I'm A Multi-tasking Maux-Faux
While the Kentucky Music Weekend carries on up north, I'm keeping myself as busy as possible, working up song templates and getting material together on several different levels. The first original dulcimer piece that I've gotten together in print form is "From The Hills To The Sea", a sweetly sashaying little waltz with Irish and Appalachian influences. You can download a .pdf of the sheet music below:
From The Hills To The Sea.pdf
At first, I thought handwriting the sheet music was going to be necessary. After bringing myself back around from a dead faint, some time was spent mucking around with Sibelius, which turned out to be strangely both remarkably helpful and hopelessly irritating during the process. With boiled peanuts sending off a folksy aroma from the kitchen (put 'em on last night during rehearsal, more on that later) and the whole wheat bread starting to fulfill its promise in the bread machine, I managed to suss out how to edit existing tablature staves in Sibelius and thusly created a workable, if not slightly flawed, setting for mountain dulcimer in Ionian mode. The idea being, if I write out a song using Standard Music Notation, I can then copy and paste the music into the dulcimer tab with the numbers coming up where they need to be; which is the part that I haven't quite gotten right yet. It's a start, anyway.
Rob Soviero from Cadillac Recipe came over last night for a rehearsal (and also brought back the crock-pot we had let him borrow, so I could start a new batch of boiled peanuts) - we worked on "Black Indian" and "Come On With Me" which both sound really good already. The object here is to learn the songs from the new album so we can play them and support the release. At the same time, we'll be learning newer material and getting enough material together for at least 90 minutes of performance time. CD copies have gone out to Ed McCurdy of the Blues Rattlers, who's excited about the project, and Mark Janssen, formerly of Plain Jane Automobile and currently gigging with The Orange Blossom Trails. Everyone's aware that nothing's permanent and that we're approaching things with an eye towards scheduling. If one person isn't available, someone else will be called in; that way, no gigs are missed, turned down or otherwise chucked out the window. Rob's obvious selling points are that he's a great bass player, obviously dedicated to the craft and is also a full-time musician as well, so our calendars are already fairly matched.
Concurrently, while I'm knocking out printed music for my dulcimer instruction and some forays into publishing, I'm also continuing to demo out songs, which I'm posting on MacJams.com and have started to host them over at iCompositions as well. I've always made demos for the purpose of helping others to learn them, but now I'm also producing them with an eye towards pitching them to publishers and producers. Which means, I'm putting a lot of work into them, but not exactly with the intention of actually releasing or performing them myself. As Clint Eastwood once murmured, "a man has to know his limitations" and the only ones I have are physical. So limit my songcrafting to what I can personally recreate, when I have a much wider palette available out there?
And that's a thought to muse upon as I retire to the kitchen, snap up a few of them slurpy-good peanuts, and begin preparing the cajun bean soup for tonight's supper.