Every now and then you happen upon some music that really has an effect on you. That is especially nice when it is a gift from someone in your life, even more so when it is from someone new in your life and they want to share with you something they love.My future wife gave me for a birthday present early on in our relationship, a cd of Preisner, 10 easy pieces as recorded by Leszek Mozdzer. I think that is a really wonderful recording, very pretty and compelling little pieces performed to perfection. I highly recommend it.
This little piece took the simple left hand pattern from the piece titled ‘a tune a day’ as a starting point and fairly quickly the melodies for the right hand emerged without any trouble. This piece started as a springboard for improvising, but I finally decided to pare it down to a simple ABA form that will fit on one page for this series.
An excerpt from conversations with Oscar dePonchek….
Bjorn Rossby.No self-respecting composer would hold modern music’s possibly first one hit wonder, Johan Pachelbel and his D major canon as the pinnacle with which to strive after.
Oscar dePonchek. One hit is a billion times better than no hits.
BR.To be called a one hit wonder is usually pretty derogatory.
OD. Sarcasm is often be employed to mask another feeling.
BR.So anyway, I wrote this piece back in college as a lullaby for my new niece. Somehow Pachelbel’s canon in D popped into my head as an inspiration for a lullaby and out came this simple bass line and melody fairly quickly. 20+ years later I am still right pleased with it.
OD.So would you be embarrassed or psyched if people love this tune, but only ever this tune of yours?
BR.I thought we were going to keep this light!
OD. You were the one who brought up Pachelbel and his one hit as if it were nothing to be proud of.
BR.I suppose a pile of money would lighten any embarrassment.
OD.This went nowhere fast. I thought you were different, not so flipping shallow.
BR.If I were in it for the money I would be doing things completely differently.
OD.That’s probably true. So, have you nothing interesting to say about this piece?
BR. Well, there is still a small mark of my wonderful composition teacher, Geoffrey Gibbs, back from my college days that has remained all this time and is a strong reminder for me to constantly be aware of voice-leading. When I brought this into my composition class for review I had written the left hand pattern identical on the first page. Not only did he find that too repetitive and predictable but it had also, without my even noticing it, caused me to inadvertently double the leading tone at the end of measure four. I think that teaching moment became the start to a fascination with the technical aspect of composition and voice-leading. That’s of course after the guy sitting next to me slapped me across the head.
OD.Well, you clearly deserved that one. By the way, Pachelbel is probably pretty psyched to have his name and creation forever associated with the most love and joy filled day of our lives. I’ll bet a bottle of champagne you had it at yours.
This one is for David because I don’t know your name…
Now that I have a little daughter I often end up thinking how random life is, and miraculous. Maybe miraculously random, of course sprinkled with a little tragedy.
You know that feeling you get when you feel your life is better because someone is in your life. Or someone has been in your life. Or you got to be a part of their life before it was over.
Back in college I had a good friend with a younger brother named David. A glorious young man with a heart of gold who died in a car accident way way way too young. It is not really possible to describe with mere words what a beautiful person he was, so I won’t try.
But now that I am a father to a little girl I started thinking about what kind of person I pray she will have in her life, some day far in the future that is, and David is the person I keep thinking of. Which led me to the thought that some wonderful girl with a heart of gold missed out on a life with him. We will never know who that might’ve been, but let me go out on a limb here and say, if you are a beautiful woman with a heart of gold, born probably in the 70’s and you have a nagging feeling you missed out on something incredible then this one is for you. This boy would’ve taken great care of your heart.
My original intention was to dedicate each of these 24 pieces to girls, there will probably be a few exceptions such as this one because I don’t know your name. I hope things turned out okay for you anyways. This one is also of course for David. Rest in peace.
What I wouldn’t give to hear my mom working once again on her sewing machine in her hobby room. Deep in the nostalgic recesses of my brain I can hear that machine chugging away. If I could, I would curl up in the big bean bag chair with a mug of coffee and our beautiful collies and just listen to her and her sewing machine work away while she listens to her relaxing CDs. If I only could.