Civilization and Faith

As I enter the second half of my life and have lost some of the people that cared about me when I was young, I find it necessary for my well being that I believe in something more than juat the material world of the senses. A faith that I will see my deceased loved ones again, that there is a higher power and things will make sense in the end, that good actions are rewarded ultimately, and that we all have an immortal soul. Faced with the brevity of life on this planet, I need to believe that all the work I have put in to love, learn, and grow can be taken with me when my time here is over, and it will not ultimatly just be dust in the desert.

 

It is just this faith that I never get from the conventional media, and when I do watch the TV, I am bombarded by the existential logical positivism that is the official philosophical stance of our culture. It seems to me that we live in a technologically advanced but spiritually impoverished civilization, and anyone with a spiritual orientation is portrayed as a nut. Indeed, my faith and well being is constantly challenged by this society, and my response is to touch something greater than myself in the mysteries of nature, and the great art of past epochs. Like remembering a tranquil summer meadow in the midst of a fierce winter’s ice storm, it can be difficult though.

 

I  would like to invite you to check out my work in song, poetry and photography at http://www.kloschinsky.com.

 

In song and in spirit,

 

Paul Kloschinsky

The Modern Mythology

Myths are as old as humanity, and traditionally taught ethical values and provided context for the different situations life can present one with. They also explained how we got here and the origins of natural phenomena like the seasons. Ancient myths were complex and challenging, like life itself.

It seems to me that mythology is still alive and strong in our modern society. Science has provided us with our current creation myth, the purely materialistic, unproven theory that natural selection drove the evolutionary process, without a Divine hand, as proposed by Darwin. A theory responsible for the atrocities of the 20th century, which were commited by the so called “fittest”, who thought they could get away with murder and genocide.

The stories people are told about life and it’s values are certainly on the TV and in the movies from Hollywood. Most spend every evening watching the sitcoms and dramas, and many weekends at the cinemas. I find these heros and villians too easy to classify, the answers and values put forth too simplistic, and the ridicule directed towards anyone lying outside a narrow notion of normality arrogant and destructive. Life is a lot more complex and challenging than these stories portray, and as the traditional myths of the past show us, the answers are more sophisticated, difficult and subtle.

Finally, I think the modern deity is now presented as the celebrities. Those extremely beautiful, smart and talented people that are so far above us normal mortals. Indeed, many people actively follow their trials and tribulations, larger than life lifestyles, and look to them as having special powers. I suspect that in truth they are just as flawed and human as the rest of us, and perhaps we should reserve such special status for the truly divine.

I would like to invite you to check out my work in photography, poetry and song at http://www.kloschinsky.com. I try to make my work as spiritual and authentic as possible, and hope you might find there something you can relate to.

In Song and in Spirit,

Paul Kloschinsky

The Heart and the Holidays

Every December, as the days are at their shortest, and all is so dark and cold here in Canada, we are reminded again of the strength of the human heart, as we celebrate the holidays. For a brief period every year we put aside our selfish concerns and are touched by the spirit of generosity and kindness. In addition to buying gifts for our loved ones, some people also donate to help those less fortunate, demonstrating an awareness, at least once a year, of the shared humanity we all bear as a collective responsibility.  Indeed, a snow dusted evergreen evokes the spirit of the season, and may represent the perennial power of the human heart, as do the colors and songs.

 

I would like to thank you for supporting my music and wish you a happy holidays full of warmth and joy.

 

If you have a moment, you can check out my work ay http://www.kloschinsky.com.

 

In song and in spirit,

 

Paul Kloschinsky

 

Book Review of “Deliverance”

Deliverance: A Poetic Journey of Redemption

by Paul Kloschinsky

Trafford Publishing

reviewed by Omar Figueras

for the US Review of Books.

“My life had just become dangerous.
I have met a woman
with an alluring smile
and an eagle tattooed to her ass.”

Paul Kloschinsky’s poetry collection explores the full gamut of human emotion, plummeting into the dark chasms of anguish and despair, and rising to the reclamation of the author’s own life, a once-imagined unattainable height, while delving into the concrete details of everyday life.

The poems are structured into stanzas and sections; however, he writes in free verse with little to no rhyme scheme and his pieces take on a conversational tone, thus making the narrative authority familiar to the reader. Themes are far ranging, from portrayals of contemporary life, homages to poets, to religious and spiritual confessionals. The author summons Greco-Roman gods by name, invokes the great writers from the past, and requests that they bestow their wisdom. Kloschinsky also tips his hat to the demons which haunted him years ago and still scratch at his bedroom window at night, never allowing him to forget they are just around the bend. The title poem, “Deliverance,” begins with the classic image of a man lost in a dark wood–akin to Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”–and the narrator’s eventual rescue. The piece closes with a second stanza where the narrator envisions and compares his recovery to bright rainbow, a Judeo-Christian and animistic promise from the natural world to humanity.

An honest, heart-felt collection, Kloschinsky’s Deliverance could be considered a poetic chart tracking its author’s stumbles and falls, and eventual rise and skyward climb in his attempt to sing his songs.

Book Review of “A Time To Cry”

The US Review of Books

A Time To Cry

by Paul Kloschinsky

Trafford Publishing

reviewed by John E. Roper

“I used to have peaks
and valleys in my life.
Then the valleys got deeper
and the peaks shorter.
Until it was all averaged out,
by medicine,
and I’m stuck with a
sub-par life in a rut.”

No one’s life is a complete joyride. We may be cruising along on smooth asphalt for a few days or even a month, but eventually even the most peaceful of life’s journeys encounters a pothole. Unfortunately, our highways also contain more severe road hazards, ones often resulting in personal loss, which can sometimes cause us to spin out of control and leave us stalled for a time in the middle of nowhere. In this first collection of his poetry, the author chronicles a time when he was stranded by his own road’s difficulties in a place of madness, depression, and unrequited love.

Kloschinsky’s musings reflect a soul in turmoil, a mind and heart that cry out first against his mental illness and what it does both to him and those who love him. A trained physician, he suddenly finds himself the patient forced to endure the probing of psychologists and hypodermic needles. Depression follows, and poems with titles such as “Despair,” “Useless,” and “Suicide” reflect the poet’s mood during that period. But the theme that the author revisits most often and which pervades the entire last half of the book deals with the bitter loss of love.

Although obviously well-educated and familiar enough with classical literature to include the occasional reference or allusion to a poet or a specific literary subject, Kloschinsky’s own verse is unpretentious and uniquely his own. While thematically reminiscent of the works of both Rod McKuen and Sylvia Plath, his poetry’s relation to theirs is due mainly to a similar life’s journey. As painful as his subject matter may be, the author’s emotional transparency and competence in his craft make his poetry a pleasure to read.

 

Another CD Review of “Like Your Hero”

Canada has always provided a great deal of sensational musical acts, varying from all genres. Meet
Paul Kloschinsky, one of the Great North’s best kept secrets. Just releasing his latest album titled., Like Your Hero, Kloschinsky is about to take you on a musical journey that will pleasantly surprise you. Hailing from Delta, British Columbia, Kloschinsky blends folk infused rock that channels legends such as Neil Young and Bob Dylan.

Opening with the intriguing track, “Ignition,” the piece is filled with beautifully strummed and bright acoustics, with Kloschinsky’s voice very much in the forefront. His vocals are very unique, yet they fit the music perfectly, captivating every note. “Like Your Hero,” is a gorgeous track right from the start, with subtle, yet noticeable violin throughout, making this a standout piece on the record.

“Burns Like a Candle,” is a personal favorite song on the record. With Kloschinsky’s voice crooning like a true folk singer, and the galloping pace of the instruments throughout, really tend to create something special. “My Heart Still Belongs to Her,” proves to be one of the most beautiful tracks on the album, providing something a little different. Soft strings accompany Paul as he appears to sing about a lost love, or someone that he misses deeply. He really manages to capture his true emotion in this song and it will certainly tug on your heartstrings.

“Take Me to the Doctor” is a charming tune that may remind one of a classic song by The Replacements, as Kloschinsky’s voice has a bit of Paul Westerberg flare to it through the course of the song. “And Be Near You,” is the best example of folk-meet-rock on Like Your Hero, alongside “Bad Times,” a rather interesting track that has a hint of surf rock blended with folk, and a harmonica sound that fits like a glove. Kloschinsky’s lyrics are very introspective with varying undertones. Though the tale may be of “Bad Times,” he surely seems like he is having a good time playing it.

“Fields of Dream,” is a catchy song, with subtle guitars, pleasing and slick riffs, and Kloschinsky laying a smooth vocal track over, as his lyrics naturally echo. “Do you remember long ago, before the ice, and the wind, and the snow?” sings Kloschinsky with spirit. Every track on this record seems to tell a story, as if reading chapters of a novel, which helps one dig into the ultimate listening experience. Whether this is intentional or not, Paul has a superb knack for songwriting. “Lovin Don’t Come Easy,” is a sultry track that shows the true depths of emotion, as Paul seems to be genuinely heartbroken as he guides you through this tale. That’s okay though, as things seem to pick up for him with the closing track “The Bargain” at least for a little while as his bargain appears to be with the devil.

Paul Kloschinsky’s Like Your Hero, is a touching record that proves to be the blood, sweat and tears of this talented songwriter. If you are willing to take a chance on a new musical discovery, we have found just the thing. Paul Kloschinsky is a name to look out for in 2013, and beyond.

Artist: Paul Kloschinsky
Album: Like Your Hero
Reviewer: Melissa Nastasi
Rating: 4 (out of 5 Stars)

CD Review of “Like Your Hero”

For someone who did not ask for much outside help, doing everything from singing and playing instruments all the way to fully producing the album himself, Paul Kloschinsky has constructed a shockingly respectable release.  Like Your Hero is the second full album from this Vancouver native.  Kloschinsky is a musician, first and foremost.  But he is also a poet; and you can bet that plays into his lyrics.  In 2007 he won the MusicAid Award for Best Canadian Songwriter for “Wearin’ Blue,” a track on his first release.  A listen to any of his songs will tell you why he was awarded with such an honor; his songwriting and storytelling skills are such that it makes his words difficult to forget.

“Ignition” and “Like Your Hero,” the first two tracks on the album, were released as singles soon after the complete album was put out.  And it was done so with good reason; these are two of the best tracks on the entire album.  “Ignition” showcases Kloschinsky as a complete package.  It offers a catchy beat with memorable lyrics, shows off his writing skills, and even contains an electric guitar solo.  “Like Your Hero” is likewise catchy.  In that the album shares the same title it is fitting that the album artwork be based off this track.  He creates a fairytale feeling in both the artwork and the lyrics by depicting a knight slaying a beast in order to save his love.  In that these two songs are the first two heard it makes the album feel a bit frontloaded, though there are still other noteworthy tracks.

Kloschinsky’s songwriting style and vocals are similar to that of Bob Dylan’s.  The vocals are scratchy and not perfect in the least, but those imperfections work to give his music a heavier folk aspect.  The tracks are all centered around acoustic guitar, though stringed instruments offer an additional backing, giving the tracks a richer, more layered appeal.  “Fields of Green” is a great example.  There is so much going on instrumentally, but not so much that it takes on a bogged down sound; it is just enough to make the track pop.  “And Be Near You,” on the other hand, leans toward the opposite side.  It is a fast-paced song with swift instrumentation.  The acoustic guitar on top of electric guitar on top of strings on top of drums is a touch too much. More often than not the instruments unfortunately tend to blend together, making it difficult to perceive the full effect of each one.

The final track, “The Bargain,” comes as a lengthy end to the album.  The harmonica, an instrument not heard very often through the album thus far, plays a major role within this track. The song is about a deal that was made between the devil and himself.  The track ends with no conclusion, though.  Instead, he is still waiting for the devil to come back for him and steal his soul.  The fact that there is such a detailed story within the lyrics makes up for the song being a full nine and a half minutes long.  In that it is so long you would assume there would be some sort of instrumental intermission, but there are only verses and choruses to be found here.

There are points within the album where the rhythm of the vocals do not quite match up with the beat of the song, which serves as a fairly distracting aspect.  Everything else, on the other hand, is enjoyable.  There is true talent in Kloschinsky’s work.  Like Your Hero is worth a listen for the lyrics and melodies alone.

Artist: Paul Kloschinsky
Album: Like Your Hero
Review by Alec Cunningham
Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)