Thursday, October 24, 2019

Deer Track, October 23, 2019 + CMSA-Normal

Deer Track, October 23, 2019 (mp3) (pdf)

It's been a busy month with little time for recording. But I wrote another of my little Deer Tracks pieces yesterday and managed to record it this morning. I really enjoy the process of letting these pieces unwind themselves until I feel like they come to their end. Then I tinker with them just a bit and call it good. I hope you like this one.

Two weeks ago I was in Normal, IL at the annual convention of the CMSA. I had, as usual, a great time but this event was extra special. I received the high honor of being named one of the first CMSA Fellows along with my good friends Jim Bates, Michael Schroeder and Lou Chouinard.

Mike and Lou are both past presidents of CMSA and Jim has conducted the En Masse orchestra for many years. My citation reads:

CMSA recognizes John Goodin as a CMSA Fellow for his contributions to classical mandolin in North America through his original compositions and arrangements for solo mandolin and mandolin ensemble.

This award from my peers in the classical mandolin world is truly amazing to me and I will never be able to adequately express my gratitude to the members of the CMSA Board of Directors for presenting me with this honor. I am especially thankful for the beautiful speech that Nancy King gave as she made the presentation. What a great convention it was!

Last week, with Foot-Notes, we played our final Highlandville Dance of the year at the Highlandville schoolhouse. It was a fine Autumn night with a wonderful group of dancers. This Saturday I get to join Contratopia in St. Paul for a Tapestry-sponsored contra dance at Sokol Hall. I love playing in that old dance hall.

The photo above was taken from my upstairs office window just minutes ago. This is the view I enjoyed while writing the music yesterday and recording it today.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Spring Suite, May 2019 (finally arriving in October)

Spring Suite, May 2019 (stream and/or download for free at Bandcamp)

(Octave mandolin version pdf) (Mandocello version pdf)

1. Vernal Signs (mp3)
2. New Growth (mp3)
3. The Little Flowers (mp3)
4. The Cultivator (mp3)
5. Full Bloom (mp3)

Back in February I presented my Winter Suite, February 2019, a suite of tunes aimed at players of the mandocello and the octave mandolin. Today I am finally presenting the suite that I (mostly) composed in May as a follow-up. The delay was partly because Summer arrived and I was really busy and partly because I knew I wasn't quite satisfied with the original versions.

I revisited the pieces a couple of times during the summer and changed a few notes but I still didn't feel like the suite was ready to record. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I took another look and decided I should just rewrite the first section altogether. I did that and the whole suite seemed better balanced somehow.

So here's the Spring Suite, May 2019 (finished in September) for mandocello or octave mandolin. As with the previous suite I have placed the complete composition as an "album" at Bandcamp in case you want to stream and/or download the music (free of charge) without having to click on each section. You can, however, go ahead and just click on each section of the suite here in its mp3 form.

I'm looking forward to seeing a roomful of mandocellists next week at the annual convention of the Classical Mandolin Society of America. On Thursday morning Jim Imhoff will present The Solo Mandocello, vol. 2 and I will join August Watters (author of the excellent Exploring Classical Mandolin from Berklee Press) to talk about some of our recent work. This will be a lot of fun.

Speaking of recent work, I was honored last week when Mel Bay published two new books with my name on the cover; Telemann for Two Mandolins and A Baroque Sampler for Octave Mandolin. Both are now available as print volumes and ebooks. Two books in the same week is highly unlikely to ever happen again for me and I really enjoyed hearing from many friends offering their congratulations.

In addition to the new Mel Bay books I am also finishing up a new tunebook to go with my Mandolin Tunes 2 recording from last fall. I will have some of these with me next week on my vendor table at the CMSA meeting in Bloomington-Normal, IL.

Lest you imagine (I don't often get to use "lest" in a sentence) that I'm only working on books I am happy to say that I have played numerous gigs in the last few weeks, including four wedding dances over the course of 8 days. On Sunday afternoon I get to play some tunes with Pat O'Loughlin at the annual Polish Apple Day in Winona, MN. Who could ask for more?

I hope you enjoy the Spring Suite.

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