Picture This

“Picture This”

In the almost 50 years I have made commercially available recordings (I made the first one when I was 15 years old), the recording world has changed greatly. 

Of course, in the beginning of my career, vinyl discs (45RPM singles and 33RPM LPs) were the creative medium. Later of course this evolved to cassettes and then CDs.

Now we are in the era of the digital download and other forms of digitized delivery.

The demise of a physical product replete with artwork you can actually hold in your hand depresses me a bit. But as Yogananda would rightly say, “be the willow and not the oak.”

In other words, don’t hold on to anything too tightly.

The planning of an album was always a lot of fun for me. I took to it much as I would assume a novelist plots a book. The sequencing of tracks in an order that created a sense of drama was something I took seriously and only recently became somewhat quite adept at. But the music world aims at marketing individual tracks or songs these days.

My last album (which quite literally may be just that) is therefore my best effort.

Picture This,” unlike my other records was not initially available in the digital download domain for that precise reason. It was only available by direct order on my website or at my gigs. In the past couple of weeks, it has been made available on digital download sites such as:

Amazon Music

In the end, I too, ended up having to conform to the new reality. 

If I write and record songs from here on in, I may only make videos and have them available on YouTube.

For now I am getting friendly with the idea that my back catalog must speak for itself.

Or maybe I can go back to oil painting.

Silesian Mist

“Silesian Mist”
(composed by reynold d. philipsek 2018 copyright Zino-Rephi Music BMI)

guitar, mandolin-reynold
percussion-michael bissonnette
acoustic bass-matt senjem

My family comes from the eastern part of Europe (Poland, Ukraine and Bohemia or Silesia).

My natural tendency is toward harmonies that reflect an Eastern European bent which are basically minor scalar things with flattened fifths and raised sevenths.

That might be an overly technical explanation for some but it essentially means a sort of “gypsy” flavor. In fact the scale is called by some Hungarian Minor and by others Gypsy Minor.

Again, I don’t purposely write or play in this mode, it just happens.

This song came to me one day while I was out jogging. The recurrent “mantra” in 11/4 was not premeditated. I only go to odd meters if they naturally occur. Otherwise it seems forced or contrived. In my opinion.
In fact, only when I came home from the jog and wrote down the melody of the theme did I realize it was in 11.

The solo sections in between are very modal. The whole thing goes even a little further “East” than Silesia and enters a little quasi/faux “raga” territory.

The piece is a staple of both of my performing groups East Side and Sidewalk Cafe, as well as being on my latest album, Picture This.