S_V_H Liechtensteiner Polka Final Image

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This project titled, Liechtensteiner Polka, with the subtitle, Back-to-the-Future as a seven-year old living in a small town learning to play the accordion art project, is finished.

Below is a picture of my Father’s accordion, that I used for my later lessons.  I still have my little red accordion, but the bellows are bad. The bellows on this accordion are functional along with all the keys and the bass buttons.  Not bad for an accordion over 60 years old that never receive any special care.  To my disappointment it worth today what Dad paid for it originally.

I did have to adjust the straps, but still found myself struggling to put it on. The accordion is heavy.  After a little research on how to play and read the bass buttons, I eventually had the basics of the Liechtensteiner Polka, although not good enough to video the results. This art project is now over, and music from Mozart is up next.


To practice my instruments is a decision I have to make everyday in my Studio. I use my Studio time for creating and promoting this Art. Everything else that consumes Studio time than takes away from those goals.  The result is that although I would love to play the Liechtensteiner Polka on the accordion, I still cannot. I need more practice.  The accordion will stay in my studio to compete for Studio time along with my saxophone, violin, guitar, and my piano. Little do they know that I enjoy listening to great music more than actually practicing music.  Maybe this will change as this Art matures,  and I am looking for new directions in music.  Maybe, would it not be wonderful,  if someday I could actually play on any instrument, the Music I paint.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Key of C & The Polka image 3

Key of C No.1 18 1/4″ x 10 1/4″ Acrylic paint wood and aluminum

This is the prototype for the series Musical Keys. Since there are no sharps or flats this is the Key of C.  It does have the relative natural minor which would be A minor, but that is another music theory story. The question in my mind throughout the hours it took to plan and produce this first results was, why am I doing this? I guess I thought the idea was worth exploring.  After doing three of these I now think these Keys are kinda cute, and appealing to those that appreciate music. An interestingly of the 24 major and minor scales, guess the obvious, they are all different. That means even if I would go with a similar color scheme all the individual scales would like different. This is the Key of G in Burnt Umber instead of Silver.

Key of G No.1 18 1/4″ x 10 1/4″ Acrylic paint wood and aluminum

Since I will create, signed and numbered hand-made duplicates of these Keys, they will obviously belong in the same Class of works as my Beethoven 5th, as their own Series. That means these works are crafty artworks. The Liechtensteiner Polka artwork came to a stop to work on the Key Series works, and a show I will be displaying my Series artworks in this weekend.  Still, this delay should not affect this artwork, for all that is left are the words and some clean up.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Liechtensteiner Polka image 2

Liechtensteiner Polka second image shows an interesting look and use of my choices for the best Polka music colors. That and the style of stripping certainly sets this artwork apart from everything before it and probably whatever else is yet to come. It’s a Polka, so I want a happy, bouncy, nothing fancy here, look. In retrospect, I have remembered another story about the Polka beyond my accordion.

My high school years were split,  so I was a junior when I meet Allen, who would eventually be my best man at my wedding. His parents were of German heritage, typical for the area, and on weekends all around Central Wisconsin on weekend nights there was live polka music, and on Sunday television localized polka dancing. I remember tagging along with Allen and the family to a local dance hall especially the one in Rozellville Wis. I do not recall if I was ever a good polka dancer, but I do remember their daughter, Charlene.  She had short dark hair, and beautiful eyes.  She also walked with a slight limp but that did not bother me. What I saw was a beautiful girl, that was  smart and more worldly than me.  She taught me how to polka. I fell for her. I became concerned with my acne medicine. And yet by my senior high school year,  rock ‘en roll  became my music. I stopped polka dancing. Charlene and I had drifted away from each other. Our time dancing to the polka is not my only memory of Charlene.  What I long remember is our good night scene from our first date.

We were in her house, the lights where down low,  left on by her sleeping parents.  I was about to leave when to my surprise she wrapped her arms warmly around me. And then, in a moment that remains one of my most regrettable life choices:  it did not happen.  I did not kiss her.  I said something about this being our first date, and I did not think it was right thing to do. It could also be that I  wanted her to see me as a perfect gentleman. Whatever it was, she dropped her arms.

Our relationship was never the same. My last memory of Charlene was hurt feelings when I learned that she was dating a Brylcreem hair guy in a fast car.  A few years later, hanging out with my best friend Alan,  I discovered Charlene’s, now older,  younger sister, Linda.  She was aggressive, and to quote Dylan “Ah, but I was  so much older than, I’m younger than that now.”

Both sisters for very different reasons played their part in the story of who I am today. Maybe then it is not just because I played the Liechtensteiner polka on my accordion that I am painting this music. Maybe it has something to do with long ago memories of dancing the polka. This artwork may be a part of a Once-upon-a-time tale of a boy and a girl swirling about the dance floor. I am that boy with a smile on my face, and my first love in my arms. Together, we where both lost in the music. Once again, together.

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H The Liechtensteiner Polka image1

No, I am not disparate for source material. And “Ja (yes)” this artwork’s subject matter is Polka music. Before you click on the link to Ten reasons you should lower your expectations,” or ” Fifteen ways to justify your personality flaws,” know that this was one of the few remembered songs that I played on the accordion when I was seven to maybe ten years old. “Ja das ist” the Liechtensteiner Polka.  I must point out, I  have to use a cheat sheet to spell “Lie_ch_ten_steiner.

This is the first rather empty image 1 of the Liechtensteiner Polka.  This artwork now consists of two small 4 x 6 inch canvases with an aluminum frame, about 36 inches in length.  The white and black colors come from the costumes worn in the videos.

In my accordion days I remember this music as an instrumental:

What I have now found is that the Liechtensteiner Polka by Will Glahé reached to number 19 on the Billboard Weekly Top Forty in late December of 1957.  Sam Cooke’s You Send Me was number one, while Jailhouse Rock, by Elvis was number two that same week.  I would have been nine years old at that time. I have no memory of listening to either Sam Cook, Elvis or the Lie_ch_ten_steiner Polka.

In fact I was a little shocked when first listening to Will Glahé singing the Liechtensteiner Polka in German. I know it makes sense that Polka music is sung in German, but actually hearing my favorite accordion song in German, reminded me of old war movies about the Nazis and Adolf Hitler. I know not to stereotype Germany. My heritage is 50 percent German Swiss. Still, having an English version would have been nice, except for the, “Ja” parts of the music.  I was all in on that language. In fact after listening to this catchy tune multiple times sung in Germain, I  found myself singing at random moments,  with no clear reasoning, “Ja, Ja, Ja.”

Here is that vocal version of Liechtensteiner Polka:

I do counter the Germanic voices in my head by watching and listening to other videos, including the legionary David Bowie singing live, wind sweep hair and all, “Bring Me the Disco King,” a favorite.

"ja, das ist gut"

Scott Von Holzen