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Karl Leopold Metzenberg
Story Analyst, Local 700 Los Angeles, CA (Ret.)
"Joseph Mastroianni's Chaconne is an engrossing and exciting tale of guilt, atonement, and realization. Rich with life-changing events and memorable characters, it chronicles a young man's coming first against obstacles, and finally to awareness through life’s lessons subtle and manifest, wonderful and terrible."

Jill Hackett
Ed.M., Ph.D., Boston Globe Correspondent, author "I Gotta Crow" written especially for women.
“Witness the lives of two deeply intentional men unfold--through friendships, family, passions, tragedies--and music. What each man allows life to write upon his soul, and the music of his life, becomes a powerful duet across time. A privilege to read.”

Tim Smith
D.M.A. Professor of Music Theory, Northern Arizona University, author “The Canons and Fugues of J. S. Bach The Fugues of the Well-Tempered Clavier.
"Bach’s Chaconne is one of the most beloved works in music literature. Mastroianni’s Chaconne retells the story of its composition, proving again the power of art to comprehend, and transcend, the grief and inevitable guilt that death brings to those who survive. A beautiful and helpful story.”

Ron Purcell
DM.A Music, Professor California State University, Northridge California specializing in Lute and Guitar.
“A wonderful story is woven around two distinct periods in history, the Baroque and the 20th century. Joseph Mastroianni's love for music and especially the Chaconne of Johann S. Bach reveals the power of music in dealing with today's struggles and hardships. Tremendous insight and an enjoyable conception.”

Richard O' Connor
Executive Editor Renaissance Books, retired, Author
"A facinating journey that reveals a life and a lesson."

William Edelen
Syndicated Columnist, Author
"very interesting and well written."

Sea Shells
by Rosemarie Fanucchi/rosemarie@coastalview.com

Book shelves hold Mastroianni’s “Chaconne”
Joseph C. Mastroianni’s accomplishments are impressive. He’s one of those people whom you meet and admire for his work on a current project and you then learn something new about him and are in new awe.

For starters, he is a contributing editor to the magazine Fly Fishing. He was a professional helicopter pilot. When an automobile accident resulted in life threatening injuries he applied grit to endure 10 years of rehabilitation to recover. He rode a bike from California to Boston.

Recently I learned of his just published book “Chaconne.” This is how this came about. He heard and fell in love with Bach’s Chaconne. The music entered his soul and he was led to study classical guitar which in turn led him to travel to Madrid where he lived for four years just to learn the piece.

Chaconne is ever a part of his life. And now, 15 years later, he has completed his novel honoring the name of the music.

Joseph applied his life’s experiences of joy, challenges, ardor, zeal and perseverance to create the stories in Chaconne. His work is thrilling, gut wrenching, awe-inspiring, and unrestrained. Those are my words.

And so, here is hot off the press info for you. Learn about Joseph and Chaconne at: chaconne.us/. You may purchase the book online or for an autographed copy, meet Mr. Mastroianni right here in Carpinteria on Oct. 22 at Step One Gallery during ArtWalk. If you can’t wait that long, on Sept. 24, you may meet him at the Santa Barbara Book and Author Festival. Be sure to tell him you read about Chaconne in Sea Shells.

Until next time …

Santa Barbara Independent September 22, 2005
Mastroianni’s Ode to Bach
S.B. Author Uses Bach’s Music to Drive Modern and Historical Narratives
by Darian Bleecher

Chaconne is a tale of two lives intertwined across hundreds of years through music, adversity, and passion. Santa Barbara author Joseph Mastroianni artfully weaves a narrative of fictional protagonist Milo Damiani and Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach, and the tie that ultimately binds them: Bach’s “Chaconne,” widely considered the greatest musical composition of all time.

The reader first encounters Milo as a helicopter pilot on a Mastroianni's Ode to Bachtreacherous rescue mission. The subsequent chapters trace the events in Milo’s life leading to that moment. The pain of loss colors Milo’s youth, leaving him despondent and angry. His father, a musician and dreamer, abandons the family when Milo is young. He experiences the devastation of death at an early age: the first, a childhood friend; and then, as a teenager, he is party to and holds himself personally responsible for catastrophic accidents that take the lives of two little girls. Unable to forgive himself, Milo’s childhood dreams of flying are stalled as he finds himself haunted by these tragedies. As he searches for redemption and forgiveness, and struggles to make sense of his life, he unearths the resounding truths he seeks in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Milo’s earliest memory is of his father playing the “Chaconne,” Bach’s masterpiece for violin. The music penetrates his soul at an early age, and though it lies dormant during his childhood, it resurfaces when he finds himself in desperate need of peace and deliverance. Through his meditative focus on the “Chaconne,” Milo divines the answers to his most burning questions and is finally able to overcome the pain and guilt he has borne for so long.

In a fictionalized yet historically accurate account of the life of one of the world’s best-loved composers, Mastroianni traces Bach’s life from birth to death, providing a counterpoint to the 20th-century narrative. Though celebrated from an early age for his musical gifts, Bach’s was a life deeply affected by death. He lost both parents at the age of 10, and 10 of his 20 children. Most devastating, however, was the sudden loss of his beloved first wife, Maria Barbara. As a boy, the young prodigy hears the melancholic warble of a chaffinch and commits the haunting melody to memory. Years later, the resonant birdsong would become the basis for Bach’s poignant masterwork, the “Chaconne,” written in memory of his adored wife as an homage to their deeply spiritual union crushed by loss.

The life stories of the two men are carefully entwined in alternating chapters, each punctuated with a comparison of the two lives or a lesson learned by Milo through Bach’s music. The connection between the contemporary protagonist and the 18th-century composer isn’t immediately obvious—and, in fact, the comparison at times feels strained—but ultimately becomes clear as the modern-day hero finds Bach’s masterwork a continuous source of solace and inspiration, eventually allowing the piece to guide his destiny.

In creating the character of Milo Damiani, Mastroianni drew deeply upon his own life experiences. Similar to Milo, Bach’s “Chaconne” is an integral force in Mastroianni’s life. A professional helicopter pilot forced into retirement by a devastating accident, Mastroianni fell in love with classical guitar in 1972 and spent several years studying guitar in Madrid for the sole purpose of learning to play the “Chaconne.”

He is a contributing editor to Fly Fishing New England and has published a book of poetry. Chaconne, a 15-year labor of love, is his first novel. Mastroianni will be at the Santa Barbara Book and Author Festival on September 24, and at Step One Gallery in Carpinteria during ArtWalk on October 22.

Woburn-born author appears at Woburn library on Sunday

WOBURN - Woburn native and author Joseph C. Mastroianni, who has written "Chaconne the Novel," will be at the Woburn Public Library to dedicate a fund for the purchase of childrens books on Sunday Nov. 20, at 2 p.m.

Mastroianni visited Woburn in recent days to meet with Woburn Public Library Director Kathleen O'Doherty and some Friends of the Woburn Public Library in anticipation of the Sunday signing.

"We're already looking at a second printing," said Mastroianni on his visit to Woburn in recent days.

Mastroianni noted: "As a boy in Woburn, the Woburn Public Library public library was my sanctuary. Now it's pay back time."

A Woburn H.S. graduate in 1959, Mastroianni now lives in Santa Barbara, California. Damian Press Books is the publisher of the novel.

Mastroianni has established a fund at the Woburn Public Library for the purchase of children's books in honor of his recently diseased sister, Lois Capua.

The evolution of "Chaconne the Novel" is as riveting as the narrative of the story.

It is a tribute to the author's skill in blending the stories, cultures, and passions of two men who lived centuries apart, but who shared the passion for one monumental piece of music, Johann Sebastian Bach's haunting "Chaconne."

The culmination of decades of research and 20 years of classical study of the guitar have contributed layers of detail and richness to the writing that embraces the reader and submerges them within the pages to reveal the magic of music and the power of will.

As the book hits the book stores and elsewhere, there are a schedule of events to bring it to the public's attention. Originally, 1,000 books were published.

Mastroianni is a contributing editor to Fly Fishing New England, and writes essays on the history of fly-fishing. His research brought to light the contributions of a woman who lived and wrote in the 1400s, one hundred years prior to Isaac Walton, who is universally accepted as the father of fly-fishing. The Woburn native has also published a book of poetry and is working on another.

Originally a working barber in North Woburn, he became a professional helicopter pilot. Later, he suffered life-threatening injuries in a pedestrian accident in New York City when an automobile struck him forcing retirement 1988. He spent 10 years rehabilitating from subsequent surgeries.

In 1999 Mastroianni celebrated his recovery by realizing a childhood dream, a bike ride from California to Woburn which was reported nearly daily in the Daily Times Chronicle.

Three of his six children were the support team for the trek to raise funds for the National Children's Cancer Society and The American Heart Association. Mayors and governors across America, including now-President George W. Bush, cited him for his effort. Congress has also recognized his achievement.

Being overcome by the classical guitar in 1972, Mastroianni studied four years in Madrid for the sole purpose of playing Bach's "Chaconne." He has spent the past 15 years writing this novel and playing the "Chaconne."

An "Events Schedule" appears on the book site: http://www.chaconne.us/event_schedule.html

A "meet the author event" is being promoted and groups can be scheduled either by contacting the Mastroianni on the book site, or using the web site.

Comments on the "Chaconne the Novel" have already come to the forefront.

Among them are:

* Tim Smith D.M.A. Professor of Music Theory, Northern Arizona University "Chaconne is really two novels in one, a tale of two lives separated by centuries in time. It is a love story - Milo Damiani's love for life, and the music of J. S. Bach. Joseph Mastroianni's masterpiece rings true, like one who saw it happen."

* Jill Hackett Ed.M., Ph.D., Boston Globe Correspondent, author "I Gotta Crow" says it is a witness of the lives of two deeply intentional men unfold through friendships, family, passions, tragedies, and music. What each man allows life to write upon his soul, and the music of his life, becomes a powerful duet across time. A privilege to read."

* Darian Bleecher, Santa Barbara Independent "Santa Barbara author Joseph Mastroianni artfully weaves a narrative of fictional protagonist Milo Damiani and Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach, and the tie that ultimately binds them."

(Chaconne is available in local bookstores, or online at: www.chaconne.us and Amazon.com)

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A sure Candidate for the BOOK SENSE book of the year award.


© 2005-2006 Joseph Mastroianni


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