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.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Pine Bluffs

Pine Bluffs (mp3) (pdf)

In the last week I've had the great pleasure of playing for two separate, multi-family, high school graduation dance parties with my friends in the Foot-Notes band. The first one, last Saturday, was at the local Pine Bluff 4H camp. Yesterday's event was in the community building at the county fairgrounds. These are the kinds of gigs that can recharge the batteries of musicians who might sometimes become a little jaded about the "music business."

I wrote most of today's new tune, meant to be a polka, last Sunday morning but I continued to change a note or two all through the week. I recorded on Friday but I had to keep making the harmony part less and less busy because I just couldn't play my original notes.

This coming week I get to play two solo mandolin gigs in Decorah (one at Java John's Coffee House and one at the Porter House Museum) and a contra dance on Friday with some of my Western Home String Band friends. The dance will be just a small part of the amazing Village Fire singing weekend held this year at, you guessed it, Pine Bluff camp.

Today is also special for me because the participants in the 2017 Carlo Aonzo Mandolin Workshop will present the world premiere of a new mandolin orchestra piece that I composed for them titled "Driftless." I had intended to be part of the workshop (I certainly could benefit from the guidance and focused practice time) but, for various reasons, I needed to change my plans. I know that my friends at the Workshop will sound great and I hope to hear a recording someday. Many thanks to Carlo and Rene!

I still intend to write another new tune for this blog before next weekend also. Check next week to see if that happens.
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