Sunday, July 23, 2017

Birthday Girls

Birthday Girls (mp3) (pdf)

Another waltz in C major. I recorded this a little on the slow side. I would play it a faster if I recorded it again. The photo shows the first draft and you can compare that to the final pdf to see how the tune changed over the course of the week.

This coming week will be fun. On Wednesday the 26th I will play solo mandolin at Java John's. Decorah's Nordic Fest begins on Thursday evening and the thousands of RAGBRAI bicyclists will pass through town on Friday morning.

Friday night I will join Foot-Notes to play for a street dance in front of the Winneshiek County courthouse from 9:00-10:30. The next night we will play for another dance at Canopy 1 on Water Street from 7:30-10:00. Immediately before that (from 5:00-7:00) Erik Sessions and I will play two hours of fiddle/mandolin/guitar music, including a fair number of Scandinavian tunes, also at Canopy no. 1.

Nordic Fest is always full of fun and interesting music. This year I am especially looking forward to two performances by The Newlands Co-op (Vidar Skrede and Sara Pajunen). They will perform at 1:00 p.m. both Friday and Saturday in the amazing acoustics of Vesterheim's Bethania Church. I hope to catch both shows.

I expect to be a little tired next Sunday but I still plan on posting a new tune. We'll see.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Board Eddy

Board Eddy (mp3) (pdf)

This week's tune, a slow reel or maybe a hornpipe, is titled for a place in rural Maine that probably only a few thousand people have ever encountered. Board Eddy Rd. runs between the Dexter Rd. (Maine highway 7) and Bear Hill Rd. about halfway between Dexter and Dover-Foxcroft. I've walked along a good stretch of it a few times and it can be very beautiful if the temperature is right and there aren't too many bugs.

I searched at length for a picture of the road. I'm sure I have one somewhere but it remains well hidden. The photo above was taken from a scenic overlook along I-95 not far from the border with New Brunswick.

Last week I updated my alphabetical list of the tunes from this blog. Now it is current, with the exception of today's tune.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Ten Easy Duos - No. 3

Ten Easy Duos - No. 3 (mp3) (pdf)

Another duo piece, fun to play. I was too warm, or lazy, to turn off the window fan while I recorded this one so you might hear some fan noise in the background. Also a neighbor decided to start mowing as I was trying to get a usable take and you might hear a little of that, especially near the end.

We are enjoying some warm weather here in Northeast Iowa. The photo above come from July of 2014, taken in the field near our house.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

If Only Now

If Only Now (mp3) (pdf)

A pretty waltz to mark week 26 of 2017. No one is more surprised than me that I have managed to post a new tune for 26 straight weeks.

The photo was taken in July 2012 during the annual Conference and Campout at the Heritage Farm of the Seed Savers Exchange just outside of town.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Midsummer Walk

Midsummer Walk (mp3) (pdf)

I wrote almost all of this tune before the summer solstice but it took a while to transcribe it, write the simple harmony and record it. There are three parts to the tune but I repeated the A part the first time through and not the other two times.

It's a slow, leisurely walk. Hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Ten Easy Duos - No. 2

Ten Easy Duos - No. 2 (mp3) (pdf)

Another busy week. This quiet, slower piece might be a reaction to that.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Driftless (World Premiere) - Tolley's Jig no. 6

Driftless (World Premiere by the members of the 2017 Carlo Aonzo Mandolin Workshop)

Tolley's Jig no. 6 (mp3) (pdf)

Last Sunday I was honored by having my piece "Driftless" performed for the first time during the final concert of the 2017 Carlo Aonzo Mandolin Workshop in Milwaukee. This piece was commissioned by the Workshop last summer and the attendees all received their music well in advance of the weekend. Still they only had a few chances to rehearse the piece together. As you can see and hear they did a wonderful job of bringing the piece to life. Although I was unable to attend I am very pleased that this fine video was created and I am happy to share it with you. Many, many thanks to Carlo, Rene and all of the Workshop players!

I nearly didn't find time to come up with a new tune this week. I almost resorted to passing an older, unheard, tune off as new but I'm pleased that another jig in my Tolley the Cat series popped up on Friday. There are three tracks, first melody, then harmony, then the melody played an octave down during the third time through the tune.

Tomorrow night I'm looking forward to playing a short concert with Erik Sessions at the Dorian Middle School Summer Camp at Luther College. It should be plenty of fun.

If you are in Decorah next weekend I will be playing a dance with Foot-Notes at the Highlandville schoolhouse on Friday night, June 16, from 7:00-10:00. I will follow that with some music, probably joined by Erik Sessions for at least part of the time, at the Winneshiek Farmers Market on Saturday morning, June 17.
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