Yesterday I was in LoFi Studios in Glasgow for the second #Distil Scratch Band Day by Hands Up For Trad. I took part in the first one back in September and really enjoyed it so submitted an entry for the second one.
The scratch band musicians were Patsy Reid on fiddle, Dave Milligan on piano, James Lindsay on bass and Alyn Cosker on drums. Last time we had to write for bass and drums and this time the brief was to write for rhythm section. I took a tune which I had written in my #tuneoftheweek project (Cherry Falls – week 3) and arranged it for fiddle, piano, bass and drums.
Each composer gets an hour to work with the scratch band on the day so writing a piece which is doable in the time available is quite important. I tried to keep things simple working with just one tune. The form of the tune was AABB AABB Bridge AABB. The main variations throughout are heard in the drum and bass parts.
The band went for a go at playing the piece without talking about it first. After that we had a bit of a chat about it discussing how I’d like it to be played etc. The second take sounded a lot happier on everyone’s parts after we’d spoken about it a bit.
If I was to do it again I would add in a lot more info into the score so that technically the musicians would be able to play it exactly how I want it without me even being there. Things I would add in are chord symbols as well as the notated chords to help with sight reading and to give more freedom to the musicians, dynamics, rehearsal marks in boxes to make them clearer and also some descriptive words throughout the score.
Each attempt at playing the tune was recorded on the day. Here’s the recording taken from the second take of the tune.