Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Library Concerts Reviewed by Kelly Arpoika a Student of Prof. Boyle at OCCC

Kelly Arpoika

Music Appreciation

July 22, 2011

Michael Boyle

Pure Enjoyment

The other day my fiancée and I went and saw an amazing concert. It was a mix of beautiful music, history, and good story telling. Wayne McEvilly is a great host and an awesome musician he transports you to an era of beautiful classicism that you have never experienced before. For a whole hour you get to experience an inside look into a world of truly delightful music. He performs pieces by Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven and Bach. If you have never seen a concert by Wayne McEvilly I strongly suggest you go, you will be blown away.

When we first arrived at the Downtown Metropolitan Library we entered a nice room with a beautiful black piano on a stage that was made of light oak wood. Wayne McEvilly entered the room wearing a black tuxedo with tails, white shirt, black bow tie and black cowboy boots. He did his introductions then let us know that the audience is the most important part of the concert. Which is very true considering nobody could get anywhere if there wasn’t an audience to support the music. He gave us a little history of his work which included selling Italian ice and giving shoe shines for ten cents. When he sat down to his piano he let us know it was tuned to Mozart’s. He started playing “Amazing Grace” magnificently then it turned into an upbeat cheery tune. He then asked the audience if they knew what it was. Nobody knew, it was Mozart’s Papageno Act I and then he describes Mozart as an entire genius in his simplicity. It was so elegant, very lovely music. Moreover, he describes to us how music can tell a story without words. Then he quotes Aristotle “The ear is the door to the soul.” He describes music as metaphysics just like you don’t have to see Him to know he is around music can take you to a whole new level beyond earthly phsyics.

He explains how he plays this music for children to see how they react and what emotions they feel then he played three blind mice then he asked how it made us feel. Of course it made us feel pretty happy upbeat just like the children. Then he played a lower version of it and it sounded very dark and ominous. It is amazing how a few notes can really change the entire mood of the music and every one of all different ages can feel the same emotion that is portrayed by the music. Then explains that he got his first piano in 1940 and he heard a composer whose name I don’t remember, anyways he played a minuet from him and let me tell you it was absolutely breathtaking. It completely transported me. In fact there were so many emotions running through me it gave me chills to my spine and brought tears to my eyes. I can completely understand why it inspired him to play the piano if I had heard that when I was younger I might have felt the same way. He learned to play by ear which he explained if you play by ear you play by your heart.

Then he invited us to listen with our heart instead of using our minds. The first prelude of Bach was the first music he studied. Then he played for us the music birds, mourning dove, which is one tone. Then I guess he was trying to get us out of our comfort zones and asked us all to hum the tune while he played the piano. The music felt like waves of calm as they grew to release again to a slow quiet stop. You could just feel the energy in the room it was very moving. McEvilly is a pretty profound speaker he explained it is efficient to listen for a reality you simply can’t figure out. With Beethoven “Music is a higher revelation than philosophy”. He then took us back to fifth grade and made us count the notes. Then he replayed the major tones which were happy while the minor tones were ominous, dead. He asked us to close our eyes while he played a piece from Beethoven. On that journey I could just feel the sorrow and I was asking myself why the pain and in the midst of it there was a feeling of relief that made me feel like it’s okay even through the pain we will get through it. I felt all those emotions on that journey through Beethoven.

All these different journeys McEvilly is taking us through are amazing. He plays Chopin and as he is playing the music transported me to a beautiful ballroom. I could imagine me in a beautiful gown as I floated across the ballroom dance floor. Then it went into this intense vibe. There were so many emotions. After this beautiful journey he started to describe Liszt and how people told him he must play his music to be well balanced. Then he played Chopin’s Funeral by Liszt. Whoa, slow down there buddy, the emotions I got from that piece were confusion and little emotion well besides the confusion. Which is funny, while he was describing Liszt and who he wanted to do Chopin’s songs in his own way all I could think is this is what musicians do today. When the music is already great why mess with it? Then he played for us Beethoven Pathetique. Once again, chills throughout my body. I could just feel the dual emotions. The emotion would rise and swell then it would be such a sweet melody of love and life. It sent me on a rollercoaster of emotions just beautiful.

After the hour was over I felt as if I had been all over the world and back. Wayne McEvilly and his piano are a force to be reckoned with. How else can you experience a world full of emotion and history in just one hour? It is truly amazing how simple notes and keys on a piano when played a certain way can completely transform the mood, energy and emotion of everyone who is listening to it. In fact, it is absolutely astounding and magical. This is an hour well spent and I would suggest for anyone who has the chance to go and experience a world of beauty that Wayne McEvilly is willing to take you to.


  1. Wayne,
    How moving to read this account of one of your recitals. It comes as no surprise to me that you have many incredible gifts and your willingness to share them with so everyone is so very inspiring to me. Ms. Arpoika truly listened to everything you had to say and that, I think, is quite a testament to you, Wayne.

    The only thing I have left to say at this point is that I sincerely hope that I too will get an opportunity to see and hear you play in person - it would be such an honor.

    Thank you for sharing this letter.

    With all my respect,

  2. Erica -
    I cherish your comments.
    Thank you.