The Summerland

I started writing little solos for viola or violin last year, some of which morphed into duets. Then came a string quartet -- I've always loved string quartets -- and it was so fun that I thought I'd see if I could write a bunch of them for a little set, just in case I could ever assemble a few interested string players who were willing to learn some new music.

After a summer of sometimes painstaking work and obsessive attention to detail (which does not come naturally to me in other areas of life), I've finished six songs that seem to hang together pretty well. I think there's a common thread to them, with enough variation to keep things interesting if they're all played together, but it's impossible for me to be objective about this. I know these are beginner compositions from someone who hadn't touched a violin two years ago, but I'm proud of what I've accomplished in a relatively short amount of time.

Now that the suite is done, I've been pondering what might be the most fun way to have it performed. When I started this site up early in the process, I plunked in some of my photos at random, then realized it might be pretty cool to have a selection of photos projected on screens or walls while the music was being played live. A sort of multimedia expression of my last year of creative process, in event form. Probably too ambitious, but I'm stewing on it.

A note on titles -- I'm lost. If I go with "The Summerland Suite" as the label for the set, then I'm thinking I should rename the songs along an Okanagan theme of sorts...especially if the accompanying photos are local scenes as well. Feedback welcome on that concept.


  1. Jeremy, thanks for the comment on the Gayton book -- but thanks rather more for this great music! The soundtrack to my day, today: it's been too long since I was in the Okanagan (and the Thompson-Shuswap, where some of my roots are).

  2. You're too kind! These are just my rough sketches from the composing process...but it's very gratifying to hear that you enjoyed them anyway. Thanks for letting me know!

  3. Hi Richard...not sure if you're checking back here, but I've posted updated recordings and videos for all of these songs -- much better quality than the original versions.