I recently had the pleasure of learning how to arrange music for a bassoon trio. That’s not something I ever really thought I’d say! My good friend Maia Hamann teaches bassoon at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, MN. She formed a trio with two of her students and wanted to play an open mic night at a local coffeeshop with them. I had just arranged a quick piece from the Jem & The Holograms theme song for one of her other groups, the Twin Cities Trio. I went ahead and rearranged that for three bassoons. I asked if Maia or her students had any suggestions for other songs. I arranged a few more pieces that they suggested as well as rearranging my first Twin Cities Trio piece, Super Mario Bros. Suite. I then got the opportunity to sit in on a rehearsal with them so I could get their feedback and change whatever they wanted. After all, they’re the ones delivering this music to the audience, not me. They should get as much input about what’s in the arrangement as anybody. From start to finish, it was really a rewarding experience for me. I think they had fun performing at the coffee shop too.
Here’s the playlist with the full set by The Local Bocals from their only performance, July 13, 2018. Have a listen and enjoy! What would you like me to arrange for your bassoon trio?
One of my earliest musical memories is hearing my mom listen to Carole King’s “Tapestry” on 8-track. She had it on almost everyday it seems like. I loved hearing that album. I knew that she had written some of my favorite Monkees songs too, so I’ve always had a soft spot for her music. Tapestry wasn’t just background noise, it was a soundtrack for my mom. I know it still is because she just recently asked me about it since she temporarily couldn’t find her copy of the CD (I don’t think she has an 8-track player anymore).
From The Monkees to The Gilmore Girls, every time I hear anything by Carole I think of my mom. And I also hear a lot of her influence in my own music. I feel like I learned a great deal about how to craft a good melody, how to make things sound beautiful and sensitive when needed, and also how to appreciate the beauty in other music more. And because of those skills that I feel like I have as a songwriter, that has helped shape my personality and is a big part of who I am today. It’s one thing to be inspired by the music itself but it’s a completely different thing, on a completely different level, when you can get inspired by someone else’s love of music.
Mom, for your birthday this year I wanted to record a version of the title track as a thank you. It’s the only thing I could think of to get you this year that you didn’t already have. I hope you like it. And I hope you know that I couldn’t ever have asked for a better mother. I hope this is your best birthday yet. I love you!
(I know it’s not a copy of Tapestry, but it’s still a nice picture ok?)