Bohemian Flats

Bohemian Flats
(written and performed by Reynold D. Philipsek)

Bohemian Flats, also known as Little Bohemia, was the informal name given a residential area of Minneapolis in the late 19th century. The area was the low lying river terrace on the west bank of the Mississippi River.

The area was named “Bohemian Flats” because of a high percentage of eastern European residents such as Slovaks, Czechs (Bohemians), and Poles. Naturally, since I have both Czech and Polish heritage, this fact interested me. The area became extinct in the early 1960’s, and is now a park.

This piece is one which I will revive for both trios (East Side and Sidewalk Cafe) for our summer gigs. I am very fond of this music. It derives it’s uniqueness in my canon from the contrapuntal interplay of the three voices. The arpeggiated chords, the sparse melody, and active bass line create a rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic counterpoint that is an area I want to pursue more actively going forward.

Click here to listen to the song:


written and performed by Reynold Philipsek

John Mc Laughlin is a composer and guitarist I admire very much. Mc Laughlin is a little over ten years older than myself and is someone that I only admire more as time goes on. His playing and composing gets better with time and his prolific energy is amazing. Either his daily meditation or his idyllic home in Monaco accounts for his continued productivity. His records just keep getting better. Mr. Mc Laughlin insists that the writing of music cannot be forced. Either it comes freely or it doesn’t come. This has been my experience as well. Still, the need to create something new persists whether the inspiration flows or not. At such times I peruse my back catalog of music. Although I have written at least 233 pieces or songs (according to the BMG listings) only about 30 of my original compositions are active at any one time in my live performance repertoire.

Recently I resurrected a piece of mine written in 2006 called “Reverie.”

“Reverie” appeared on the first East Side album. While I like that version well enough I have always had the nagging feeling that the tempo was a little slow. I have always enjoyed improvising on the chord changes of this piece and I had also recently found some new ways to approach that angle as well. Since I am looking to refresh my original song list for the many summer gigs I have coming up, the idea of redressing Reverie has become a priority. As usual I demo a tune first. This is the updated concept of Reverie. Reverie is one of three tunes I wrote under the influence of Astor Piazzolla. Like the other two tango-oriented songs I wrote (“Astoria” and “Tango Blue”) “Reverie” makes liberal use of the 3-3-2 rhythm of Nuevo Tango.

To listen to the new demo of this track, click here.