“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
I have been thinking a lot lately about why some music attracts my interest and other music does not. Then I thought about the music of two of my contemporaries who for reasons that will soon become obvious will remain nameless. Both of these contemporaries are solid technical musicians and prolific composers. They are also both very well known.
Musician One creates very ornate and highly technical music which in many ways is beyond reproach. Yet his music doesn’t reach me and I have repeatedly attempted to like it more. I respect it and it can be pleasant to listen to but it does not connect with me.
Musician Two also is also highly proficient and even more prolific but his music often reaches me on deep level and has on more than one occasion inspired me.
So why this difference I asked myself?
I then sought out interviews both written and on YouTube with these two composer/players.
Here is what became obvious. Musician One was arrogant, quite conceited and, for me, the tell tale sign of self-absorption was when he occasionally referred to himself in the third person.
Musician One also disparaged musicians who were not his equal.
On the other hand, Musician Two had a sweetness of character and was profuse in his praise of others. He had a humor about himself as well. This comes through in his music which is often touching and poignant as well as light and joyful without being the least bit trite. On the contrary.
Obviously this sweetness of character and humility appeal to me. I strive for these same qualities myself but far be it from me to judge myself. That is impossible. I think these qualities I hold in high esteem extends beyond music and to authors, painters, clergy and these days politicians as well. This is a simple enough comparison but I never quite broke it down to the basic elements before. I have learned something here.
I am looking for an earnest humanity in all endeavors.
Here endeth the sermon.