned that they played it a little slower.  Do you write into your music the idea that there can be interpretation on the part of the performers?

TdeMO:    Mostly I write metronome numbers, but sometimes I just write vivace, or something that calls for difference in speed.

BD:    I assume, though, that it really makes no difference how fast it is, as long as it’s relatively faster than allegro or adagio.

TdeMO:    That’s right.

BD:    Do you want each performance to be an exact duplicate of the best performance, or do you want different interpretations as the piece is played by different groups?

TdeMO:    That’s an interesting question.  Mostly I am very fond of the first performance, and whenever somebody else performs it differently, I keep hearing this first performance and longing for that one.  Of course everybody has a right to give his or her own interpretation, but sometimes it’s difficult when it is far from what you have in mind.

BD:    Is there such a thing as a perfect performance?

TdeMO:    I think so.

BD:    [Surprised]  Really????

TdeMO:    I think so, yes.  I hope to get one at this upcoming concert!

BD:    When you’re writing and tinkering with the ideas, how do you know when it’s ready, when it’s done?

TdeMO:    The problem is that you are never ready and you have to force yourself to stop working on a piece.  If you don’t do that, all the time you can change things.  Just before I came here, there was a performance of an orchestra work which I wrote as a very nice commission for 50 years of the United Nations.  It was performed by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.  The score had to be ready by June for the publisher to make the parts and so on.  It was halfway done by May already.  I was not yet finished and I wanted to get to the end, but something stopped me.  I kept changing and I kept changing, and really I had to slap myself and say, “Now you have to go on, otherwise it will be too late.”

BD:    After the first performance of any work, do you ever go back and revise the scores?

TdeMO:    I used to do that a lot, to the desperation of my publisher.  But gradually you are so routine that you know what you write down and how it will sound.  There are a few changes, but mostly in the dynamics.  It’s, “The brass sounds a little bit too loud,” or, “The violins should play softer,” but major changes do not occur anymore.

BD:    You could almost expect those kinds of adjustments to be made on the part of the conductor or the interpreters.

TdeMO:    Right, and it happens many times that I don’t change the score.  I leave it to the conductor to hear that it should be a little bit different.

*     *     *     *     *

BD:    Your music is taken all over the world.  Is the music that you write for everyone?

TdeMO:    I hope so, but I’m afraid not.  [Laughs]  I’m not a composer in an ivory tower.  I really want people to like my music, but I cannot write in a way that I am sure they will like it.  I have to write my own language.  Fortunately, a lot of people who are not so attuned to modern music nevertheless like my music, so in that case I am very happy.  But there are a lot of people who don’t like my music, or think it’s too heavy and too complicated.  The funny thing is when I compose, I really compose kind of intuitively.  I have, of course, my techniques and so on, but it comes really from the heart.  Then, when a piece is performed and people say, “It was nice, but it was so intellectual,” I am so surprised!  I am really taken aback then because I didn’t compose it that way.

de marez oyens BD:    You write it from your heart to their heart?

TdeMO:    That’s what I hope.  But then when it doesn’t come to their heart, I’m surprised a little.

BD:    Let me ask the big question.  What’s the purpose of music?

TdeMO:    Oh, my!  [Laughs]  You want an answer right now?  I will say that music is the only art that has the possibility of being able to touch a person right away, to lift the spirit up or to shock, but really to touch a person.  Maybe that is the purpose of music, to go right to the center of a person.  But it’s a very dangerous question to ask, just out of the blue.

BD:    You work with it every day, so I’m trying to find out where your thoughts are today.  They might be different tomorrow.

TdeMO:    That’s right.  But I think music has a terrible power.

BD:    Terrible good, or terrible bad?

TdeMO:    It can be both ways.  I think there is a kind of music that really calls for the worst in a person, and I think that there are other kinds of music that can lift a person up.

BD:    Do you purposely write music to lift people up?

TdeMO:    No.  I don’t think about it when I write.

BD:    What do you think about when you write?

TdeMO:    The problem is to write down exactly what you hear in your head, and that is a very complicated thing.  You have the perfect sound in your head, and when you write something down that is close, but not perfect, you cannot stop there.  You have to go until you find the real thing, and that takes so much thinking that I can’t have anything else on my mind.

BD:    The sound that you’re trying to write down — the sound that you hear in your head — have you created this, or have you discovered this?

TdeMO:    I mostly have the feeling that I get it from somewhere.  I didn’t invent it; that’s nonsense.  All sounds are somewhere already, and I have the feeling that I just pick the notes and gather them together.  It’s not that I discover, I invent them.

BD:    But you manipulate the combinations?

TdeMO:    Sure.  Workmanship is needed to get it on paper.

BD:    That’s the technique?

TdeMO:    Yes.

BD:    Where’s the balance, then, between the inspiration and the technique?

TdeMO:    I don’t say that there is only one percent inspiration and the rest is perspiration, as many people say.  I think the inspiration is a bigger part, but it is not so that inspiration is only in music.  You can have inspiration in anything you do.  The whole day can be full of inspiration, and it asks for a kind of opening up of yourself, of having a peaceful mind and being open to whatever comes your way.  Then the day is full of surprises, and if you are in that state of mind, the composing goes easy.

BD:    Let me ask one other balance question.  In your music, is there a balance between the artistic achievement and an entertainment value?

TdeMO:    I don’t think so much about the entertainment point, actually.  I am just busy creating something that satisfies what I want to make.  I have, of course, an aesthetical ideal in my mind, and I want to reach that.  I hope people are entertained by my music, but I am not thinking about that when I am composing.

*     *     *     *     *

BD:    You are also a pianist.  Are you the ideal interpreter of your own works?

marezoyens TdeMO:    [Laughs]  Well, not always.  I wrote a piano concerto, which I couldn’t possibly play.  It’s too difficult.  I used to play a lot of piano and I used to perform all the great classics such as Mozart and Beethoven, but I stopped doing that because also here, as with teaching, it took too much time.  I cannot be half a pianist and half a composer.  I want to be a real composer, and if that means not being a pianist at all, that’s okay with me.  So I only perform my own works, and those that I can perform, I think I am the ideal performer.

BD:    Having played the works of the older composers, does that make you a better composer yourself?

TdeMO:    I don’t think so, no.  It’s such a different thing to perform those composers and to compose yourself.  What is essential is that you have a lot of repertoire knowledge when you compose.  You cannot just start out from nothing.  Everybody builds on the old masters.

BD:    Are you part of a line, a lineage of composers?

TdeMO:    Of course.  I think all composers are part of the line, but I hope you are not asking me which line that would be, because I wouldn’t know.

BD:    You’ve grown up and have spent most of your life in Holland.  Is there anything particularly Dutch about your music?

TdeMO:    I don’t think so.  There was a time you could hear a typically German
— heavysound or a typically French — lightsound, but that stopped years ago.  The Earth is so small now.  Everybody knows everybody, and you are influenced as much by Japan as by Alaska.  It’s not anymore so that you are a typically Dutch composer.

BD:    Is it good that we know instantly what is done in Australia or in Holland or in Chicago or in Japan?

TdeMO:    I like it.  I like to have a feeling that we know each other.  We’re just one big family.

BD:    So music is music is music?

TdeMO:    Sure, but there is, of course, a lot of difference still.  When you think of India, the real Indian music is something else that you cannot compare with any Beethoven.

BD:    You are speaking of the traditional Indian music, of course.

TdeMO:    Right, and the traditional Chinese music or Korean music that has all the sound of its own.

BD:    But a composer living in Bombay, who’s working in a similar idiom to a composer living in Beijing or a composer living in Chicago or a composer living in Hilversum — it’s all going to be much, much closer together.

TdeMO:    Yes.  The problem is that in India, you have this fantastic traditional music, while in Holland there is not so much traditional music on which we can fall back.  So maybe that is why I don’t feel “typical Dutch.”

BD:    Is there something that audiences should know about composing, or should they just experience the music as the pure sound when they hear it?

TdeMO:    I think it’s a little bit dangerous to explain too much.  I’m always flabbergasted when I see how much composers want to tell the audience.  The audience comes to listen, not to know exactly what the composer thought and what he ate when he was writing and what colors he prefers.  I think that background information is much overrated.  What is important is that the audience knows a little bit of the background of the piece
why it was written, what was the intention of the composer — and that’s all.  The only thing that counts is how it sounds, not what the composer wanted to do with it.  That’s not important.  Also, if I may go on with this because this is one of my hang-ups, some people think it’s so important to know what technique was used.  Was it dodecaphonic or was it not total dodecaphonic or a little bit serial?  It’s totally unimportant.  What makes good music or bad music is not what technique was used but what kind of composer it is.  If you take Schoenberg and give him a dodecaphonic series, he makes a beautiful piece out of it.  But if you give it to Mister X who doesn’t know how to compose, nothing will happen!

de marez oyens BD:    You’ve also worked with electronic music?

TdeMO:    Yes.

BD:    Is it fun to work with electronics?

TdeMO:    It used to be enormous fun.  I worked in the Institute of Sonology in Utrecht.  I don’t know if you have heard of all the great work there.  This was a big, old-fashioned studio with walls full of apparatus, where you had to plug in and you had to turn knobs, and it was really a sport to work there!  You could discover things.  I must say, now that we all have computers and you need a technician to sit there and work on your piece, you tell him what you want and the fun is a little bit lost on me.  I liked the old-fashioned way better.

BD:    Should we take some of your older electronic music and make sure it’s played on
original (electronic) instruments?

TdeMO:    Well, the fun is that you don’t have to have these instruments.  It’s on tape, so you don’t have to create it again.  It’s finished.

BD:    Do you view the electronic sounds that can be created as more colors on your palette?

TdeMO:    Yes, and magnificent colors, too.  With electronic sounds, you really can get anything you want.  I started all that because I hated electronic music!  I had heard it and found it so cold and inhuman, and it didn’t mean a thing to me.  Then I got a musical prize and I had to do something cultural with it.  So I thought, “Why not find out what I hate about this electronic music?”  So I went to a course of Gottfried Michael Koenig, and I was not longer than two weeks in this course and I was totally turned around.  I loved it and I saw the possibilities.  It’s really very fascinating to work with it.

BD:    Do you still work in electronics?

TdeMO:    The problem is that Sonology moved to The Hague and is connected with the conservatory there, and in Hilversum, where I live, is a studio joining to the broadcasting companies.  So you only may work there when you have a commission from the broadcasting companies.  If I have a commission I’m happy and I work there, but if not, I’m also satisfied with the normal writing.

BD:    Are your pieces purely electronic, or do they combine electronics with live musicians?

TdeMO:    I made only one purely electronic piece, and then when it was performed at a concert I thought, “I will never do that again.”  People want to look at something when there is a musical concert, and if there is only a little apparatus turning things on it, what should you look at?  So you look at the ceiling or at your feet, or you yawn or you close your eyes...

BD:    ...or read the program notes?

TdeMO:    Yes.  So that was actually the reason that I started to combine it with things, but then I discovered that it gives an extra element.  It’s nicer to combine it with acoustical instruments.

BD:    Might you write an electronic piece specifically for a record rather than a live concert?

TdeMO:    That would be possible, but actually I don’t do that.  When I write music, I always write for listeners who are in the concert hall.

*     *     *     *     *

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

TdeMO:    Do you mean solo or choral music?

BD:    If you care to speak of either or both.

de marez oyens TdeMO:    Why do you expect sorrows for writing for the voice?  For me, it’s only a joy!  I love the human voice, and you can do wonderful things with it.

BD:    Is it just another color on your palette?

TdeMO:    It’s an instrument with its own timbre, but with an extra timbre because it has the human soul behind it.  I always like to write for voice.  When you get performed and a singer is singing your lines, I always am extra moved.  I’m always moved when they play my music, but when it’s being sung, it’s something special.

BD:    Do you use the voice as a unique instrument, or do you treat it like a clarinet?

TdeMO:    No, of course not.  A voice is not a clarinet.  It has its own possibilities and colors, and I try to make use of that.  I don’t write instrumentally for the voice.  I also like to write for choir, which is actually very difficult.  There are only a few professional choirs in Holland; most are amateur choirs, so you have to tone down a little bit your technical extravaganza.  But that is very healthy when you are bound by a limitation.  I like it very much to write for the voice, so I’m curious now what were the sorrows you were thinking about?

BD:    Some composers have responded that it’s difficult to deal with the voice, but this is why I ask, because each response is different.  I come with very few preconceptions as far as what responses I will get.  I don’t ask questions to elicit pre-determined answers. 

TdeMO:    [Smiles]  That is an excellent way to do it!

BD:    So, another of my favorite inquiries
— what advice do you have for younger composers coming along?

TdeMO:    To listen and listen and listen to music.  Hear a really lot of music of all kinds
not only modern music, but all the classics going back to Monteverdi and Palestrina.  That way you get a feeling of what it means to compose.  Then to work hard, because composing in hard work.

BD:    Too hard?

TdeMO:    Not too hard.  I wouldn’t do it for forty years if it were too hard.  You see, when you are writing you are sitting on your own because it’s a lonely profession.  You can only write when you are alone.  There is actually nobody who is encouraging you.  You have to do it all by yourself, and if you are not very convinced that you on the right way, then life can become hell.

BD:    Is composing fun?

TdeMO:    Let’s say having composed is fun.  When the piece is ready, then it’s fun of having composed.  While you are wrestling with it, it’s not always fun.  Really it’s hard work, and what people sometimes forget is that it’s also physical hard work.  When you see big scores, remember that before I had the computer I had to write all the notes down.  I even had a tennis arm from writing, once.  I had a deadline, and I wrote hours and hours in a too-fast tempo, so I couldn’t use my arm for a long period.  But now I have the computer and the Finale program, which is very good.  But you won’t believe it
I also had a mouse arm!

BD:    But I trust the computer doesn’t do any work for you.  It just eases your task, but it doesn’t do any real thinking for you.

TdeMO:    Of course not, but the score looks nicer.  You don’t need to actually publish it because it looks like printed when you have it on the computer.

BD:    [Sarcastically]  That’ll make all the engravers very happy.

TdeMO:    Yes.  [Laughs]

BD:    Are we getting to the point where engraving music is going to be obsolete?

TdeMO:    The old-fashioned way of making it with copper plates will be extinct.  But I am still happy that I have a publisher, because I can give him a floppy and he has an easy task of publishing it.  But all the channels of the commerce I leave gladly to my publisher, and don’t delve in that myself.

BD:    Are you optimistic about the future of music?

TdeMO:    You ask such difficult questions!  [Laughs]  Let’s say I am optimistic that there will always be music because we need it.  But will the music always be nice?  That I don’t know.  Sometimes we try to be too original and come to a dead end.  Then we have to turn back a little bit and go in another direction.  This turning back is a process which most composers don’t like.  So if people stay open all the time and are willing to try something else than they were doing, then maybe there is a good future for music.

BD:    I assume, though, it’s right that we explore all of the alleys, even though some of them are blind alleys.

TdeMO:    Sure, you have to try everything.  That’s why I even composed, for a whole summer, just dodecaphonic music — to discover that it was not my way.  But I am happy that I tried it nevertheless.

BD:    You had to work with it and use it in order to find out for yourself?

TdeMO:    Sure.  Only then can you find out if it is your way or not.

BD:    So it’s not your bag?

TdeMO:    No.  [Both laugh]

BD:    Do you like traveling all over the world with your music?

TdeMO:    I do.  I like traveling, although sometimes it gets a little bit too long, and then I get homesick.  But all in all I like traveling, and I especially like meeting people and learning new things and new cultures.  I was in Korea, and I enjoyed it very much.  I did a crazy Dutch folksong with all these Korean people.  Really, I wish I had filmed it.  It was an experience never to forget!  Then they tried to teach me a Korean song.  I wasn’t as good as they were.  [Laughs]

BD:    Thank you for coming to Chicago, and for sharing your music with us.

TdeMO:    Thank you very much.

Tera de Marez Oyens (5 August 1932, Velsen – 29 August 1996, Hilversum) was a Dutch composer.

De Marez Oyens was born as Woltera Gerharda Wansink. She studied at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with a major in piano. Here, her talent for composition was discovered as she wrote her first pieces. These included chamber music and song cycles. After that she came in contact with youth groups, for whom she also wrote individual pieces.

She then became the cantor of the Reformed church community of Hilversum. Because of this she was very busy with church music. She wrote 14 melodies for the church songbooks that appeared in 1973. The lyrics for these songs were supplied by, among others, Muus Jacobse, Willem Barnard and Ad den Besten, whom she knew personally.

In the sixties she experimented with the tone poem and electronic music. Sound and Silence (1971) and Mixed Feelings (1973) are pieces of electronic music she composed, and Pente Sjawoe is an example of a work in which the tone poem plays an important role.

In 1977 she became an instructor at the conservatory in Zwolle. Her lessons focused especially on the development of the student's own style. But she wanted to continue to write her own pieces and after the death of her second husband she became a full-time composer. At that time she wrote The Odyssey of Mr. Goodevil (1981). In 1988 she contributed pieces to the international cello competition in Scheveningen, and in 1989 she was composer in residence at the Georgia State University in Atlanta.

She wrote over 200 works of music, many commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Culture and various broadcasting networks. In 1995 she was asked to write a piece (Unison) for the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.

She had been married to Gerrit de Marez Oyens and Menachem Arnoni. Despite the fact that she had become seriously ill, in 1996 Tera de Marez Oyens married the renowned cartoonist Marten Toonder. She died on 29 August of that year in Hilversum.

© 1995 Bruce Duffie

This interview was recorded at her hotel in Chicago on November 6, 1995.  Sections were used (along with recordings) on WNIB in 1997, and on WNUR in 2002 and 2007.  It was transcribed and posted on this website in 2012.

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.

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.