Here’s a fun tune I wrote during Liz Carroll’s Irish fiddle class at UW-Milwaukee in 2003. That semester with Liz was great! Lots of tunes & lots of laughs. I originally titled this polka ‘Liz’s Class’, but everybody around Milwaukee just calls it ‘Heather’s Polka’
A 4 part rambling single reel with some unusual chord changes thrown in. Written sometime in 2009.
This slide was inspired by two good friends, Andreas Transo and Paul Marshall, and their amusing mishaps & adventures. Written during a visit to Ireland in December 2008.
(Pig in a blanket is an appetizer also referred to as a mini crescent dog)
A jumpy slide written on November 22, 2004. Pairs nicely with Olivia’s Not Sleepy
A slide I wrote for my very energetic younger daughter Olivia Tyler Tiarks in 2005. She’s still often wide awake when she should be sleeping.
Slip Jig written in memory of world bodhran champion (& all-around great guy) Paul Phillips from Belfast, Northern Ireland RIP 2007. This tune was included on the ‘New Years Eve Session 2008’ recordings to benefit the Paul Phillips Memorial Bodhran Scholarship. Paul’s best friend & fellow bodhran enthusiast Paul Marshall has just made it available again for download at http://www.bodojo.com.
I first met Paul Phillips at Seamus O’Kane’s house in Derry, Ireland. He quickly became a friend & a mentor. A few weeks before he passed away, Paul Phillips was in Milwaukee teaching bodhran at the Irish Fest Summer School. My favorite memory from that week was myself, being the only melody instrument still standing at a late night session, surrounded by at least ten top notch bodhran players from around the world all playing harmoniously and beautifully together at the same time whilst I fiddled. It was absolutely brilliant.
I was honored to have spent many such wonderful moments with Paul. Playing tunes with him was truly magical. Here’s to you, Tank Commander…
A reel I wrote for my daughter Kelsy Ana Lewin in 2005 when chocolate milk was her favorite thing.
Another version of ‘Wishing’ written in 2005
This is the other tune written for Liz Carroll’s class & later recorded on the ‘Athas’ CD. The tune didn’t have a title when I composed it, so I just named it after the first thing I saw when I looked around the room.
This tune was written after an amazing day in August 2006. Amy Richter and I were in Ireland to compete in the Fleadh Cheoil Na hEireann and Amy wanted to purchase a new drum from world-famous bodhran maker Seamus O’Kane in Derry, Ireland. We took a bus to the middle of nowhere and were dropped off next to a castle. Seamus drove to get us and brought us back to his wonderful home & workshop. Seamus was an excellent host and it was fascinating to see some of his older drums and his works in progress. That visit with Seamus was also the first time we met world champion bodhran player Paul Phillips, who just happened to drop in at Seamus’ place, much to our good fortune. Hearing Seamus & Paul tell stories and have a laugh was a wonderful experience that I’ll never forget. (And Seamus’ wife was very gracious in fixing us tea and snacks when she arrived home to a house full of people).
Written in 2010.
A tune I improvised for Amy Richter when she was teaching our friend Aaron Craft how to waltz one night at our monthly Friday night set dance gig at the Ardor Pub in Milwaukee in 2006. This lovely tune has been played at many local dances, & was played at Amy’s wedding to Logan Penington (Mannheim Steamroller) in September 2018.
A tune I wrote on a very windy day in 2010.
Jig that I wrote on a chilly Tuesday Morning in January 2007. Originally written in G Major but transposed down to C Major when I recorded it with Athas on the CD ‘Athas’ released later that year.
Written for my kitty Tipika R.I.P.
Tune written in a workshop at BLAS International Summer School in Limerick, Ireland. Máire Breatnach was teaching a tune writing class and gave us one measure of music that we had to incorporate into our composition. The first measure is Máire’s, the rest of the tune was written by me. I believe we had about 15 minutes to write our tunes, after which we played our tunes for the class. The compositions were all gathered up and photocopied to share with the rest of the class members. I still have that packet of original compositions. So I dedicated this to Máire, but it’s also dedicated to Jan Banis, Andreas Transø, Margaret Lloyd, ALANDfiddler, Cassie and Kim. Enjoy!
Jeff Ksiazek & I decided to co-write a tune one night while sitting around at the Bremen Cafe in Riverwest. This was right after our band Athas first formed back in 2005. Jeff wrote the first part & I wrote the second part. Amy was there too lending moral support
This tune was written in August 2005 during Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School. Amy Richter was taking an advanced bodhran class taught by Jackie Moran & they were working on playing along with tunes in unusual meters. (I believe it was a Comas tune that they were practicing). Amy challenged me to write something for her in an unusual meter & I came up with this one on the spot. It’s a repeating pattern of three bars of 7/8 plus one bar of 3/4. (So it’s kind of in 27/8 ?). I’d count it: “1 & 2 & 3 & a/ 1 & 2 & 3 & a/ 1 & 2 & 3 & a/ 1 & 2 & 3 &”