|::Falling From Grace:Review by Henry Doktorski ::|
From Grace is a collection/smattering of Dr. William Schimmel's writings,press
releases, drawings, reviews and music scores. This book is a visual/literary
version of his music: eclectic, spontaneous, completely devoid of
There is no binding and no cover. The loose-leaf pages are photocopied (one side only) onto colored paper which conveniently divides the book into six sections: orange, pink, white, green, yellow and blue, which, curiously enough, seem to have nothing to do with the content. The entire assembly is packed into a clear heavy-duty plastic bag with the title hand-printed with black magic marking pen.
A good portion of the book consists of Schimmel's drawings: bold, quick strokes which are sometimes immediately recognizable and sometimes not.
One short two-page music score appears in the blue section, titled simply A Polka (which I assume was written by Schimmel). The text, which seems to be taken from a children's nursery rhyme, is: LIBERRY LIE, STICK YOUR FINGER IN YOUR EYE.
Some of the sections are titled:
Schimmel Elgin -- A Design Proposal
I found this book enjoyable; it sheds a fascinating
glimpse into the personal life of one of America's greatest accordionists.
Sometimes the stories are hilarious, as in "Mr. Needleman," a dramatized story about little Billy Schimmel's close encounter with Dr. Back. I laughed and laughed. In fact, I'd like to perform this little musical play myself!
Not everyone will like this book, just as not everyone likes Schimmel's music. Some time ago I received one letter from an accordionist who purchased Falling From Grace sight unseen by mail-order; he absolutely hated it and considered it a total waste of money.
I, however, found this "book" stimulating reading and entertaining also. I have my own criticisms: there are several redundant sections of the book; some information (especially press releases and Schimmel's artist biographies) is repeated more than is necessary and while reading I found myself skipping over sections that I had seen before.
Never-the-less, I believe that this book will be treasured
by avant garde accordion aficionados.
by Henry Doktorski
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