The Juggler

“The Juggler”

(written and performed by reynold d. philipsek 2018 copyright Zino-Rephi Music BMI)

In July of 2016 I stumbled upon a short video of a juggler doing his routine. The film was from the “silent era” and if I had to venture a guess it originated from some place in Western Europe in the early 1900’s. The juggler was a muscular man of about thirty years old. The juggler donned a thick waxed handlebar mustache.

As the video played I picked up my guitar and I began to play the arpeggiated figure that was to become the main theme for “The Juggler.”

This sort of spontaneous composition is a rare occurrence. Although Hollywood has for many years depicted the act of music composition as taking place in this sort of extraordinary manner in reality this seldom is the case.

In my life a piece of music has only “spontaneously” occurred to me five times. “Butterfly”, “Beatnik Pie”, “Sans Souci”, “Silesian Mist” and “The Juggler” are the only tunes that came to me all of a sudden and mostly complete. Generally a piece of music evolves from a single idea and takes time to develop fully.

“The Juggler” has all of the elements I try to gather in a composition-it is brief, concise and has a unique character all of it’s own.

Because I want this short piece of music to have a life of it’s own I asked my old friend John Hammond to create a video for it and this is it.

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Nathan Milstein (1904-1992)

Milstein was a Ukrainian-born American virtuoso violinist.
Being a contemporary of the great Heifetz might have seemed an undue burden to some violinists, but Milstein rose to the challenge.
In his early days, he toured Russia with Horowitz, and toward the end of his life he recorded some of the best solo violin I have heard. The recordings of Bach Sonatas and Partitas are especially astounding in my opinion.
One reviewer said of his Bach recordings, “His style is a lethal combination of technical accuracy with emotional depth.”
There is also a very good two-part documentary on YouTube called “Master of Invention.” It was this film and seeing and hearing Milstein, quite late in life, perform these solo pieces that led me to this wonderful discovery of recorded gold. The journey of his long and storied life is also well essayed in this two part documentary.
I am always on the lookout for new inspiration and seeing a man in his eighties play with such élan is nothing short of inspirational.
My new passion.

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