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That nexus where thoughts meet

Bob Couture, Host

                   Podcast and Blog

Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

Anchor 1

                  You've heard the refrain: "Can we all get along?"


Welcome to our series of chats and interviews that I hope will shed new light on the subject of dispute resolution, areas where human competitive and cooperative impulses--the core elements of conflict--are melded together into alloys of behavior that may not always prove predictable. We'll look in places where you'd expect the subject to be examined but also, perhaps, where you might not.

Are agreements, truces, deals, legal judgments, alliances, bonds of love, victories, losses, even works of art, created by some magical alchemy, or are there real axioms, proven methods, which guide us through the churn of conflict to meaningful resolution?

It's hard to argue with the presumption that the world would be a better place if only there was more love, kindness and forbearance. But, the proverbial question is: "How do we get there?" Is peace a state of bliss or rather a stasis of opposing forces? In a world where resources are often scarce and greed as natural an impulse as altruism, conflict is everywhere, and so too is resolution. It could be said that we are all bound to push and pull, give and take, love and hate in this eternal negotiation, otherwise called Life.


Who wins and who loses? Is it all that simple? In this series of podcasts, we'll talk with the practitioners who bargain, dance, fight, race, and perform all manner of forcing and fostering strategies to find their way.

I think about Rodney King's simple plea during the 1992 Los Angeles protest riots: "Can we all get along?"

Can we all get along… That wasn't just a question, it was a proposition too. Is that proposition impossible to achieve or even ridiculous to seriously consider?

Let's talk with folks who may tell us something that we don't know, and let's try to find more answers. Of course, like many good things in life, some of the remedies are probably in plain sight. But on this show, we'll do our best to probe ideas simple and complex, and not look the other way as we explore: where the twain meet.

where the twain meet

Goldberg Variations
BMV 988
Johann Sebastian Bach

Kimiko Ishizaka at the piano

The where the twain meet podcast is graced with the virtuosic performance, by Kimiko Ishizaka of J.S. Bach's transcendent Goldberg Variations. The narrative effect of the variations, which pass from the opening Aria to its reprise in the end, is momentous, the constant weave of tensions and resolutions in the counterpoint a shadow of the podcast's discussions, complemented by the music's own dialogue.


The Open Goldberg Variations is a project by pianist Kimiko Ishizaka, and, to create a public domain recording and score of J.S. Bach's masterpiece, Die Goldberg Variationen (BWV 988). 

J.S. Bach, Goldberg Variations BWV 988, Free Download

You can download the Open Goldberg Variations for free from Bandcamp. Formats include FLAC, WAV, AIF, and MP3. Downloads are “pay what you choose”, and are free of copyright (all uses allowed). The download includes the Goldberg Variations sheet music (PDF score).


The Open Goldberg Variations is also available on all major streaming platforms, such as Spotify and Deezer.

Kimiko Ishizaka


Kimiko Douglass-Ishizaka is a German-Japanese pianist, olympic weightlifter and former powerlifter. Born December 4, 1976 in Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, she was the first of three child prodigies born to Junkichi and Ruth Ishizaka in Bonn, Germany. At the age of 4, she began studying piano with her mother, who would continue to be her teacher until 1995. At that time she became a student of Professor Roswitha Gediga-Glombitza at the Hochschule für Musik Köln. In 2000, she completed her performer’s diploma exam with the highest available marks. Further studies included master-classes with Professor Peter Feuchtwanger, Professor Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, the Alban Berg Quartet, and the Amadeus Quartet.

From the early age of 5, Kimiko Ishizaka distinguished herself as a soloist and as a chamber performer, especially in the context of the Ishizaka Trio, which consisted of her and her younger brothers, Danjulo Ishizaka and Kiyondo. In its 16 year history, the Ishizaka Trio participated in many important festivals (Schleswig Holstein Musikfestival, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Beethovenfest Bonn, Brauschweiger Kammermusikpodium, and the Rheingau Musikfestival), performed concerts in many countries (Japan, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, the USA), and took prizes in many renowned competitions, including: 1st Prize in the 1998 Deutscher Musikwettbewerb (German Music Competition); The Vittorio Gui International Chamber Music Competition; Three consecutive 1st prizes in the International Charles Hennen Competion in The Netherlands; The Menschenskinder prize from RTL (1995)

As a solo pianist, Kimiko Ishizaka performed with the Beethoven Orchester Bonn, the Klassische Philharmonie and the Jackson Symphony Orchestra in Michigan. She has produced commercial compact disc recordings with the Rubato, Primavera and Ars Musica recording companies. She is part of the Open Goldberg Variations, a Kickstarter funded, and Bösendorfer sponsored, team that recorded J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) and released the score and recordings into the public domain in May 2012. Upcoming projects include performing the entire J.S. Bach's Well Tempered Clavier, Volume I (BWV 846-869), in a single evening.

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