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  • Writer's pictureTim Chernikoff

Pieces of Sanity Tune Concepts— “Room for One More”

Another one of my older tunes that were transformed, “Room for One More” started out as a tune I called “reconciled”. I wrote it essentially after the disbanding of a group I formed with some friends from my hometown, during my college years. When I first approached writ if the music I was trying to come to grips with the ending of the group that I had struggle to keep together, and the feeling that I was further being stripped away of everything I knew, in pursuit of a college education and career that I didn’t think was going so well. The tune was simultaneously an attempt to come to peace with these things, as well as an attempt to sound more like Robert Glasper.

As time went by, and I experienced more of life, I thought it would be good to revisit the tune and inject more of my experience into it. Eventually, I made the tune different, taking the essence of the tune and making the melody more to the point, allowing for three different solo sections each getting a chunk of the melody.

I imagined that this tune presents a picture of comradeship most resembling the movie Defiance which documented the story of the Polish Bielski Brothers, who created a militant resistance village in Belarus (my great grandfather’s country of origin), which consisted of other Jews who had escaped capture by German forces occupying Belarus and nearby countries. During their first winter, two of the brothers have a feud about whether or not they should continue leading Their village instead of desert and join a ‘real Militia’— and as a result one of the brothers leaves, joining a militia of Soviet partisans who vaguely agree to protect their village in return for food.

The Germans later come in full force to fight the village in the dead of winter and the village led by the remaining brothers get cornered by their forces, outnumbered, with the Soviet Partisans refusing to come to their aid... until the partisan brother who had split up, brought a part of his platoon to attack the Germans from behind, defeating them. In the movie, as the smoke of the battle clears, the partisan brother Zus breaks the silence by asking his brother he had quarreled with, “Room for One More?”

This tune commends a faith in humanity and in comradeship— one that goes so far as heal broken ties when a brother who has forsaken his family for safety, becomes the one to risk his life to protect his family and become the reason they all survived... these kinds of moments when people come into the fray to do great things for people, happen when we give each other another chance, many times against the fear that used to control us.

It is my wish that we all find ourselves in this moments and that we recognize them for their value and their manner of transforming our sanity.

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