Saturday, November 03, 2012

Return to Dream Acres

Return to Dream Acres (mp3)(pdf)

Where do the titles come from? People sometimes ask this question, often referring to a particular tune or piece of music. I also sometimes wonder what, if anything, the composer means when they give a name to a musical composition. Many of us like to think that a certain place, person or event was instrumental (pun intended) in the creation of the music.

In my case, most of the time, the title is chosen shortly before the music is shared with other musicians. "Return to Dream Acres" is a typical example. Above is a copy of what this tune looked like when it was first written down in my music notebook. The 11/26 in the upper right hand corner is not an interesting time signature but an indication of the day when I wrote down the notes below it. I know it was November 26, 2009 because it's in a notebook that covers that time period.

The GL (shorthand for Great Lakes) in the upper left hand corner tells me that, at some point, I was considering using this tune as part of a mandolin orchestra piece I was working on for the Kalamazoo Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra. At the time (and this is the exception that proves the rule under discussion) we were using a working title of "Great Lakes Suite" for this piece in progress. (In the end the Kalamazoo commission was titled "The Pleasant Peninsula" and the notes above were not part of that piece.)

I probably wrote the whole tune on the same day although sometimes I come back at a later date to finish or improve tunes. At some point this tune would have been entered into my Sibelius music notation software and I would have given it the title "November 26, 2009." I may or may not have printed it out and shared it with other musicians between then and summer 2012. (My bandmates in Contratopia have stacks of my tunes with dates for titles. This often causes confusion.)

Finally, this summer I had a gig playing for a wedding dance up at Dream Acres farm in Minnesota, a special place that I've been fortunate to visit a number of times over the years. I was gathering some tunes to distribute to the first-rate band for the evening (Bill Deutsch, Rob Hervey & Ehler Orngard) and I decided to use "November 26, 2009." Since I would literally be returning to Dream Acres for the dance, I gave this jig that title.

The recording offered here is from last weekend. As I was recording it I started thinking "this is almost more of a tarantella than a jig." Dance however you wish.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.