Guitar, Live recordings, Live stream, Other original music and arrangements, Percussion, Piano, Pop & Rock, Vocal

Can’t Dance – live stream

I set out to write a “bubble-gum pop song” fit for a teen diva, and came up with Can’t Dance. The lyrics capture the awkwardness of high school nerds who lose themselves in each other and to the music. My friend and fellow composer Stephanie Meyers provides the “diva” for this one, accompanied by several of our talented friends.

This is a live stream VCFA internet broadcast recording from 12 August 2015.

Guitar, Live recordings, Live stream, Other original music and arrangements, Pop & Rock, Vocal

To My Children – live stream

I have two children who survived the unpleasantness of the divorce of their mother and I when they were young. This song is my apology to them, and reaffirmation of my love for them and my grandchildren.

This recording is a live stream VCFA broadcast to the internet from the Songwriter’s Festival concert on 12 August 2015. Reed Robbins accompanies on guitar.

Country & Western, Guitar, Live recordings, Live stream, Other original music and arrangements, Percussion, Piano, Strings, Vocal

Don’t Give Up on Me – live stream

This is a live stream recording of the VCFA Songwriter’s Festival concert on 12 February 2016, with me singing my original country-and-western song Don’t Give Up on Me (accompanied by a few talented friends).

I wrote this for my wife, who had to put up with me travelling to remote work locations every week for a few years before I retired.

There’s another version of this song here.

Guitar, Live recordings, Live stream, Other original music and arrangements, Vocal

Flying High – live stream

For one of my rescore projects, I wrote the music for an insurance company TV advertisement that featured the misadventures of a dim-witted small plane pilot. I wrote an original song for this spot (included in the compilation Adventures in Advertising).

I had the opportunity to perform this song live on 8 February 2017 with Reed Robbins on the guitar. This is a live-stream video of the event as it was broadcast on the internet from VCFA.

Other original music and arrangements, Vocal

Sea Chant-y

This is a bit of whimsy: a 16th century counterpoint (chant) setting of three contemporary songs: “I’m Popeye the Sailor Man”, “Oh the Sailor’s Life is the Life for Me”, and “Many Brave Hearts are Asleep in the Deep”. It is also an experiment with a synthetic voice generator (“Alter/Ego” by Plogue Art et Technologie, Inc., Montreal, Canada) that will “sing” words and music.

“I’m Popeye the Sailor Man” was written by Sammy Lerner, and published in “The Popeye Song Folio” by Popular Melodies (New York CIty, New York) in 1936, and served as the theme song for all of Paramounts “Popeye” cartoons from 1933 to 1957.

The “Sailor’s Hornpipe” (also known as “College Hornpipe” or “Jack’s the Lad”) is a traditional hornpipe (sailor’s dance) melody dating from at least the 18th century.

“Asleep in the Deep” (“Many Brave Hearts are Asleep in the Deep”) was written by Arthur J. Lamb and Henry W. Petrie in 1897.

Live recordings, Other original music and arrangements, Piano, Vocal

The Hawthorn Tree – Live

This was a commission from the Shenandoah University Cantus Singers to portray works by women. The poem is “The Hawthorn Tree” by Willa Cather. It is performed by the Cantus Singers under the direction of Dr. Karen Keating.

The Hawthorn Tree is a poem by Willa Cather (1783-1847), pulitzer-prize winning author and journalist. She is well known for her novels about the Great Plains (e.g., O Pioneers!), but she was born in Gore, Virginia, a few miles west of Winchester. She lived nearby for her first ten years, then moved with her family to Nebraska, where she is a cultural icon. Her birthplace is on Route 50 west of Winchester. There is an historical marker on the highway, although the house itself is gone.

THE HAWTHORN TREE
by: Willa Cather

Across the shimmering meadows–
Ah, when he came to me!
In the spring-time,
In the night-time,
In the starlight,
Beneath the hawthorn tree.

Up from the misty marshland
Ah, when he climbed to me!
To my white bower,
To my sweet rest,
To my warm breast,
Beneath the hawthorn tree.

Ask of me what the birds sang,
High in the hawthorn tree;
What the breeze tells,
What the rose smells,
What the stars shine–
Not what he said to me!

“The Hawthorn Tree” is reprinted from “April Twilights” by Willa Cather; published by The Gorham Press, Boston, in 1903.

This setting is modeled on the style of an English madrigal, calling for restraint in dynamics, gentle lyricism, and clear articulation of the text.

(recorded live 10 April 2015; posted 24 September 2017)