Tuesday, February 27, 2007

It's a complicated situation, but currently I'm keeping and playing a lovely old Martin 1K model ukulele. Some day It may belong to me, but for the time being I am allowed to play it. It's sweet-sounding in that really dry, modest Martin classic way.
I used GarageBand to record myself playing on it "The Interlochen Bowl (1934)," a sublime and peaceable march by Edwin Franko Goldman. No overdubbing was used in my ukulele part, although there is a two measure splice. I played the tune in one take, which was for me an acrobatic feat. Having written the midi accompaniment, I hope it does not annoy.

In my twenties I went steady with the Eastman Wind Ensemble's sixties era recording of this foot lifter, conducted by Interlochen alumnus and former drum major Frederick Fennell. The arrangement included a fine "gang sing" by the idle players.

Sound the call for dear old Interlochen
Land of the stately pine
Where stalwart friends and loyal ever greet you
Faithful for Auld Lang Syne
Old friends you'll greet
New ones you'll meet
A welcome you'll ever find
So sound the call for dear old Interlochen
Shrine of the muse divine
When I learned that the wonderful actor Felicity Huffman had attended Interlochen, my first thought was to write an arrangement of this march for ukulele, and then try to convince William H. Macy to learn it for a wedding anniversary gift. After that I remembered how much I hate to impose. Just let the Macys know it's here to listen to. If I'm lucky each of them will like it for a different reason.
The Interlochen Bowl (1934) - Steven Strauss, ukulele

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Welcome to the web log for my upcoming CD release, UKEBOX. Things are getting exciting here at my music desk. We're about to pull together the money for a manufacturing run for this CD of instrumentals. If you'd like to pre-order UKEBOX send us an e-mail at ukebox-at-yahoo.com (using the typical "@" protocol) and we'll tell you how to do it.

The commentary and features (replete with illustrations and audio examples) available previously at this web address are currently in archive and are not available for reading. I'll be setting up another web log to hold those contents and subsequently will re-post them there.

More developments soon!


cover art by the amazing
Heather Watts
at heatherwatts.com