Thoughts on Reviews

Live music is hard to quantify because so much of it has to do with the listener’s personal taste. Reviews are certainly helpful in many genres and I rely heavily on review sites when I’m shopping for things like hotels or when I’m in a new city and I want to find the best coffee. For Effesenden though, lately I’ve been less inclined to promote our ensembles on sites that are driven heavily by reviews.

Every time I work on the music for someone’s wedding, I love getting to know a little about them and their musical styles and I really want the music to be special for them. Feedback is great but when I’m reaching out over email to couples who are getting spun up on life as newlyweds…maybe knee deep in thank you cards and HOPEFULLY traveling the world together for a year before they return to “civilization” I don’t love the process of sending those pesky “Will you please review me” emails. I’d rather just let people express their thoughts as they see fit. So .. . that’s why you won’t find a lot of review sites with super recent reviews for our work at this time.

In the past, we’ve been active in these areas so if you want to leave us a review or read what some of our past clients have to say, please check out the following links:

A couple of my favorite wedding blogs are Style Me Pretty and JuneBug Weddings– several weddings we have performed at have been featured on the pages of these totally amazing wedding inspiration blogs. If for no other reason, go there and have fun looking!

A while back, I ran into one of the first brides I ever worked for. I was at the Portland Children’s Museum of all places. She caught me as we were chasing our respective kids through the maze of activity and expressed how much she had loved her wedding music– all these years later it was still with her. THAT was the best review I could have gotten, knowing that it mattered to someone all these years later.

2017

In music as with any field, you have your ups and downs… and then sometimes there are just those experiences that leave you totally inspired and reinvigorated. This tour was one such adventure for me.

I am a little late to cheer in the new year… after all we just celebrated Valentine’s Day!  An IMPORTANT one for folks in the wedding industry!  Did you have a good holiday?

In December I had the privilege of touring with the Celtic Trio for the 8th consecutive season.  This year we were joined by the talented Seattle based multi-instrumentalist, Eric Miller.

In music as with any field, you have your ups and downs… and then sometimes there are just those experiences that leave you totally inspired and reinvigorated.  This tour was one such adventure for me.

This crew is working on a new album and I just got back from Camano Island where I spent two days working on string parts to blend with flutes, whistles, vocals, all kinds of keyboard goodness and more.  It was a TRUE blessing as it is any time I get to create music with good people who are passionate about their craft.

Thanks for your continued interest in my musical journey and I hope that you find something here of interest whether it is inspiration for your wedding music or encouragement to another violinist looking for ways to channel creative energy.

Welcome and I hope to keep in touch a little better this year.

Celtic Trio 2017 Corvallis Concert

 

2016 Wedding Booking Special

Acoustic Christmas Ensemble

We’re Feeling Merry and Bright!

The holidays are here and you’re crossing to-dos off that wedding planning list!

In the spirit of celebration and planning, from Wednesday November 23rd through Wednesday, December 30th, 2015 mention this post to receive an $85 discount on 2016 wedding bookings.

Check out our music samples here on the website or contact us directly to learn more!

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!

Prelude on the Mountain

Yesterday was a cooker but we had a great time playing at the Resort at the Mountain.  This beautiful couple gave us a lot of liberty in our musical selections, we knew that the general vibe they wanted was classical music for prelude and pop and bluegrass for the cocktail hour.  I opted to enlist our string trio with guitar and was greatly aided by the musical talents of Erin Green (viola), Dylan Rieck (cello) and Nate Macy (guitar).

This type of ensemble is probably my favorite to write for because of the wide range of styles it can accommodate. I love to write string harmonies and it’s great working with Erin and Dylan because they can also improvise and add their own touches to the music. BTW, Dylan is new to the Pacific Northwest–we just shipped him in from that great musical mecca Austin!  He’s a lovely player and wonderful person.  And you should check out his site:  www.dylanrieck.com.

 

 

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.

A Little Pop Strings For You Today

There’s such a trend now for couples to choose contemporary music for their wedding in addition to or instead of the more traditional classical pieces.  Because there are few things I love more than creating new musical arrangements, it’s a trend I hope stays around!

Today I wanted to share some video from a wedding we performed for at Portland’s Lan Su Chinese Gardens (which by the way is an incredible place to visit if you are exploring our fine city.)

This video features our Acoustic Trio, comprised of Violin, Guitar & Cello playing ithe Guns N’ Roses tune Sweet Child of Mine.

Enjoy!

Ceremony Ideas for Strings (Part II)

 

Today we’re digging deeper into ideas for wedding ceremony music repertoire. Songs sampled and explored include A Thousand Years by Christina Perri, The Kiss from the movie Last of the Mohicans and Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven. Movie themes and popular music can make wonderful choices if you’re looking for something a little less on the traditional side.

Effesenden featured on the Champagne Wedding and Event Blog

I’m so excited to share that one of my favorite wedding coordination teams has chosen to feature our company on their blog today.  You can check out the post here:

http://www.champagnenw.com/blog/comments/portland-oregon-wedding-live-music-effesenden-music/

We’ve had the privilege of working with Champagne on a number of events over the past 5 years including everything from gorgeous rustic ceremonies out in the Columbia River Gorge to a fabulous elopement in the woods where a wild squirrel made off with one of the macaroons meant for the bride and groom to enjoy. They’re really wonderful at adding and executing little touches of style like hanging books at the reception of a couple who loved to read or a beautiful circle of candles inside which a lovely couple shared an intimate first dance.  Basically these people actually can pull off those amazing concepts you see on Pinterest… in fact, they’re probably one of the teams generating some serious nuptial style inspiration.

Oh… and those cute red heels on the website, well I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen these ladies pull of magic in shoes I would have a hard time limping across the street in.

Thank you Champagne for allowing us to partner with you in helping create memorable and beautiful wedding celebrations!

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.

Effesenden String Quartet in Hawaii Featured in Martha Stewart Weddings!

Photo by Rachel Thurston (www.rachelthurston.com)

Effesenden string players travel all over the West Coast (and beyond!) to perform for weddings, concerts and events.  Last summer our string quartet traveled to Hawaii to perform for a breathtaking wedding at the Haiku Mill on the island of Maui.  We were thrilled to learn that the wedding is currently featured on Martha Stewart Weddings.  

The music we prepared was a fun mix of contemporary and classical music.  We wrote six new arrangements of songs meaningful to Caitlin & Loren ranging from AC/DC to Bach along with selections from our current repertoire.  Because we love to empower our brides and grooms to have music that is meaningful to them, we include special requests in every reservation.  This means that we also have an ever expanding repertoire list~ future couples benefit from the musical selections of our previous clients.  You can check out our complete current repertoire here.

You might think that the idea of a string quartet traveling to perform for a wedding is a bit unusual but musicians travel all the time to perform, audition and attend festivals.  Since so few other wedding ensembles focus on customized music the way we do, our music is in demand beyond the confines of our Pacific Northwest home.

We’ll leave you today with a live recording from Caitlin & Loren’s wedding: I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night by KISS.  This was performed during the couple’s chic cocktail hour.  We were sheltered from the tropical rains that happened to show up that day by a HUGE mango tree.