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Ananta (1977)
Author: Albert d'Ossché
Date/Studio: 1977 Biscuit City, Denver, CO
Engineer: N.C. Bull
Producer: Laura Benson
Original Release: Pacific Rim Dulcimer Project (BC1314
Current Release: The Complete Recordings (BSR 158)

This was Albert's first tune with lyrics, written in Cornwall, Connecticut in late '72, early '73. We played it together many times in concert, especially throughout the '70s. Apart from a few surviving scratchy, coffeehouse-era tapes, only his solo performance version recorded on the Pacific Rim Dulcimer Project album was well captured.

The best words to describe this tune were written by Ananta's mother, Donna, with whom I had a chance to correspond years after Albert's passing. She was in possession of one of the first dulcimers Albert had built and wanted to find a home for it. I asked her to write something about it. This is what she wrote:

~ The Ananta Dulcimer (and a joining of lives). The following is a brief account of events in 1972, the building of an exquisite dulcimer, and the meeting of hearts, minds and lives that helped to change the course of my own. In 1970, my child, Ananta, was born with an incurable disease. Her life was lengthened by the lifestyles of the parents, but not by very much. The couple separated in 1972; mother and child moving into an apartment next to Albert d'Ossché in Lakeville, CT.

We quickly became friends with Albert who, for the first time in his life, was in direct, daily contact with a 2-year-old, wanting to teach, eager to learn-- all three. I was drawn to his life, friends and musical endeavors. He built me a dulcimer, teaching me to play in my own quiet way. Ananta died that year indirectly of the disease that couldn’t be cured.

Her passing affected Albert deeply. "Hush now little baby, may the dark winds rush by you." His first effort as a songwriter, Ananta, written a few days after her death, forever immortalized her short and powerful life. "Be quite sure the day will come with joy for one and all, when simple lives and holy truths reconcile the fall, Ananta" -- friendships that last, absent of time.

Everything happens for a reason. Albert and his diverse circle of friends helped me to learn from her death and to go on with my own life. I never bore another child but I have hundreds of small lives with whom, for over 25 years now, I have come into contract with through my work in Early Intervention. The death of my own child and the ability to empathize with others helped prepare me to help families in situations that oftentimes wreaks devastation.

Albert, friend to many, musician, builder of dulcimers, rich entertainer, songwriter and lover of life, left indelible prints on all of the lives with whom he came into contact. I am one of those lives. I am now ready to let this dulcimer move on, along with the story it contains. ~

Following the recording of the Pacific Rim Dulcimer Project in 1977, the artists got together to figure out a way to “tab” the tunes on the album. The first time that this resulting tablature system was used (now common for dulcimers) appeared in the book, The Pacific Rim Songbook, published by Dusty Moose of Felton, CA. The principle contributors were: Neal Hellman, Michael Rugg, Bonnie Carol, Albert, myself and Baila Dworsky.

The PDF files for this tune are photocopies of the Ananta tab from that book. Note it is handwritten. Jaki Reed drew the picture of Albert in 1975 at Ocean City, WA during Kindred Gathering 1. Calling the tune Ananta 77 was to distinguish it (and others from PacRim) that were later recorded and sent to iTunes and CD Baby for online downloads. Turns out I need not have renamed this one since it was only recorded once.

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