Skagit Impressions Seven – Lindsey Bird

“Lindsey Bird” is a piece I wrote for my friend Lindsey Bowen. When I am back home between gigs, we spend many hours by the fire at night talking about art, theater, dreams and life. This song is an expression of what it feels like to me during those talks, as if I were watching our conversations from above.

I composed the song as part of my capstone project for my Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with Berklee College of Music. I did write the melody specifically for violin and the melody incorporates many jumps that I thought would be very comfortable for violin.

At the time I was on tour in Europe as music director for the Cirque du Soleil show Varekai and was running out of time to schedule a recording session with our violin player, David Piché. David suggested I send him the track and he just record over it on his own but I hadn’t created a backing track yet, only the sheet music. Under the time crunch to finish the song for the class, I sent David the sheet music and a click track. Because I had intended to record with him in person to explain the piece, there were no dynamic markings on the score.

I was pretty sure it wouldn’t work out to have him record to just a click with no input from me on the composition. I love it when I’m wrong (and I often am!). I was so amazed that his recording was exactly in the pocket of what I was looking for. David’s sense of phrasing and dynamics were spot on and effortless.

What did I learn from this? Well, I did indeed spend quite a bit of time perfecting the notes and timing of the melody, even though the melody is fairly simple. So I’d like to think that in this case my composition was well developed melodically so that the interpretation was heir-apparent. Or maybe I just got lucky to have such a world class violinist play on my piece.

Skagit Impressions Seven from the “Conrad Askland and Gary Brown Project” – A combination of local Skagit County, WA photography and music to express the love we have for the natural beauty of our surrounding nature and farmlands. Photography by Gary Brown. Song “Lindsey Bird” composed by Conrad Askland (ASCAP) 2017. Violin by David Piché.

Dedicated to Lindsey Bowen.

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