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In addition to providing world class ensembles for events, Changing Leaf Music proudly publishes original music and arrangements from violinist James Anderson.
New Music for a New Age ...
When I was growing up, I loved playing music in all styles - I wanted to play old time fiddle tunes alongside my Mozart concerti. I wanted to play bebop jazz solos next to my Bach partitas. Tangos along with my Tchaikovsky. Each style of music, to me, was equal - one was never more important, or better, than the other.
Most string players spend most of their formative years in orchestras. As much as I loved playing all these other styles of music, I never got the chance to play them in orchestra - where I did most of my playing. I had to learn tunes by ear in the practice room, tediously replaying CD recordings (remember those?) and picking out licks from Mark O'Connor and Darol Anger. At night, I would sneak out to jazz clubs to try out the latest Wayne Shorter melody I'd learned (and to make some extra cash). Orchestra, however, was reserved for "the classics" - we wouldn't dare sully our concert hall with fiddle music or jazz. Except Gershwin. He's acceptable. Or the inevitable pops concert, where the hardcore violinists would roll their eyes while we played terrible arrangements of hoedowns or pop tunes and imagine themselves playing Bach. Again.
Then something happened. All of a sudden, fiddling and jazz violin and Irish music became ... ok. Now you can go to a bona fide university and get a degree in bluegrass fiddling. Orchestras and schools are finally - finally - programming other styles of music. Yet, there aren't many pieces written by players who understand both classical ensembles and these various styles. So I wrote some.
... The Leaves are Changing
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Neal Gow's Lament
This arrangement is of a beautiful piece of Scottish music that I've always loved. I often get asked for a piece like "Ashokan Farewell" ... this is usually my answer. Neil Gow was a fiddler and composer in the early 19th century and is said to have been a virtuoso player. He is credited with composing many now standard Scottish fiddle tunes. The full title of this piece is "Neil Gow's Lament for the Death of his Second Wife" and was written around 1805 - the same year as Beethoven's 3rd symphony! I love playing this piece for weddings, though I usually abbreviate the title when people ask what it's called.
A Dream Within a Dream
The title for this piece is from an Edgar Allan Poe poem about reflection. There's a little bit of everything in this piece: from the dream like, drone opening to a groovy theme in 7/4 time. Lots of shifting meters play around with lush harmonies.
A Certain Slant of Light
This piece is inspired by a lot of minimalist music that I've been listening to lately. The music made me think of light coming through come through a window or through some trees. The title comes from an Emily Dickenson poem. Lots of spicatto work for the strings alongside some lush melodies.
Irish reels dance with lush, cinematic melodies in this piece. The theme at Rehearsal A that recurs throughout the piece is one of the first things I ever wrote - roughly in the year 2000 as a high schooler. I sat on it for about twenty years trying to figure out where to use it ... When I developed the rest of this piece, I needed something to tie the sections together and that theme fit like a perfect puzzle piece.