Saturday, March 30, 2013

Elements of Genius: Steven Vai & Golden Oasis

"Genius" is a word thrown around in hyperbole, but have you ever encountered real genius?

Here's a few, perhaps, for your consideration. 

Bob Dylan 

As readers know, I have always loved the music of Bob Dylan.  I recognize that his voice is not for everyone's tastes, but lyrically, I find his work to be wonderfully complex, even as the music itself is deceptively simple.  I appreciate operatic singing, as well as the beauty of Bing Crosby's voice, or the depth of Aretha Franklin, as well. 

I love classical music because of its complexities.  The ability to elicit emotions from 

It made the NY Times bestseller list and received rave reviews from critics.  Since turning 60, he has been a NY Times bestseller, an accomplished artist selling his works all over the world, a successful award winning radio host, poet, and even has acted in several movie and television shows.  

Author, artist, musician, 71 years young, he is now embarking on a new tour playing to audiences of all ages.  Folk, rock, country, ballads, crooning, jazz, blues, Americana, name it, he has done it.  

Yet, it was not until I read his autobiography, "Chronicles Part One" that I saw "genius" in him. 

Steven Vai 

I don't know Steven Vai's music, but have seen him play guitar on TV.  His talent is obvious, even if his music is not your cup of tea.  (see above)

I was in the 8th Grade, playing 2nd Trombone, when our incredibly talented teacher, Mr. Eugene Timpano, had someone hand out music sheets to everyone.  There were specific parts to be played by the trombones, the trumpets, clarinets, tuba, saxophone, and on and on.  In sections, 1st trumpet might be different than 2nd trumpet, and so on.  Flutes, obo, cello, strings, horns, percussion and on it went. 

A high school kid had written his own composition, "Golden Oasis" and had written the music for each and every instrument in the high school band.  


There was this strange, rather dark and quiet kid, named Steve Vai, who was a loner who was said to stay in his room and do nothing but play guitar.  

Amazing talent to the point where I struggle to grasp how he has done the things he has done. 


Avinoam Sapir

Who listens to a person say, "I left my house and went to the store" and recognizes, intuitively, that there is missing information there?


Who has the nerve to say to law enforcement, "When you hear someone say 'I didn't do it', believe them" and be right?

Who is copied by everyone and anyone in the world of interviewing, interrogation and Statement Analysis, including those who make claims of ownership of the work, as if it is their own?

Who has assembled a body of work, assigned percentages to it, and has been proven right, by both academia and on the ground law enforcement?

Who has made claims of scientific procedure only to be found correct in decades of challenges everywhere?

Who is responsible for the FBI's training (though lately he may not want the credit), as well as that from our Central Intelligence Agency, every major and minor law enforcement agency I can name, and Fortune 500's companies where internal issues of deception are vital?

Avinoam Sapir. 

He quietly goes about his work, watching everyone take credit for his work.  I await his book on Genesis, wanting it so much that I have considered getting the Hebrew version now, and a lexicon and working my way through translating it. 

As if I have the time!  

I will wait. 

He is genius.  

He doesn't protest as he sees others' careers gain traction from his work, or take credit for crimes solved by his formulas.  

He is genius well familiar with the language of humility.  

Even the slightest compliment from him is to be treasured for life. 

Even when I have felt that I have done a really good job in analysis, and have brought out everything possible within a statement, I have watched him (in live, on line training) ask simple questions of us, the students, including fabulously talented Kaaaryn Gough, which brought out more, and then more information from the text. 

Like the ancients, he asks questions of his students, pushing us to think, for a fee of a pittance compared to the level of excellence he brings forth.  Question, answer, question, answer, question, thoughtfulness...answer. 

Every journalist should not only take his course, but learn it. 

Sadly, I have met many who have taken his course, (in one form of another, it is his), completed it, and have not learned how to employ it. 

I liken the course to learning how to play all the basic chords on the guitar.  You now know how to place your fingers on the frets, precisely as any professional does, but without many hours (1,000?) of practice, you'll sound nothing like Steven Vai, Eric Clapton, or Stefan Grossman.  

I've seen talent here, as has Kaaryn, and occasionally, I reference them and will now consider publishing some of readership's work here.  

We've come this far.  

Genius is rare, and it is a gift.  

We should honor it when it is evidenced in our midst. 


Nanna Frances said...

Peter Hyatt!

I remember when you were on someone's show. The people who were not readers of your column said that these people (meaning your followers) thought you were a god. Several of us replied no! We know his work!

Anonymous said...

Bobby Dylan stinks of a leather gusset.

sella35 said...

But now we got weapons
Of the chemical dust
If fire them we’re forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God’s on your side.

The great Dylan

ACH said...

What is a leather gusset?
Is it part of Boots of Spanish Leather?


Vita said...

Peter, never have I encountered a follower, of Bob Dylan, but you/Heather. I have known of him of course, yet was never a follower of his music 'as a fan'.

My ignorance prevailed yesterday, driving, me listening to our local known radio, rock oldies, (hah oldies) 60's, 70's rock. This song to come on, and me to think it was Dylan.. it is not Dylan, it was Lou Reed. How did I know? because on my radio it lights up in orange ticker - song title and artist

As you say, just because it's a similar doesn't mean it's counted as what it truly is, as in artist. The sound may be similar, yet it's not the same. Not at all.

Each to offer their own, yet it does come down to Trilogy. You to mention Dylan, then concur with Stevie Vai. Which I saw first the words bolded of Stevie Vai, your post, and me to automatically think " isn't he a guitarist" me not reading your words first. And No, I did not know him. My brain though went to Stevie Ray Vaughn, an obvious. I did though find Steve Vai on YT. His sounds are of of Carlos Santana to me. I played but seconds of his craft. He though is Steve Vai, not Carlos.
You cannot be of it unless you are it, the one who began the basis of it to be the key. One would have a basis to want to learn it, to be within it. Definition of Trilogy: A trilogy is a set of three works of art that are connected, and that can be seen either as a single work or as three individual works.

You say those who have taken courses of Sapir, some not to learn, nor to take his training into their own. This all begins within the person first doesn't it.

You speak of playing 2nd Trombone in 8th grade. You were then within a collaborative under your instructor. I too played for 3 yrs, (3)not lying, Clarinet, elementary into middle school. I sucked, and I know I did. I split more reeds than anyone should, because at that time in my life, I didn't have a voice. In my clarinet days, me blowing my reeds was me not focusing on my playing, but simply being heard, not to be faking it? My reeds to split apart, wooden, because of my heightened sensitive, that I slobbered more. I do believe this yes.I was the one of the shyest kids you could ever meet. I moved too many times, and had no true ground, those years. I ceased the Clarinet and I never looked back. My mother forced me to learn how to play the organ/piano with my neighbor, uggh. She was the kindest woman, she was from Germany. She was of the survivors Holocaust, she German first language. She tried and yet her approach was of machine, not nurture, not her fault. I did not learn from her. I froze upon her presence. If I had other teachers, if I had others than who I was provided, would I be of an musical instrument today? No. I am not interested to learn an instrument.

I am though one of sound, and I do respect those who are intricate in their craft, their works, as they make the sounds signature to them. Everyone has their own, and their own is within each, as what they hear, are in relation to. What is of them. This to me is of huge power of suggestion, as so many attempt to, yet can never copy the infamous. They though emulate themselves upon another and think they are of star status. When they are not, they have attempted to copy someone, not truly find their raw talent.
Guitarists who can never be duplicated: Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Carlos Santana, Eddie Van Halen, Lita Ford, Prince, off the top of my head - these ppl, the Wonders of the world, of my ear, who make the guitar their own synchronicity - allowing us to be a part of, depending on if our EAR is in tune within their works.

Anonymous said...

Bob Dylan sucks.

He sucks at songwriting.

He sucks worse at singing.

He just wanted to be a folksinger, singing songs so old that no one knows exactly who wrote them or when. I suppose his voice would be adequate to that task.

But he decided to write his own material. He didn't want to at first, but it was what the market demanded.

Dylan never learned what songwriting demands. The basic craft of lyric writing is to pair long notes with long vowels, short notes with short vowels.

Dylan doesn't do this. He never has. He never will.

Admiration for Dylan comes not from his excellence at either singing or songwriting but from his validation of radical politics and non-traditional lifestyles.


Is Avinoam Sapir really a genius? His SCAN method has been criticized as being atheoretical. He will pick on one statement for misuse of pronouns, another for slipping time, a third for use of tense. There is never any systematic analysis of these. So the one that misuses pronouns might be perfectly fine at time slipping and use of tense.

Avinoam Sapir never states what the accuracy rate of his method is. Aldert Vrij has pointed out that Sapir probably doesn't know himself.

Genius? Probably not. Sales genius? Probably.

Anon123 said...

Peter, you keep promising that you will share Equinox's analysis. Does this mean you finally going to do that?

John Mc Gowan said...


Has anyone seen this..

Prosecuting Casey Anthony (2013)

Reveals Ashton’s inside story of the true crime drama that captivated and then shocked the nation when Caylee Anthony’s mother, Casey, was acquitted oof killing her daughter, despite what many thought to be overwhelming evidence of guilt. The movie is seen from Ashton’s (Lowe) perspective and it takes viewers behind-the-scenes of both the investigation into Caylee’s tragic death and the ensuing trial, shedding new light on the many questions of what happened to the two year-old girl, how Ashton and his fellow prosecutors built their case and why a woman so shrouded in suspicion was proclaimed innocent

Jen said...

Hi John-

I watched it on Lifetime when it premiered and it was so-so. It portrays Cindy and George as clueless victims, which is far from the truth. Also, Lowe didn't make a very good Ashton, but overall it's worth watching if you don't mind being reminded of the horrible outcome and feeling furious about it all over again!

Tania Cadogan said...

I am honored to have found Peter and Heather's blog, they opened my eyes as to why i was seeing something was off and not always knowing why.

They and their guest commentators have taken the time to explain they why's and wherefores, never judging when we sometimes fail to grasp a principal or failing to use it correctly.

It has been wonderful to see newbies seeing the light so to speak and blossoming, to see them become confident and able enough to post their own analysis for all to see.
It is a pleasure to read their words and follow their thought processes as they take us through their analysis of s subject, to know we can ask questions as to why they came to this conclusion rather than that one without fear or argument, insult or criticism.

It is fantastic to see how between us,all with our own life experiences and knowledge, we can look at a statement and all come to a conclusion which is deeper than if done singly.

I know i have a long way to go yet to be anywhere near as good as Peter, Heather and Kaaryn let alone Avinoam.
I know i can ask questions and get well thought out replies, i know i can post sometimes provocative posts and not be flamed just because they are different.

I know anything i post can and will be analysed, critiqued, corrected and used in lessons in how to and how not to analyse a statement.

Humility is knowing no matter how good you are, you will never perfect, you will never know everything there is to know about your chosen subject.

I love that even when a post is off topic, humerous or downright silly is is accepted, it allows us to learn a little bit more about the poster, I love that everyone is made welcome and no one minds when asked to explain something for the nth time.

I am glad i have met you all, i have gotten to know you as trusted friends and who knows, maybe one day we can all meet up for a get togeather.

Thank you all for being you

Happy easter hugs and smooches

hobs xx

Lis said...

My older sister was a huge Dylan fan, I grew up listening to his music. It isn't my style overall but he is a man of genius and one of those rare people who walk the path of who they are, regardless of what is popular or best selling or the music industry is pushing. He is the one and only Dylan.

Jen said...

Well said Hobs...I love this blog, and I appreciate the time and effort that Peter and Heather dedicate to sharing Statement Analysis with us. A big thank you to them, and also to all of the commenters who take the time to contribute, for helping us all gain a better understanding of SA principles.

Happy Easter!

John Mc Gowan said...


Here Here..

John Mc Gowan said...


What do you think of his apology?I picked out
these couple of points..

Dr. Benjamin Carson apologizes for comparing gay marriage to 'bestiality'

Dr. Benjamin Carson

Gay MarriageJohn HopkinsDr Benjamin Carsongay rightsMedicine & PoliticsGay Issues
Dr. Benjamin Carson, a world-class neurosurgeon and professor at the John Hopkins School of Medicine, has apologized Friday for his "choice of words" in discussing the definition of marriage. As reported by the Baltimore Sun on Saturday, Carson's discussion on Fox News on the subject of gay marriage caused controversy as the professor grouped gays with members of the North American Boy/Man Love Association and people who engage in bestiality.

Dr. Carson said to Fox News on Tuesday:

"Marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn't matter what they are. They don't get to change the definition."

The Hopkins professor attributed his beliefs to his Christian values and his belief in the Bible but has apologized for offending anyone and said his comment was taken out of context. His apology comes after a petition has been circulated at John Hopkins Medical to have him removed as commencement speaker in May.

"I THINK people have COMPLETELY taken the wrong meaning out of what I was saying. FIRST OF ALL, I CERTAINLY BELIEVE gay people should have all the rights that anybody else has. What I was BASICALLY saying is that as far as marriage is concerned that has traditionally been between a man and a woman and nobody should be able to change that."

Dr. Carson admitted that the examples he used were not the best choice but stood by his opinion that no group should be able to change the system. Because of the backlash his comments have caused, the professor also announced he was open to withdrawing himself as the Hopkins commencement speaker.

Students sent a letter to administrators of the school citing Carson's comments as "deeply offensive" and stated that they "feel that these expressed values are incongruous with the values of Johns Hopkins and deeply offensive to a large proportion of our student body".

John Mc Gowan said...


More qoute's from Dr Carson's Apology.

On Sean Hannity’s Fox News program earlier this week, Dr. Ben Carson, the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, offered his view on the hot-button issue of the week, same-sex marriage.

According to Carson, marriage is defined as between one man and one woman, what he called a “well-established, fundamental pillar of society.” And Carson said this institution could not be redefined by any group, including proponents of bestiality and pedophilia.

Invoking those groups drew the ire of many, but Carson went on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” to clarify his remarks, which he apologized to those who took offense.

“Well, first of all, they are my views, that should be mentioned. They are not the views of the institution,” Carson said. “If someone goes back and examines what I’ve been talking about and writing about over the last couple of decades, it’s the same things that I’m talking about now. It’s just that now more people are paying attention to them. And you know, I think in terms of what was said on Sean Hannity’s show — that was taken completely out of context and completely misunderstood in terms of what I was trying to say. You know, as a Christian, you know I have a duty to love all people, and that includes people who have other sexual orientations, and I certainly do. And never had any intention of offending anyone. What I was basically saying and if anybody was offended, I apologize to you. But what I was basically saying is that there is no group — I wasn’t equating those things, I don’t think they’re equal.”

“Just you know, if you ask me for an apple and I give you an orange, you would say, that’s not an orange,” Carson continued. “And then I say, that’s a banana and that’s not an apple either. Or there’s a peach, that’s not an apple, either. But it doesn’t mean that I’m equating the banana and the orange and the peach. And in the same way I’m not equating those things. My point was that once we start changing the definitions, then where do we stop? You know, we can go with anything, and I certainly don’t have any problem with people who are gay having legal arrangements. In fact any two adults, gay, straight, whatever — certainly they can have legal arrangements so that they can share property and have inheritance rights and visitation rights. You know, that’s a kind thing to do. They should be treated just as anyone else. But being treated just as anyone else, no one else gets to change the definitions of standard, you know, societal pillars. So, why should anybody have that right?”

Carson maintained his stance on the definition of marriage in the MSNBC appearance.

“My impression is what’s being asked for is the convenience of the title ‘marriage,’ which is an institution that was established by God,” he said. “You know, I’m not sure that is the same thing. Everybody has a right of association. And if we don’t give them the right to transfer property and to have you know, visitation, et cetera, then we really should be examining that.

Anonymous said...

No welsh hide!!!