The Mechanics of Musicality
Making Melody

Sundays: March 19 + March 26 + April 2
2:00PM - 3:00PM eastern US  

Have you ever wondered how melodies are made, where come from? Have you ever wanted to make your own tunes? Have you wondered if there is some magic potion that conjures a melody into being?  Is it a series of mathematical formulas expertly employed to create the perfect combination of notes? Or are melodies all around us just waiting to be plucked out of the ether? If so, then this newest installment of my Mechanics of Musicality series is for you! 

One could answer yes to all these questions. Melodies are precise, mysterious, and magical in equal measure. They can come into existence as a result of hard work, pen to paper, careful attention to harmonic relationships, scale, and rhythmic calculations. Or they can arrive all at once on a bolt of lightning as if delivered by the Muses or even Apollo himself, a gift. 

Well, I certainly don't have all the answers but I do have some thoughts on the subject as well as some helpful practices that I've developed over the years that work for me. I come to the world of musical creation, writing, composition, call it what you will, without the benefit of music theory or the ability to read or write music. I do, however, come to it with open ears,  a deep sense of feeling and a lifetime of experience. Being open to possibilities is half the battle. The foundation of my composing is grounded in listening. Paying attention to what’s around me, listening for fragments of an idea. Respecting that idea. 

Irish music is an oral tradition. Its history, its soul, its complexities, internalized by us as we learn. It is from this which we draw upon in order to make new melodies. 

Over the course of three one hour sessions, starting on Sunday, March 19th and running consecutively for the next 2 Sundays, we will explore practices that will help demystify this process. 

And to get things started we will be joined on March 19th, by one of Irish music’s most prolific composers, the legendary, Grammy nominated, Liz Carroll!  She has written hundreds of tunes, many of which have become standards in the tradition. She will offer insights into her process, how she starts a new tune, how she brings it to life. We could not have a better way to begin this journey! 

I hope you will be able to join us!

Registration is required. All classes will be held on Zoom and recorded for those who cannot join in real time.