Matka

“Matka”
composed by Reynold D. Philipsek 2018 copyright Zino-Rephi Music (BMI)
guitars-reynold
accordion-Denny Malmberg

Both of my parents passed on in the past few years. Suddenly I realized I had neglected to appreciate my heritage.

My paternal ancestry came from Upper Silesia and more specifically a city in Poland called Opole.

Quite rightly they settled on homesteads with other immigrants in Central Minnesota close to a township called Opole.

I also have Bohemian and Czech roots.

When I was growing up I heard Polish spoken. My maternal grandmother was born in Poland and spoke little English. Many words were also very similar in Czech.

“Matka” for example, means mother in both languages.

As a kid I was not interested at all by this cultural treasure.

I was wrong.

My new album “Picture This” pays homage to this heritage in several ways. “Bohemian Flats” (the opening track of the new album) refers to a low-laying region of Minneapolis which at the turn of the 20th century became a “little Bohemia” and was occupied by Czechs, Slovaks, Bohemians and Poles.

By 1950 this area was extinct.

“Silesian Mist” (another song on the new recording) refers to the Upper Silesia connection I have previously mentioned.

This attempt to retrieve my heritage is not a gimmick. It is an honest attempt to reconnect.

I regret the arrogance of my youth. I felt almost embarrassed by the fact that my folks spoke what was referred to as “broken English.”

I didn’t ask any questions and ran away from this heritage which now I wish I would have embraced.

Maybe it is a case of too little to late but I want to make amends.

Since this song is entitled “Matka” I can’t help but thinking of Evelyn (my mother.)

I am joined on this little bolero by my friend Denny Malmberg on accordion.

link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gN6fxu7HxWY

Finding Django

Django
By reynold d. philipsek

I was busy whispering a detailed explanation of Schopenhauer’s Philosophy of the “Will” into the eager ear of a young lady in the backseat of my 56′ Ford when it happened. Believe me, it took quite a jolt to disengage my attention at that exact moment. After all, I was only 18 years old and my red corpuscles were pounding out four to a bar like Gene Krupa in overdrive. But even through the steamed-up windows it was clear to see. I was in love.

“What is that?” I shrieked as I jumped into the front seat and turned up the volume of the car radio. “Who is that guitar player? I love it.”

When the song ended the CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corporation) announcer proclaimed it was Jango Rinehart. I searched through the glove box to find a pen or pencil to jot down the name.

The very next day I piloted my Ford 70 miles due south to a section of Minneapolis known as Dinky Town to rummage through the record bins.

An indolent clerk peered up from his intense perusal of a catalog displaying every model and type of hookah known to civilization just long enough to correct me on the name with a condescending sneer. “The name is spelled like this,” he said, as he scrawled Django Reinhardt onto a coffee-stained napkin.

Armed with several Django records, I began my study of his fretwork. The music was a bit old-timey for my taste at that time and songs like “The Sheik of Araby” didn’t exactly turn my crank but the guitar playing was unlike anything I had ever heard.

There are watershed moments in every life and this was one for me. To say Django influenced my music would be complete understatement. I still listen to him daily and play his music every week. All these years later, I can’t even remember the girl’s name.

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