Saturday, September 15, 2018

Tunes 62 Through 70

Back on June 10th I posted about a year of writing tunes.  In the three months since then I've added 8 more pieces to my catalog, bringing the total to 70.  That matches the number of compositions published by Thelonious Monk.  Just sayin'.

Time for a rundown I suppose.

Number 62: Emily Redoux, written on 6/24/18
For the A-part of this one I believe I took some of the notes from the written vocal melody to portions of Phish's album version of the title track to Story of the Ghost and re-arranged the rhythm and pacing to match a sound I had in my head.  Then the B-part seemed to just play itself.  There might be a tag at the end that was totally stolen from a melody that came up on Spotify.

Number 63: Show Ponies, written 6/28/18
I had the name Show Ponies before I had the tune.  So I had to write a melody to fit.  I gained inspiration by listening to Gitkin's 5 Star Motel.  However, one part of this tune may actually be completely original that I came up with on my own!

Number 64: Beach Breeze Motel, written 7/5/18
This piece was written to commemorate a vacation to Nova Scotia.  Played here on K-Board using the SampleTank app "Alto Sax" sound.  Ideas in this have been borrowed from or at least galvanized by Eamon O'Leary's song The Second Bottle.

Number 65: Yam Cakes and Ackee, written 7/23/18
Beginning with Yam Cakes and Ackee, I got on a little three-tune Caribbean kick.  I came up with this tune after listening to some St. Croix Quelbe music and the reggae group Black Uhuru. It was fairly effortless.

Number 66: Bye Bye Sol, written 8/9/18
I had a head full of ideas after seeing Phish for three nights in Alpharetta, Georgia in early August 2018. Bye Bye Sol and its sister tune La Luz are both composed almost entirely of sounds I heard (or thought I heard) in the music played during those three nights.  I couldn't wait to get home and get these ideas onto paper.

Number 67: La Luz, written 8/9/18
As mentioned above, tunes 66 and 67 were both distilled from music played by Phish on their stunning Summer 2018 tour.  With a name like La Luz, it's likely this tune owes its existence to the version of the song Light played by Phish on 8/7/18 in Camden, NJ.  Hot off the press.

Number 68: The September March, written 9/3/18
Sometimes for a song written by someone else, if I really want to know what the notes are, I'll request a transcription from Built to Last Music Notes.  I did that a few weeks back for a ragtime sounding number from the year 1916 called Guatemala-Panama March by the Hurtado Brothers Royal Marimba Band.  However, soon after sending that for transcription I decided to come up with my own melody based on the sound of that Hurtado Brothers composition.  Four days later this had become The September March.  I'm curious to see what the actual notes are when I get the transcription.  That'll help me know how "original" this one is.

Number 69: Not a Care in the World, written 9/12/18
For some reason this week I thought of and then felt like listening to the album of O'Carolan music released by mandolinist Butch Baldassari back in 2007.  The very first track - a set of two tunes for Young William Plunkett - caught my ear and made me want to write a melody just like it.  So I did.  Maybe this is too much like it!  What I ended up with was a notey, three-part, repetitive tune.  It's called Not a Care in the World because I was writing it on the Wednesday before Tropical Storm Florence was supposed to arrive.  I like that major to minor transition which happens between the two tunes in Baldassari's setting. Something similar happens here but it is between parts A and B.

Number 70: Little Cat Nicholas, written 9/12/18
On the occasion that a melody comes to me out of the blue, I'll usually try and hum it into my phone's voice recorder for later use.  Forget about that for a moment.  Earlier this week, late in the evening just before bed, I was putting away my banjo when I pulled it back out and began improvising a quiet, pretty, waltzy melody on the instrument for a few minutes. I didn't record it. I put the banjo away and went to sleep.  A day or two later - this would have been 9/12 - I decided to recall that melody.  I'm pretty sure this is that. I called it Little Cat Nicholas:  our temperamental cat Nicholas is approaching 20 years of age and is not long for this world, so this tune is dedicated to him.  Anyway, after all that I noticed a recording on my phone titled generically as "hummed melody" and it's pretty much this same tune.  So this was floating around for a little while and needed documenting.

Biting Cat Nicholas having a typically lazy day.  September 15, 2018.

Seventy.  Whew.  These are so much fun to play!

No comments:

Post a Comment