Me & Mrs. Lincoln

I was just checking up on one of my favorite groups of people – the musicians of Arizona’s atomic folk band, Mrs. Lincoln – and I was so delighted to find these photos from my last gig with them out in Flagstaff, AZ at the Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass and Acoustic Festival a year or two ago.

I miss playing with these guys… I’ll have to make it a point to join them again for another gig sometime! 😉

Music TBT: “Personal Echo”

It’s time for my Music TBT, where I randomly choose a work from my repertoire and reminisce about its beginnings!

Today’s TBT Selection is…

Personal Echo

(Purchase the sheet music; Purchase the official recording)

With the instrument’s sound run through a timed digital delay effect, the soloist is able to create a “canon with herself.” Combining a haunting folk-style melody with virtuosic effects, this work is a flourish of stirring harmony and dogged rhythmic control.

I have a lot of fond memories with this piece. This little gem was written way back in 2003, during my first year at Cal Poly Pomona, after transferring from a life of scattered community colleges and performance touring.

The music department was starting up the MIDI Ensemble that year. The company they had ordered all their equipment from had thrown in a free Fender electric violin as part of the bulk purchase, and one of the teachers asked me if I’d like to play it with the group. How could I turn that down?! And so my relationship with the electric violin (and increasing its strings/range) began that year.

For our first concert, the instructor wanted each of us to show off what our instruments could do alone, to showcase the capabilities we had with the electronics. Because mine was the only non-MIDI instrument, I decided to show off what I could do in conjunction with digital delay. And, honestly, I didn’t want to just improvise something out of the blue on stage, so I took time to organize my thoughts and composed this work. I debuted it at that first MIDI Ensemble concert, and “Personal Echo” has been performed numerous times ever since, by both myself and others! Every time, it is a favorite of the listeners and performers – I love how it tends to entrance those in attendance, every time…

I even added a cool vibraphone part once to accompany this piece for the String Theory Quartet album release, “abstract,” which you can check out here on Spotify. And, of course, the original version can be heard here on Spotify, too, or purchased at various retailers found on my Discography page. :)

New Sheet Music Added: INTREPID

At last, the sheet music – both the Score alone, and the Score & Parts – for “INTREPID: A Fantasy for Oboe/English Horn Soloist and Chamber Ensemble” is available!

Check out my Sheet Music Store for this and other available works for a large variety of instrumental and vocal combinations!

New EP Coming Soon…

As I’ve mentioned briefly before, I have a new EP in the works! It should be available in just another week or two.

For now, please enjoy these clips from three (out of four total) tracks that will be appearing on the new EP – SONATA MODERNA!

Performing “Solitude’s Hypocrisy” Live!

On Friday, May 29, I’ll be performing my own work for violin and classical guitar – “Solitude’s Hypocrisy” from The Book of I OST – at this alumni event with excellent guitarist, John Paul Trotter! And, I’ll get to fiddle around with the jazz band, too! 😉

The Cal Poly Pomona Music Department’s Annual Year-End Celebration “Celebrate Me Home” includes a Mixer at 6:30PM on the recital hall patio and an Alumni Concert at 8:00pm in the recital hall.

The Mixer is a fun time for students, faculty, staff, and alum to get together, reconnect and make new friends. Music at the Mixer will be provided by M.U.S.E. (Music Uniting Student Entertainers) club members. Light food and beverages included.

Music alum from the last four decades will take the stage at 8:00pm and perform to benefit a new Alumni Scholarship.

The mixer for students, alumni, faculty, and staff starts at 6:30pm, and the concert itself starts at 8pm (link directs to my Event Page for this listing).

Each event alone is $15, but if you plan on attending both, the total is only $20.

More info and tickets can be found here.

Hope to see you there! 😀

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Music TBT: “Butterfly Lullaby”

Welcome to my first ever Music TBT, where I randomly choose a work from my repertoire and reminisce about its beginnings!

Today’s TBT Selection is…

Butterfly Lullaby

(Purchase the sheet music; Purchase the official recording)

The story behind “Butterfly Lullaby” is an interesting one! While I completed it in its present state in 2012, it actually existed long before that as a simple violin and piano duet called, “A Lyrical Interlude,” originally composed in 1998…. Wow! It is truly a blast-from-my-past – I was only 18 years old! 😀

Late in 2012 – before I had any real discography – I had decided that, with some of my more current works slated to come out on the Navona Recordings label soon, I wanted to self-produce a very simple, eclectic album of all my older and perhaps more naive compositions – because I still enjoy them and didn’t want them to be forgotten, even though they were early works from a much younger composer. :) As I was compiling all the pieces I wanted to record and include on this album, I came across my old little violin/piano duet, which I had performed several times years prior with friends in private concerts and events. It lacked the intro and “bridge” section of the current Lullaby, and it didn’t modulate keys as it does now, so it was very short and simple. But I loved it dearly and really wanted to include it.

I considered to myself how, in 2012, I rarely played the violin part any more, but I did find myself singing it regularly! So, I said to myself, why not 1) turn the violin part into a vocal solo and add lyrics, 2) keep and embellish the piano part, and 3) add another melodic line to harmonize with the vocal part?

I went to work on it with excitement and finished “Butterfly Lullaby” in only a matter of days! With such a charming and unpretentious melody I knew it had to be a lullaby of some sort, and, after some light research, I had decided that the topic would be loosely based on Native American mythology – that of the tale of the Butterfly as the bringer and keeper of dreams. And, from that moment on, this piece was given a grand rebirth!

I just love this beautiful little song, and I hope you do, too!

Lyrics:

Take this Butterfly,
Bye-Bye, Sweet Child;
Embrace her comfort as her wings brush against your skin.
And with your breath whisper a wish
Into her ear;
She’ll make no sound but trust it only to Heav’n.
Dance beneath the Moon,
Bye-Bye, Sweet Child.
His guardian light embraces all of the earth and sky.
And as you lay your heavy head
Upon your bed,
The Butterfly will bring your dreams while you sleep.
Though sorrow looms, be not afraid;
Time wil prove true.
Shake the dust from your wings;
Give thanks for life’s renewal!
Behold the Morning Star breaks forth.
Fare thee well, Sweet Child.
And with the dawn, ancestral spirits smile down on you.
Sleep well and dream the Dream of Hope,
Bye-Bye, Sweet Child.
Butterflies will greet you when you awake.

Live Performance of Gypsy Wanderer

On May 1, Ken Mays (piano) and I got the opportunity to tackle the two hardest movements of my violin sonata, “Gypsy Wanderer” – Movement 1 “Irreverently” and Movement 4 “Rapide”!

It was a valiant effort, to be sure – and loads of fun! Enjoy these two videos from our performance below…

Purchase the sheet musicPurchase the professional recording.