Inspire Duo Performs for "Eternal Color", Opening Night for Artist Melissa Carmon

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There are times in life when our dreams really do come true, and collaborating with artist Melissa Carmon to create an immersive musical and artistic experience was one of those rare moments. Melissa Carmon is an outstanding Colorado artist, and she debuted her “Stories of Saints from Antiquity” painting series at the charming Bolt Gallery in Fort Collins. The evening was an incredible success!

From Melissa:
”What can I say, Christen is an absolute dream to work with! She is not only an incredible musician, the whole process of coordinating the event was done with the utmost professionalism and polish. I had absolute assurance that everything would be ready on time, that every detail of the performance would be looked after, and that she knew exactly what she needed for the performance to be top quality. I am an artist, and Christen and Craig (co-founders of the Inspire Duo) performed throughout the opening evening at the gallery. Rave reviews poured in throughout the evening. To have live flute lent a unique beauty to the night and paired beautifully with piano. Their creativity combined with their expertise is truly impressive. The audience was captivated. Working with them is truly a pleasure!”

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Craig and I of Inspire Duo performed our unique in-the-moment musical improvisations for each one of Melissa’s 12 saint paintings. We rehearsed for the show in advance to get a feel for the general musical style and mood that we wanted for each painting, but our performance at the show was completely improvised.

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One by one, the paintings were projected on a screen behind the stage, and Melissa introduced each one along with the saint’s historical background and a snippet of poetry. Then we briefly explained how we planned to interpret the elements of the painting musically. The room was packed the entire evening, and the guests were able to enjoy the paintings, our music, and refreshments.

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Visitors had the opportunity to mingle around the room and socialize, or sit and watch our performance in the seating area at the front. We had both engaged listeners and people enjoying the music in the background as they socialized. The paintings themselves were inspired by live models, many of whom were able to attend that evening.

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If you’re an artist and interested in collaborating with Inspire Duo, contact Christen Stephens:

704-275-1855
music@christenstephens.com

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An Evening of Art and Jazz!

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You’re Invited!

…....To an evening of color, history, music and poetry!

Mark your calendar for Friday, February 1st for a very special event featuring our very own Inspire Duo and opening night for a new series of paintings by award-winning artist, Melissa Carmon.

Melissa Carmon will be presenting her newly completed “Eternal Color - Stories of Saints from Antiquity” at the Bolt Gallery in downtown Fort Collins. Each one of Melissa’s twelve paintings will be presented along with a poem and historical background about each saint. Craig and I, of Inspire Duo, will be performing our musical interpretation of each piece!

You don’t want to miss this!

Friday, February 1st 2019
6:00pm - 9:00pm

Bolt Gallery
144 S. Mason St.
Fort Collins, CO'

RSVP: Email me at music@christenstephens.com and I’ll count you in!

 
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Inspire Duo: Art and Music

Experience art on a whole new level!

Award-winning professional flutist, Christen Stephens, and professional pianist, Dr. Craig Woodward, will perform original musical improvisations inspired by each piece in the saints series. Each saint will have a pre-planned mood, but beyond that, each song will be one-of-a-kind and created entirely in the moment. This is a unique opportunity to hear this Denver-based duo in Fort Collins!   Listen to the Inspire Duo»


 
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Eternal Color: Stories of Saints from Antiquity

This series explores a diversity of temperaments through the medium of portraiture.  One of the inspirations behind the series is the question of what really endures. Each figure's story differs vastly, but each influenced the development of western history.    Preview the Saints Series»

Inspire Duo Will be Performing at Twenty Brew Taphouse!

 
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Craig and I at Inspire Duo are looking forward to expressing our musical creativity on May 20th at the Artists Being Artists event. We'll be improvising on the artwork being shown, and we'll also take suggestions from you, our friends! Artists Being Artists is a monthly showcase of local visual artists, musicians, poets, and more. The showcase happens every 3rd Sunday of the month at Twenty Brew Taphouse (in the back room). Come by and meet new folks, have some beer, and enjoy our exciting music!

Inspire Duo Plays at Rembrandt Yard in Boulder, Colorado

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Inspire Duo will be playing at Rembrandt Yard in Boulder, Colorado for their event "Collaborate in the Creative Art Experience". Craig and I are looking forward to making this wonderful art come alive with our creative musical improvisations! We also enjoy taking your input and suggestions to inspire each piece that we play. Come and enjoy delicious food from A Spice of Life Catering + Events and beautiful artwork from talented local artists, as well as newly imported international pieces. This includes an authentic Aboriginal artwork show featuring art imported from Australia along with the stories behind these amazing one-of-a-kind pieces. Come and learn about the Aboriginal people and the history of their storytelling through art. All artwork is available for purchase, and you don’t want to miss this unique exhibit!

The event is free to attend, but Rembrandt Yard does request at least $1 donation for participation in The Wishing Wall, an interactive art installation. All proceeds will be donated to the Boulder County Arts Alliance.

Come and enjoy some great art, music and food and stop by and say hi to us!

Find out more about this event here: https://rembrandtyard.com/collaborate-in-the-creative-art-experience/

Friday, April 6th, 2018 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Free admission Rembrandt Yard Art Gallery & Event Center 1301 Spruce St. Boulder, CO 80302

Flute and Piano Duo at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

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Recently, my flute and piano duo played for an elegant corporate event at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Our client let us choose a mix of classical, contemporary and jazz tunes, leaving the specific music selections up to us. I enjoyed selecting tunes that would be a great fit for the event. We began by entertaining the guests with our music as they enjoyed cocktails up on the sky terrace. The hot day had cooled down to a sparkling evening and everyone enjoyed the sweeping views of City Park and downtown Denver that the terrace afforded. After cocktails, we moved inside and continued to play a mix of music for a couple more hours during the elegant candlelit dinner reception.

From the Client: This is the second time I've used Christen for a corporate event. She is a superb musician, and both times I've used her the guests commented on how wonderful the music was. I would recommend Christen without reservation. She's very prompt to respond, is very warm and friendly and professional and her music is absolutely wonderful.

Samples from our Set List: Ashokan Farewell, How High the Moon, Reign of Love (Coldplay), Clair De Lune (Debussy), Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, My Funny Valentine, Irlandaise (Bolling), Sunshine on my Shoulders, Just the Way You Are

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Inspire Duo

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About Inspire Duo Inspire Duo is a flute and piano duo featuring the music of Christen Stephens (flute) and Craig Woodward (piano). We create purely improvisational music inspired by people, art and life. No two performances are alike. Our influences come from our classical training coupled with our love for jazz and modern music. We are available to play for events in Denver, Boulder and throughout Colorado and also collaborate with local visual artists and dancers. Inspire us, listen, and be inspired

We collaborate with artists and art galleries

Welcome to Inspire Duo "Life Inspired Improv."

Inspire Duo is a new duo featuring the music of myself on flute and Craig Woodward on piano. We create purely improvisational music inspired by people, art and life. It was my dream to do free improvisation with other musicians for a very long time, but the opportunity hadn't presented itself until just recently. Several months ago, I was invited to a farewell moving away party for an acquaintance of mine. When I arrived, I found that I didn't know a single person in the room except for the honoree of the party, and she was deep in conversation. I walked up to the first person that I saw and introduced myself. We quickly found out that we are both musicians who love to improvise, and we were both looking for someone to improvise with. That was the unlikely beginning of Inspire Duo.

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When Craig and I met for our first rehearsal, we knew that this duo was something special. We instantly clicked musically and magic began to happen. Craig and I both have extensive experience with a wide range of music from classical to jazz and numerous other styles. We found that we could create a unique blend of these styles and add our own flair to make beautiful and wildly creative music.

We began rehearsing regularly and developed a vision for collaborating with local artists in order to introduce a whole new sensory dimension to their works, both through live performances and audio recordings. Each song that we improvise starts with an inspiration - an series of descriptive words, a piece of art, another musical composition, a photo, or anything really. Beyond choosing our inspiration, we don't plan much what we will play in advance. One of us creates an initial musical idea which then takes shape as we continue to play. The music then spins from there as we communicate back and forth, building upon each musical idea and creating new ones. The great beauty of this kind of music is that we aren't stuck to written notes on a page, or even a set of chords such as on a jazz chart. We are free to develop ideas as we play and interact directly with the environment around us using music.

Stay posted for updates on our live concerts. We need your inspiration! We also accept bookings to play for social events. Email me for information on hiring us for your next party or event by clicking on "Inspire Duo" HERE.

Listen to Music Samples Here

Flute and Piano Duo at Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church in Dillon

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This summer, our flute and piano duo enjoyed playing for this beautiful wedding ceremony at Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church in Dillon, Colorado. This bride loves sunshine and has a sunny personality to match, so she chose the appropriate "Sunshine on my Shoulders" to walk down the aisle to. The church was situated on a hill overlooking a panoramic mountain view, and the weather was perfect and sunny. The piano in the church sanctuary was a very fine instrument with an amazing sound that we enjoyed. The bride told her family and friends that there would be music and everyone was so excited to hear the music that they all arrived 45 minutes before the ceremony, so we began our prelude early and gave them a little concert of hymns and sacred songs.

Selected Prelude Music:
Sunshine in My Soul, One Eagle's Wings, Great is Thy Faithfulness, How Great Thou Art, Your Grace Still Amazes Me, All Creatures of Our God and King, As the Deer

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Processional ~ Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
Bride ~ Sunshine on my Shoulders (John Denver)
Unity Candle ~ Be Thou my Vision
Recessional ~ Wedding March (Mendelssohn)

Vendors:
Photographer: Studio Kiva - Thank you for the photo of me playing the flute and the photos of the dancing bride!
Ceremony Musicians: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute and Piano Duo

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Announcing New Music Samples From Our Flute and Piano Duo

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I'm excited to announce that new music samples of our flute and piano duo are now available for listening on my website! Listen to them here on my flute and piano duo page. I made these recordings accompanied by talented piano/keyboard player, Adam Revell. Our versatile duo can play classical music for your traditional wedding ceremony and then play popular, rock, and jazz for your cocktail hour or wedding reception. We also love playing for parties and feature classical music for elegant formal gatherings to upbeat rock and jazz selections for parties and events.

Flute and Piano Reception Music at the 10th Restaurant in Vail

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This past Saturday was truly a remarkable experience and I was privileged to be invited to play my flute for the memorial service and reception honoring Jim Vincent. The weather was perfect for the service, which took place in Vail Memorial Park in an idyllic mountain setting. We were surrounded by mountains, tall pines, and large boulders with a bubbling river winding through the woods nearby. When I arrived at the memorial site, I had the pleasure of once again seeing Pastor Tim Wilbanks, who later did a wonderful job presiding over the ceremony. I played classical music on solo flute for the prelude and after Pastor Wilbanks gave a welcome speech, I honored Jim Vincent by playing one of his favorite songs, "I Just Called to Say I Love You" (Stevie Wonder). At the end of the service, I played "My Way", a song that Jim Vincent personally requested be played at his memorial service. I really enjoyed the service as various family members and friends stood up and told both humorous and nostalgic stories about Jim Vincent. By the end of the service I really felt like I personally knew Jim.

Afterwards, we all left for the 10th Restaurant in Vail. I drove to Vail Village and took the gondola up to the restaurant. This was my first time up a gondola, and I really enjoyed the ride and the view of Vail Village and the surrounding mountains. When we arrived at the restaurant, Adam Revell was already entertaining the guests with some light jazz on his keyboard. I joined him on my flute and we played a number of popular and jazz selections for the elegant three-hour reception. I was given great freedom with the music selections and I aimed to create a nostalgic and sometimes upbeat mood. The guests really enjoyed the music and I even spied a few of them dancing as they walked by.

Selected Reception Music:
Cheek to Cheek (Sinatra), Georgia on My Mind (Ray Charles), Blackbird (Beatles), Unchained Melody (Alex North), Annie's Song (John Denver), Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (Jerome Kern), Let it Be (Beatles), Autumn Leaves, I Will Remember You (Sarah McLachlan), Longer Than (Dan Fogleberg), Everything I Do (I do it for You) from Robin Hood, Fly me to the Moon, Annie's Song (John Denver)

Views from the gondola ride:

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Vail Village:

Wedding Processional Music Ideas for the Flute

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Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music

The following is a list wedding processional music that I have handpicked and compiled for 2013. Some of these songs are new and some are old friends paying a return visit, but all of these songs will sound great with the flute.

Classical Wedding Processional Music Ideas: Classical music sounds great with flute and harp, flute and guitar, solo flute, flute and cello, flute and violin, and flute and strings trios and quartets. Visit my Ensembles page for music samples.

Alla Hornpipe (Handel) Bridal Chorus (Wagner) Canon in D (Pachelbel) Chorale from Cantata No. 147 (JS Bach) Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (JS Bach) Overture from Royal Fireworks Music (Handel) Rondeau (Mouret) Spring from The Four Seasons (Vivaldi) Te Deum (Marc-Antoine Charpentier) Trumpet Tune (Purcell) Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke) Water Music — Selections (Handel) Wedding March from a Midsummer Night’s Dream (Mendelssohn) Wedding March from The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart) Largo from Winter from The Four Seasons (Vivaldi)

 

Contemporary Wedding Processional Music Ideas:

These contemporary music selections will sound great with flute and harp, flute and guitar, and flute and string trios and quartets.

All You Need is Love – The Beatles At Last – Etta James Bless the Broken Road - Rascal Flatts Come Away with Me – Norah Jones Endless Love - Lionel Richie Edelweiss - Rodgers/Hammerstein Falling In Love At a Coffeeshop – Landon Pigg Fields of Gold – Sting From This Moment On – Cole Porter Have I Told You Lately – Rod Stewart In My Life - Lennon/McCartney I Will be Here – Steven Curtis Chapman Legend of Zelda Selections The Ludlows from Legends of the Fall Moon River –from Breakfast at Tiffany’s Reign of Love – Coldplay She - Elvis Costello Smile – Uncle Kracker Sunshine of my Life – Stevie Wonder This Year’s Love - David Gray The Wedding from Legends of the Fall Whatever it is – Zac Brown Band What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong When I Fall in Love – Nat King Cole When You Say Nothing At All - Alison Krauss Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton You are the Sunshine of my Life – Stevie Wonder