Tales From the North Woods

“Tales From the North Woods”
composed and performed by Reynold D. Philipsek /Zino-Rephi Music (BMI) All Rights Reserved

An odd thing occurred a few weeks ago. I entered a friend’s home and heard some music playing in the background. The music sounded vaguely familiar.

My first reaction was that I kind of liked the music and was pretty sure I had heard it before. I tried to place the song and artist. Then it came to me. It was my song and my recording from about ten years ago.

Immediately my enjoyment was tempered and realizing it was me I could only remember its faults. But for a few brief moments, I could hear myself in a very objective way. This is a very rare thing.

The piece was “Tales From The North Woods.”

I had forgotten about this song because it never became a part of my active performing repertoire. I now see there is a certain charm to it and I remember that I chose the title as an homage to the Strauss composition “Tales from the Vienna Woods.”

I can appreciate this piece better now and I am glad I documented its existence. And for a brief moment I could hear my own music as if it were not a part of me and happily I liked what I heard. For a moment.

Link: https://youtu.be/QEB3xkns6xM

Time (Theme and Variations)

“Time” (Theme and Variations)
Composed and performed by Reynold D. Philipsek 2019 copyright Zino-Rephi Music (BMI) all rights reserved

The tune for “Time” came to me quite spontaneously one day about 20 years ago. I recorded a short version of it for guitar, 2 cellos and 2 violins shortly after that.

The tune was unlike anything I had done before or even believed could be brewing in my subconscious. The tune did, however, put me in mind of something antique and yet timeless so I named it “Time.” I then proceeded to forget about the piece.

A couple of years ago I heard Rachmaninoff’s “Variations on a Theme by Corelli.” I was struck by the similarity between the Corelli theme and “Time.” They were far from exact matches and in different kets but still similar.

When casting around for a musical project on my yearly two-month winter retreat I decided to write a set of variations  for “Time.”

Because the very nature of the “theme and variations” form is episodic, it became obvious to me that an entire lifetime of events and emotions could be hinted at in the composition. Some variations (episodes) could be light and playful and others dark and more dramatic, etc.

The idea of depicting an entire lifetime of “phases” in six and a half minutes of music appealed to me. So proceeding from that premise I spent my winter working daily on the piece.

When I returned in April of this year, I contacted director/producer Rene Erickson about making a YouTube video on the piece. We worked on the video from May until late July.

Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6KRxC8CGLA

If you have a moment, check out my documentary, A Life Well Played.

Here is the link: https://youtu.be/StVG2TaKqbw