Best of the third 100 days of “A Tune A Day”

A little belatedly (because today is day 328), a compilation of the best of days 201-300 of A Tune A Day. As with the two previous compilations (here and here), these are not necessarily the best performances, just the tunes I get most enjoyment out of going back and listening to again.

21st February and 19th February are new tunes, both written and recorded on the spur of the moment. Quite a lot of the series have been done in this way, where I’ve just recorded whatever came to mind. But some come out better than others.

4th January is an older tune, with a story attached to it. In March 2013, I finally succeeded in selling my mother’s house after she had died the year before. My brother and I went and cleared the last few bits we wanted to keep, and I paid a guy to come and clear the rest. By about 5pm everything was gone except for a couple of bits of furniture and the piano (which was my grandmother’s when she was a young girl). The man-with-a-van I had arranged to collect it had been delayed on a previous job, so I sat on a coffee table (all the chairs had gone) played the piano while it got dark outside. The title is based on the strange feeling I had leaving the house which I had never lived in myself, and that I knew my mother never really liked either. I recorded some of what I played on my iPad, but then completely forgot about both the tune and the recording until I rediscovered it during my end-of-year video clean up. So I learnt how to play it again, Tom and I wrote a saxophone part, and Anne played bass. The piano is now in my living room, and both my children are learning to play on it. I think my mum and my grandmother would both be pleased by that.

I’m not quite sure when 26th January came from, but I have the vague intention of one day adding it to a long multi-section piece I’ve been working on for ages.

During February I spent a lot of time learning traditional tunes. This was partly prompted by discovering two fiddle pieces (3rd February, 4th February) by Ger Doyle on WholeWorldBand. Videos to both are here.  Two of my favourites of the new tunes I learned were “The Peacock Followed The Hen” (8th February) and “The Weasel’s Revenge” (9th February). Arrangements for both came from Chas Marshall’s excellent collections of session tunes.

Finally, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (21st December) was probably my favourite of the month of Christmas tunes I recorded in December. But the Twelve Days of Christmas (27th December) had to be included for being the most ambitious tune of the series so far – played on 12 different instruments, featuring Tom on saxophone and drums and Anne on bass, flute and recorder.

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