Monday, March 25, 2019

Big Ears 2019: Performances Seen over the Four Days

I finally made it to the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN this year!  Here's a list of every musical performance I saw over the four days.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan - The Standard

Kukangendai - The Mill and Mine

Very Very Hot Evil - The Pilot Light

Altered Statesman - The Pilot Light

Friday, March 22, 2019

Bela Fleck and Edmar Castaneda - St. John's Episcopal Cathedral

Joep Beving - Knoxville Museum of Art

Mary Halvorson's Code Girl - The Mill and Mine

***late afternoon dog-walk break***

Mary Halvorson, Tomeka Reid and Larry Grenadier - Knoxville Museum of Art (Nate Chinen: Playing Changes)

Spiritualized - The Mill and Mine

Uncle Earl and Friends - Boyd's Jig and Reel

IE - The Pilot Light

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Columbia Icefield - The Standard

Kristin Anna Valtysdottir - St. John's Episcopal Cathedral

Thumbscrew - The Standard

***late afternoon dog-walk break***

International Contemporary Ensemble and Carla Kihlstedt - Bijou Theatre

Makaya McCraven - The Mill and Mine

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Vijay Iyer and Craig Taborn - Tennessee Theatre

Bluegrass Jam - Boyd's Jig and Reel

Hawktail - The Standard

Bill Frisell's Harmony - The Mill and Mine

Brooklyn Rider with Kayhan Kalhor - Bijou Theatre

Uncle Earl - The Mill and Mine

IE at The Pilot Light

Thumbscrew at The Standard

Hawktail at The Standard

Bill Frisell's Harmony at The Mill and Mine

Uncle Earl at The Mill and Mine

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Tunes 98, 99 and 100 - I made it to one-hundred.

This is a painting my mom did
In June of 2017 when I gave myself a goal to write 50 melodies in a year I didn't think I would actually write 100 melodies in less than two years.  But that's what happened.

 #98 - Swedish Walking Tunes
Here are a pair of what I hope are fairly original variations on what could pass for traditional Scandinavian melodies. I don't know what a Swedish walking tune is but I went for a walk immediately after composing these. The first tune is called Happily Äver Efter. The second tune is called Merrily Efter Äver. Each is played two times through. Written 3/2/19. Recorded 3/9/19 with Romero tenor banjo.

#99 - Strange Whip-poor-will
I believe it was Leonard Cohen who said that each day you get a gift. It might be something a waitress says or it might be a road sign. Two days ago my gift was learning about the theme song to the 1986 Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason movie Nothing In Common. The song is called Loving Strangers by Christopher Cross and the sound of its chorus was the inspiration I needed to help create tune number 99. To add more to this piece I included the musical notes of a whip-woor-will's call (F, C, higher C) as transcribed in the Field Guide of Wild Birds and Their Music. I made this recording as I was writing the melody. I'm playing it on a McMillen K-Board via the SampleTank app - a wind instrument sound - over a mixiolydian backing track.

#100 - Buffalo Bullfinch
Now that I have 100 tunes is that a complete body of work? I was hesitant to count this as number 100 but I kept playing it and liking its pensive nature. It's basically the head melody to the song Buffalo Bird Woman from a Scott Amendola CD. Hopefully it's different enough. If it's not then hey I successfully transcribed something by ear. But if I got it wrong then that's even better because in that case I have something even more original. Recorded 3/9/19 with Romero tenor banjo.