I’ve actually gotten back into writing, composing and recording music again. For a while I seemed to do this in fits and spurts. I used to get started on an idea and get it about halfway done but then I’d get distracted usually by work issues from my day job or vacation would come up and then the project would sit and gather dust.
However, in December I got a new idea. In many things I become very productive and efficient when I have a task list, to-do list or project plan to work against and keep myself accountable. So I got the idea in December, after listening to huge amounts of Christmas music and attending the Seattle Symphony’s production of Handel’s Messiah, to produce my own album of Christmas/Holiday music. After that, I began making my plan and creating “the list”.
Since starting in December I have five (5) songs that I am actively working on and of these three are essential complete. The first of these I will be releasing as a single before and in time for Easter: My own arrangement, performance and recording of the Hallelujah Chorus. My Hallelujah Chorus is a Pop/Rock version inspired by Mannheim Steamroller/Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
After going to the full production of Handel’s Messiah it was amazing to me that George F. Handel wrote, not just the Hallelujah Chorus, but the entire Messiah, including the orchestral and choir parts after receiving the text from Charles Jennens in a breathtaking 24 days! Talk about focus! If I could only have 10% of his focus.
Here are a few photos compliments of Wikipedia.
George Frideric Handel by Balthasar Denner
The Great Music Hall in Fishamble Street, Dublin, where Messiah was first performed
A portrait of Charles Jennens from around 1740
It’s been a warm and busy spring and summer for me and I hope yours has been good too. ??
Between playing double bass in the Evergreen Community Orchestra (ECO) and saying yes to a request to play in the orchestra for the musical Camelot, I played eight concerts in 5 weeks time. ??? The next concert for ECO will be at the Imagine Children’s Museum in downtown Everett on Saturday August 1st at 1:00 pm, located at 1502 Wall St, Everett, WA.
The golf links have been calling my name too so I have spent some time chasing a tiny white ball all over hell’s half-acre! I do sense I am getting better since last year. Which is encouraging! ⛳️
On the recording front I am excited to announce that I just finished mastering the CD “Give Us Peace”. This is an instrumental CD of relaxing music including my recordings of the beautiful Dona Nobis Pacem, which in English means Give Us Peace. The master has been sent out for disc manufacturing. The official release should be in the first week of August. Stay tuned! Here is what the CD cover will look like. And I have provided a link to a page on CD Baby where you can view the entire CD in breathtaking 3D.
Give Us Peace in 3D
And finally, beginning in May I launched a video series called “Double Bass Lessons”, which are different from other bass lessons out there in that I am presenting them as my step-by-step journal and commentary from a student’s perspective as I learn how to play the double bass. In each lesson I will cover what I have just learned, any struggles I have had and how I have grown. I welcome your comments and questions on each one. Incidentally, I was hoping to have at least another lesson video posted during July, but Seattle has had abnormally high temperatures (many days over 90 degrees Fahrenheit or, I believe over 30 degrees Celsius) and without air conditioning (many homes in the Seattle are have no AC) I just was in no mode to do the work. Anyway, feel free to send me any questions/comments you might have.
Double Bass Lessons
Really, I’m not slacking off.
With a lot of other distractions going on, not to mention the little time suckers of Twitter and Facebook, I haven’t blogged in a while. I have mostly been preoccupied with Camelot. In early March I was invited to play in an orchestra playing for the musical Camelot, written by Lerner and Lowe. We began rehearsals in March, which accelerated towards the end of April and we had the show opening this weekend. It has been a LOT of work, but a lot of fun as well. It was the first musical theater orchestra that I have played in and it was an awesome learning experience. The bass part is 64 pages long and the music has many frequent key signature and meter changes and many “cuts” from the original score to fit this particular production’s script and timing. This was a volunteer production, but it looked and sound very pro to me. So, if you live in the area, or are visiting the Seattle area next weekend (May 1-3), come attend one of the performances of Camelot.
On top of Camelot, I also play double bass in a community orchestra, the Evergreen Community Orchestra, and we have been preparing for our spring concerts working on music from Mozart, Schubert, Ravel, Debussy, and more! Those concerts are scheduled for Friday, June 5th at 7:00 pm and Tuesday, June 9th at 7:00 pm. The name used to be “Music Hall Community Orchestra” but was recently changed and the web URLs are still waiting updates to the new name.
After this, and I don’t want to let the kittens out of the bag too soon, I do have a new recording project that I have begun, and like all recording projects they seem to take on a life of their own. I may begin with a certain concept in my mind of what the finished project will be like, but once I start actually working on putting it together new ideas bubble to my mind and I end up in a different place than where I planned. It’s a bit of a fun adventure. So, stay tuned for more.
I have another new song in the works. The lyrics are written, and actually have been written, for a while now. Been working over the mix in the studio on and off the last several months. This post is just a bit of a teaser. Here is a clip of the intro, bass and drums only. Can you dig it?
Here’s the mp3: Bass and Drums
You may also listen with this audio player button: Bass and Drums
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