Effesenden String Trio in Action Performing in California Wine Country

This past weekend we had the privilege of performing for a gorgeous wedding in Calistoga, CA. We put together this little trailer to give a visual on the trio and what goes into preparing to play. I recorded audio of our music as well and will share that soon.

Effesenden Acoustic Trio Plays Hoyt Arboretum Ceremony: Junebug Weddings Takes Note

Okay.  I kind of couldn’t believe it when there, in my inbox yesterday, sat a message saying “Effesenden Music has been published on Junebug Weddings!”  I’m forever marveling at the beauty and creativity of the weddings we are privileged to perform for but it’s something extra special when the national wedding community takes notice as was the case when Junebug Weddings did a spot on this gorgeous ceremony at Hoyt Arboretum in July.

I loved this wedding because as a true Oregonian, all things outdoors and tree related are close to my heart… and then I have this alter ego as a professional classically trained violinist so when the two combine:  playing beautiful acoustic music in a gorgeous Pacific Northwest Forest for people who obviously dig the outdoors… well, I’m a lucky lady.

I have to add, that this photo that Aaron Courter took has got to be the most awesome bridal party shot ever taken.  Love it!

Our playlist for the day included a lot of Americana music in combination with some classic recognizable numbers by Elton John, Sting and the Beatles.  Their processional choice:  James Taylor’s Copperline was one of my favorite songs to arrange this summer.  I wish I could put a link here to our rendition but we were not able to obtain copyright permission to stream this particular song… so I’ll give you a youtube video of THE MAN himself performing it:

Our ensemble consisted of Violin, Cello and Acoustic Guitar.  One cool thing is that we actually did not use any amplification and the sound still carried beautifully.  I always want the sound to be its best but sometimes it’s unfortunate when one is playing in such an organic, natural setting to then have to add chords and cables of the sound system.  For a wedding the size of this one… less than 100 guests, it was just perfect.  I’ll be posting some of our recording from the day soon. . .so be sure and check the Listen page on our website if you want to explore the live recordings from our recent weddings.

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!