Discover more from From The Mixed Up Files of Mr. Matthew T. Schindler
He Inherited a War from His Father
A Faux Piano Concerto
I’ve always been kind of jealous of jazz musicians in how they get to name their songs.
There’s generally no lyric to constrain them in the naming, so they get to choose whatever they want as a title, and it becomes a kind of poetry in and of itself that may or may not help you vibe with the tune.
I’m thinking of titles like “Calgon for Hetfield” or “Hence the Turtleneck” by Minneapolis Jazz legends Happy Apple. Just fun, off the wall stuff that makes you go, “hmm.”
“Scrapple from the Apple” by Charlie Parker comes to mind.
The song that I am adding to the “Mixed Up Files” record this week kind of falls into that offbeat naming convention.
It is called “He inherited a War from his Father 3 24 2008.”
The title really has nothing to do with the song.
Listen here as an mp3:
Listen here as a wav:
I stole that title from Herodotus’ “The Histories,” which I was reading in March of 2008 when I started laying this musical idea down.
Herodotus wrote “The Histories” in the 440 B.C., but this line jumped off the page at me, because it reminded me of George W. Bush inheriting the Iraq War from his father.
History repeats itself. Sometimes it takes 2448 years.
So I saved this instrumental song sketch using that title and then left it alone as a mixed up file on a neglected laptop for six years.
In 2014, I moved to Madison WI with my wife and two kids so my wife could go to grad school.
We lived in the grad student dorms at Eagle Heights.
At the community center there, there were 3 rooms with pianos where residents and their kids could practice and/or take lessons.
I started walking over to the piano rooms and banging on pianos.
I didn’t let my lack of skill bother me; the vibrations coming from the piano felt good.
One day I brought the old laptop with “he inherited a war from his father 3 24 2008” on it along to the piano room and started adding piano to the track.
I eventually mumbled some words and dragged out the jam to almost five minutes.
The only words are:
I was alone in a room dancing with the lights out
I was alone and you said you might stop by
You let yourself in through the back door
So this is it.
Maybe not perfect.
But somehow cathartic for me to listen to, and so I share it now.
Maybe you will find yourself adding some words on the extended jam?
I remain your humble servant,
p.s. I came across this mixed up file the other day and just posted it to Youtube. This is an unfinished video that I made for “Summer of Hate” back in 2013. Shot on a Panasonic point and shoot and “edited” using iMovie. It craps outhalf way through.
Although I did record and save this mixed up file on March 24, 2008. The church bells at the beginning are from Loring Park in Minneapolis, where I lived and was recording with the windows open.
W was still POTUS in 2008. Still, really, a dark spot in American history.
25 years after moving out of the Madtown dorms, I moved back in and University Housing were my landlords again. I’ve had worse landlords.
This was a GarageBand file where everything was recorded directly into the built-in mic for maximum spontaneity and minimal fidelity. I treated this file to some compression etc in Adobe Audition for release.
Here I go challenging your attention span again.
I crapped out?