July 23rdwas a special wedding for Effesenden Music not only because the music was enjoyable to play. It was also the first outdoor wedding of 2011 that did not involve substantial weather related contingency plans ranging from tents to entire ceremonies being moved to shelter. As an avid backpacker this violinist tries to take it with humor when mother nature throws a curve ball like she did in the beginning of the summer… but one generally does prefer it when recreational outdoor survival skills do not have to be implemented in four inch heals.
Set on the veranda of a Tuscan themed home overlooking a vineyard, our Acoustic Trio included guitarist Nate Macy, upright bassist Nolan Staples and myself on violin. The textures, energy and versatility of this trio is a fitting soundtrack for the color and topography of a vineyard landscape. There is such a fusion of elegance and earthiness at a winery and I believe that the music should reflect that.
(Other Acoustic options Effesenden Music offers include cello, keyboard, 2nd fiddle, mandolin and percussion.)
The first live recording is our arrangement of “Simple Gifts” from the beautiful Classical American Ballet Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copeland. This piece is a lovely crossover between Classical and Americana styles and is personally significant for me as an artist as it really draws together my own musical influences.
Before the ceremony as guests mingled sipping white wine and lemonade, the musical mood was a relaxing mix of classical with slower bluegrass ballads. Ceremony selections were mostly Classical with an Americana tinge. After the ceremony it was time to liven things up with fast Irish, Bluegrass and Old World Jazz. The groom’s two-year old nephew Jack seemed to be a big fan, cheering on after anything with a pulsing beat such as this next sample, Wedding Jig– actually a medley of Celtic fiddle tunes that the bride’s parents fell in love with while on a trip to Ireland. This joyful medley will definitely be staying in Effesenden’s playlist.
The second recording is an original fiddle piece I wrote this winter with the working title “Tokyo.” It’s a lot of fun to play and is part of a larger project I have in the works… but that is a story for another blog entry.
The third recording is of one of the first Bluegrass fiddle tunes I learned to play—I love the quirky title and there are many memories attached—including an incident at the Chicago Hyatt when we did not realize that the jam session we were holding in our hotel room was not quite what our neighbor had in mind for his afternoon.
Basically, with Bonaparte, I like to start fast and repeat getting faster and faster until we sort of collapse from exhaustion. Aside from that irritated hotel guest back in Chicago, people always seem to love hearing this song!
This final piece is that beloved jazz standard Summertime: a really fun song that can be done so many different ways but always great ambient music… kind of suave and quite suitable for the cocktail hour vibe.
This was definitely a wonderful wedding to contribute to and many congratulations to Megan and Sam!