Wesling Plays It Straight

by Robert Ross, The Patriot-News
A Review of “Dream Dance” by Mark Wesling, Self-Produced

We have a special musician among us in Mark Wesling, whose sensitive presentation of much of his own guitar music holds its own anywhere. After listening to a couple of songs in this album one is struck that there are no gimmicks, either technical or musical.

It is straight-ahead talent demonstrating courage with no masks.

Wesling, whose has played extensively in the Harrisburg area, recently relocated to West Chester, where he writes and teaches and also displays a sophisticated talent for the graphic arts, some of which is included in the album jacket. He separates this album into three areas including popular classics, his own compositions and an 8-part Divertimento for Guitar “Blessings of a Broken Heart” which he wrote in Harrisburg in eight days.

“It describes a day in someone’s life, what they are thinking about,” he said. “Everything that happens, happens for a reason and it leads to good things,” he said. “God has a plan.”

One is immediately struck by the love of the music and the love of life portrayed in these recordings. There is an agreement with instrument and musician with no ornamentation. Wesling plays the entire album without accompaniment.

There are simple, pure lines throughout these works, like definite statements that won’t compromise their beauty.

The ever-popular “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” is a celebration in song, and Wesling plays it in a way that uses the song as a blessing conferred, rather than a musical triumph.

One of his own compositions, “For My Brother,” expresses the subtle, rich bond always sought in the verve between siblings.

There is much unstated in these works that is definitely felt. Words are not the conduits to explanation here. Moods are established each time out. Respect is a continuous byproduct in the effort. He sustains the intrinsic value of music. He reestablishes the reason we listen.

The album will be available at Borders Book Store in March. Now, it’s available from his website, www.markwesling.com.

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