Chattanooga is a great bicycle town. Now that my office at the folk school is pretty much put together (I’ll be having to haul less stuff back and forth), and now that the weather’s getting better, I’m looking forward to daily bicycle commutes– And counting on my bike to be the official vehicle of my spring and summer nighttime ramblings around town. In a daydream about riding around town, this song bubbled to mind. It’s exactly the kind of happy little melody I like to sing when I’m on my bike. I hope it helps summon the warmer weather and a cheerful spring in Chattanooga!
I just recorded this here at my desk, using Lisa’s handy Zoom H4n. Nothing fancy… Just a simple little song about the city I love, with a nonsense chorus, “Chicky Run”!
What a wonderful surprise in my mailbox a few days ago, right in the dead of winter, a cd reminder of a summer week spent in Gooik, Belgium. I’ve written on this blog before about working with Maarten Decombel, and what a pleasure it was to get to know his music. This recording is from the concert we gave inside Gooik’s giant church. My favorite track is still this one: “Dodecamedita”, a piece composed by Maarten himself. I love the main melody, the harmony that goes with, the interesting rhythm, the improvisation sections.
Maarten Decombel, bouzouki, and Christie Burns, hammered dulcimer, August 2009:
I bought a book of Ella Wheeler Wilcox’s poetry at an antique book store in Vienna, back in 2007 when I traveled there with my grandmother. It was in English, and had a really pretty velvety suede red cover, so I bought it for something like 10 euro. Just happened to be flipping through it the other day, and started experimenting with singing the poetry, instead of just reading it. This is one that came out:
If you look up Ella Wheeler Wilcox on google, you might find the wiki page that mentions her being listed as one of America’s worst poets. But still, I find it fun to have “met” this American midwestern woman during my visit to Austria. Her poetry is realistically optimistic, and she’s a real straight shooter when it comes to matters of romance and relationships. I don’t know much about what makes poetry good or bad, but I do know it’s neat to be able to make up a melody and sing it to the verses of a poem written over a hundred years ago.
This is too important. Must share.
More progress on the RC-50, and still loving it. This was my first time trying a whole song in live performance mode. I mean, tonight my only audience was a sleeping Simba, but still I played it as though it were a performance. Up ’til now it’s just been playing with loops and not giving much more than a single thought towards arrangement or structure.
More fun with the Boss RC-50. Still learning how the darn thing works… Haven’t figured out starts or endings yet, but anyway, it’s loads of fun!
Here’s a brand new Christmas song I made myself! With a little help from my new toy, the Boss RC-50. Fun Fun Fun Fun Fun.