Such Great Heights for String Quartet

January 30th, 2016

This is the only song I’ve performed at multiple weddings, and funny enough, it’s been the Iron and Wine version each time. This one was sort of a slog for banjo which is accustomed to playing with speed. The string quartet version, though, thrives with the slower tempo and lush harmonies. You can view a one-page sample of the score below.

Where is My Mind, The Pixies, for String Quartet

January 30th, 2016

Though I strangely don’t really love The Pixies, this is an undeniably fantastic song. This one worked really well in the cello/banjo/flute format, but works even better as a string quartet. You can view a one-page sample of the score below!

Mushaboom, Feist, for String Quartet

January 30th, 2016

Once a banjo/cello/flute arrangement, it took no time at all to rearrange this quirky tune for string quartet. You can view a one-page sample of the score below!

Dog Days Are Over for String Quartet

January 30th, 2016

From the same summer wedding, this is a string quartet arrangement of the originally cello/banjo/flute arrangement I made. You can view a one-page sample of the score below!

Come to Me, Goo Goo Dolls, for String Quartet

January 30th, 2016

Over the summer I handled music for a friend’s wedding, arranging five songs for cello, banjo, and flute. Hey, you make do with the instrumentation available for these kinds of things! After the wedding, I took a bit of extra time to arrange for the more traditional and robust ensemble of the string quartet. You can view a one-page sample of the score below!

A Life Elided Releases “Lear”

January 30th, 2016

ALE-album-artAbout a decade in the making, my long-term side project, A Life Elided, has released an official album. The 12-song debut, Lear, is the best of the 25+ songs written and recorded in between other projects since 2005. Some of the songs are so old that I no longer have the original recording files, which meant that wrapping up the release mostly consisted of adding parts as I could and remastering work. The age of some of the songs shows, but it felt great to finally put a bow on all of the effort in an official way!

Wedding Season

September 27th, 2015

… is over. This year, Ellie and I attended and performed in three weddings. Each wedding had a different ensemble and type of music, and for each, we had to arrange the music. It was fun and I know it’s a greatly appreciated contribution, but it did sideline much other composing, arranging, and practicing. Read the rest of this entry »

{ELSE} Releases “Who WIll Cry”

March 20th, 2015

11034419_581041585366316_1258135275416596239_oAfter a ton of hard work which began all the way back in December of 2013, {ELSE} is releasing our debut album! It’s 8 songs long but still clocks in at 40 minutes and took probably hundreds of hours to finish. I laid down most of my guitar parts and recorded our bassist in December of 2013, and then things sort of stalled as our original singer quit and we hunted for a new one. During that hunt, I ended up recording ALL of the remaining guitar parts and added FX and mixed and mixed and re-mixed and mixed some more. Finally, in September of 2014 we had a new singer and new vocal parts so we recorded those. In February of this year, guitar tracks from our other guitarist and drums were finally added. I ended up going back and removing some of my guitar parts to add Nate’s in, and mixed drums for the first time in my life. There were TONS of mistakes and lessons learned along the way, including one frantic call to the CD pressing company to throw out a disc which had an error on it. We’re holding a CD release party tonight and I don’t think I’ve been more excited for many other things in my life, except maybe my wedding and the 1-year anniversary trip to Europe I have planned with my lovely wife!

Whiskey Doubles Releases Nightcap

February 26th, 2015

My folkestra (folk orchestra) band, Whiskey Doubles,  just released our second E.P. The 9-song Nightcap shows off the matured natured of the band as all of the songs were written specifically for this quartet. Our previous album, Honey Creek EP, by contrast, featured a few songs originally written for the now-defunct Of the North. Another change in this CD is that all parts were recorded simultaneously in a makeshift studio, as opposed to the individual track approach of our previous recording. I think we achieved a much improved sound through both the new songwriting and recording approaches, and couldn’t be more proud of the album.

Nightcap-for-CD-BabyLike Honey Creek EP,  Nightcap features a variety of instrumentation. Because the tunes were recorded live, I do not do as much instrument doubling as have done before, but still alternate between cello, various percussion (spoons, snare, open snare, bass drum) and vocals. Other instruments in the recording include our signature folkestra blend of flute and clarinet, harmonium, guitar, banjolele, baritone ukulele, and the new addition of harmonica.

Nightcap is available on iTunes, can be streamed on Spotify, and we will have physical copies to sell at all of our shows!

Recording Pay the Devil

February 9th, 2015

Just two weeks after recording with Whiskey Doubles, and in between performing and writing new songs with {ELSE}, I took a Sunday to record my old chums, Pay the Devil. I used the same kind of set up that we used for Whiskey Doubles, running 4 Tascam instrument mics, a large diaphragm condenser for main vocals, and a few additional dynamic Shure SM58s for backup vocals and percussion. With a large semi-circle layout, we were able to achieve pretty clean and separated tracks and with some light mixing and processing, and the end result was fantastic!

The album, tentatively titled “North Avenue Free For All”, will contain about 19 songs and should be available on Spotify, iTunes, and of course in person in a few weeks!