On November 21st, 2013, the world lost an important lens with which to view itself. It’s hard to put into words the impact that Conrad had on my life. It started with a wounded musician answering a phone one day to hear the voice of a composer he had never heard of tell him that he was his new teacher; and it became an unexpected and joyful musical and personal friendship which knew no limitations nor harsh realities of “real life.”
To say that the fire of his imagination was always brightly burning is an understatement.
Conrad lived alongside all of us in a simultaneously existent other world, full of the sprightly, the fanciful, the mystical, and the profoundly serene. He fought daily for his right to always remain there. The only glimpses of it that any of us ever got were experienced through hearing his beautiful music. He made no apologies for this and no allowances for any outside forces or people whom he felt may have threatened his ability to remain there always. There is no doubt in my mind that he is eternally there now, with absolutely no worry of ever having to step outside of it.
Knowing this and knowing him has made me the most imaginative person I can be, always striving to go deeper into my own creative self and push the comfort boundaries further and further. This is his gift to me and numerous others fortunate enough to have worked with him. Years ago, I wrote a song called “Departure” which Conrad heard. He liked the following lyric, which I think is an appropriate way for me to sum up my feelings on his passing: "No one there to hold so close to their heart, the cold wind blows a chill to your stride. Real life now approaches you with worries and fear. You find nowhere to hide.
Gazing back, you see the mist rise into your view, blocking your only way to see who’s there. Filled with regret, you close your eyes to dream - but in your dreams you can feel them everywhere. Oh the pain. Oh the time. Teardrops are falling like rain as we cry. But Oh, the hope. Oh, This Life that carries us on and on and on.”
Rest in peace my beloved teacher and friend.