Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Oneota Stomp

The Oneota Stomp (mp3) (pdf)

Re-worked slightly in 2012, this tune has been around for a few years. I believe that we played it at least once, sometime in the past, in its earlier form with the now legendary Bear Creek Bluegrass Band in the Cafe Deluxe (later Sabor Latino) courtyard on a warm summer's night. It didn't catch on with the band then (neither did my searing rendition of Stonewall Jackson's "Waterloo") but now here it is again.

The photo is of the Upper Iowa (Oneota) River taken over a century ago by Professor Samuel Calvin. You can find it, and many more beautiful images, in the Calvin Photographic Collection hosted by the University of Iowa.

I like the recording here but I have to mention that the ending is a bit of a train wreck. I fumbled putting a tag on the original rhythm track and then compounded it by adding competing tags to the additional guitar and mandolin tracks, thinking I would "fix it in the mix". In the end the train wreck sounds more fun, so I left them all on.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The New Henrietta

The New Henrietta (mp3) (pdf)

"The New Henrietta" is a rare example of a case where I intentionally take some music (in this case one and a half measures) from an existing tune and use it verbatim in my own piece. (Lord knows I unintentionally takes bits and phrases from old tunes all the time.) A tune titled "Henrietta - Hornpipe" appears on page 139 of Patrick Sky's Mel Bay edition of Ryan's Mammoth Collection, a wonderful gathering of music first printed in the 19th century. 

I was reading tunes at random one day from this book and found that the first two bars of the B section of "Henrietta" were especially fun. The rest of the tune didn't do much for me so I wrote a new tune around the measures that I liked. Those notes still appear as the first measure and a half of the new B section.

Erik Sessions and I recorded "The New Henrietta" paired with Erik's excellent "Kohlrabi Stomp" on our Notes From the Farm CD last year. We only played "Henrietta" one and a half times through on the CD so I thought I would give it twice as much exposure today.

Recorded this morning, Gibson mandolin, Martin guitar. The chords in parentheses are the ones I play with the capo on the third fret.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Six Duettinos, Summer 2006, no. 4

Six Duettinos, Summer 2006, no. 4 (mp3) (pdf)

Continuing my project to finally record all six of these simple pieces. You can read more about them in my post from last December.

I sat down this morning and recorded both no. 4 and no. 5. Unfortunately, I neglected to save the recording of no. 5 and it disappeared when I unplugged my Tascam pocketstudio. I'll have to do it again later. No. 4, presented here, goes a bit faster than the tempo indicated in the sheet music (although I have corrected this in my Midwestern Mandolin Duos book) and I played a few unintended notes at the start of the final A section. No harm, no foul.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Groundhog Special

Groundhog Special (mp3) (pdf)

Written, recorded and set into Finale this morning. Edited with my ancient Sound Forge software and uploaded to my website just after lunch. This is an unusual example of the whole process happening in just a few hours.

You might properly and politely point out that's it's usually better to wait a while before sharing something on the internet. I suppose I might decide tomorrow, or the next day, to remove this post but I doubt it. The tune and the performance seem to be well within the loose guidelines of what's acceptable here. (Clearly no click track was involved.) Hope you enjoy it.

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