Hello Beyoncé!

I am late to the game I suppose.  This song has been out since 2011 and nearly 180 million people love it on Youtube but that’s one of the lovely things about this little company of mine is that I’m forever being introduced to new feel good songs.  Today, for a cheery Friday pick me up, I give you “Love on Top.”  I’m nearly done with a string trio arrangement for a couple’s recessional next Month.  It’s SUCH a fantastic choice I must say.

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 Music Updated Repertoire

I was so busy arranging music this summer that I didn’t have a chance to upload a list of our current offerings.  As you can see we have quite a few updates to our Rock, Pop, World Music, Movie Themes and Jazz Sections.  The first section is our offerings for string trio and quartet (2 Violins & Cello or Violins, Viola & Cello).  I did not list the classical repertoire of our string trio and quartet because we can basically perform any classical selection you are looking for.  For a list of suggestions, please contact us directly.  The second section is for our Acoustic Ensembles (Strings in combination with rhythm instrument~ either piano or guitar.)  If you would like access to our entire repertoire, consider a combination ensemble such as string trio with guitar or string quartet with piano!

CLASSICAL QUARTET PLAYING ROCK & POP

  1. All My Life (KC & Jo Jo)
  2. All You Need is Love (Beatles)
  3. Are You Gonna Be My Girl? (Jet)
  4. Augusta (Theme song from PGA Masters)
  5. Back in Black (AC/DC)
  6. Beautiful Day (U2)
  7. Big Me (Foo Fighters)
  8. Bittersweet Symphony (Verve Pipe)
  9. Blitzkrieg Bop (The Ramones)
  10. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)
  11. The Book of Love (Peter Gabriel)
  12. Breathe Me (Sia)
  13. California Dreamin’ (the Mamas and the Papas)
  14. Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You (Frankie Valli)
  15. Carolina on My Mind (James Taylor)
  16. Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)
  17. Clocks (Coldplay)
  18. Con Te Partiro (Time to Say Goodbye) (Pavaratti)
  19. Digital Love (Daft Punk)
  20. Don’t Stop Believing (Journey)
  21. Dust in the Wind (Kansas)
  22. Every Day is Like Sunday (Morrissey)
  23. Everlong (Foo Fighters)
  24. Fake Plastic Trees (Radiohead)
  25. Flashing Lights (Kanye West)
  26. From This Moment (Shania Twain)
  27. Dust in the Wind (Kansas)
  28. Everlong (Foo Fighters)
  29. Every Day is Like Sunday (Morrissey)
  30. Gone Gone Gone (Philip Phillips)
  31. Good Life (Kanye West)
  32. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John)
  33. Gypsy (Fleetwood Mac)
  34. Hallelujah (Leonard Kohn)
  35. Harder Better Faster Stronger (Daft Punk)
  36. Here Comes Your Man (The Pixies)
  37. Here There & Everywhere (Beatles)
  38. Hey Ya (Outkast)
  39. How It Ends (Devotchka)
  40. I Want to Rock & Roll All Night (KISS)
  41. If I Fell (Beatles)
  42. I’ll Stand By You (Carrie Underwood)
  43. In My Life (Beatles)
  44. Just Like Heaven (the Cure)
  45. Just the Way You Are (Bruno Mars)
  46. Karma Chameleon (Culture Club)
  47. Kids (MGMT)
  48. Linus & Lucy (Peanuts)
  49. LIve Forever (Oasis)
  50. Love Song (the Cure)
  51. Love Story (Taylor Swift)
  52. Lovers in Japan (Coldplay)
  53. Marching Bands of Manhattan (Death Cab)
  54. Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters (Elton John)
  55. Moon River (Henry Mancini)
  56. My Girl (Temptations/Michael Jackson)
  57. Nobody Does it Better (Carly Simon)
  58. One More Time (Daft Punk)
  59. One & Only (Adele)
  60. Pretty Flowers (Dolly Parton & Steve Martin)
  61. Rocket Man (Elton John)
  62. Roxanne (the Police)
  63. Say Yes (Elliott Smith)
  64. Sex on Fire (Kings of Leon)
  65. Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) Beyonce
  66. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
  67. Someone Great (LCD Soundsystem)
  68. Something (Beatles)
  69. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  70. Starlight (Muse)
  71. Staralfur (Sigor Ros)
  72. Such Great Heights (the Postal Service)
  73. Sugar We’re Goin’ Down (Fallout Boy)
  74. Sugaree (Grateful Dead)
  75. Sunday Bloody Sunday (U2)
  76. Sweetest Taboo (Sade)
  77. Thank You (Dido)
  78. The Book of Love (Peter Gabriel)
  79. The Rose (Bette Midler)
  80. Theme from Final Fantasy
  81. Time to Pretend (MGMT)
  82. Use Somebody (Kings of Leon)
  83. Viva La Vida (Coldplay)
  84. Watermark (Enya)
  85. Wedding Song (There is Love)
  86. Where the Streets Have No Name (U2)
  87. White Wedding (Billy Idol)
  88. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
  89. World at Large (Modest Mouse)
  90. You Make Lovin’ Fun (Fleetwood Mac)
  91. You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC)
  92. Your Love is King (Sade)
  93. Your Song (Elton John)

WORLD MUSIC, JAZZ, MOVIE THEMES

  1. At Last  (Etta James)
  2. Be Thou My Vision (Irish Hymn)
  3. Bicycle Built for Two
  4. Come What May (Moulan Rouge)
  5. Emma Theme (Emma)
  6. Heliotrope (Joplin)
  7. The Kiss  (Last of the Mohicans)
  8. La Vie En Rose (Edith Piaf)
  9. Let Me Call You Sweetheart
  10. Meant to Be (Timer)
  11. Now We Are Free (Gladiator)
  12. Pavane (Orlando)
  13. She (Knotting Hill)
  14. Shine on Harvest Moon
  15. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  16. Storybook Love (The Princess Bride)
  17. Tango Music: Csardas
  18. Tango Music:  Fandango in D Minor
  19. Tango Music:  Rhumba
  20. Tango Music:  Serenata in G
  21. Tango Music:  “Chromatique” in D Minor
  22. Wedding Processional (The Sound of Music)
  23. You Made Me Love You
  24. Your Song (Moulan Rouge)

****END OF CLASSICAL ENSEMBLE SECTION ****

ACOUSTIC ENSEMBLES PLAYING CLASSIC ROCK

  1. All You Need is Love (Beatles)
  2. And I Love Her (Beatles)
  3. The Book of Love (Peter Gabriel)
  4. Don’t Stop Believing (Journey…Glee)
  5. Here, There & Everywhere (Beatles)
  6. In My Life (Beatles)
  7. Jump Jive & Wail (Big Bad Voodoo Daddies)
  8. Have I Told You Lately
  9. How Sweet it is (James Taylor & Marvin Gaye)
  10. Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear (Elvis)
  11. The Longest Time (Billy Joel)
  12. Love is All Around (The Troggs)–from the movie Love Actually
  13. Moondance  (Van Morrison)
  14. Mustang Sally
  15. My Girl (Jackson Five)
  16. Take a Chance on Me (ABBA)
  17. This Time Tomorrow (the Kinks)
  18. Time After Time (Cindy Lauper)
  19. To Make You Feel My Love (Billy Joel, Garth Brooks, Adelle)
  20. True Companion (Mark Kohn)
  21. Oh Darlin’ (Beatles)
  22. Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll
  23. Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison)
  24. Rock around the Clock
  25. So Happy Together
  26. Stand By Me
  27. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
  28. With a Little Help From My Friends (the Beatles)
  29. Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton)
  30. You Are the Sunshine of My Life (Stevie Wonder)
  31. You’re My Best Friend (Queen)
  32. Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel)

FOLK & ACOUSTIC

  1. 3×5 (John Mayer)
  2. Babylon (David Gray)
  3. Better Together (Jack Johnson)
  4. The Blower’s Daughter (Damien Rice)
  5. Breathe Me (Sia)
  6. Come on Get Higher (Matt Nathanson)
  7. Copperline (James Taylor)
  8. Dance Me to the End of Love (The Civil Wars)
  9. Daughters (John Mayer)
  10. Divine Romance (Phil Wickham)
  11. Everlong (Foo Fighters)
  12. Fields of Gold (Sting)
  13. For Baby For Bobbie (John Denver)
  14. Hey There Delilah (Plain White T’s)
  15. Lullaby (Billy Joel)
  16. More Than Life
  17. Out of the Woods (Nickel Creek)
  18. Walking After You (Foo Fighters)
  19. When You Say Nothing at All (Alison Krauss)
  20. You’re Beautiful (James Blunt)

POP & ROCK

  1. Accidentally in Love (Counting Crows)
  2. Beautiful Day (U2)
  3. Bittersweet Symphony (Verve Pipe)
  4. Brighter than Sunshine (Aqualung—from A Lot Like Love)
  5. Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)
  6. Clocks (Coldplay)
  7. Ice Cream (Sarah Maclachlan)
  8. Life in Technicolor (Coldplay)
  9. Lover Lay Down (Dave Matthews Band)
  10. Love of My Life (Dave Matthews Band/Santana)
  11. Lovers in Japan (Coldplay)
  12. One (U2)
  13. The Scientist (Coldplay)
  14. Up and Away (Dave Matthews Band)
  15. Viva La Vida (Coldplay)
  16. Wonderwall (Oasis & Ryan Adams)

Country

  1. Bless the Broken Road (Rascal Flatts)
  2. Cowboy Take Me Away (Dixie Chicks)
  3. Easy Silence (Dixie Chicks)
  4. I Walk the Line (Johnny Cash)
  5. Love Song (Taylor Swift)
  6. Lullaby (Dixie Chicks)
  7. Making Memories of Us (Keith Urban)

Bluegrass/Celtic/Scottish Fiddle

  1. 1B
  2. After the Battle of Aughrim
  3. Ashokan Farwell (from Ken Burns documentary on Civil War)
  4. The Atholl Highlanders/Johnnie Cope
  5. Banish Misfortune
  6. Be Thou My Vision
  7. Big Country
  8. Blacksmith
  9. Bonaparte Crossing the Rockies
  10. The Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter
  11. Butterfly’s Day Out
  12. Caldedonia
  13. Charlie is My Darling
  14. Da White Wife
  15. Devil’s Dream
  16. The Geese in the Bog/Jig of Slurs
  17. Irish Medley
  18. Lover’s Waltz (from the movie Legends of the Fall)
  19. Midnight on the Water
  20. My Love is Like a Red Red Rose
  21. Red River Valley
  22. Second Time Around
  23. Short Trip Home
  24. Sliding Down
  25. Star of the County Down
  26. Vagabond Waltz
  27. Wedding Jig
  28. Wedding Song

SACRED

  1. 1.     All Creatures of Our God and King
  2. 2.     Amazing Grace
  3. 3.     Ave Maria
  4. 4.     Be Thou My Vision
  5. 5.     Brethren We Have Met to Worship
  6. 6.     Come Thou Fount
  7. 7.     Divine Romance (Phil Wickham)
  8. 8.     For the Beauty of the Earth
  9. 9.     Here I Am Lord
  10. 10.   Here I Am to Worship
  11. 11.   Holy Holy Holy
  12. 12.   Holy is the Lord
  13. 13.   How Can I Repay
  14. 14.   How Deep the Father’s Love For Us
  15. 15.   How Great is Our God
  16. 16.   I Have Loved You
  17. 17.   I Will Be Here
  18. 18.   I’ll Fly Away
  19. 19.   Joyful Joyful
  20. 20.   The Lord’s Prayer
  21. 21.   The Time is Now (Phil Wickham)
  22. 22.   Mass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
  23. 23.   On Eagle’s Wings
  24. 24.   Prayer of St. Francis
  25. 25.   Psalm 128 O Blessed Are Those
  26. 26.   Psalm 145 The Lord is Compassionate
  27. 27.   Servant Song
  28. 28.   You Are Mine
  29. 29.   Your Love is Extravagant

CASABLANCA/FRANK SINATRA/CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

  1. A Kiss to Build a Dream On
  2. All of You
  3. As Time Goes By
  4. At Last
  5. Bei Mir Bist Du Schon
  6. But Beautiful
  7. Cheek to Cheek
  8. Come Fly With Me
  9. Days of Wine and Roses
  10. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
  11. Dream a Little Dream
  12. East of the Sun
  13. Embraceable You
  14. Fascination
  15. Fly Me to the Moon
  16. How High the Moon
  17. I’ve Got the World on a String
  18. If I Were a Bell
  19. In a Sentimental Mood
  20. It Don’t Mean a Thing
  21. It Had to Be You
  22. Moon River
  23. My Baby Just Cares for Me
  24. My Favorite Things
  25. My Funny Valentine
  26. My One and Only Love
  27. My Romance
  28. Night and Day
  29. Night in Tunisia
  30. On the Sunny Side of the Street
  31. One Fine Day
  32. Our Love is Here to Stay
  33. Round Midnight
  34. So This is Love
  35. Some Enchanted Evening
  36. Someday My Prince Will Come
  37. Someone to Watch Over Me
  38. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  39. Summertime
  40. Take Five
  41. The Best is Yet to Come
  42. The Way You Look Tonight
  43. Unforgettable
  44. What a Diff’rence a Day Made
  45. What a Wonderful World
  46. When I Fall In Love
  47. Where or When
  48. You are So Beautiful

ADULT CONTEMPORARY

  1. Angel Eyes (Jim Brickman)
  2. Come Away With Me (Norah Jones)
  3. Don’t Know Why (Norah Jones)
  4. I Will Be Here (Steven Curtis Chapman)
  5. The Love of My Life (Jim Brickman/ Michael W. Smith)
  6. Over the Rainbow
  7. Over the Valley (Pink Martini)
  8. The Prayer (Josh Groban)
  9. Time to Say Goodbye/Con Te Partiro (Andrea Bocelli)
  10. Unchained Melody
  11. Valentine (Martina McBride)
  12. You Raise Me Up (Josh Groban)
  13. Your Song (Elton John)

WORLD/ INTERNATIONAL VIBE/ JAZZ VIOLIN

  1. All Blues (Miles Davis)
  2. Autumn Leaves (Stephane Grapelli)
  3. Bei Mir Bist Du Schon
  4. Besame Mucho
  5. Black Orpheus
  6. Caravan
  7. Chan Chan (Buena Vista Social Club)
  8. Charade
  9. Cinama Paradiso (Ennio Marracone)
  10. Corcovado (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
  11. Girl From Ipanema (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
  12. It Don’t Mean a Thing
  13. Kiss Waltz (Johann Strauss)
  14. La Vie en Rose (Edith Piaf)
  15. Lakme (Flower Duet) (Delibes)
  16. Misty
  17. Moon River
  18. Nature Boy
  19. Night & Day
  20. Nuages
  21. Pavane (Faure)
  22. Pavane (Ravel)
  23. Summertime

MOVIE THEMES

  1. A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes (Cinderella)
  2. All I Ask of You (Phantom of the Opera)
  3. Brighter than Sunshine (A Lot Like Love)
  4. Cavatina (the Dqeer Hunter)
  5. Come What May (Moulin Rouge)
  6. The Eternal Vow (Crouching Dragon Hidden Tiger)
  7. The Falls (The Mission)
  8. The Kiss (from the Last of the Mohicas)
  9. John Dunbar Theme (Dances with Wolves)
  10. The Kiss (Last of the Mohicans)
  11. Kisses and Cake (PS I Love You)
  12. Love is All Around (Love Actually)
  13. Lovers Waltz (Legends of the Fall)
  14. My Heart Will Go On (Titanic)
  15. Sunrise, Sunset (Fiddler on the Roof)
  16. Theme from the Naked Gun (The Naked Gun)
  17. Think of Me (Phantom of the Opera)
  18. When I Fall in Love (Sleepless in Seattle)
  19. When You Wish Upon a Star (Pinocchio)
  20. Your Song (Moulin Rouge)

CLASSICAL

  1. Air on the G String (Bach)
  2. Airioso (Bach)
  3. Appalachian Spring—excerpts (Copeland)
  4. Aria (Handel)
  5. Aria from Xerxes (Handel)
  6. Ave Maria (Bach)
  7. Bach Cello Suite (only ensembles with cello)
  8. Bist du Bei Mir (Bach)
  9. Brandenburg Concertos No 3–First & Third Movements (Bach)
  10. Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin (Wagner)
  11. Canon in D (Pachelbel)
  12. Claire de Lune (Debussy)
  13. Entrance of the Queen of Sheba (Handel
  14. Flower Duet from Lakme (Delibes)
  15. The Four Seasons Spring—Allegros 1 & 3 (Vivaldi)
  16. Hornpipe (Purcell)
  17. Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
  18. Liebestraum (Liszt)
  19. Meditation from Thais
  20. Minuet (Boccherini)
  21. Minuet in G (Beethoven)
  22. Ode to Joy (Beethoven)
  23. Pavane (Faure)
  24. Pavane (Ravel)
  25. Rondeau (Mauret)
  26. Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach)
  27. Theme from Borodin String Quartet
  28. Theme from Jupiter from The Planets (Holst)
  29. Theme from New World Symphony (Dvorak)
  30. Theme from Ravel String Quartet
  31. Traumerie from Kindercenen Op 15 (Schumann)
  32. Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke)
  33. Trumpet Tune (Purcell)
  34. Wachet Auf (Bach)


Classical String Trio and Classical String Quartet Comparison

Effesenden Music is well known for our emphasis on playing music that reflects our brides and grooms own unique style.  Rather than applying a “one size fits all approach,” every single wedding we play has it’s own unique musical plan.  We love arranging popular music for our musicians to perform but we also have great respect for the timeless beauty of traditional wedding pieces such as Canon in D, Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring and more and enjoy presenting authentic, quality renditions of these great Classical works.

This blog post features samples from two weddings we played during the summer of 2011.  On a related note, click the link below if you’d like to see a list of our current songs for classical string trio and quartet.

Effesenden Music Classical Menu

The first set of musical samples are from a wonderful outdoor wedding at Garden Vineyards in June with our string quartet.

Canon in D–Pachelbel

Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring–Bach

Air on the G String–Bach

The second wedding was an indoor ceremony at the beloved Old Church in Southwest Portland, Oregon featuring our string trio.  I especially enjoyed this wedding because there were a number of Romantic period and slightly lesser known Classical works along with some more traditional Baroque.

Barcarole–Offenbach

Theme from Jupiter–Holst

I Love Thee–Grieg

Brandenburg Concerto No 3 (Allegro)–Bach

Many of our brides and grooms who are planning to use strings look for guidance on whether to opt for string trio or quartet.  The difference is that the quartet includes 2 violins, viola and cello whereas the trio is either violin, viola and cello or 2 violins and cello.  The quartet has greater richness and a slightly larger repertoire but the two ensembles are very similar in what they offer.

For comparison, I’ve included a recording of our string trio playing an excerpt from Canon in D.

Canon in D (for string trio)

If you’re like most couples, you’re probably making a lot of decisions like this in the planning—“Option A offers just a little bit more but Option B is really nice and saves a bit on the cost.”  My best advice is to work with an ensemble whose music you can tell is high quality and then choose the length of reservation and ensemble size based on your budget.  Maybe you could get an 8-piece band of amateur string players for the same price as a high quality string quartet but quantity doesn’t mean better!

Classical Ceremony Music Ideas

The “class” in Classical music has at least in part to do with the timeless nature of the style.  The same music that might have serenaded Napoleon or Louis the XIV entering a lush grand ballroom lends equal elegance to a 21st century bride walking down the aisle of a romantic garden setting.  That said, if there is one thing I would recommend to a bride in how to choose her ceremony music it’s that the music has got to be meaningful to her personally! 

There are certain songs that have become traditional selections-such as Canon in D or the Wedding March but brides should not be limited to these… there are so many colors and moods within the Classical genre.  There is so much classical music in fact that it can be overwhelming to know where to look.   The following is a list of processional and recessional ideas broken down by different moods. 

There are hundreds if not thousands of video clips on Youtube with some of the world’s greatest orchestras and performers playing these pieces.  Just copy the title into a Youtube search for an easy way to get familiar with a particular melody. 

What are you walking down the aisle to?  I would love to hear how you are using music to reflect your unique style as a couple!

ETHEREAL, DREAMY PROCESSIONALS
1. Claire de Lune (Debussy)
2. Entr’acte to Act III from Carmen (Bizet)
3. Girl with the Flaxen Hair (Debussy)
4. Meditation from Thais (Massanet)
5. Nocturne from String Quartet No. 2  (Borodin)
6. O Mio Babbino Caro from Gianni Schicchi (Puccini)
7. Pavane Pour une infante defunte (Ravel)
8. Reverie (Debussy)
9. Sheherazade (Theme from Part 3) Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov
10. Sleeping Beauty’s Pavane (Ravel)
11. The Swan from Carnival of the Animals (Saint-Saens)
12. Theme from New World Symphony 2nd Movement (Dvorak)
13. Theme from Polovetzian Dance from Prince Igor (Borodin)
14. Symphony No 5 2nd Movement theme (Tchaikovsky)
15. Theme from Lakme (Flower Duet) (Delibes)
16. Theme from Romeo & Juliet Ballet (Tchaikovsky)

TRADITIONAL PROCESSIONALS
(in order of popularity)
1. Canon in D “Pachelbel’s Canon” (Pachelbel)
2. Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin “Here Comes the Bride” (Wagner)
3. Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke)
4. Spring from the Four Seasons—Allegro 1 (Vivaldi)
5. Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
6. Trumpet Tune (Purcell)
7. Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach)
8. Wachet Auf (Bach)

STATELY ELEGANT PROCESSIONAL
1. Air from Water Music (Handel)
2. Air on the G String (Bach)
3. Airioso (Bach)
4. Appalachian Spring “Simple Gifts” Theme (Copland)
5. Andante Cantabile from String Quartet No. 1 Op 11 (Tchaikovsky)
6. Ave Verum Corpus (Mozart)
7. Bist Du Bei Mir (Bach)
8. Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin “Here Comes the Bride” (Wagner)
9. Canon in D (Pachelbel)
10. Evening Prayer from Hansel and Gretel (Umperdinck)
11. Finlandia Theme (Sibelius)
12. Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
13. Jupiter Choral Theme from The Planets (Holst)
14. Lascia Chio PIanga from Rinaldo (Handel)
15. Pictures at an Exhibition Promenade (Musorgsky)
16. Trumpet Tune (Purcell)
17. Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke)

RECESSIONALS
1. 1812 Overture (Tchaikovsky)
2. Brandenburg Concerto No 3 Mvmt 1 (Bach)
3. Gloria in Excelsis Deo (Vivaldi)
4. Hallelujah Chorus (Handel)
5. Hornpipe from Water Music (Handel)
6. Hopak (Mussorgsky)
7. Kiss Waltz (Strauss)
8. March from the Nutcracker (Tchaikovsky)
9. Minuet (Boccherini)
10. Ode to Joy (Beethoven)
11. Peter and the Wolf Opening Theme (Prokofiev)
12. Spring from the Four Seasons—Allegro movement 1 (Vivaldi)
13. Spring from the Four Seasons—Allegro movement 3 (Vivaldi)
14. Sonata for Violin and Piano 4th Movement Theme (Franck)
15. Wedding March from Midsummer Night’s Dream (Mendelssohn)

Strings for Your Recording Project!

Why?
#1.  Just step away from that synthesizer… I’m saying this because I care!  Everything you stand for as a socially conscious, artistically sensitive singer songwriter is about to be compromised if you use fake strings.  They WILL be able to tell.

#2.  Using a musician with studio experience will save you money in the long run.  Time IS money and you are paying for it by the hour with your engineer and possibly your studio rental.  It’s a lot harder to “fix” problems with a live instrument than with midi and because of the way string players bow, you just need someone who can give you a good clean take—fast, pristine, in tune and artistic.

This is What We Like to See! Effesenden records

#3.   Go local!  You’re lovingly tending every step of this process.  Do you really want to have your string parts traveling through cyberspace from some dude in Nashville?  No you don’t!  You want to be there to tell that fiddler the story of your song and help her convey the message and if you need to make changes, you want someone who can accommodate you.

What?

In my mind, string sessions are either about a solo line, creating a string section sound or some combination of the two.  For solos, typically I come up with my own after you give me a general idea of what you’re looking for.  Having a scratch mp3 ahead of time that I can play around with at home will save time but I’m also happy to improvise.

For string section sounds, depending on your needs and your budget, I can either be multi-tracked to create the sound of an ensemble or better yet, I can assemble an additional violin, viola and cello to record together for the most rich, authentic sound option.

How?

In other words, is it really, really expensive?  I can work with you to find the best way to get the sound you want with the budget you have.

Recording for Alesana Summer 2009

 

Experience

I’ve worked on recording projects ranging from Sony ATV studios in Nashville to home studio setups.  Regardless of the level of bling in the studio, it is definitely important to have an engineer who knows how to record strings.  Tone is key and violins can really get pretty nasty if not handled properly.  Don’t be disheartened though—most engineers are going to love to use their chops and set that microphone up just right!

I can play both fiddle and violin (they are the same instrument, it’s just how you play them.)  A frequent scenario is to have me lay down string pads for certain sections of a song and then do a solo fiddle section at some other point.

I can also arrange strings parts so if you are looking for more of a string section sound, you definitely don’t need to worry about finding someone else to hire to write parts.  If you have an idea, but you’re not the nerdy musical notating kind of artist, you can even sing me your concept and I’ll write it out into string player language.

Some of the folks I’ve recorded for over the years:

Alesana
Adam Sweeney
Amy Seeley
Bethany Cibolski
Bryan Clark
Drew Grow
Five O’Clock People
George Fox University Chapel Band
Jeff Johnson
Jillyn Chang
Katie Harman
Kelly Jones
Laura Gibson
Laura Van Horn
Lori Willcuts
Mike Honholz
Nate Macy
Parkslope Church-Brooklyn
Reece Marshburne
Seth Martin
Sherri Youngward
Tasha Miller

I’ve been doing session work for almost 15 years.  I’m happy to send you additional samples and references too.  Contact me through my website at www.effesenden.com!

 

I Heart the Pacific Northwest…Weddings!

I am a native Oregonian. So native that my grandparents lived on a Century Farm in the Willamette Valley. Before that, some of my grandmother’s relatives came over on a covered wagon! There were roughly 300 guests at my own wedding because how could I not invite the community who nurtured me and helped me be the person I am today?

Whether you are a native Oregonian planning your hometown wedding or you’ve been drawn to our beautiful state by the mountains, the ocean, the coffee and the wine, you should know that there is one troupe of musicians who will fearlessly travel to just about anywhere to make the audio match the visual: check out our video as proof!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IpEm4W2Fzo]

Getting the Best Sound

Sound considerations are often overlooked in weddings and I can completely understand why—who wants to think about speakers and wattage when there are so many other..prettier and tastier things to plan.  Wedding magazines typically don’t talk about this part of the wedding planning because it doesn’t sell dresses and jewelry but unless you’re having a mime themed wedding, please consider the following: 

1.  Your older guests—especially people like your grandparents—really want to hear you say your vows.  They care about this kind of stuff!  Amplifying your officiant is going to allow these older loved ones to enjoy every moment of the day.

2.  Choose the right music for the setting.  Many of the advise columns will tell you to have a smaller ensemble so that you can save money….but if you choose violin and cello and you have 300 guests in an outdoor space, are you really getting your money’s worth when 150 of them will not be able to hear a note?  Either go with a larger ensemble or choose an option with amplification—it’s really easy to amplify a violin and guitar for 300 guests…and worth it!

3.  Live music adds SO much energy to a cocktail hour or dinner but only if it can be heard.  We’re not talking concert volume levels but enough that it provides a great backdrop.  The musicians should be positioned in a logical spot.  While it’s nice to not have to get up and reset our instruments and it does lose a little bit of time, having live music WAAAAY off in the distance is pointless.  I usually recommend that the musicians are in some proximity to the bar but not in a location that will block foot traffic.  People can enjoy the music while they’re waiting for their drinks and it’s also a convenient location because there is typically access to power near the bar so electrical chords can be out of the way.  Another clever location is against a backdrop like a wall or patio.  The sound will reflect back into the crowd that way rather than being lost in space.

The absolute best sound is going to come from bringing in a professional sound technician.  It’s not as pricey as you might think and in my opinion, worth every penny!  We have connections with great technicians starting in the mid $300s.  Costs vary depending on whether the technician is working with gear provided by the venue and or the musicians or if he/she is bringing in state of the art sound gear.  Some cool bonuses with this are an audio recording of the ceremony and venue tailored sound…these guys make a living analyzing a space and choosing the appropriate gear—saving you any worry about wattage and allowing you to totally focus on that dress! 

Even without the “techy” in tow, we can help you have great sound at your wedding.  We have several excellent sound components we can use ranging from little tiny speakers that add just a little extra “umph,” to full sound with the capacity to rent chordless microphones and lapel microphones.  We are also team players when it comes to weddings.  If you are using a DJ for the latter part of your wedding, we are happy to communicate with your other vendors about these things.  Choosing a DJ who is a team player as well is going to really make a difference. 

If your venue doesn’t have access to electricity—beaches and public parks often don’t, all is not lost.  Your choice reflects some added style of the ambiance and even if the officiant can’t be heard, the sound of crashing waves might express what you want guests to experience at your wedding anyway!  From the live music end of things, choosing either a larger ensemble like string trio or quartet or a duo such as violin and guitar that can stand very close to the guests will help bring all of the components together.

So there you have it…. my 10 cents on sound.  I’m always thinking about these kinds of things because I really want your special day to sound as well as look amazing!