Ed Kozempel’s mindful journey with music By Glenn Holsten
When talking about his recovery journey, Ed Kozempel references Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life), a tone poem by classical music composer Richard Strauss. It’s an apt reference. And while Ed wrestles with daily battles in his mind, music has always been a constant source of hope and happiness.
Ed was born and raised in North Philadelphia. With two bachelor degrees from University of the Arts (one in trombone performance and another in music education), young Ed Kozempel was well on his way to a career in music. But at age 26, mental illness interrupted his dreams.
He was lost to paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. At one time he was hospitalized with catatonic seizures. For thirty years he was in and out of hospitals, boarding homes and the street – “limbo” as he says — searching for the right path, the right medication to give him stability and a place to make music.
Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower became an instant cult classic among teens when it was published in 1999. I first encountered the book as a young teenager, and it has played a big role in my life ever since.
Clyde Petersen is one very, very busy guy. He is an indie animator, musician, and activist who lives and works in Seattle. He is currently knee-deep in an autobiographical feature-length animated film titled Torrey Pines, which he describes as “a stop-motion animated adventure film: coming of age with an undiagnosed schizophrenic single mother in San Diego in the 1980s.”
With a mother fueled by hallucinations of political conspiracy and family dysfunction, Clyde is kidnapped at the age of 12 and taken on a cross-country adventure that will forever alter the family as they know it.
Original Video by Glenn Holsten & The Fresh Fly Lab
A lovely summer night. A busy intersection in a big city. A chalkboard.
A few simple ingredients for an intriguing video.
Not too long ago, a video production team in Philadelphia set out to offer a chance for passers by to share their message with the world. The team had no agenda, and no one who participated was coached. On one side of the chalkboard we wrote a simple question: What is your message to the world? On the other, people wrote from their heart. It’s a big question, but very few people appeared at a loss for words.