Born in the Desert

In continued celebration of the release of Post & Beam, I’m posting the score for Born in the Desert.

Download the score as a pdf file: born_in_the_desert.pdf
Download the score as a LilyPond .ly file:

Each month I’ll post another score for a piece on the album, until I’ve shared them all. The scores will be available as pdf files and as Lilypond files.

The scores are for acoustic, “unplugged” versions of the songs on the album. All the electronic gewgaws and interactive foofaraw have been left out; they wouldn’t make much sense unless you happen to have a sensor-encrusted banjo plugged into an arduino and a laptop. I think these songs are perfectly playable without the electronics, anyway. In fact, most of them existed that way just fine for 100+ years before I got my mitts on them.

Notes on Born in the Desert:

  • I think I got the four note motive that spans a minor 7th from a Bob Dylan tune.
  • I wrote most the lyrics while riding my bicycle.
  • I later tightened up the lyrics and squeezed them into a formal scheme where the second line of each pair of couplets becomes the first line of the following pair of couplets. (I’m sure some sainted English major can tell me the specific poetic form that I took the trouble to reinvent.)
  • The banjo is played using a two finger, thumb-lead style. Thanks to Vic Rawlings for teaching me the mechanics of this picking style.
  • There’s an extra bar added to the end of each section. The Carter Family recordings have these kind of extensions sprinkled throughout, but it’s just as likely I picked this up from Olivier Messiaen or Igor Stravinsky or Philip Glass or Joni Mitchell–all of whom I heard long before the Carter Family.
  • I posted an earlier version of this score last summer. This one is the more correctest.

Post & Beam

I’m a little late posting this on my own blog, but here it is!

Post & Beam

I chose to use Bandcamp for this release because they now support pay-what-you-wish pricing (including FREE!) along with sales of physical media. So far, I’ve been surprised by how many people are buying the physical CD over just the download. I’ve also been surprised by how few people are choosing to pay $0.00 for the album. (Go on…it’s OK!) Most people are sending some of their hard-earned $freedom$ my way in exchange for my music, and I appreciate it. Everything I earn supports the creation and sharing of more music. Bandcamp and PayPal get their share, and the rest goes toward that next imagined sound.

Post & Beam CD Release Show

The Post & Beam CD Release Show is almost here! Read the preview in Metroland.

Monday June 13, 8pm
The Arts Center of the Capital Region
265 River Street
Troy NY
$10 admission also gets you a copy of the CD!

Matthew CarefullyCentury Plants and I hope to see you there.