Thursday, February 10, 2011

Music and stories

One of the hardest things to do for my CDs is work out music to go between each tale.  I have been really lucky in that I have two very good friends who are also great musicians.  Without them the music would not be as original or good as it is.  Last night I met with the core members of my story band, Steve Glazer and Rick Barrows, and this CDs guest star, Rachel Clark.

Somehow each CD has had a 'guest star'.  The first CD was Maureen Burford on violin, the second was Greg Gundlach on guitar, and this time we have Rachel on accordion, whistle and Irish flute.  I have been wanting to make a new CD for some time as those who receive my newsletter will know. In fact I have ideas for two MORE CDs after this one!

When folk musician Rachel Clark sent me a tune called "Waltz at the End of the World" and asked if I could use it in any way, I immediately knew what story it would work with. And since then I have been chomping at the bit to get this thing going.

Last night, Rachel, Steve, Rick and myself met at Latham Library in Thetford, Vermont to work out what pieces of music would go where and what feel and tempo they would have. We decided to use "Waltz" as a springboard, this being the first time we have had a finished work of music to work from. In the past we have sat together and made something up, beginning with a basic idea of SOMETHING and taking bits of it, adding here, changing there until we had a tune. Then we would break it down into sections, and make changes to account for the feel or type of story it was leading into or out of. But last night we had 'The Waltz." And then when we were talking about the ghostly story and the fact it was a winter tale, Rachel said she had written another piece (she's written a ton) called "Cold Snap." She played it, we loved it, it is also being used.

It did not take as long as we thought to work up all the pieces, but it came together quickly.  I put it down to having a finished work at the beginning!  Anyway, it was great fun.  But I forgot one thing - one of the stories I want on the CD!  Oops!

Once we had finished working on the music, we played a few other tunes, some original, like Peppermint Polka from a forthcoming CD by Bob and Rachel, and others traditional.  Not an early night by the time I got home, but a good one and a step closer to getting the CD complete.