Sunday, August 26, 2018

Deer Track, February 27, 2014

Deer Track, February 27, 2014 (mp3) (pdf)

Going through an old music notebook from early 2014 this week I came across a couple of not-quite-finished deer tracks pieces. Looking back I remember that this was around the time that Contratopia was busy trying to record what became our Riff City CD and I imagine that I was more focused on that project.

So today I've finished up the piece that was started on February 27, 2014. It's mostly as I scribbled it down but I changed a note here and there. I know these pieces sound pretty random but I actually spend some time making choices about pitches and durations. That's a lot of the fun for me.

If you prefer something a little more conventional you can always drop back to last week's tune, Blevins March, and enjoy some good old D major.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Blevins March

Blevins March (mp3) (pdf)

Two nights ago I was honored to be part of a beautiful community fundraiser that was created to help one of Decorah's most generous and giving people, Mike Blevins. Among many other gifts and talents, Mike is one of the those who people who supports musicians by really listening to what we do and helping us remember why we do it.

I wrote a tune that Erik Sessions and I could play during our set and we premiered it that night. Today I'm posting my usual home recording of the tune but maybe a live version will surface some day.

Depending on where you live you may or may not recognize all or some of the names on the MikeFest poster but I can attest that each and every one played an amazing set. Along with my set with Erik (which went over really well), I was privileged to accompany Joshua Vorvick on one of his fine songs and I had a great time backing up the wonderful Bonnie Koloc on her classic tune "Roll Me On the Water" during her set. The audience was perfect, relaxed and supportive the whole time.

 Most of the musicians perform with some regularity at Java John's Coffeehouse in Decorah and we were all happy to contribute our time and talent to this event. I have especially appreciated Mike's active listening to my solo mandolin shows over the last few years and I look forward to playing for him again once he is up and around.

If you are interested in helping Mike out there is a Go Fund Me site set up to help him with his medical expenses. Here's the link:

Speaking of Java John's, I am putting together my setlist for another solo mandolin evening this coming Wednesday, August 22. If you are in Decorah and interested then stop in anytime from 7 to 9, no cover. I'll be playing the usual mix of Baroque era pieces, fiddle tunes and original stuff.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

St. Francis and the Birds - mandolin quartet or ensemble

St. Francis and the Birds (for mandolin quartet or ensemble) (PDF music and mp3 here)

Back in May I posted an arrangement for SATB recorder quartet of this old tune of mine. You can read more about that, if you want, at this link.

Shortly after posting the recorder arrangement I heard from a mandolin friend in England wondering if he could adapt it for mandolins. I said "sure" but that set me to thinking about what that might look like and I came up with this version.

This is similar to July's James Oswald on the Ohio arrangement in that it is intended to be playable by 3 mandolins and an octave mandolin (or mandocello or guitar), or two mandolins, a CGDA mandola and octave mandolin, mandocello or guitar. If you have four plucked string instruments you can probably make it work.

I made the recording this afternoon despite a neighbor's lawn mower in the distance and some traffic noise. I think I hit most of the notes in the right places.

I'm using the above photo, even though it has appeared a few times in this blog already. It was taken in lovely New Harmony, Indiana a few years ago and I'm always happy to see it again.

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