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A COMPOSER’S THOUGHTS – UKULELE MIKE – the “DREAMSCAPE TRILOGY”

July 12, 2011

PLEASE NOTE:  My “UKULELE BASICS” DVD is currently  available for purchase. . . For more information email me at mike@ukulelemikelynch.com

PARIS NOCTURNE

CHERRY BLOSSOMS

RIVER OF DREAMS

Two summers ago I was taking a break from work and
spending some moments down at the local beach here in Edmonds. . . Bright sunny
day and the Olympic Mountains were resplendent across the sound.

My ever present uke was in my hands as I was randomly
strumming and picking some chords just to relax and let my mind be free.  It’s during these moments that my most
creative thoughts come to me.

Working my fingers up and down the first string, idly
playing a comfortable melody that fit well under my fingers I began to discover
a tune that appealed to me.  I
immediately repeated the melody over and over and soon a more developed line
began to form.  (The genesis of a new
composition) . . . I often wonder if the great masters of the past wrote that
way. . . Ever considered how George Frideric Handel may have written his
Christmas classic JOY TO THE WORLD? . . . was he perhaps sitting at the harpsichord and just idly playing a
simple diatonic scale in reverse???  That
is, after all, the central theme of Joy To The World:  C B A G F E D C.

Although I was here on the Pacific Coast of USA my mind
began to drift to far away Paris and the River Seine. . . A late evening walk
along the promenade near the Notre Dame cathedral.  Voila!!! “PARIS NOCTURNE” was born:

During the process of composing I will try ideas. . .
include them, then decide later to remove them or modify them.  Those that are not kept, however, seem to
stay with me for a long time.  I file
them away for future reference. . . Months later after releasing “PARIS
NOCTURNE”  I found myself in a similar
reflective moment and reached into that “file” and pulled out those ideas that didn’t
seem to work in “Nocturne”. . . In time. . . I think it took maybe a week . . . I
finished the last touches on “CHERRY BLOSSOMS” In composing “CHERRY BLOSSOMS” I consciously
tried to create a similar feeling to “PARIS NOCTURNE” I retained the same key. . . . Kept the melody mostly on the first string and of course kept the reflective feel . . . .  you might say they became a sort of couplet.

Since my earliest days of classical piano study I’ve
always had a great love for the music of the French composer Eric Satie.  He composed a trilogy of pieces for the piano
called The Gymnopedies.  Soft, gentle,
almost lullaby like reflective pieces.  I
could identify elements of my 2 pieces in the Gymnopedies so then I set out to
finish MY trilogy. . . I titled it the “DREAMSCAPE” TRILOGY.  Once again I went back to my “files” for some
compositional elements. . . I drew them together with entirely new material and
created “RIVER OF DREAMS” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3hg7Oll10Q

This is MY process as a composer and I think I share it
with many many other composers and songwriters.
It’s always a combination of inspiration mixed with some semblance of
structure and format.  You try ideas. . . consider them. . . keep them or perhaps modify them or throw them out entirely.  At the heart of it though the music always seems to come from somewhere deep within.  It’s frankly a mystery to me how that
happens. . . There’s no way to explain it. Why, when I came to the beach to rest did I feel some need to create something new.                    I certainly never really set out to compose a trilogy.
. . In fact, I didn’t’ even set out to write a couplet of pieces . . . But . . .
undeniably the moment in which “PARIS NOCTURNE” was born on that warm summer day
at the beach so was the seed of the “DREAMSCAPE TRILOGY”

“HAPPY STRUMMING”

Mike Lynch

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