..... music for occasions.....


Somewhere Over The Rainbow

"Our wedding is a bit, uh, complicated" explained Derrick.  "My fiancée's parents are from Iran and have a strong sense of what makes a beautiful wedding, but our tastes are, well, more varied.  We totally love that Hawaiian ukulele player's version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow and talked about walking down the aisle with someone singing this.  Is this crazy, trying to combine these ?"

"Not really" I replied.  "It's only natural that different music reflects different tastes, not only between a couple, but among the families, too.  I've done weddings where four distinct styles where included and it worked beautifully.  As long as you've worked out a good order and use realistic pacing, it's just a matter of watching for the cues."

"That fits right in with our plan, because we've got a flamenco trio coming to play for dinner.  Can you play Iranian music for the pre-ceremony that's different from our cocktail hour ?"

"Sure.  Even though both periods will be duos with my percussionist, I can use different instruments that will create very different environments.  For the quieter pre-ceremony time, I'll alternate between my lower pitched alto flute and a melodica, a kind of keyboard harmonica.  And don't worry, because I bring a great PA system your guests will hear every nuance.  Then for the cocktail hour, my digital keyboard does a really convincing imitation of a saz, the stringed instrument from that region.  It allows me to play more than one part at a time and so it's perfect for more rhythmic playing.  It's very cool."

Derrick's fiancée said, "Getting back to our processional song, you've heard that show tune from the Hawaiian singer ?  It's so different from what I remember growing up."

"Funny you should ask about that song.  The Hawaiian vocalist you talking about was fondly known as Iz and he virtually re-invented Somewhere Over The Rainbow because it sounds so different from the Judy Garland version.  I know it very well because one of the singers who I work with perform it regularly.  It's very touching when accompanied by the ukulele, though we enrich it a bit by me singing a simple bass line and playing a shaker."

Derrick looked at his fiancée and said, "We can't wait to hear everything all put together.  What's the likelihood of us finding someone who could play that particular song in that style and play Persian music ? "

"Pretty slim," I replied.

Needless to say, the whole wedding day and evening turned out wonderfully...