Why Andy?

As you all know–after all, I’ve been bombarding this blog as well as various social networking outlets with the news for almost three weeks now–Andy Tillison will be speaking and performing this afternoon, 5:30-7, in the Old Main Chapel.

The first album by The Tangent (2003).  Art by Ed Unitsky.

The first album by The Tangent (2003). Art by Ed Unitsky.

Why Andy?  

In my time here (and what a glorious time I’ve had–thank you, CU and Colorado!!!), I’ve tried to bring in a real diversity of speakers.  Last semester, CU CTP speakers lectured mostly about the liberal arts, philosophy, and education.  In January, I had famed science-fiction master, Kevin J. Anderson and his lovely wife, Rebecca, to talk about writing, selling, and persevering.  In March, we’ll hear from an economist and a philosopher.

For February, then, I wanted to bring in a musician, an artistic, and a cultural critic.  Andy Tillison is all three–in spades.

Specifically, he is an English rock and jazz musician, a genius when it comes to the word as well as to the music, a far-more-than-proficient pianist, organist, and keyboardist.  I’ve been listening intently to Tillison’s music for exactly a dozen years.  To say that his art changed my life would not be too much of an exaggeration.  When I listen to his music, I feel the inspiration of the muses and the spheres, and I find that his soul, mind, and heart inspire the equivalent in me.  Whether I’m worthy of such inspiration is another matter. . . but, when I found out I would be holding this position this year, I knew with absolute certainty that I wanted Tillison to be a part of it.  He and his lovely equal, Sally Collyer, readily and graciously agreed to leave their northern English home for a week to help us here in Colorado.  What a gift for all of us.

They arrived last Saturday, and after spending a wonderful weekend with them, they took off to explore the Wyoming and Colorado rockies.  Not surprisingly, they embraced every moment, every scene, and every encounter with the verve that appears in every word and every note of Andy’s music.

At 5:30, when I introduce Tillison to a CU audience, I will be introducing a man who is a hero to me.  A man of immense talent, but, even more importantly, a man of immense integrity.  I will be privileged to introduce a genius.

I hope you will join us in a celebration of all that is good, true, and beautiful in this post-modern world.

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