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The Meaning Behind the Music

Remembering When

One of my earlier compositions. When I told my wife, Coral, the title name, she looked at me quizzically and asked, “Remembering when what, what are you remembering?” It was a good, pragmatic question that I didn’t have a good answer to other than the piece put me in a reflective mood. I hope it does the same for you.

Spring at Last - A Suite for All Seasons

After living in cold climate areas like Northern Idaho and Berlin, I do have a deep appreciation for wanting winter to be finally over. Here’s hoping that you are enjoying spring at last!

Dancing Under the Summer Stars - A Suite for All Seasons

For most of the summer in Southern Arizona, the mornings and evenings are so pleasant and the stars always glorious. If one stares at the stars for awhile, they appear to dance on the darkness. It was one of those star gazing nights while playing my guitar that I was inspired to create this piece.

Caressing the Fall Breeze - A Suite for All Seasons:

Walking out into the sun.

Away from the stress.

Standing, my eyes closed.

Breathing, slowly, deeply

Caressing the fall breeze.

It was one of those very stressful days at work when I decided to leave my desk and walk out to the patio to hopefully gain some composure. The summers in Scottsdale can be brutally hot but that was not the case this day. I could feel the first sign of fall in the breeze and that in itself had a calming affect.

June Says Goodbye to December - A Suite for All Seasons

Dedicated to my mother-in-law, June Ross, who passed away two days after Christmas in Pittsburgh. We were all there to be with her when she died. She was a lovely woman and I was honored to play at her funeral. At the time I searched my original compositions for one that I felt would be most fitting. This untitled piece, at the time, seemed to capture sadness and love that we all felt for this dear woman.

Get to the Finish Line

This piece is different than the rest of my music. I often title my compositions after they are completed. As I was creating this one, I kept having an image of a running race whether it is humans, the hare and the tortoise, or, well, you get the image. I like the way the piece ends giving the feeling of the relief as the racer crosses the finish line.

A Kyoto Wedding

Dedicated to Tsuyoshi and Sheena Takeshita. My family and I were honored guests at their wedding in Japan. Sheena is the daughter of an old college friend of mine, Ken Williams, who moved to Japan over thirty five years ago. Through Skype, Ken and I kept a close relationship over the years. Sadly, he unexpectedly died in November, 2020.

Looking for Joy in the Sorrow

Dedicated to my sister, Rose Dettmers, who struggled everyday looking for the joy in her sorrow. She lost a 17 year old son to cancer a number of years ago and then 5 years later lost her 20 year old son in a car accident. Her sad story continued with the sudden death of her husband at 63 years old from a massive heart attack. With all of this tragedy, her faith continued to be strong with the hope of someday reuniting with her family in the afterlife which came to her at 71 years old.

Then a woman said, speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.

And he answered.

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked

-Kahil Gibran - The Prophet

Far into the Distant Past

This haunting piece has been described as nostalgic giving the feeling that perhaps there is longing for someone from the distant past, maybe from another life? I enjoyed creating it with jazzy chords that are meant to hopefully put the listener in a meditative state.

Fill Your Life with the Ones You Love

As I have grown older, my appreciation for the people in my life has continued to grow. I have learned true loving friendship involves a connection in which two people understand and appreciate each other when simply being themselves. I would like to think that I have shared music that conveys this from my heart in a relaxed, dreaming fashion.

Your Dreams Are My Dreams

This is one of my earlier compositions. I actually started composing in my middle 50’s without ever planning to do so. It just sort of started with this piece. Most guitarist, when they pick up their guitar, will initially play a little riff to warm up their fingers. I was doing this with the first notes in this piece when I asked myself the question, “Where should I go from here?” Without much effort, the music just flowed out of me and many of these compositions followed.

Coral Dawn

If you compose music, you must write a song for your wife. This one is dedicated to my wife, Coral Dawn Simplicio. When we first started dating in the middle 80’s, she said our relationship wouldn't last 6 months. On another note, I worked for a company that gave me the capacity to name a street after her when we lived in Tampa, Coral Dawn Court.

Always by My Side

A gift to my wife, Coral, on our 21st wedding anniversary.

After being dumped by two previous wives, I have grown to truly appreciate Coral’s devotion and dedication to our relationship. These qualities have truly brought more meaning to the word “love” for me.

Will You Still Love Me As If There Were No Time?

I gleaned this title from a poem written by my dear old friend, Kenneth Williams. His time ran out when he died suddenly in November 2020.

Are We Looking at the Same Moon?

Here's a mellow, jazzy tune that I hope you enjoy. As I was composing this piece, I kept having images of the moon but had trouble coming up with a title since "moon" is so over used in romantic song titles. The title’s question can be construed in more than one way. Is it a couple in love looking at the moon and are they apart or together or is one of them questioning the other's love?

Linguini and Sympathy

One of the benefits of an instrumental piece, as opposed to a song with lyrics, is that you can name it anything you want. This is the case here. I was struggling to come up with a title for this tune when one evening I was watching a movie with Michael J Fox. There is one scene where he is out to dinner with a young lady. After dinner, as they were leaving the Italian restaurant, he turns to the woman and says, “Thank you for the linguini and sympathy.” Bingo! My search for a title was over.

Tanz mit Mir, Bitte? (Dance with Me, Please?)

"Tanz mit mir bitte?" "Nein danke."

"Tanz mit mir bitte?" "Nein danke."

"Tanz mit mir bitte?" "Nein danke."

"Tanz mit mir bitte?" "Nein danke."

"Tanz mit mir bitte?" "Ja." :) usually took around four "nein dankes" before I would get a "ja." I'm speaking of my younger days when I was a soldier stationed in Berlin at one of the many dance clubs. Being an American soldier and being only 5'5" didn't help matters either (yes, in general the girls are taller in Germany than in the US). But really, I can't complain. I felt fortunate to experience such an exciting cosmopolitan city. By the way, this is a waltz but in Berlin in the late 60's we were dancing to groups like the Rolling Stones.

Lonely But Not Alone

There have been times in my life that I have felt lonely but was always blessed with loving friends and family. I can't imagine how dreadful it would be to be lonely and alone. This piece to me captures these feelings but hey, what do I know?

Keep Love in Your Heart

This is an original composition created as a gift to my niece Kristin and her husband, Ian Kurianski, on their wedding day, May 28, 2016. I had the honor to perform at their wedding ceremony. My wife, Coral, and I will always remember their wedding date since it was also our 28th wedding anniversary.

Watching As the River Flows

This piece was inspired by Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha. In the book Siddhartha is profoundly influenced by the river and becomes a metaphor for the "stream of life." He discovers that life is connected in a constant, unified flow that leads him to the serenity of knowledge.

Buono Notte, Figlio Mio (Goodnight, My Son)

This is dedicated to all of the parents who enjoy putting their children to bed at night. For some of us, this is only a memory.

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