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Cello Man Dreams

This was my first completed album. Two of the pieces, “What If I Fell Into A Wishing Well” and “Reunion of Three Sisters” were created a few years before the recording of this collection. All of the rest were based on improvisations that occurred in Lithia Park, or were prompted by commissioned by one particular benefactor who showed up in my life around that time. This album is largely meditative and very relaxing. 

“Reunion of Three Sisters” features four cellos and was intended to evoke the return of an older sister to two of her younger sisters after an absence. There is a train ride home, a poignant reunion, the living through of some difficult memories, and ultimately celebration of the love these three sisters share. This piece was commissioned by Rise Karns to serve as music for a dance she was creating as part of her Masters in Choreography. The piece was used as part of the repertory of the University of Iowa Dance Company when they showcased their work around the state, in the 1990's. 

“Unfolding” is a moody piece. It takes advantage of some beautiful sounds from the Spectrasonics Omnisphere library, and features soaring cello over the top of these sounds.

“Park Play” is a piece I still perform regularly. This piece came through in the early days when Iw as playing in the Park. I had been playing for a while and more and more people were gathering. A group of teenagers came to sit and listen, and with that I felt I had to burst out with something new. “Park Play” was the result. It is a completely solo piece.

“Gift Waltz” was commissioned by a benefactor at the time, who wanted to give a gift to a cople of friends who were getting married after a long courtship. I play this piece solo in the Park, but in this recording you have four cellos, filling out harmonies around the central theme. I find this to be one of the most delightful pieces I have ever created.

In “Artistry and Survival”, you can hear me at the beginning grumbling about artistry and survival.  The main track was recorded at Ashland Yoga Center, with several parts being added later. This piece again was originally created at the behest of my benefactor, as a touchstone for her. I used to play it in the Park quite a bit. May come back to it. It has shades of something I would think of as Rachmaninoff., or some kind of tortured romantic like that.

“What If I Fell Into A Wishing Well” came to me around 1987. I had sold the only cello I had a couple of years earlier. I think that period may have been the only time in about 30 years that I was without a cello. In that year, I was running a meditation center in Cambridge, MA. I went and rented a cello from a local string shop. For a student-level instrument, it actually had a pretty decent sound. There were celebrations we hosted from time to time at the Center, and Iw anted to be able to share some music. When I first got the cello, this piece came pouring out. I have played it for many years, and it has evolved somewhat over that time. It features a style of bowed arpeggios that allows the harmonic structure underneath the melody to be heard and it also allows me to play with the harmonics of the chords as I play the piece. As a result, this piece is never the same, and always a pleasure, since it evokes very much what the title says – the question of what would happen, if I fell, into a wishing well.

“Cloudburst” is another piece that was spontaneously created in the Park. There were times when I could feel the tension that builds before a rain. I could tell it was going to rain, but the drops had not yet started falling. This music came out of that feeling. If you listen to my CD, “When Your Life Becomes Poetry”, you will hear that “Zero Circle”, a poem from Rumi, has been built around this piece. It seemed like just the right music for that poem.

The last piece on this CD is “Cello Man Dreams”, the title track. This was created out of whole cloth when I played a progression of chords on a sound called “Symphony of Pulsing Harmonia”. This is one of the great things about the sound library of Omnisphere. The sounds are so evocative, you can create whole pieces out of them. What came out of the composition of this piece is something that might be fairly difficult to create live. I'd certainly like to try some time. It is very majestic, sweeping in all of the feelings I had for being able to create my first work to offer to the world in those days.

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