May 20th Acoustic Concert with Wendy Goodwin & Friends

Effesenden Musicians Perform for Acoustic Christmas

WHEN:  Sunday, May 20th, 2012  6:00 p.m.

WHERE:  West Chehalem Friends Church
16700 Northeast North Valley Road  Newberg, OR 97132

WHAT:  An Acoustic Evening with Wendy Goodwin & Friends
This concert is presented as a benefit for the West Chehalem Friends Church camp scholarship program.  The concert is free and family friendly.  Reception with refreshments will follow the concert.

WHO:
Wendy Goodwin—Violin/Vocals
Aaron Pruitt—Piano/Vocals
Nate Macy—Guitar/Vocals
Jacob Jolliff—Mandolin
Nolan Staples—Bass
James “Jimmy” Watson—Percussion

I am looking forward to this concert!  While NOT a CD release, we WILL be performing all of the songs from my forthcoming CD along with covers by Peter Gabriel, super old hymns re-imagined by our guitarist Nate Macy—as part of his own upcoming CD release, and more.  The concert is free and totally family friendly—that is if your kids like upbeat, Celtic influenced music and lots of interesting instruments to look at followed by a reception with refreshments and plenty of room to run around.

I’m hoping that the gorgeous clover fields surrounding this country church will be in bloom.  If you’ve been out on North Valley Road in the late spring, you know what I’m talking about. . . but whether the bees and my calendar have it all lined up or not, I can promise a wonderful evening of music.  Please join us.  There’s even a CHANCE that my CD will be ready to go…but I can’t promise.

You can also help a really great cause while at this concert by making a donation to support the church’s camp scholarship fund.  I know that for me, attending camps like Tilikum Day Camp and Twin Rocks built lasting wonderful memories—For any of you out there around the same time as me, I have to say that my daughter’s favorite bedtime songs are now the Skunk Song and the Shark Song (with hand motions of course!)  The concert is free so you can come even if you don’t have the funds to send people to camp.  See you there!

Hymns in the Mix with Acoustic Violin and Guitar

I really do love learning so much new music.  In the past 9 years, I have arranged and played almost every style of music from Catholic masses to Kanye West to Old Crow Medicine Show!  Sometimes though it’s lovely to return to one’s roots.

Our July 31st bride and groom chose a violin and guitar duo and requested a number of hymns in the mix with other styles of music including Classical and Classic Rock.  Since my public playing of the violin really began as a child playing hymns in a small country church, the opportunity to revisit sacred music was so special.  Even better, I was joined again by guitarist Nate Macy who I began playing music with almost 15 years ago while we were in college.

Jordan and Janae’s ceremony was held at a venue that was new to me—the Riverview Restaurant’s Waterfall Estate.  The weather was perfect and our setup under the gazebo for ceremony and cocktail hour offered just enough protection from the breeze and sun.  After the cocktail hour, the guests moved inside for the dinner and reception.  Nate and I continued to play for another hour inside and then spent the rest of the evening facilitating the couple’s i-pod playlist on our sound system.

This was just a gorgeous wedding—the bride and groom are obviously well loved by their family and friends and there were a number of couples in the room approaching their 50th wedding anniversary!

Hope you enjoy listening to a few of the songs we played—please pardon some rumbling wind and the crows “singing” in the background toward the end of Amazing Grace.  Too bad it couldn’t have been a bird with a slightly more elegant voice!  I guess at least this way you won’t question whether this is really recorded live.

Come Thou Fount

Servant Song

Amazing Grace & Midnight

July 23rd Acoustic Irish Vineyard Wedding

Effesenden Acoustic Trio 
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.

Appalachian Spring Theme

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.

Wedding Jig

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.

Tokyo

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.

Bonaparte Crossing the Rockies

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.

Summertime

This was definitely a wonderful wedding to contribute to and many congratulations to Megan and Sam!

Heavy Metal and Doulas

The work week of a certain violinist began and ended at polar extremes!

Monday:  6 hour studio recording session with my quartet for the heavy metal band Alesana’s forthcoming release. . . later that evening a meeting with a really cool bride about her upcoming August wedding for which I’ll be arranging some Keane and Adelle tunes for string quartet.

Friday:  Jazz violin and vocals with guitar and bass by Nate Macy & Nolan Staples for the Mama Baby Haiti charity event aboard the Portland Spirit:  a room filled with midwives, doulas and those who love them gathered together to support the efforts to provide birthing services and pediatric care to mothers and children in Haiti.

For myself and many of my friends who make music for a living, there is rarely a “normal” week… and if there is, we often find ourselves wondering if we’re doing something wrong!  In all of the hubbub of going and coming, I’m trying to learn to just take each moment as it comes and invest fully–even if tomorrow may find me playing a totally different style in a different place with different shoes!

Ceremony in the sky: Hotel Elliott

The Hotel Elliott is an amazing place!  A boutique hotel that features early 20th Century elegance combined with contemporary amenities—from cedar-lined closets to heated stone floors in each bath—yes, HEATED stone floors people… glory!  But before I digress too much, this is a wedding blog so I’ll get back to the music!  On the rooftop of this 5-story building is where the action takes place.  Imagine getting married with 360 degrees of beautiful scenery surrounding you—not least of which is the majestic Astoria-Megler bridge.

HotelElliottViolin     Nate&DaveHotelElliott

Weddings at Hotel Elliott are so quintessentially Oregon:  breathtaking outdoor scenery against stylish and unique architecture.  The glass panels prevent guests from feeling like they’re in a wind tunnel—this is helpful of course for us musical folks’ sheet music too!  Effesenden Music has performed as a duo and as a trio on the rooftop of Hotel Elliott.  The acoustic ensembles fit the best in my opinion.  We’ve typically provided additional music for receptions as well—sometimes adding additional instruments and vocals.

The photos above are from the August, 2009 wedding of Ashley & Bobby McWhirter.  Ashley was really great to work with—and she and Bobby seemed so happy on their special day.  The McWhirters are getting to enjoy reliving the memories too since their wedding was recently written about in the Daily Astorian.  You can check out photos and read the full article here.

Regarding Effesenden Music, pleased bride Ashley says: 

“To this day, I am still hearing compliments from our wedding guests on your music!…Thank you again for everything and I am so glad you were able to come to Astoria!”
—Ashley McWhirter.

Thanks for having us Ashley & Bobby!  We always love playing in Astoria!

The Tradition Returns: Acoustic Christmas is Coming!

0812-Wendy-1078

Back for it’s sixth season, we are delighted to present three concerts this year!

DATES
Wednesday, December 2nd:  7:00 PM  Newberg Friends Church
307 South College Street  Newberg, OR 97132
503.538.8381

Thursday, December 17th:  7:00 PM  Sydney’s Cafe with guest artist Dave Iula
NW 15th & Thurman Portland, OR 97209 503.241.4313
www.sydneysportland.com

Tuesday, December 22nd:  Holladay Park Retirement Community
Portland, Oregon (semi-private event) 
If you are interested in attending, please call 503.860.7688

LISTEN
For your enjoyment, here is a live recording of Midnight on the Water from 2007.  Grab yourself a cup of cocoa (with marshmallows please) and enjoy!

Midnight on the Water Live