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D-MoZone is the place to find out what’s new with pianist/composer/educator Diane Moser. Keep an eye on this blog for updates on music, health, gigs, fundraisers, random thoughts and all things D-Mo. And please keep sending your thoughts, good wishes and comments this way—they’re always needed and always appreciated.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Screening of award-winning film with music by Diane


Montclair, NJ Jan 25- “Is it art if he can’t tell us what he’s doing?” is just one of the questions filmmaker and Montclair resident Dennis Connors explores in this short documentary film, a close-up look at Alex Masket and his remarkable work. Alex is a young adult with severe autism. He is functionally non-verbal and makes what we in the verbal world call “art”. Is he expressing himself? Is this his language, and is it our disability if we don’t understand it?

“Breaking Boundaries: the Art of Alex Masket” was filmed from the summer of 2008 thru the summer of 2009 and is 18 minutes long. The music was written by Montclair’s own Diane Moser, and performed by the Diane Moser Quintet featuring local musicians Andy Eulau, Scott Neumann, Ben Williams, and fellow Montclairian Rob Henke.

Opening night award ceremony for the 29th Black Maria Film + Video Festival will take place on February 5th at 7:00 PM at New Jersey City University- Margaret Williams Theatre- Hepburn Hall, Culver Ave. at John F. Kennedy Blvd (201-200-2043). Additional screenings will take place Saturday February at 2:PM at the Newark Museum Bill Johnson Auditorium- 49 Washington Street, Newark, NJ (973-596-6550), and Sunday February 7 at 2:00PM at the AMC9 Cinema-West Orange Film Society- Essex Green Shopping Center 495 Prospect Ave. just off 280 exit 8a in West Orange (973-324-9100).

Director/producer Connors has enjoyed a career in still photography for over 30 years. His work includes editorial, corporate and advertising assignments, as well as personal projects. The recent addition of filmmaking to his toolbox allows him to open new doors and explore his subjects more deeply. His curiosity about what makes people create art fuels his recent explorations in both mediums. In his own words, “I learn by working, and hope that my work can contribute to helping us better understand people that are different than ourselves. Filming Alex for the past 18 months has been an extraordinary journey. I would like to thank the Masket family for allowing me to witness this period of accomplishment in Alex’s life.”

Alex’s work is the cover story in the current issue of Esopus magazine.
For further information about the festival, visit http://www.blackmariafilmfestival.org/Tour

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recuperation vs. wholeness

Interesting article in the Times this morning, about how long it takes to fully recover physically, mentally, and spiritually from cancer.

We live in a culture that firmly believes that recovery consists of as brief a physical healing process as possible, followed by getting right back on the horse. We prize the stoic, Marlboro man, fade to black, everything's all right, it's just a flesh wound attitude.

But in his article Times reporter Dana Jennings describes his need to slow down, despite his impulse to take care of business as usual. He was "physically game," but unable to focus. "I couldn’t make sense of my cancer-blasted interior landscape," he says. He felt the world was speeding up as he was slowing down.

Eventually he realized, "I had to remove daily pressures from my psyche," Jennings says.

The article left me with the feeling that time does indeed heal all wounds, but the psychic, spiritual, soulful mending will take far longer than the physical.

I've had positive feedback on the article from Diane and two other cancer-surviving friends: All have experienced what Jennings describes.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Life Raft Support Group

So I just returned home from an informational meeting of the Life Raft Group-http://www.liferaftgroup.org/
they are a group dedicated to helping people like me with GIST-what an amazing group of people!
They had a presentation by a GIST specialist in Colorado-via WebEx-who we heard over the phone and watched a power point presentation about GIST, Exon numbers/mutations, and the various treatments that are available now, and new ones that are just getting out there.
I am so impressed with this group by their dedication and their hard work. They have their own staff of researchers who work with doctors, researchers and drug companies on a multitude of issues concerning GIST. For example, when I new drug is being developed, they send their staff to the drug company and talk with their researchers and provide input from Life Raft members.
There are now Life Raft groups in 50 countries-that's a lot of input.
The most exciting piece of information I received today is that I can send them tissue samples from my tumor (and I'm hoping the pathology department has kept those tissues in paraffin) and they will provide a gene mutation test on the sample and then add that sample to a tissue bank for GIST cancer researchers. This is great news! I have been trying desperately to get my doc to do the gene mutation test-but he doesn't know a lot about that.
The reason for the gene mutation test is to find out what exon number I have-which will in turn tell me several things:my chances for secondary mutations, and,if the dosage of Gleevec needs to be increased, or if I should be on another drug.
There was no talk of getting off of Gleevec.
They talked about 10 years survival rate as being the new thresh hold-when several years ago it used to be 5 years.
So you know where I will be popping into on Monday morning-that's right-my doc's office-let's get this show on the road already!

Friday, January 8, 2010

A couple of older but great pix of Diane

I had meant to post these some time ago, but I kept getting delayed due to holidays, my surgery, etc. But now I'm catching up on stuff, and I wanted to share these pix of Dmo from the big band's Lake George gig last September:

If you want to see more pix, they're posted at: